Suggestion for a Workshop-Like Addition

Hi. I recently started using WaniKani alongside the Genki series to learn Japanese by myself. For the moment, everything is good and I’m nowhere near any foreseeable roadblocks.

That being said, WaniKani, though a bit inconsistent, says to teach you, on average, about 1850 individual kanji. That’s great, but the Japanese language contains way more than 1900 kanji. This isn’t really an issue by itself as this amount represents almost 20% of the most used kanji, and so should be enough for about 80% of the speech (due to how languages tend to work), but I can already see how efficient WaniKani’s learning method is and ditching it when you’re done with it is really just ditching a lot of potential inherent to this system.

This brings me to my suggestion: some of you may know Steam, an online game library and store that holds practically all/most of all PC games. Among other things, it has a community section, in which there is the “Workshop”, which is where I base this suggestion. The Steam Workshop is a space where fellow users can post additional, community content, for others to download and enjoy. It’s really great and allows people to customize how they play or add features they want that game devs see as too insignificant to make official (but not being actively against it, just saying).

The idea would be to add a similar system to WaniKani, mainly for advanced users or people who are finished. It would basically be a system that allows users to create mnemonics for kanji that WaniKani doesn’t officially teach to allow for pursued learning. It would require adding a workshop tab and provide users with the same tools WaniKani devs use when creating content and that would be it. To reduce inaccurate publications, a rating system should be present too, providing the community the option to rate user-created mnemonics and kanji definitions (I’m talking a lot about kanji, but vocab could very well benefit from this too!) and so good mnemonics and accurate definitions should naturally be highly rated and inaccurate ones would be quickly dropped.

I don’t know about any of the parameters that need to be changed manually or if there is any sort of “tuning” depending on kanji difficulty or learning orders, but essentially, adding all of those and making their usage understandable would be the best thing to do so that user-generated content is almost at the same level of polish as regular official content.

Since WaniKani is a paid service (but way less greedy than your average company, thanks!), the issue of pricing comes into play. One could simply say to put it in the same bundle as the actual service and be done with it, but since this extends WaniKani’s usage considerably, it would make the service a lot more expensive for fewer and slightly less polished learning. For this reason, I’d suggest making the workshop unavailable to anyone under level 45 or so (since it’s not really required before actually finishing, but shouldn’t be level 60 only either). Also, the workshop should be free for anyone that has attained level 60, whether or not they’re currently subscribed to the service. However, to favour lifetime members, free usage of the workshop could have something like a “new content limit per month”, basically like saying “if you use the workshop under a free account, you can only download X amount of new user-generated content per month”, whereas lifetime members can add any amount of new content they like at any time.

Anyway, that’s the (detailed) basic idea of my suggestion. I’m certain it’s not perfect, but I would love for it to be considered.

Thanks!

P.S: If there are any third-party or similar services that provide something like this suggestion that is or is not related to WaniKani, and that provides a similarly efficient learning system, please let me know!

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Hello friend,

Just to check - are you aware of the use of scripts to tailor the Wanikani experience?

D

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Hello,
For additional kanji, i think it’s staff’s job.
For different or additional mnemonics, forum is full of them.
For different functionality, there are API based scripts and websites.

See you around.

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Absolutely not, could you enlighten me?

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There’s this sea of userscripts where you can see a ton of the addons you can use to alter your wanikani experience. I wouldn’t recommend getting too many of them (obviously there’s way more than anyone could possibly use lol), but if you ever see someone recommend a script, this post is really useful for finding it!

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any scripts that allow you to add new kanji to the SRS, but you can make your experience learning what they have much better with some these (Or much worse, if you’re not careful)!

I believe high level users tend to say that level 60 is a pretty solid amount of kanji and any others you encounter can just be learned on their own. If WaniKani taught every kanji in use, it would be such a daunting task that I don’t think many people would be able to stay motivated to the end, and would probably be overall bad for them.

If you want to study more kanji on your own, you could probably make an Anki deck for them.

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Ah ha !

So essentially you can use a browser plug in (Tampermonkey in the case of chrome) which allows you to download ‘scripts’. Scripts are essentially additionally code which can be appended to the existing source code to add functionality (that’s my understanding, bearing in mind I am not a computer whiz).

Although adding Kanji is beyond the realms of scripts I believe, it my still be of interest.

I suggest you do a search on the forum to find out more (including cautionary tales of script misuse :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

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Its actually 2048 kanji at the moment. They continue to add to that number once in a while.

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This sounds like the “Community Decks” feature of Kitsun. It would indeed be nice if WaniKani had something similar.

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You can’t implement this function on wanikani at the moment, but you could totally do it with Kitsun, Memrise or good old Anki.

Someone even created a wanikani extra levels pack for Memrise!

ps: I see now that it also has files for Anki, but might not be as updated as the memrise deck

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From the main page:
Screen Shot 2020-02-28 at 19.14.54

WaniKani isn’t really made for advanced learners but for people who aren’t good enough with Kanji yet and don’t want to deal with all the headache that comes with it(e.g. configuring Anki).

The weakest point of WaniKani is that it’s not customizable. You can add your own notes and use that instead of mnemonics. You have scripts that allow you to do other things. However, it’s still limited as you can’t remove/change the vocab’ and Kanji that WaniKani offers.

For advanced users, you can use the forum(it has an advanced area) or get something like Anki and do your own deck with the extra 100 Kanji for example. I mean I don’t think it’s even worth using an SRS for an advanced learner.

Heh. That was my immediate first thought too.

They’d better not add any more kanji, or they’ll break it. Unless they want to aim for 4096…

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4 more years! 60 more levels!

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