This will get better with exposure to more vocab; you’ll start to get a knack for patterns which tell you whether to use on’yomi or kun’yomi. I was definitely still memorizing the vocab readings on a case-by-case basis at level 3 (and also waited an extra week to crush leeches before subscribing) so it’s not something to be ashamed of and definitely not directly comparable to higher-level members’ accuracies.
Basically, verbs (non-する) with okurigana will always use kunyomi readings, as will い-adjectives and various nouns/na-adjectives. Kanji compounds with 2+ kanji (including する verbs) will usually use on’yomi, and 1-kanji words will usually use kun’yomi. These last two have exceptions you’ll still have to memorize case-by-case (by relying on mnemonics) but it’s better than a blank slate for every word.
Also on levels 1-3 there are the つ-counters and 日-counters which have exceptional (kunyomi) readings you just have to slog through. Those drop off after a few levels.
Yes, if you get it right the next time. If you keep getting the same item wrong, something needs to be done.
I would advise OP @anon78952551 to spend more time on the lessons. Before going to the lesson quiz, make sure that you’re able to recognize both the meaning and the reading of all items you just learned. There are several different ways to fix this problem, but I believe this one to be the easiest to apply and with significant results.
As far as the percentage goes, I wouldn’t be too worried and just let the SRS do its thing.
As for increasing your accuracy, I found that at least for myself, actually writing the kanji and Vocab helps a lot. I made an excel sheet and basically made a reverse form of Wanikani. I see the English translation and i write it down on a notebook and manage a separated SRS ranking for it.
Another plus for using that excel file, is that I was able to order all the vocab from A to Z. That way it groups all the similar ones together and their English translations. Seeing all the words like that instead of one word at a time really made a difference for me.
As @seanblue said, is something to be concerned when you have tons of lessons and reviews, since we’re at low levels, we can probably handle it. But when you get to higher levels, if you continue with this accuracy, the workload will overwhelm you to a point where you have so many reviews because you got the readings wrong so many times, you could even quit WaniKani, and that’s something unwanted.
You should try to read and understand the mnemonic, and create a bond between the kanji and its meaning
I get really irritated at myself when I fall below 90%. Which is why I go as slow as I need to keep it above that. Quality over quantity (and speed, which becomes an illusion if you keep failing, since that will make it take even longer). I also space my lessons out with one or two hour breaks so I don’t overwhelm myself trying to learn all of them at once, and spend more time on each individual lesson (I don’t understand how some do every lesson as soon as they unlock, wow). But I understand if you don’t have that much time to spare.
The intuition of knowing which reading to apply will come with time, I’m getting there and at lvl 6. You just have to stick with it, but it sounds like you like wanikani, so that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
I’d say if you have that many leeches you should slow down with lessons and focus on getting rid of those before you continue, lest they come back and bite you later. This applies any time it happens in the future as well. And spend more time on lessons so leeches don’t happen at all, like the ones before me have said. (Leeches are still gonna happen, but hey there’s hopefully gonna be less of them.)
I like to pre-study. I do new lesson quizzes in the morning around 7am and in the evening around 5pm. Right after I complete a quiz, I’ll do a quick study of the new lesson items which I’ll be quizzed on 10 or 14 hours later. I’ll do my own mini-SRS, which is to say, I’ll look over the items with the readings and meanings hidden and quiz myself mentally. The first few intervals are pretty short (1 minute, 10 minutes, etc), but you’d be surprised how quickly you can forget (at least I am quick to forget). And kanji is much harder for me than the radicals/vocabulary. But it works quite well. I have many hours to study before actually taking a quiz, and by the time I do, there is a pretty good chance I’ll remember the items. I still get stuff wrong, of course, but my accuracy has been pretty good so far.
The only thing to be aware of is that sometimes the new lesson items can change over the course of a day as you do your reviews. So I actually do my 7am and 5pm reviews after I take my quizzes, which is probably backwards from what people typically do.
Lots of good advices have been given so far.
I just want to add that if you are a complete beginner (or near beginner), it’s perfectly normal to have low scores. I’m guessing that most people at 95%+ (if not all) have had exposure to the language before.
… and that’s also where you will improve. It’s really hard to try to figure things out in a void.
