WaniKani Study Buddy Race - 2022, All Aboard!

Well, took me six days to start my new reviews for level 6 (still on the vocab though haha) because life etc etc but NOW IS THE TIME to begin
I always promise I will focus more each time I level up and then I do the opposite, maybe I should promise myself to do poorly…

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Hi guys! I got to level 5 today yay; thank you for all your posts, reading all of them gives me a lot of motivation :3

I just wanted to share that I’ve been accepted for an exchange year at a Japanese university for one year from September! (as long as there’s no covid T_T)

I’m really happy but also I hope I’ll be able to get good enough to talk casually in conversations before I go… Do you think doing just wanikani and bunpro until then would be enough or are there any other resources that you guys use?

Thank you and 頑張って!

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I don’t think that’ll be enough for speaking. Unfortunately I can’t really recommend anything though because I only use WaniKani

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It cost but i would reccomend Italki. Haven’t used it myself but I have heard a lot of good things about it. That way you can practise speaking with natives tutors and you can see their schedules and prices etc

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A good start, as long as you do something like Genki alongside Bunpro you’d definetly be on the right track. Bunpro does help a lot with all the sentence examples but I’d recommend adding more sentences or finding a place to get more. I personally have this one which I got for next to nothing years ago, I was planning on starting it when I hit WK level 10 and pretty much finished off Genki 1.

e.g. of the sentence pdf

Get used to the particles and conjugating verbs!

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Another round of drawing Kanji during lessons. I think it does help with memorization but only if I follow a certain procedure:

  1. write meaning and reading first
  2. handwrite not line by line but by radical
  3. review meaning + reading + general shape ( = look at the kanji and mumble to myself)
  4. optional: make a short mnemonic for meaning (I never do reading mnemonics)

If i draw the kanji first before knowing reading and meaning it helps practically nothing is just a handwriting exercise.

Most of them still look a bit off but I’ll figure it out eventually. Thicker brush size next time.

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i stopped writing for the stupidest reason so imma confess it now and maybe move on.

i never wrote a lot but i did a few kanji everyday in a practice N5 book i printed. everytime, i did the 100 kanji in order, maybe 4/5 of each one then move on to the next. once i got back to the first, i changed the colour of my pen.

one day, i could not choose a new pen colour. i kid you not. this was many months ago and i have not written since.

pretty sure i’ve reached the top of mountain stupid!

anyhow, regarding your kanji shapes, have you read some advice @Jonapedia gave? he gave really good tips on how to arrange the radicals to give a nice, tight looking kanji.

am the same as you, my components are too far away from each other or a bit disproportionate etc… yours are far better than mine though. i know it does not help you but i just wanted to say.

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lol … that is a stupid reason but that’s just how it is sometimes. Why not stick to just black and be done with it? It’s the go-to traditional (non) color? Writing is really fun and if you have the time I’d so recommend implementing it into your lessons regimen! :fountain_pen:

Well, I’m currently facing an additional challenge with handwriting in that I use a graphics tablet I’m not used to and a software that’s completely new to me, so there’s that. Also I just now realized the template I’m using isn’t helpful either: those aren’t square boxes which explains me having trouble with vertical lines and spacing! :sweat_smile:

The other thing is just my inability to draw a neat, straight, properly curved line. That’s why i prefer writing digitally so i can ctrl+z to my heart’s content until i get it right. That’s a general problem I have in my roman alphabet handwriting as well unfortunately.

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*dies a lil inside

never!

yeah i wondered about that but i assumed it was for furigana space on top

i think the solid square with two dotted line divisions is popular for a reason.

pretty sure that’s the vast majority of people. i write neater - i think - with a pen on paper.

i learned the kana on my ipad with robakana and drew them with my fingers. i kinda kept the habit so when i do my lessons, i write the kanji also with my fingers.

goodness, what am i? a toddler?

you’re right, i really need to get some writing practice in. the weirdest part of all this is that it’s prob what attracts me the most about japanese: the writing! i absolutely love the kana and kanji. i think they’re beautiful.

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Hahaha. I write every single kanji I learn with my fingers, honestly, and when I want to test my memory and I don’t have paper, I write phrases in the air. It’s fine. :rofl:

Yeah, I struggle with this to some extent when it comes to longer lines, especially because I like detailed work. When we had art lessons in primary school, I once took the entire lesson to draw just the outline of the neck of a vase because I kept feeling like the curve was wrong.

It does get better with practice though. What I found helped the most was writing with a particular shape and set of principles in mind, and making an effort to direct my strokes where I needed them to go. After a while, you start to gain control.

