Since the start of using Wanikani I’ve always written down all the new radicals, kanji and vocab on Goodnotes on my iPad. I write down the kanji, then it’s hiragana and then it’s romanji. So it does consume my time but I like to think it helps me remember better in the long run.
Genuinely curious how other people go through Wanikani, do you guys also take notes or just go through it without writing anything down? or do you have another method?
You’re best off dropoing romaji entirely. It keeps you thinking in terms of Japanese to English and hinders nailing down hira, kata and kanji. I even use a hira keyboard on my phone and I’ve found it really helps me.
I take notes of the kanji and vocab. Write it down in kanji, then meaning, reading and any mnemonics/notes needed. Helps retention a lot.
Here’s my most recent page
Ahhh okay yeah I basically do the same thing. Do you look up stroke order for each kanji when you’re writing it? or do you just free hand it?
Yea you’re right, will start doing that. Think it helped in the first few levels and now it’s become a habit, but I should start thinking just in Japanese and less in English.
I always check stroke orders. I have a stroke order script added so in kanji lessons it appears on the first section, and in vocab, I can just click the kanji’s page and it’ll be there if I forget.
You can also use jisho, which has stroke order info when you click “kanji details for X and Y”
I don’t recommend free styling because stroke order is something very important to learn
- I do my kanji lessons.
- Wait 10-30 minutes and redo the lessons in a random order several times until I’m sure I remember the kanji. Usually I try to distract myself so that the memory of the kanji from the regular lesson run is not fresh anymore.
Radicals I pay little attention to and later those radicals are just kanji from previous levels so no worries there. Vocab comes more or less naturally, because the meaning can be derived from kanji, save for a couple of oddballs that require mental gymnastics .
I used to take a lot of notes on paper when going through Tobira, though.
Yeah yikes, if you’re going to write (which some people say is a waste of time in 2021, and that’s a legit debate), do it correctly with the right stroke order. It’s more important than it seems like. Correct stoke order degrades legibly (see all the stylized cursive kanji on products and stuff, people can still read them), incorrect stroke order gets more and more impossible to read.
I think if you only see learning to write as useful to actually write things down, you could argue that, but I think writing is a very useful tool in retention. It also helps to deconstruct kanji and read handwriting. It does take some time, but I think it’s easier to implement it alongside other studies than just having a separate time of “just writing kanji a lot”.
I agree, and that’s why I have a notebook full of carefully printed kanji and vocabulary words, all done with the correct stroke order and repeated until they look nice. My Japanese friends say I have better Japanese handwriting than anyone they know. But not because I plan on handwriting many things, just so I can if I want to. Plus, I find I’m much better at the English->Japanese “Kaniwani”-direction production after I’ve written them.
I’m just saying other people disagree, and they’re right too - if you can’t handwrite but you can type, in 2021 that’s not much of a handicap, if any. They’re just looking at it from a utilitarian standpoint.
I didn’t write anything down, but at some point I’m thinking about resetting and going through again with the aim of learning writing.
I’ve considered this as well, but then again, I don’t really need to know how to write by hand. But, I bet it would cement some of the kanji that’s a bit more shaky in my memory than is good.
I’ve taken enough grammar notes by hand to know the stroke order of most radicals to an okay degree. When I first started, I really hated some stroke order directions, thinking they felt cumbersome. But for me, the balance will always come out better and more easily when following the stroke order, and now I wouldn’t want to do it differently.
It is a waste of time imo. We live in a digital world. Unless you’re going to enter a profession where you would have to constantly write on paper, meh.
But for those who have ample time I guess why not? I just think that that time can be used to immerse instead (read, watch videos, etc).
I don’t know why people insist on teaching or advocating that stroke order and learning to write kanji is super important. Immersion, pitch accent, and learning vocab/grammar is important. Though some people also say that pitch accent is a waste of time— as George from YouTube claimed until Matt vs Japan did a video where he told him he shouldn’t give people bad advice since he doesn’t even know what pitch accent is. I think you can speak and be understood without studying pitch accent but more power to you if you do.
