Well, let's share tips on how to be more productive and what mistakes not to do[SHARE TIPS]

I think the idea of turning the learning process into a habit is just cool! I think if we spent those couple of hours a day scrolling the news feed or those 10 minutes of the road from home to work or school on the learning process, then we would have won more in the long run. I will remember this, because now my learning process looks a little strange: I study, but I waste a lot of time. Your comment is inspiring, thank you!

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Don’t stop immersing yourself in other supplementary material. As soon as I stopped reading or listening to Japanese on a regular basis, be it fiction or non-fiction media I found even consistently keeping with going through all reviews daily wouldn’t help much with retention - I am slowly forgetting kanji, vocabulary and now even radicals. It’s probably worse for the now large number of burned material which I hadn’t reencountered again.

If anyone has any tips on how to get back up to speed again I’d love to know them, but for now that’s one mistake I regret making.

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Before I could never stay consistent with Wanikani, but I found a system that works that for me. Before work everyday the first thing I do is 15mins of Wanikani. I use the app Forest on my phone to time it and to make sure I don’t get distracted by notifications. After doing this for awhile I started to increase the time. I now do 25min long sessions. If I complete all my reviews/lessons before the time runs out I read NHK easyweb or a textbook. I’ve been pretty happy with the results. In 25mins I can do around 120-150 reviews which I think is good enough to progress through levels in a reasonable time.

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Whenever I get a review wrong, whether it’s the meaning or readings (even if I just mixed up the on’yomi and kun’yomi), I write down the kanji/vocab/radical and the correct reading or meaning for that particular review. I do this with regular vocab in Anki too. That way not only does rereading the explanation get the correct answer into my brain but the physical act of writing it down seems to solidify it. Not to say I may not get it wrong again but I’ve noticed I’m a lot less likely to which helps when, back before I reset my progress due to a long break, I felt like I was just getting every review wrong. Of course if you don’t bring your notebook with you everywhere then you feel like you can’t do reviews at that moment but that’s another problem entirely.

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  1. Totally agree with the idea of making learning a habit. It is something you have to commit to and will take a lot of work; just like going to the gym, the first month or so is the hardest… But set a general schedule and keep to it.

  2. Share your interest with others. I talk about it with my family and, while they have no interest in learning Japanese, it has become a talking point and they help keep me going. “How many words are you up to now? What is a cat? A dog?”

  3. Celebrate minor victories. Long tasks like learning a language are all about consistent practice. There are ups and downs, I have certainly felt frustrated / defeated at points while seriously pursuing Japanese… But then I have also seen that seemingly out of nowhere, I can pick out a few more words when listening to a song. The language is starting fill in a bit. If people are speaking slowly and use basic grammar / vocab, I’m not totally lost!

  4. Like others said, find ways to immerse yourself that you enjoy. I don’t do this as much as I should probably… At least not actively. I have been looking for and primarily listening to a lot of japanese music.

  5. Speaking of music, if you like it you should try to find some synced lyrics! I use Spotify and a lot of more popular songs have synced lyrics these days. While the desktop app won’t let you copy / paste the lyrics (so far as I can tell), you can see the kanji, hear them say it, and read it! While I work, I typically have that up on another screen. Sure, I’ve heard these songs a ton at this point… But I can look over and see if I can read what is being said. Then, can I translate it? If not, no worries; the goal for me right here is passive… It is there and is a source where I can test my ability to read a sentence at a reasonable pace.

As for some advice I’d love to find… Does anyone know of any good resource for creating little printable kanji worksheets?

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If you want printable kanji worksheets that align with WK levels, one user created some here :blush:

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Ayee, fellow work hard, burn out like a supernova!

Although my cycle seems to have a slightly longer period of two months.

I had absolutely nothing happening in my life during the hiatuses yet still, I was neither practicing Japanese in any way nor doing wk. Actually I find recovering after such a “vacation” quite neat, I have created a whole routine for that.
I’d say the main piece of advice here is to just keep immersing. Each time I get up after a fall, I see the progress made to this point more clearly and that is what keeps me going.

Hear me out, do not look up answers before the review session. It ruins all srs timings and is an inherently bad thing to do for long-term retention. I lurk quite a lot and I’ve seen a few people totally fail for this sole reason.

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This is EXACTLY what I was looking for… You are awesome, thanks for sharing!!

