What I hate most about Wanikani? The context sentences aren't i+1

Can we just have context sentences with only the words we learned and not level 60 items?

If Wanikani doesn’t fix this, is there a literature resource that’s congruent to Wanikani’s progression?

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I’d strongly recommend installing Yomichan if you’re using a chrome/firefox.

[If you’re on an iPhone, go to settings->translate and download Japanese and English, then set your preferred language to Japanese. You can then select Japanese text and select “translate". Annoyingly, iOS doesn’t show the reading, you must play the audio. More annoying is that you will still need to change the origin language sometimes.]

The point of the context sentences is only partially to practice reading. I think they are mostly an attempt to give examples of how vocabulary is used and to disambiguate between multiple English meanings.

I do think it would be useful if each word in a context sentence was a link or had a hover effect to show the reading and meaning. It should be possible to do this in a user script, but it’s far more work than I’m interested in attempting.

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I actually prefer the context sentences as they are. Unlike textbooks or other learning material, they don’t care about what you know and don’t know. They’re pretty close to “real Japanese”, meaning the closer you are to reading and understanding them, the better you know you’ve become.

When I was LV4, I couldn’t even attempt to comprehend these sentences. But there’s enough of them, so don’t worry too much about them now. If what you want is more reading practice, there’s plenty of other resources you can focus on first.

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When I am not lazy and really go through the context sentences carefully, I end up really a lot more vocabulary and different uses of kanji. I like them exactly as they are:)

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I would prefer they just add more sentences rather than making all sentences fit a strict progression. Easy sentences, hard sentences, silly sentences, serious sentences. Just add more, and then there are sentences for everyone.

One thing to remember is that not everyone using WK is at the same level of Japanese, so a sentence that is +1 for someone new to the language isn’t going to be interesting to a user who is more experienced in the language, and I hope they aim for a range of sentences.

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Worth mentioning that earlier levels’ context sentences (1-10) are more difficult to be picked up by Yomichan or looked up in a dictionary, due to half-Kana, like for native schoolchildren. (Mazegaki, I think.)

Much less of a problem if Jukugo vocabularies are known in advance (by sound or something), but for most new learners, that won’t be the case.

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Good point. This example is a very good argument for including still untaught kanji vocabulary in context sentences rather than replacing them with kana. At least you can look up unknown words in a dictionary.

It would be quite difficult to create context sentences that only use previously taught vocabulary anyway, even if you are Dr. Seuss reincarnated. Replacing kanji with kana helps with reading, but an unknown meaning is still an unknown meaning.

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I always ignored it.

But checking them now I can understand most part of it, the thing is the crazy sentence itself, about murder, kidnapping etc :rofl:

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Doesn’t really answer your ask about fixing the difficulty of WK’s example sentences (though I also, since I came to WaniKani after many years of studying Japanese and trying to learn kanji other ways, actually like them as they are), but… to go with @Leebo’s theory of “more is better”, maybe add @psdcon’s [Userscript]: Anime Context Sentences?

I don’t use it myself, but from the descriptions most of those context sentences seem to be on the easier side!

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I honestly don’t mind having unfamiliar kanji/words in sentences since I can always just look them up in a dictionary. In fact I prefer that words be written in kanji instead of kana if that’s how they most often appear in native material.

I think it’s the grammar that’s more challenging since that’s generally harder to pick out of a sentence and try to look up. But WK isn’t a grammar resource so it can’t really scale the difficulty for that aspect even if it wanted to.

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As mentioned before, Yomichan is a huge help if you want to try your luck wading through those super helpful and cheerfully entertaining sentences. Actually, I’d call it a necessity, because it’s helping me outside of WK a ton, too.

I would hope that by now it became clear to WK staff that context sentences need to be improved, because they are simply an often-cited source of frustration for beginners and a lost opportunity for their progress, essentially being incomprehensible inputs.

Personally, I just make a meme out of it at this point. From time to time I send a WK example (if it really is that bad) to a friend of mine and we have a laugh :smiley: But that wasn’t what they were written for, I’d imagine.

Normally an argument of “they’re thousands of them” ends the discussion, but does it really? If you start working on that database of examples one by one, consistently, then you will eventually hugely improve the overall quality of your product.

