Useful Add-ons for a beginner

Hi everybody, I am new to this platform and I was wondering which extensions would you suggest for a newbie like me. Thanks in advance for all the answers.

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Welcome!

This is one of my absolute favorite scripts.

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Check chapter 7 of my Guide for Wanikani. I list a bunch of them:

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I wouldn’t recommend any scripts at all for the time being. Wk works fine as it is. A lot of people who started installing scripts ended up breaking the designed flow and resetting or quitting. Guides describe what worked for their authors, so it’s not guaranteed it’ll work for you. If you didn’t come up with an idea to change something, it’s probably not worth changing it. I’d say it takes at least level10 and several months to actually get a feel for wk, because of how the load keeps increasing and other stuff. If at that point or later you feel like ajdusting your studies in a particular way, it might make sense to look for an extention to do that.

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I disagree. The only scripts that can break the work flow are reorder scripts and override scripts, and only when abused. They’re intimidating because script abusers make “Should I reset?” posts, but the silent majority of responsible users who enhance their study with scripts don’t need to make “Hey guys, everything’s great and I don’t need to reset!” posts. This argument is the same as “Some people took L. Ron Hubbard’s work a bit too seriously and were harmed by it, therefore books are dangerous and I wouldn’t recommend reading any.”

There are plenty of completely benign scripts with no potential for harm. Here’s the ones I use. I’ve deliberately omitted any that could even maybe be abused or encourage unhealthy gamification, because I agree that the ones you have in mind aren’t a great idea for everyone, and each user needs to decide for themselves if they can handle that.

Scripts I consider essential. Ideally if these were part of the base experience, I think WaniKani would be better for it:
Jitai - Randomizes Japanese Fonts in WK lessons & reviews
Pitch Info - Displays pitch accent information in lessons & reviews
Katakana Madness - replaces hiragana for on’yomi with katakana; only affects kanji, not vocab; This is standard practice in most dictionaries, subtly informs and reminds you which readings are on’ or kun’ and provides much needed Katana exposure
Stroke Order Diagram - displays stroke order in lessons and item pages

Minor convenience scripts to install if you feel like it, in descending order of significance:
Ultimate Timeline
Hotkey for other voice actor
DotDotDot Expander
IME2 Furigana
Lesson User Synonyms 2
Like Counter

And then there’s the Heatmap. It’s rather ubiquitous, and potentially a great motivator and tool for analyzing and improving your own study habits. There’s not really any risk of unhealthy gamification with this one unlike with the [REDACTED] script. Good luck. 〜( ̄▽ ̄〜)

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Ditto. The Keisei-script is super helpful for better understanding and predicting on’yomi. It made a huge difference for me.

On a similar note, @avotnam666 you might want to install

It’s also only used during lessons, but it gives you a bit more explanation for when rendaku happens or not.

Good luck with your studies! :durtle_megane:

Edit:
Regarding scripts in general: install when you start to need something in particular from WK. Chances are, there is a script for it.

But, before that, there’s not much point to it. I did vanilla WK for at least 10 levels in the beginning and that was also before they got the review forecast up on the dashboard. Then, bit by bit, I installed stuff to help me attack leeches, or got myself the Heatmap and Ultimate Timeline scripts for additional overview of my review flow. It just made sense as I got further up in levels. It’s fine to leave that for later as you’re still at the beginning of your WK journey. :slight_smile:

I can’t help but recommend Item Inspector. It helps for studying your leeches, that is the items that gives you trouble in reviews. And it has a lot of other features too.

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This would make wk better for you. For me it would just be annoying stuff, making me waste time on it instead of using wk for what I came here for.
Nothing wrong with the default font.
Pitch accent? What does that even mean?
I perfectly know when and where and how I’m going to learn katakana. No point making wk even more annoying. I came here for kanji and vocab.
I don’t care about stroke order, I’m not going to write kanji by hand.

See? If you want to change something for yourself, it’s what you want, not what everybody needs. I’m not saying customization is a bad thing. I’m just saying that customization for customization’s sake is a bad idea, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing and asking others to tell you what to change. It’s not likely a random internet person will be able to improve something, that was made by a team of professionals. Make it better for themselves by customizing it - maybe. Make it better for everyone - probably not. The point is when it comes to extentions, if you don’t know you need it, then you probably don’t need it. Personally I think it would be nice for me to have an indication of whether I’m dealing with a fake radical or not, but I’m too lazy to do anything about it and some ppl will totally not care at all.