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I’ve only been truly committed to studying for about a year (before that, I was much more sporadic), but I have been able to keep up an extremely consistent study schedule this entire time, so I might have some tips worth offering? Here’s what has worked for me:

  1. Make studying into a daily habit. Practicing every single day will help you retain what you’re learning, keep up your enthusiasm, and also keep your reviews from ballooning into unsustainable numbers. If you miss one day, it will be twice as hard to motivate yourself to get back into it the day after. Aim for never missing a day, no matter what.

  2. Keep your daily workload consistent. Doing a set number of lessons a day really helps with this, as does doing your lessons and reviews at the same times each day. For me, it further helps to use the lesson filter script to distribute the kanji reviews throughout the level so that I’m learning 3 kanji a day alongside 9 vocab. If you do the same amount of lessons a day, your review counts will be very even and predictable, with no unpleasant surprises.

  3. Plan your daily SRS workload around what you can do on a bad day, not in ideal circumstances. SRS can be very punishing if you miss a day of reviews, so you want to make sure that you can still get your work done if you are tired, or sick, or depressed, or busy, or in love, or on vacation, or any other time where the last thing you want to do is study. When you add new items to your review queue, be kind to your future self. If you have extra time/energy on any given day, use that time to focus on other aspects of study that do not involve adding to your SRS workload.

  4. Focus on the day-to-day, not on the "eventually"s. Fluency is a very long ways off, and being able to read easily and painlessly is a long-term goal. It’s easy to get frustrated because of how far you still have to go. But if you just get your daily work done, every single day, you will eventually reach your goals with the language. Don’t try to rush this part beyond your capacity to keep it up! Some people can easily learn 20 new flash cards a day. For others, this is a recipe for burnout. It’s better to be slow but consistent than it is to load yourself up with work that you’ll be unable to complete. Start a little below where you think your limit is, and adjust from there as needed. Vocab in particular is a massive grind, but if you learn 10 words every single day, that isn’t too much work to do in any one sitting, and you may not see a difference in comprehension immediately, but you’ll have increased your vocabulary by 3,650 words by the end of the year, and you will see a difference comparing this to where you started.

  5. Engage with Japanese media the entire time. It’s more important that you enjoy it than that it is well-optimized for studying. This will reinforce the things that you are learning, and it will also help remind you why you want to learn the language. You probably will never quite feel “ready” for a lot of the media you watch/read, so you sort of have to just push past that feeling and give it a shot anyways. But if something is too hard for you to the point where it starts to become frustrating and discouraging, it’s okay to drop it and come back later! You’ll want something that you can still enjoy at your current level of comprehension. You’ll also want something that you’re able to watch/read without becoming too concerned about perfectly understanding everything. An important skill is the ability to let things go. Don’t get too caught up over not understanding one line. Just let it go for now, and move on. If you revisit it in the future, you’ll probably find that many things that were once impossibly hard are actually comprehensible now!

  6. Focus on the small victories. Recognizing kanji in the wild, hearing a word you know in anime, understanding a sentence without needing a dictionary, being able to read a tweet on your twitter feed, that sort of thing. It will be a long time before you can watch anime without subtitles, but you’ll start to encounter more and more of these small victories, and they will add up! Every one of these victories is a reminder that you’re gradually getting somewhere.

  7. Keep your studies balanced. Don’t put all of your spare time into WK and neglect grammar and immersion, etc. If WK is starting to take up all of your spare time and you have no time/energy for anything else, it’s probably a good idea to scale back a little on your WK lessons. It’s possible to go very hard on kanji at the beginning and neglect other aspects of Japanese until afterward, but the less you use your knowledge, the more it will fade, and it is very hard to use your WK knowledge if you only ever engage with Japanese within that program and never actually learn how to read.

  8. If you add new resources to your daily study schedule, do so gradually, especially if it involves SRS. Don’t start using WK, Anki, and Bunpro all at once, for example. It’s very easy to overload yourself with a bunch of resources, so you want to make sure that when you add something to your routine, it won’t be too much. It’s better to do just a few things very well than it is to do a lot of things very poorly and inconsistently. If you get overwhelmed by all of the different resources, you’ll be better off just picking something that you can stick with rather than obsessively deliberating which is the objectively “best” resource to use. If it works and it’s something you can keep up, then it serves the job just fine.

