Just started here on WaniKani a few days ago, and I felt that if I shared my progress, I’d be more motivated. But I honestly don’t know if that’ll work. We’ll see.
Here I’ll share my goals (short term and long term), what I’ve learned since whenever I last posted, what I’ve used to study, and my study plan. Currently, I do not have a posting schedule, as I’m trying to get settled here on WK and also gather other resources to start my Japanese learning journey, but as soon as everything is less of a mess, I’ll end up getting a routine down.
Level up from Level 1 to Level 2 on the llth, and then continue onto Level 2.
Learn hiragana fully.
Level up from Level 2 to Level 3 on the 19th, and then continue onto Level 3.
Learn katakana fully.
Finish Level 3 on the 27th, and then reset to Level 1, and start from there.
Learn to express state-of-being and particles from Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese Grammar.
These are my goals for this month. They may change, seeing as life is hectic, but I’ll do my best to meet them. I’m hoping to get the rest of WK for Christmas, so that’s why I’ll be resetting to Level 1 after I make it to Level 3. If I can do a Level a week, I’ll be able to get to Level 4 by the time I get the full WK.
The most important aspect of a daily system is that it’s something you can do every day, and thus you will do every day.
If you’re still learning hiragana or katakana, learn one new character per day. If you’ve already learned them, try to learn one vocabulary per day. Read one paragraph of Tae Kim every day.
You can do more in a day if you feel up to it. But keep your daily requirement low enough that you don’t avoid it. You need to be able to make time for it, and you need to do it even if you don’t feel like it. That’s how you make a daily habit stick.
In time it’ll feel weird to go a day without doing the minimum.
At that point, it’ll naturally feel like you’re not doing as much as you can, and you’ll want to increase how much you do in a day.
You’ll graduate from learning a character per day, to learning a word per day. You’ll go from reading a paragraph about grammar per day to reading a simple sentence per day.
I was able to do it! I made it to Level 2 last night!
After doing my reviews that night, I went to go see when my next review set was, only to see that I had passed, and was now bombarded with 79 lessons, which were mostly Level 1 vocabulary. I left it alone, telling myself that I would do them tomorrow.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve taken the lessons in chunks and done their reviews whenever I had them. Within this, I’ve developed a daily system of doing my reviews daily whenever I have them (Unless it’s at, like, 4 AM. Honestly, WK has no respect for sleep.), and lessons if I have them. And if there are a lot (like the 79 lessons from last night), I take them in chunks. It gives me reviews more frequently, but it’s better on my mind.
I am having a hard time remembering the kunyomi for the vocab, but I guess that it just comes with time. (If anyone has any tips they’d like to share on remembering kunyomi, please feel free to share!) Other than that, I don’t really think that there’s anything else to share. I’ll make another post here once I reach Level 3 or get stuck on something, or if something interesting happens. We’ll never know.
For me, this ultimately comes to exposure to the word in native material. If I’m watching a show and hear a word I’ve recently learned in WaniKani, or if I see it in something I’m reading, it stands out more and the reading becomes more memorable.
It’s most difficult in the earliest levels, as everything’s still quite new. Be sure to utilize what’s available through WaniKani, such as the easiest of the sample sentences (at least one should be using only kanji you’ve already encountered) and playing the audio of the word.
Do you suggest writing down the vocab and kanji on flashcards? Sure, there’s Anki and other SRS apps out there that I could use for it, but I’d prefer to have handwritten ones, as it’ll help me with writing them out, and people say that writing it makes you memorize it easier.
This is just my opinion, but, it must be really hard to do WK w/o full knowledge of hiragana! So imo you should focus on that for starters! I learned hiragana in a few days, what I did (may not be the best way possible):
Day 1 - Saw a few youtube videos of hiraganas (mainly japanesepod101)
Day 2 through 7 - Try to write it down from memory (failed miserable - but i would look up and write it anyway). I think it took me 3-4 days to memorize all of them! The stroke order is really important, it keeps you from making mistakes or getting the hiraganas mixed up
PS: my katakana recognition is not at all as fast as hiragana! And, even after 3 months, i still make some hiragana mistakes (mostly because my native language has many similar sound).
Anyway, IMO the most important aspect of learning a language is to do it daily! Even if it just 10-30min!
Give it a try and see it if works out for you. This is an area where results will differ drastically from person to person. If it works out for you, that’ll be great. If it doesn’t work out for you, no matter how many cards you’ve made and how long you’ve been trying it, be willing to let it go and try something else.
If I were going that route, I’d immediately run into review timing issues. It’d be too much of a hassle for me as the deck grows in size, especially when I know can have Anki manage the timing for me.
If I wanted to go the writing route, I’d write it down on a notepad when adding the card to Anki (which I’ve done in the past) and I’d consider writing it down in the notepad every time I get the review wrong (which I’ve done in the past).
I made it to level three tonight! I’m really proud of the progress I made! I never expected that I would be able to stick with it this far. It did take me the double amount of time to make it to level three from level two, I think because I may have skipped a day (it’s all been a blur, to be honest). But I did make it!
Keep up the good work. I also slacked on level 3 and it took me 21 days -_-. But know I do reviews twice a day, when I wake up before work than again when I get home after work. I should probable throw in another during my lunch.
I’d recommend you check out “wkstats” it’s a really cool tool for tracking your progress. Also “bunpro” it’s kind of like WaniKani but for grammar. Only started using it recently, but so far I like it. Just remember to go at your own pace and just stick to it. Good luck on your learning journey.