I would recommend to look at full sentences in Japanese, with furigana/vocab reading, for instance from a text book.
Slow down on WK if you have to, there’s no point steaming ahead if you won’t remember the material anyway.
Exactly what Nath said, and working with WK program takes some time to get used to, like knowing which response is being asked for, for example. After a time, I think you’ll develop sense for WK and Japanese. One day you may log in for a lesson and be able to read the vocab before reaching the “reading” tab.
It’s important to make a distinction between the percentage on the stats site and the percentage of items that are considered correct for the SRS. The stats site includes all answers to reviews (the aggregate of the % that shows up while doing reviews in the top right corner). Let’s say you review two kanji. The first kanji you get the meaning and reading correct right away (2/2). For the second kanji, you get the meaning correct right away, but you get the reading wrong once and then get it right (2/3). The stats site would say your percentage is 80% (4/5). But you actually got 50% (1/2) of the items to go up in the SRS.
To give a real example, I just finished a review session of 55 items. Within the review session, my final score was 95%, which is roughly what my overall average is on the stats site. However, according to the summary page, I got 89% correct, which is all the SRS cares about (I would guess this is slightly above my average). My point is, the actual percentage of items that move up in the SRS is always less than the percentage that is shown during a review session and on the stats site. So if someone is getting 70% on the stats site, they are doing worse in the SRS itself, which is a concern.
Sorry for the long-winded post… it got a bit away from me.
P.S. @anon78952551, please don’t be discouraged by this. You are taking the first important step by asking for advice and I hope you take this opportunity to modify your approach to WaniKani (and perhaps studying in general) so that you can learn more effectively.
P.P.S I second @konekush’s suggestion to use the Keisei Semantic-Phonetic Composition script. It will help you learn on’yomi kanji readings by recognizing patterns and this will help you learn the vocab better as well.
My problem seems to be when I see words or kanji that I haven’t seen in a long time, I often have no clue what they are. I guess I have to question the SRS concept, since people don’t remember or forget at the same rate. Older people (like me) forget more quickly perhaps. I don’t know how to combat this except by constantly reviewing the material offline. At level 6, it might be doable, but not at higher levels.
I wouldn’t worry one bit. If it takes you multiple times to get something right, so be it. The aim is to learn, not to learn overnight. All that this means is that it’ll take you a little longer to finish the course. The only things you should be concerned about are leeches.
Find them, kill them, profit.
After first saying that, no, I wouldn’t be worried about it, but I might pause to ask what you could do/where you are in your overall study.
If you’re having trouble with picking the right reading, while this will get easier with exposure (especially with irregularities), I’d take a minute to brush up on the rules for kunyomi (usually used when it’s the sole kanji, for single-kanji nouns, adjectives, and verbs) and onyomi (usually used in compounds). This may tie into some other Japanese/grammar practice, which hopefully you’re doing as well. Maybe you could also indicate what level of Japanese you’re at? I’d say Wanikani’s system is much easier with at least the foundations, and gets easier and easier as your overall language knowledge goes up.
Which is both good and bad. Good in that you can rest easy knowing that the 90+ percenters are, as @Nath pointed out, probably already experienced with the language, especially if they maintain that into higher levels, and that means you can get there too. Bad in that, if you don’t have some of the foundational Japanese grammar points down yet, it might be best to put WK on hold for the moment and come back once you have them, since it doesn’t really work in a vacuum.
Feel free to add synonyms to radicals in order to match their kanji meanings. I do that all the time. WK wants you to remember its custom radical mnemonics for additional mnemonics in the future, but as long as you don’t totally forget them, you’ll be fine.
This too. The difference in my consistency reading kanji/vocab I’ve only ever seen in WK, and ones I’ve encountered/looked up even once in the wild is huge. And this doesn’t have to mean full-on Japanese reading if you’re not at that level yet; it could even be other study material (though encounters in the wild are stronger).
Thanks for the replies everyone, so much helpful advice! I’m definitely going to start approaching WK differently and i think i’ll tackle the current issues head-on before doing any more lessons.