Anyway, since @saibaneko asked,

I vaguely remembered which post that was, so with a bit of searching, I managed to find it:

I definitely won’t claim to have the best handwriting, and I still think that I suffer from writing decent individual kanji without being to produce a page of kanji that go together nicely. (It’s an old problem that my Chinese teacher once mentioned when I asked her what she thought about my handwriting. It got better after I bought a calligraphy course.) However, maybe that’s just by my standards. For what it’s worth, I started formal Japanese lessons this year, and quite recently, after maybe 2-3 months of lessons, my teacher finally said, ‘I just… your characters remind me so much of my grandfather.’ I went, ‘Ah… really? Why?’ She said something about how they were written. I explained that I bought myself a calligraphy course a while back, only to have her tell me her grandfather was a calligraphy teacher. So yeah, I guess it’s decent? :joy:

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pheew! what a compliment!!

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Hahaha, yeah. I thought it was just that something was old-fashioned or that I had picked up some old convention, but when she mentioned his occupation, I was so surprised. :laughing:

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Yeah, that’s just a pre-existing background pattern in the software. Looks like there’s no possibility to change it to something better, so I’ll have to find a workaround I guess.

Thank you! It appears I’ve read and liked it already but I probably forgot some principles again. I used to write a bit more a few years back and I’m only starting again now.

That was actually an idea I had when moving to the big city but then the pandemic hit and I never followed up on that. Or is it an online course you bought? Probably not?

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Close. It was a printed course I ordered from China via Taobao. Online courses for these things would actually be pretty cool though, now that you mention it… but I guess the problem with online courses is that they almost always inevitably end up somewhere outside the paywall, which is great for consumers, but not so great for authors. That happens a little less with stuff that’s on paper. I do know of a Japanese calligraphy site, but it’s for brush calligraphy. I guess you could still take a look at Takumi-san’s channel on YouTube though. He has quite a few pen calligraphy videos, even if they’re usually not tutorials.

Anyhow, I suppose I can’t recommend the course I used because it’s in Chinese, and on top of that, it deals with 行書, which is a slightly cursive form, whereas I think most people just want to learn the standard script (楷書) first. If you’re fine with ordering stuff online (because I know there are people who aren’t so comfortable with that), you can try getting a Japanese calligraphy course, I guess? Here’s one I think is pretty good:

I posted a few other links to courses on that page, but I sincerely think this one is the best if your goal is learning how to write well. It’s meant for primary school students, so I don’t think the Japanese inside is particularly difficult either, and it might even be good reading practice.

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Next batch! Still a bit wonky but already way better I think. As you can see my english writing really isn’t any cleaner so that’s basically the best I can do right now.

Even when I hold my graphic tablet pen like a brush I get way more beautiful and artistically pleasing symbols but that is unfortunately not really my main goal. I’d like to be able to just write a note with pen and paper that doesn’t look like a toddler worte it :sweat_smile: So, actually … maybe I should just write on paper again with a normal ballpoint pen instead of whatever I’m doing above; although that’s also fun. Hm :thinking:



Earlier in the thread I mentioned scheduling and pacing myself … Welp, I’m still in speedrun territory :sweat_smile: However, with having the lessons spaced out over a few days I naturally don’t have these gigantic review waves consisting of all new items. That’s nice. Also my workload isn’t yet at maximum, because I still don’t have any burn reviews, which will change in a few days though and my solution for then is:

Why, scripts of course! :smile: Specifically, I’ve set up Lesson Lock with an Expected Daily Reviews Score limit of 200 and I’ll just have to see how that goes.

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Just a random thought: from what I’ve seen of Japanese brush calligraphy videos so far, most Japanese calligraphers hold brushes almost the same way they hold pens, especially small brushes. In Chinese calligraphy, the brush hold is different, and seems to be meant to keep the brush vertical all the time. So in a sense, brush calligraphy doesn’t have to be entirely detached from pen calligraphy.

As for how ‘mature’ characters look, I think it’s more a matter of how controlled they appear? Part of that comes from writing fluidly thanks to practice and experience, but it’s also a matter of things like proportions and angles. I really think that just looking at writing that you like and trying to imitate it can help, though it’s usually helpful to know how strokes are produced in order to do that, because that way, you write, as opposed to treating characters as paintings or colouring diagrams that you need to copy.

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I’ve added myself to the list, hope i didn’t f anything up.
I’ll need to get in serious speed to get ready for N3 this summer. Hope it works out.

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welcome to the race!

wow, that’s quite the challenge! good luck.

in the UK, there’s still no news for july 2022.

so… level 10 be like this:

image

so much for leveling up on monday lol. failed one kanji and it had to be one of the 4 i could not fail!

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crazy control!
gives the mnemonic for drawing a lot of sense: thread that meets (paper)… imagine doing this with a really soft brush loaded with ink.

reminds me of this scene: busted!

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Which script do you use to get the meaning, reading and next review when hovering a kanji?

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