Anyway, this is just my opinion. I’m not saying that I’m right or that others are right. This is just what I think
I agree, it’s a waste of time. It sounds like a good idea initially, but then you start to ramp things up and writing it out just makes the process take so much longer, we’re talking multiplying the workload by several times. Better off being aggressive with lessons and reviews. The rest will sort itself out. Writing down bad leeches is probably not a terrible idea though.
Personally, I also wrote down every kanji and vocab in my lessons for maybe 10-15 levels. I have about 30 pages of double- or triple-column notebook paper as proof. I don’t think it really helped my retention all that much, tbh, although it may have improved my handwriting somewhat.
On pitch-accent, I don’t really get what the fuss is about. Outside of the realm of the loud clickbaity YouTuber lot, I think it’s a pretty easy quantification to make. Afaik the semantic load of Japanese pitch-accent is fairly low, such that it doesn’t present a very significant communication barrier to natives as long as the rest of your pronunciation is fairly accurate. Obviously this doesn’t mean that it’s useless, as some might like to claim, but that there are more important barriers to communication to overcome prior to tackling this one.
Anyhow to OP, I’d recommend just reviewing your schedule and seeing what works for you. If you have a lot of time and are planning to speedrun, you can keep writing. If you’re short on time, I’d recommend just using WK, because it’s a huge time investment anyway (it takes a total of something like 300-400 hours to get to L60 at a fairly high speed).
On handwriting: I don’t know how accurate this comparison is, but perhaps writing with an extremely bad stroke order is like writing “b” by starting from the top, rounding the outside circle, and coming back up and down on the stem of the letter. Chances are this will (in another poster’s words) degrade very badly, and be read as “g”, “q”, or any number of things, and while it might not greatly impede communication overall, anyone who’s ever had to read schoolchildrens’ handwriting or the infernal cursive of some older students will realize the hassle.
Hot take: really, English also has “stroke order”, though it’s realized in a different way. It’s called penmanship, or “not-awful handwriting”.
True, but I don’t think that fairly characterizes the argument for, if you know what I mean. I don’t think anyone is saying you won’t be understood if you don’t get pitch accent right. I DO see people saying it makes understanding you easier, and people saying getting it wrong makes you sound unnatural, non-native, like a noob, whatever. For however much you care about that. It’s also true if you DO care about that, it’s a lot easier to make the effort to learn it correctly in the first place than it is to ignore it and then have to change bad habits later.
I don’t sweat it too much, but I do make the attempt to pay attention to how it’s said in the audio and correct myself if I said it wrong (not to the point of marking my answer wrong, just as a mental note).
I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a waste of time. It’s definitely not top prio if one wants to learn the language as soon as possible, even though writing kanji supposedly helps with remembering them for some people. At least the latter is one of the reasons I did practice writing extensively. Not to mention that if you decide to live in Japan, you may need to take notes in writing occasionally.
Regarding pitch accent, I think that is important as well, but there is a difference between just slowly acquiring it and working on it as part of the language and over-prioritizing it. It’s relevant, but maybe not the most important part of the language?
I think there’s certainly merit to practicing stroke order, but it’s not mandatory. The good news is that stroke order is actually really easy once you have some practice. There are like what, 5 or 6 rules that work out at least 95% of the time? It doesn’t take long to get those engrained pretty well. IMO you should just learn those rules and disregard the exceptions.
I don’t actually write anything, but I do “draw” each kanji in my reviews (for kanji and radicals only, not vocab) just using my finger on my desk. It definitely helps me retain it better.
Yes. Maybe I shouldn’t say a waste of time. I think that’s a stupid statement to make.
I think it’s just a matter of what you want to prioritize and how you learn. Writing kanji does help cement the knowledge of the kanji— I agree— and that’s actually how Japanese people learn when they’re kids. At least based on what I have read and some videos I have watched on YouTube.
I learn better by just reading and watching videos and the SRS system from wk does its job perfectly anyway. I don’t need to write them down to help me remember.