Well here I am, Day 173, just about 6 full months in and I have my first burn.
I will also likely hit level 21 in my next review.
I did not expect to be 1/3 on the way through WaniKani by the 6 month mark.
I start this adventure on kind of a whim. A couple of buddies of my have been using WK for a while and I decided to give it a look.
How this all started and my adventure to this point:
I have had a lifetime pass to Rosetta Stone for a while now and due to my buddies studying Japanese, I decided to give their Japanese course a look. Turns out being dropped in feet first in the way that Rosetta Stone does it is not work for me. I will probably go back and retry it when I have more time. Being able to make more sense of the words will probably benefit me greatly.
So, I signed up for WaniKani. I started on Christmas night (a Friday) went through all the radicals got through my reviews and on Sunday unlocked the first kanji. This is where I realized I made a critical mistake (I have no clue how to read kana). One might think that this is something I should have looked at before now.
No matter, how hard can it be. With the help of my buddy, he shows me Tofugu’s hiragana quiz and learning material. I get to work learning hiragana. 18-24 hours later, I have a fairly good grasp as to what each character sounds like. I move on to katakana. This was more difficult due to ソツシン but I managed to get them both down to a point where I can read them. All within 36-48 hours, not perfect mind you but functional.
Alright back to kanji. I took a trick from my buddy and I write each kanji, its meaning, and reading twice. One reading is written using hiragana and their other is Witten using katakana. This does help to further solidified the kana in my mind as well as helps to improve my ability to write both hiragana and katakana. I hit level two on the 30th and I also started doing my KaniWani lessons.
Between hitting level 2 and level 3, I decided it would be neat to get a JP keyboard in order to do my reviews on and after some searching around, I managed to find one and bought it. I did find one and a week later I had a keyboard with a Japanese layout. I set up my IME for direct input. “Of fun!” I say, lets learn to try on a new keyboard layout using a legend you have a basic understanding of. Starting out typing on this keyboard was rough to say the least but I did manage to figure it out. My touch-typing accuracy still has a lot of room from improvement in direct input mode, but I can use it. I was able to locate a typing test, but I never liked it. Most of my practice comes from my WaniKani, KaniWani, and BunPro reviews.
One unforeseen side effect of this is due to be only using romaji for roughly 2 weeks, my ability to type/read it has been severely stunted.
Over the next few weeks, I picked up The Genki books 1 and 2. In addition my buddy told me on another site, BunPro.
I signed up and boy was I not prepared enough for that adventure. This was around February and decided to put off studying grammar until sometime between level 10-15 in WaniKani.
I just decided to primarily focus on WaniKani and KaniWani. I did add in conjugations with the help of Cure Dolly’s videos (Goodness does she do an amazing job).
Once I was almost level 14 (around April 9th), I started BunPro and this time around things were going much better some of the more complicated grammar points notwithstanding. I have also started going over Genki again with my buddies.
I really enjoy using WaniKani. It took me a while to get my work pace for lessons feeling correct. I know I will have a few rough days ahead of me due to how fast I started.
The pace that I find to be the most optimal is 20-30 vocab lessons a day.
If I have Kanji, I will do up to 10 per day.
And all radicals can be done in one sitting.
Tools I am using:
- Cure Dolly
WaniKani Scripts I Use:
- Shin WaniKani Leech Trainer
- WaniKani Heat Map
- WaniKani LeaderBoard (for tracking my friends)
- WaniKani Ultimate Timeline
- WaniKani Workload Graph
- WaniKani Double-Check (because typos suck)
- Another interesting difficulty in learning a new keyboard layout is most of the English symbols have been moved and shuffled around. The more commonly used ones are in their original places, but the less frequently used ones are not. As my computer spends most of the time in the JP mode, I have been getting more and more used to the layout. What surprises me is I can almost switch seamlessly between US QWERTY and JP QWERTY layouts.