After longing for this moment for so long, the day has finally come. To be honest, I’ve really gotten into this and I am kind of sad of ending this journey. With some hindsight, I guess I could have went a little slower and enjoy reading each example sentences to get the most of it, but you know, when you’ve got levels one tends always to climb as fast as possible as it was some sort of a challenge. That’s why I prefer not to give my pace so as to let everyone choose one that fits their needs and learning capacities (Moreover, I’ve always intended to get through WaniKani twice to learn how to write kanji through levels in a second time).
However, for this post to be useful, I’ll transmit my japanese learning experience in details
JLPT 4 and WaniKani
When I was about the level 15/20, I’ve decided to take my first exam to give it a shot and to have a goal to aim for. Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed, but… I was kind of happy to see that WaniKani was really efficient on kanjis and I didn’t have any problems to fill that part of the exam (well just one hesitation but clearly, I wasn’t lacking any knowledge in kanji for the N4). Since I didn’t have any background in Japanese before starting to use WaniKani, I was really happy with my scores that were almost good to pass… But it was far from being right in the oral section
Japanese resources used
I’ve sticked to WaniKani and BunPro the whole time (respectively about 2 hours/day and 1 hour a day). For me, it’s the best resources in japanese out there and I am really happy to have heard about them. I’ve been really surprised to see that some fancy kanjis could actually be useful to read common sentences
I’ve also tried to read many mangas, but due to a lack of time and of course motivation (it’s easier to watch One Piece in anime than forcing yourself to start reading), I’ve ended up buying them without reading most of them. However, I really loved reading ポケモン / Pokemon (the first 3 tomes), 七つの大罪 (Seven Deadly Sins, 4 tomes). They were the easiest to read and I was surprised to see that I could get most of the meaning out of it. The best way to learn through reading mangas, IMO is to read one chapter and to check with the English version right after.
WaniKani and BunPro limitations
Oral comprehension and expression have always been my weaknesses in every languages. Reading and writing only words (like you do on WaniKani or Bunpro) didn’t help me … Speaking (no f****** way ). About writing I tend to say that, it’s useful but surely not enough. I can write some sentences but due to my lack of training in translating from French to Japanese, it takes a looooot of time. Of course, there is KameSame that could have helped me overcome this, but I wanted to know as quick as possible many kanjis to read books and didn’t have enough time left to double my review pile .
Of course, one of my main goal is now to read, read and read… No surprise because, it’s the reason I’ve started to use WaniKani. I am even currently developing a Flutter app using Jisho to create SRS cards quickly which helps me to read. It’s still a WIP but really soon, it should be open for some curious and I hope to get many feedbacks to improve this app (I’ve already got a ton, but I will develop this in another post).
Like you may have read in the previous section, I didn’t use anything that could help me with oral comprehension or expression. Despite the fact that I have no real interest in learning to actually speak Japanese (since no one is here to talk with me in japanese), I want to be able to watch animes without subs and exchange at least some sentences.
Since I’ve failed N4, I also want to take my revanche by passing it, but having many different things to do this year, I’ll probably try it again (or N3 if I am confident enough about my oral comprehension capacities) next year.
Oh and to conclude, I was really happy to learn to say 検疫 at the right time
Good evening to you all and good luck with your reviews