You are completely missing the point of many of these scripts, it seems; Jitai does not exist because someone decided the default fault on WK was ugly, it was made so that one could learn to recognize kanji in all their forms, from ultraregular to super-stylized to calligraphic. Given that this is literally written in the description of the top post in the link provided, I’m inclined to believe that you just went from your gut instinct and rejected it out of hand. Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, you would need to read kanji and jukugo in fonts other than the Meiryo or Hiragino Mincho Pro W3? You have “come here for kanji and vocab”; does this entail reading them in signs and such as well?

As for pitch accent — have you considered just looking up its definition? It’s something that one encounters quite soon in when learning Japanese in general and Japanese phonetics in particular. It’s not particularly important in the grand scheme of things, as 橋 and 箸 and 雲 and 蜘蛛 demonstrate, but the almost proudly ignorant stance that you seem to be taking to it seems out of place on a website dedicated to learning one of the more time-intensive aspects of the Japanese language. I mean, when you come across a term you don’t recognize in a language you’re learning, do you just straight-up ignore it?

Stroke order — I may be going against Koichi’s teachings here, but being able to read written Japanese kanji is immensely helped by knowing at least the fundamentals of stroke order. Calligraphy, of course; but reading handwriting requires knowledge of quite a few quirks of the stroke order, many of which seem illogical. While you may be able to read kanji on your computer somewhat easily at the end of your WK journey, there is no guarantee of the same speed or correctness with handwriting.

Of course, you are free to decide how you wish to learn katakana. Do keep in mind that it’s used in almost all foreign loanwords, which make up a significant proportion of modern Japanese vocabulary :wink:

(Also: ビー玉)

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I would second the suggestions for “Stroke Order” and “Semantic-Phonetic Composition” and also add that I find ConfusionGuesser to be really useful to help you see where you are mixing up similar-looking or similar-sounding kanji or vocab (大 and 木, for example, or 礼 and 社), as it can help you see which ones you confusing and focus on the differences.

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That’s exactly what many script creators do for many users, so you are simply wrong. Just because you don’t have interest doesn’t mean they don’t offer improvements for those looking for improvements.

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私にも!Ditto again

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We write 日本 and 二本 in the same way when we use hiragana but these are pronounced differently (i.e., their pitch accents are different).

I see. Thx for the info.

Totally disagree. These things weren’t included in the default version for a reason. Simplification is a big part of learning. Trying to cram everything in one place hasn’t worked out well for a lot of people. All the things you have described here are not useless of course, but I don’t think they should be here for everyone by default. And no, I’m not saying I’m proud of not knowing things. What I’m saying is I was able to get by without them so far and I will probably get to them at some point, but not here and not now, and I don’t want them forced on me. There are things I would change, like adding an indication of a fake radical, but as I said, it’s not worth the effort for me. And the fact that I’d like to have it is no indication that anyone else would want it. My point is not avoiding customization. My point is that if you’re asking “guys, what extentions can I use to change I don’t know what and why?”, then you probably shouldn’t use them. As opposed to e.g. “Guys, is there an extention that adds some sort of indication on fake radicals, because I’m going to use radical search in the future and these fake ones actually hurt my learning experience?”

Do you expect the OP to blindly install every script they see listed in this topic? Presumably they understand that the benefits of any given script are subjective, will read up on each one listed, and decide for themselves which ones they expect to benefit from. That doesn’t really seem like a bad thing to me.

I don’t expect a beginner, which a lvl 4 user could possibly be, to necessarily know in advance about the potential harm that could come from some scripts, especially the reordering ones. And a relatively large number of posts on this forum prove my point.

I don’t think we disagree much. When I say I want to see the features of those scripts in my optimal idea of WaniKani, what I have in mind as “part of the base experience” is a set of toggleable options, mostly switched off by default, which merely require less user initiative to discover and install. It’s mostly because problems like only using a single font, not covering pitch patterns, or fake radicals can hurt someone’s learning experience whether they’re aware of it or not.

Some of these features do have less harm potential than the reordering options on mobile, that’s true.

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