  9. Make sure that you’re prepared for life after WaniKani. You will encounter kanji that are not in WK, as well as thousands upon thousands of vocab words that are not in WK. If fluency is your goal, WaniKani will not be the end of your Japanese journey. If you have grand plans of starting to use Anki or another program after reaching the end of WK’s content, it’s a good idea to start developing a habit of using the other program before you’re done with WK. Otherwise, it’s common to reach level 60 and sort of stall out. It’s very hard to adjust suddenly to a new program after you’re used to doing things one way. WK is a very useful tool, but it alone is not enough, and it probably won’t get you to your real goals unless you are already very proficient at Japanese. Use what WK offers, but make sure that it does not become a crutch.

  10. Consider starting a study log. My study log (linked in my bio) has been a really fantastic source of motivation for me. I’ve had great luck with milestone-based updates (rather than updating daily or weekly), because wanting to share what I’ve been up to is a great incentive to keep pushing forward with my studies. It’s also a fantastic way to get more involved with a community of other language learners, and many folks here will offer advice and encouragement. I recommend having sections for different aspects of study, including one for just talking about small victories/fun things you encounter while learning Japanese, because this will help your studies stay balanced, and will also help remind you of all of the progress you’ve made, and all of the things that are wonderful or interesting to you that make learning the language worthwhile. Having a public study log also helps keep you accountable! If you say you want to do something, you’ll feel guilty if you have to report in the next update that you still haven’t done it. I update my log whenever I level up on WK (about once every two weeks), and I feel obligated to complete at least one lesson in my textbook every level, as well as doing at least some active immersion. It provides a convenient deadline for me so that I have some external pressure to get work done that I might otherwise be tempted to put off.

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But isn’t that the point of the spaced repetition system? I find it more useful to check the reviews before doing them. Maybe I even saw it somewhere in the description of the system on Wanikani. Imagine that you are an airplane pilot who has learned 5 important buttons and what they are responsible for, then after a while you get on the plane and start flying, and suddenly you forget how to use one of the buttons, because you did not repeat these buttons right before the flight, and eventually crashed. Hehe. I do not know what consequences such a method will have on me, but now I find it much more useful than bad. It would be interesting to know what other people think about this, who also repeat reviews before doing them for a long time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Well, I started reading what you wrote, thank you all for your thoughts!

The purpose of the SRS is to commit things to long term memory. Looking things up right before a review is due is like studying last minute before an exam: You’ll do great at the exam, but will forget it immediately after. It’s just in your short term memory.

When used properly, the SRS will show you items more frequently if they’re not sticking well enough in your memory. By cheating the SRS, you’re making it much easier to forget things because you won’t see them often enough.

To follow with your pilot analogy, it’s as if the pilot cheated on his exams in flight school and now, in a real flight, can’t remember which buttons to press without constantly checking the manual.

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Oh, shit, I think I know what you’re talking about. That is, you want to say that the whole point of SRS is to repeat items until they really get stuck in your head, even if you have to repeat them 100 times and fail the same amount?

Yes, “failing” in the SRS is not a bad thing. It’s just how the SRS knows how often you need to review the item. If you keep failing a review, it means it’s not really sticking.

SRS works to a point, but if failing is happening too often, you might need to find some new mnemonics to help memorize the item better.

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I just found this method very long and often makes me give up, because when the same hieroglyph does not come to my mind for several days, it is very sad. But, apparently, I was just too lazy to spend more time studying. I will correct my teaching method because your arguments look logical, thank you!

The shortest interval on Wanikani is 4 hours. If you can remember it after 4 hours, it will show you the item again after 8 hours. If you keep getting it right, it will wait longer each time. If you get it wrong, it will show you again after a shorter time span.

You don’t really need to spend any time studying, just do your reviews a couple of times each day and most things should stick eventually. SRS are very efficient, you’re not expected to spend any time on them outside of doing reviews.

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Well, well, it will take longer now, but okay) I included the answer of one of the guys above and yours in the topic and marked my recommendation as “BE CAREFUL HERE”.

I hope it’s what you need, anyway, just try it?:

As I understand it, then all stuff with words, such as examples and other things to do, should be done after the review, when it is already clear whether you remember this kanji, vocab or radical or not. If not, then repeat and wait for the next srs step, yes?

I Just think wanikani as a game instead of a habit or chore. Its different from the usual wrote
memorization technique . I Just visualize I’m In War With Crabigator minions and level 60 is the boss level where i fight crabigator himself.

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