Wanikani is vindictive against the user


#1

I once gave up on WK but returned to it over a year later, thinking, “I’ll just avoid the behaviors that made it intolerable last time.” Well, turns out my brain cannot resist making trouble.

WK’s worst transgression against the earnest user is this: You are working quickly—maybe you are at work, taking a break and must work fast to hammer out your reviews or it won’t happen that day—and because there aren’t enough visual cues to delineate what is to be done in English and what is to be done in Japanese besides one difference in word, you enter the READING when you are asked for the MEANING. You get chucked in the dunce pile rather than issued a gentle warning in the same vein as “Wanikani is looking for the on’yomi reading.” Why can’t this be made to happen? Or the option to have the READING message be in Japanese so the brain can quickly grasp what needs to happen.

Disincentives rarely foster progress.


#2

And also the fact that when it expects the answer to be in Japanese, the answer gets converted to Japanese?


#3

The background color above the input is also different (black vs. white) and the placeholder text is also different (Your Answer vs. 答え). You should slow down and pay more attention.


#4

Like seanblue said, there actually are visual cues if you don’t just rush through. Also, add the userscript undo button. You can add it on your computer or use the AliCrab app on your phone.


#5

I’m looking at the keyboard, not straight ahead, the hitting return.


#6

I know I should slow down. I also shouldn’t have a job in which I work a minimum of 11 hours a day. Slowing down isn’t always an option.

I obviously don’t pick up on the visual cues when trying to get rid of 150+ items in my queue, half of which will undoubtedly be some form of typing the word “thousand” in that charming way of WK. Does that mean the app fails to grasp the psychology of the student? Or does that mean that I have something wrong with me? Well, I paid money, so I don’t accept answer number two.


#7

I had the same problem when I started if I was going too fast I’d enter the meaning/reading/vocab even though it’s said clearly and highlighted.

Once you get used to it, your brain will automatically be able to pick up on the colours and signs without really processing it, so you can go fast and know which reading or whatever WK is asking.


#8

Sure it is. Do fewer lessons. This would mean fewer reviews. Then you could do the reviews in the time you have.


#9

To be fair, OP is level 3. Slowing down feels too slow at that level. It was like two reviews every few hours for memory for me?


#10

But obviously it’s not too slow for them if they are already rushing to do their reviews. Everyone has to go at a pace they can handle, and that’s okay. Maybe for OP that means 5 lessons a day or something like that.


#11

Perhaps. I still think user interface-wise there are optimizations to be had. The problem I have is that the amount of repetition in the reviews is sometimes mind-numbing (kanji reading of “thousand”, vocab reading of “thousand,” examples such as “one thousand, two thousand, four thousand,” plus the meanings) and you could find similar clumps of barely-different items (days of the month, for example) that trip me up. When you are drilled, all the currently implemented visual cues melt into each other from one to the next.

I can recognize the colors for kanji reading, vocab, etc. Good for you if you don’t have any troubles. I’m not stupid. I just need the help.


#12

Ah yeah, that’s fair.


#13

“there aren’t enough visual cues”
You’re just not looking. Even outside WK, looking at your keyboard instead of the screen is a terrible habit.
Even if you’re really set on looking at your keyboard, you can force yourself to check after typing your answer.


#14

I agree with you and made the same kind of topic when I first started out. In the beginning these kind of mistakes are definitely a discouragment against new users and when in the groove and the answer is only three or four letters long its sort of hard to stop yourself from hitting enter despite the colors and kana/english. I still sometimes make the same mistakes and i’ve been using wanikani for some months now.

I just did what others have suggested before and downloaded the app for my phone which included an ignore answer button and then some scripts for use on my home computer. Much less frustrating that way.


#15

Sure, I can change behavior. With some difficulty.


#16

You should be able to recognize them over time. Maybe I didn’t notice all of the cues at first either, I don’t remember.

You mentioned earlier that you were looking at the keyboard instead of the screen a lot. So serious suggestion, you might want to look into typing practice. People that type a lot and type quickly don’t look down at the keyboard. And if you’re looking at the screen, you can notice more of the visual cues. Your brain will start to recognize them subconsciously and you’ll know what answer it wants without even thinking about it.


#17

I don’t disagree with any of that. I type a lot, and have for a long time, and I normally can look at the screen when typing in English, but I make a lot of mistakes in Kotoeri due to finger-slip unless I’m paying attention, as though you would doing this on your phone. Can’t be helped but to slow down—your earlier point. Or to look down a bit then hope to look up in time to clock what you’re seeing on screen before hitting return. What can I say? I’m eager to move on.

Distillation of entire grievance: provide an “ignore answer” button that you can use, say, 4-5 times per review.


#18

I actually frequently had this problem (entering Japanese when it wanted English, or vice versa) when I switched to the Breeze Dark Theme because the visual cues I’d been relying on had changed.

I had the double-check userscript though, so I was able to undo the mistakes until I got used to the new color scheme in 2-3 days and the problem went away.


#19

Genuinely helpful—thank you.


#20

You may have trouble using that at work depending on how strict your company is. Hopefully you can though.