I recently started using Wanikani and its a bit overwhelming how much I have been able to remember. I was just wondering if anyone had tips for a beginner or could suggest things they wish they had done at the start but didn’t think to?
I started 3 weeks ago so clearly still a begginer but some things I did that really helped was taking the time to do the lessons correctly.
Some times you want to do your lessons as fast as you can but taking your time to make yours the mnemonics, specially if it’s your first time with kanji, helps a great deal.
Also make sure you know Hiragana and maybe Katakana before going deep into kanji.
The most important thing to remember is that mistakes are great. If you don’t know a meaning or reading I just write “next”. Looking it up on the side doesn’t help you at all since the system relies in mistakes to tune itself to your learning process.
I found the same thing and smashed through at the beginning and loved it.
At the start of level 3 or half way through it though I became really unstuck and overwhelmed.
Why (and it’s still undoing me a little if I’m honest) because I didn’t take the time to understand or learn the difference between Kanji reading / Vocab Reading / On’Yomi & Kun’Yomi etc…
Up to that point I was able to use memory to recall the answers…
However I’m finding now the answers change depending what they’re asking for.
(Where as at the start it seemed to have the same answer so I never needed to differentiate)
Not sure if that makes sense or not.
But my advice would be take your time so you really get it rather than smashing through it and being able to parrot it like I did at the start.
Good luck and enjoy!
(It’s VERY cool when you see something in real life and read it so persevere!)
For starters, it is very important to not see WaniKani as a test, but as what it is: an SRS program. Don’t worry when you get something wrong, that is part of the process. You have not failed if you get something wrong on here, you simply don’t know it well enough to have the review item advance to the next stage. And that’s super OK! You’ll get there in the end.
Also, slightly connected to this, don’t pay too much attention to your percentages. I see a lot of people who see them as grading, and that can be a punch in the face sometimes and demotivate you from continuing on in the future. Just look at what you did wrong and maybe look the incorrect review items up at the end of your review. Just don’t let it represent your Japanese skills.
Another good tip is to not do any Japanese lessons when your amount of Apprentice items is too high. I used to constantly have around 200 Apprentice items, which made for a lot of reviews a day, often 250 to 350.
It sounds pretty dang nice to someone who has just started with Wanikani, but trust me, doing that every day is pretty taxing.
I usually only do lessons when I have less than 100 apprentice items.
I have the bad habit of doing all my lessons at once, which is not very recommendable time and memory wise, but I’m stuck in that process now and can’t really learn in any other way. I see a lot of people who limit themselves to 15 or 20 lessons a day max, so that their knowledge is spread more evenly. Using rfindley’s reorder script will definitely help with that. Be sure not to abuse it though, and always finish the vocab of your previous level first!
Apart from all this, definitely have a look at @jprspereira’s thread. It is full of very good tips and script that everyone should know about.
It really helps to follow the suggested SRS intervals. I understand that not everyone has the free time for it, but this is something that I wish I had done since the beginning. After I started to do that, my reviews became a lot to easier to manage. Good luck !
Don’t be accuracy nerd. There’s no point in comparing your accuracy with others because they are not you. Aim to improve your own accuracy over time. You can use .wkstats.com to get your accuracy and level up prediction date.
Don’t sweat the onyomi and kunyomi reading rule or even rendaku. Just read it as it is.
Limit your apprentice to manageable number, as a rule of thumb no more than 100 so you don’t get overwhelmed by big number of reviews everyday.
I limit my new lessons to 15/day. Take your time while learning new ones, don’t rush it.
Say the words out loud EVERY TIME … it really helps to know whether it is using on’yomi, kun’yomi, rendaku etc. after a while you just get a “gut feel” of what the reading is without rote memorising it because it just “sounds right”. This also helps with reading quickly and speaking Japanese later.
When visualising kanji radicals, connect that imagery to a real life experience to further aid your memorization. For example, if a kanji has a horse radical, think back to a moment in your life that involved horses. Then, do the same for the other radicals in the kanji, and imagine the radicals imageries together, in the same situation. That kind of thinking helps reinforce the kanji and improves the chances you’ll guru that kanji sooner.