Also

I haven’t seen that script before. Going to give it a try.

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The sentences are basic, what more do you want?

About the resource you asked for, how about https://www.satorireader.com/?

Otherwise, it’s always as easy as looking up your wanted vocabularies in a dictionary.

Or use a dictionary script (that Weblio one).

Even for original context sentences, I would also use [Userscript]: Hide Context Sentence Translation

I am trying to imagine a way that WaniKani could use a proper i+1 structure and failing. Do we ignore i+1 when it comes to any of the non-Kanji words? How about when we want to use some common vocabulary that just isn’t included in the WK vocab section?

I fully agree that i+1 sentences are incredibly powerful for your learning journey, and if they can accomplish this it would be a huge boon to the service indeed, but I think it’s quite a hard feat to accomplish. You can also look at this as an opportunity to practice trying to take apart any sentences and figuring out the meanings, as you have proper translations available right under them to see if you’re on the mark or not (a luxury you won’t have with any sentences in the wild!).

I fully agree with @Leebo 's remark that we could definitely use more sentences though, and I would quite like to see a set-up similar to BunPro, where they limit themselves to a certain JLPT level for some of the example sentences (I believe 2 at JLPT N5, 2 at JLPT N4 and then higher levels allowed, but don’t quote me on that!), so they could definitely add some sentences that restrict themselves to the level of the JLPT where the word would be “classed” under.

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The context sentences are perfectly fine. Check out the work of Stephen Krashen. Extensive Reading with material that is “comprehensible” is where it’s at. You don’t need to understand every word. Do what you can and don’t sweat it. Come back to read them again after you have done another level or two or twenty and see how much easier they get. You’ll be wicked proud of yourself. Besides, the English translations are like training wheels. Even the exercise of trying to find the single kanji you just learned in the sea of confusion is great exercise. We can’t learn it all at once…um, right? I mean, if the Johnny Mnemonic/Neo plug-and-play fluency download is available, someone please hook me up!

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I agree. The context sentences are unhelpful.
I strongly recommend the Nihongo dictionary app (iOS)
The context sentences are really really good - completely the opposite of the WK ones
They are accessible, hyperlinked to other vocab, they have furigana, and they give me a real sense of how the words are used.
You also get a sense of just how common a word is by how often it is used.
I often use it to help imprint the meaning of words for ones that I am having trouble remembering. Also helpful with words that WK gives similar/identical meanings.

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I’d like to add my agreement to the sentiment here. I really like the idea of context sentences, but I don’t currently use them because I know that it will take me down a time-wasting rabbit hole if I do.

I’m sorry, but not everyone learns the same way. I’m simply not going to retain anything useful from a complex sentence that I don’t understand; it’s much more likely to confuse me and lead to greater misunderstanding going forward. I believe that the other people here who are complaining is evidence that I’m not the only one.

That’s fantastic for you that you can absorb language so fluidly, but the process can be much more frustrating for many of us.

It would be ideal if the context sentences were designed to help everyone, and not just people who learn a certain way. Again, I know that WK isn’t designed to teach grammar, but I’d like to get as much out of it as I can, and the context sentences seem like low-hanging fruit.

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This is exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you for articulating yourself well.

The time + flow aspect to lessons and reviews are jarred when I have to constantly open Jisho or use a translator to figure out what I’m reading and even when I do figure out the sentence it’s not like I’ll retain the new words that I just searched up.

i+1 is a practical solution that will benefit learning immensely imo.

If only Wanikani could pull their team together and update everything and not be lazy. There’s so many level 60’s on this platform that could contribute to a script too.

Lazy. That’s the word I was looking for. :roll_eyes:

I’ll assume you didn’t intend to be quite so disparaging. But until you try your hand at creating and maintaining something better, you won’t begin to appreciate the difficulty and amount of work entailed.

There’s an American expression that begins, “Wish in one hand …”. It’s a useful phrase to encourage someone to get to work.

There’s nothing magic about level 60. Perhaps you might want to look into writing your own script for whatever you are hoping to improve? I wrote my first script here knowing precious little about Javascript or the WK API, and I wasn’t anywhere close to level 60 at the time.

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You’re too nice.

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