I’ve realised my problem is probably a combination of the following:
I am a complete newbie. I have been studying around 5-6 hours a day but only for around a month. I learnt Hiragana easily within the first two days and got over-excited with finding that i could ‘read’ (but not understand) loads of material. Kanji is a whole other beast. Until i started WK i had no idea that Kanji could even be read in different ways. I’m probably comparing myself to people that are either higher level or low level Kanji but who are way ahead from me in other ways.
I have the realisation that i’m “old” for picking up new languages quickly. At 15 i could cram 3 months of solid Spanish and have a reasonable conversation with a native at the end. At 35 and in a language way more removed than English/Spanish, not so much.
Another realisation that i’m not invincible has occurred. I have health issues, and medication that probably slows my brain down. When i was younger i was incredibly bright and always got top marks in everything. I have to accept those days are behind me. The competitive element of WK i see on the forums here is great and bought out that old student in me, but i think has been the source of pushing myself to take on too much too quickly and not understand much of it!
On the positive side though:
I do know exactly what i’m taking on, and have done since i got to level 2. The Kanji 山 is very big and very real .
I have lots of tips about moving forwards. I’m going to start writing things down rather than being 100% passive.
I don’t feel like giving up in the slightest. Quite the opposite. I have learnt techniques that allow me to work efficiently and very well in other subject areas, and I will find methods that work in Japanese (thanks to everyone here) and keep ploughing onwards even if it takes me 10x as long as another person. I have the luxury of being able to do that - if i was living in Japan i’d be rather more worried because of the need to survive and my inability to overachieve in a short time.
I have lots of resources here, besides WK i am doing TextFugu (season 3 right now) along with Anki, and i use Memrise to help with vocab learning. I also have Genki and Japanese the Manga Way books, which are both helpful but i’m not going to use much until i go through TextFugu further.
So… moving onwards. Lots more writing down of Kanji & Vocab that i struggle with. Staying away from lessons until i feel more confident with what i’ve already got. When i do go back to lessons i’ll take them slowly both in terms of number that are done at once and in how i approach them, write them down, etc.
I don’t know if someone has already mention this but, I found extremely helpful to do reviews at my brightest moment of the day (morning for me). After 11 or 12pm I’m just thinking in getting over with it already.
Try making a routine with it, for me is breakfast + reviews / lessons.
I see lots of materials for grammar on your end. Focus in one, as the mentality of “the best method/ resource” tends to cause more distractions than actually getting you to find that one and only supreme resource (it was my case anyway). Find one, if it suits you and see any consensous that it’s a good method, stick with it for a while.
As soon as possible get you into the habit of immersing into japanese material (either by listening or reading). Around halfway a grammar resource (for me it was Genki) and with some vocab under my belt (700) I started the Graded Readers series. And I found the more connections and uses I give both kanji and vocab It sticks better. Same could be said with writing (some people woul disagree), as even a 10’ daily routine (maybe writing when you do the new lessons) could prove of great use.
Anyway, making a healthy routine it’s probably the most important thing here. You may choose to spice it up as you like
If you didn’t have any experience with Japanese before this, then it’s probably perfectly normal to have such a “low” accuracy. Although it’s not really low, you would pass tests with this!
You can try the tips other kind people already gave, but no matter what, I really wouldn’t worry if I were you. The very beginnings of a language ate always hard, you have to give yourself time to get better at learning it and you’ll get there if you stay consistent.
You also shouldn’t care about leaches at such a low level I think. Those are worrisome, when you should know the things, but don’t. You just started, you don’t have to know those things already.
To sum it up: don’t worry already, enjoy what you get right (you’ve got a good meaning accuracy! ) and do extra work only when you enjoy it. You should enjoy learning on the beginning, it keeps you motivated.
EDIT: I see now you already got this. Best of luck in your further studies!
My accurwcy looks the same XD but to be honest i‘m not really concerned about it. I‘m not thatgood with learning languages and so I always need more time to cement the stuff into my brain, but everytime I do a review I get words correct i missed many times before. The srs system is doing it‘s work for me ^^
I’m in just the same boat. I see an item I haven’t seen in a while and it’s like I’m seeing it for the very first time! I even re-read the story that goes with it, and it’s like I’m reading it for the first time again. Yep, I’m also older, in my 50’s, so that might have something to do with it!