Some reasons I love Wanikani

So, I’m beyond the halfway point on Wanikani (in terms of levels, but perhaps not time :joy:) and I often ruminate about how happy I am that I found it as a learning resource. Perhaps if I spent less time ruminating and more time chewing the Kanji cud, I would be at level 60 by now ? :smile: but regardless, I am going to take a small amount of time to go through some of the reasons I love Wanikani -

Forced consistency

Wanikani provides a consistent trickle of Japanese input into my mushy brain alphabet soup.I think this consistent input has helped ensure longevity in my studies (so far) and connects together what would otherwise be islands of motivation. So even when i’m out of term time for Japanese class, or haven’t picked up a textbook in a while, that exposure to the language is still there.

I have studied 695 days out of the 735 days I have been a member, and done an average of 155 reviews per day. As someone who gets easily distracted, I still can’t believe these stats when I look at them. As is often highlighted on the forums, Wanikani can’t be the only resource you use if you want to get to a decent level, but what is does ensure (if you use it as I have), is that you are doing a little bit of Japanese leaning (nearly) everyday.

It has made learning Kanji easy

I have learnt 1150 Kanji so far, and it has been (relatively) easy! Sometimes when I have a look at the Kanji I have learnt to date, I ask myself … how? and the answer is I Just sat back and let the SRS do the work, bebe. SRS works so well for me, i’m honestly a bit shocked no one mentioned it to me at school ! I incessantly bang on to other Japanese learners about Wanikani, as I can’t understand why you wouldn’t use it if you were serious achieving something close to fluency.

Wanikani changed my life

Now this might sound a bit OTT, but let me explain. Before Wanikani I was someone that quite easily dropped things - after all I am a classic millennial - and would concentrate intense effort into something, but when I wasn’t an expert in a couple of months I would drop it. I was also afraid of committing myself to something long term. Wanikani emphasized something I subconsciously probably already new, that a little bit of studying often, is a hell of a lot better that intense but scattered efforts. Becoming fluent (or anywhere near) in any language, will take years - unless you can accept it as a long term commitment , chances are you will fail.

Awesome community

I love coming on to the community forum after a review session and reading about how everyone else is finding things - how there study sessions are going - where they are planning to go on there next Japan trip - successes _ failures. getting to know who the veteran masters of Wanikani, and wondering how long a newbie will last :smile: It really adds to the experience of Wanikani.

Wanikani supercharged my progression

I started Wanikani about a month before starting taking classes at my local university, and the speed which I have progressed has been way faster than anyone else in my class. Not trying to blow my own trumpet here ! I think having just that little head start with Kanji and vocab meant that was able to consume the course material with less effort, and progressed much quicker than I would have done otherwise.

So, a big thank-you to the people behind Wanikani, and the Wanikani community for making my Japanese learning experience so enjoyable so far !

I’m heading back to Japan in November for the first time since April 2017 (a trip which prompted my Japanese learning journey), and i’m really excited to see if the experience will be different now I have some knowledge of the Japanese language.

So expect an equally verbose post when i’m back :wink: ごめん

Finally - to anyone thinking about whether or not to sign up - I can’t recommend it enough.

頑張ります!!

55 Likes

Consistency will make all the difference. The fact that WK makes this fun instead of arduous is the difference for me making it to level 60 instead of giving up.

19 Likes

I haven’t been using it for long but so far I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s easy to just do my lessons and reviews each day, I learn quickly and it doesn’t cut in much to my limited spare time.
I have to know, where can I see a calendar like the one in your first screenshot?

7 Likes

Yeah, this is exactly my philosophy as well. Even just doing the math, it really adds up so more than you might intuitively expect. Like even 10 minutes a day is more than a one-hour class a week.

My favorite personal example of this is my reading routine. I only commit to two pages a day (which often becomes at least four, sometimes ten, but the option to quit after two pages with no regrets is always there!).

Sticking to this routine has gotten me through almost 4000 pages of japanese since I started reading a little over two years ago!

14 Likes

I am glad you perfectly summarised what I feel about WaniKani!
I agree with everything!:+1:
Lurking on the forums and reading all the nice stories of this community was especially motivating for me. :eyes:
Keep up the good work friends!

6 Likes
5 Likes

What level were you when you started your regular reading? need to find a book to start that won’t be too much of a trudge !

I’m still level 3 but I agree! Kanji learning was always my weakness. I’m sitting at maybe 100 kanji learned in a few years, and I tried so many methods… even cramming 20 kanji every day in my head, with mnemonics, but the ones available weren’t helpful to me and I didn’t have the courage to make up my own. With WK, so far so good!

And congratulations on your level 35 o/

2 Likes

My method has always been (and still is) to read excerpts on the web (立ち読み or sometimes 試し読み, amazon.jp puns and calls it なか見). Check back regularly to see if you can understand it yet.

Both manga and books were utter nonsesne to me when I first looked. I remember looking at the first pages of Patlabor and only understanding the odd word here or there.

I looked at Harry Potter as well as the No 6 series that eventually became the first real books I read. I could’t even tell if it was Harry Potter or not, and had no idea what No 6 was even remotely about. Just nonsense covering the pages :slight_smile:

Then I looked at them (sometimes much) later and somebody had replaced that nonsense with at least mostly legible Japanese!

That feeling is both weird and awesome to me :slight_smile:

My personal timeline was something like this:

  • I started with graded readers about half a year into my studies
  • Then my first manga about a month later.
  • Another month later I played through a JRPG I’d already played in English.
  • From there it wasn’t until about a year later that I started reading my first book (and it took some searching around because most books still decended into word salad after a few pages at this point! :slight_smile: )
11 Likes

Haha. Nonsense covering the pages ? so the same as the English version? (obv a joke, i love Harry Potter :wink: )

Oh ok - I got a set of the graded readers - surprising how difficult i found even the easiest set ! :sweat_smile:

I need to find a something to play through - i did have an early attempt at Stardew Valley in Japanese - but was tricky, might give it another go.

Thanks for the comment - good to know how quickly others progress though reading !

1 Like

Even before that, I used the sample sentences from the Core6K decks to practice reading/vocabulary. So that’s an even easier starting point.

If you find the graded readers too difficult still, just open them up once in a while and tackle them when you’re ready :slight_smile:

EDIT: I should also point out that going through Tae Kim’s grammar guide was essential to me becoming able to read beyond the simplest sentences. So if you haven’t already, finding a good grammar resource would be my first step!

2 Likes

need to get Anki !

I am (very) slowly working my way through Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide ! so hopefully will feel the benefits as I get further through it.

2 Likes

Then I’m sure it’s just a matter of patiently sticking to your routine until you suddenly find yourself able to tackle your first reading project!

(EDIT: oh, and if you do get anki, I found this deck to be a good way to SRS:ify that Tae Kim knowledge)

これからも頑張ってくださいね!:slight_smile:

2 Likes

Oh, and others recommend bunpro, but I’ve no personal experience :slight_smile:

4 Likes

bunpro is really good. i see it as a grammar version of wanikani. works wonders for me

3 Likes