Back

What do you think of Wanikani?

#1
I personally love it because it has what RTK has + readings, vocab, and sentences. It claims to teach 2000 kanji and 5000 vocab words in 1 to 2 years. Too good to be true? I'm interested in your opinion
Reply
#2
I tried it in the beta and found it dull. I was coming into it with previous knowledge and not being able to mark items as 'known' or do extra new items to rush through old content made it unusable for me.

You can basically emulate sites like WaniKani for free using this site for the Kanji (or Anki) and Anki for vocab.
Reply
#3
I don't think it's too good to be true, that's a reasonable rhythm if a bit fast by the traditional standards of learning kanji by rote (1 year amounts to 40 kanji a week including vocab - definitely feasible but you need a couple of free days every week, else you'd be only studying kanji and neglecting grammar/conversation.)

However I didn't like that there was no way to skip the first few lessons, and despite the site's claims, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of disambiguation. For example, iirc the first lesson throws 丸 and 円 at you and gives まる as the reading for both without further explanation about usage, even though there's extensive notes for every word. It actually does give you some usage notes: "This, compared to another similar word (円), is more general purpose and can be used with 3D spherical objects as well". Good!

I like how you don't have to spend time making your Anki cards yourself, plus there are actually relatively few systematic learning materials that take you to the ~1500-2000 kanji mark.

If I was a total beginner to kanji I think I'd try the free demo, though! Plus I really like Tofugu in general, they post some really interesting articles.
Edited: 2015-08-19, 5:24 am
Reply
JapanesePod101
#4
WaniKani pays people to advertise like this FYI. They do it on Reddit too.

WaniKani is a waste. It does what free software like Anki already does, charges for it, and goes slower.
Reply
#5
RawToast Wrote:I tried it in the beta and found it dull. I was coming into it with previous knowledge and not being able to mark items as 'known' or do extra new items to rush through old content made it unusable for me.
Same. Nearly all such services suffer from this, IMO.

ryuudou Wrote:WaniKani pays people to advertise like this FYI. They do it on Reddit too.
If that's true, that's really slimey.
Reply
#6
Sure it's slow but since it teaches readings plus vocabulary you can't really complain. Why study in batches when you can get it all done at once? I'm not being paid btw
Reply
#7
Alhusseini Wrote:Sure it's slow but since it teaches readings plus vocabulary you can't really complain. Why study in batches when you can get it all done at once? I'm not being paid btw
The thing is it isn't slow. It's really fast (there's a staggering amount of vocabulary in each lesson, and I'm sure that's more than some people can handle actually), the problem is you can't skip the basic stuff in the first few lessons at all.

Dunno, I think WaniKani is alright but it's not for me really.
Edited: 2015-08-21, 7:00 am
Reply
#8
I tried it when I was offered a free beta. I liked the idea, but I was too high of a level by then to have any use for it. It also didn't help that a lot of the kanji 'names' were too different to what I thought of them, which made me question whether I actually knew that character or not, and I had decided not to do anymore kanji study until I 'got better at Japanese' (recently quantified by 'pass N1 and be able to speak').

Like most of their products, I don't think it's bad, but it's nothing amazing enough to justify the usual price (in this case, a $10/month or $100/year subscription). I got a TextFugu forever membership when it was heavily discounted, and I feel similarly about it (it doesn't have much in it for me), but I got that because the early, free bits helped me with hiragana pronunciation, so I wanted to see what the rest of it was like.
Reply
#9
sholum Wrote:I tried it when I was offered a free beta. I liked the idea, but I was too high of a level by then to have any use for it. .
They are shooting themselves in the foot by not allowing people who are going to get asked, if the site is any good.

I have no idea about the site because of the way it locks away content. Some people are faster.
Reply
#10
Alhusseini Wrote:I personally love it because it has what RTK has + readings, vocab, and sentences. It claims to teach 2000 kanji and 5000 vocab words in 1 to 2 years. Too good to be true? I'm interested in your opinion
If you spend 90 minutes a day with Anki you can do RTK in 3 months and core 5k in another 3 months and accomplish the same thing in only half a year. Wanikani as far as I know cannot let you change the speed, you are stuck going slow so they can get more money out of you. They treat everyone like a retard.
Reply
#11
kameden Wrote:If you spend 90 minutes a day with Anki you can do RTK in 3 months and core 5k in another 3 months and accomplish the same thing in only half a year.
That seems like an extremely compressed schedule even if you have a scary good memory. For reference I'm spending about 90 minutes per day and I'm not going anything close to that speed. Keeping to this schedule would require adding 39 cards/day or 26 cards/hour @ 90 min/day. From what I gather talking to others, people can do about 10 new cards/hour with some people doing a few more or less but nothing close to 26/hour.

Another way of looking at it is if you are adding 39 cards/day and you have a (very good) accuracy of 90% on reviews, you'll end up with over 3k reviews/day after 3 months. Of course, to get 3k reviews done in 90 minutes, you'd have to do over 33 reviews/minute.

Of course this assumes that you are starting from close to zero and not reviewing knowledge you've encountered before. Then all bets are off.
Reply
#12
yogert909 Wrote:Another way of looking at it is if you are adding 39 cards/day and you have a (very good) accuracy of 90% on reviews, you'll end up with over 3k reviews/day after 3 months. Of course, to get 3k reviews done in 90 minutes, you'd have to do over 33 reviews/minute.
I once added ~6000 cards over a period of 10 weeks (~90 cards/day) and never even had 5000 reviews (excluding learning) in a week despite adding hundreds of cards/day at the peak. Accuracy >90%, but not by much. 36 minutes/day (including learning), 2 seconds/review.
Edited: 2015-08-21, 5:55 pm
Reply
#13
Woah, I'm sorry... I totally calculated wrong (calculated with a forgetting index of 90% - not accuracy of 90%. BIG difference). It would only be 550 reviews per day at the end of 6 months.

Still, that's more than I can do in 90 minutes. Vempele, those 6000 cards you did @ 2 seconds each, were they material you were already familiar with..or fresh vocab? It takes me 8-10 seconds/card for vocab I'm learning from scratch.
Edited: 2015-08-21, 6:12 pm
Reply
#14
yogert909 Wrote:That seems like an extremely compressed schedule even if you have a scary good memory. For reference I'm spending about 90 minutes per day and I'm not going anything close to that speed. Keeping to this schedule would require adding 39 cards/day or 26 cards/hour @ 90 min/day. From what I gather talking to others, people can do about 10 new cards/hour with some people doing a few more or less but nothing close to 26/hour.

Another way of looking at it is if you are adding 39 cards/day and you have a (very good) accuracy of 90% on reviews, you'll end up with over 3k reviews/day after 3 months. Of course, to get 3k reviews done in 90 minutes, you'd have to do over 33 reviews/minute.

Of course this assumes that you are starting from close to zero and not reviewing knowledge you've encountered before. Then all bets are off.
I didn't even do RTK before I started and I was adding 50 words a day in the core deck with 90%+ accuracy and it took me 90 minutes a day roughly (to be fair I started at like 10 a day because I was scared of forgetting, but after a couple weeks I was up to 50). I don't think I ever went above 500 reviews.

A year later after I decided to go hardcore Anki a little bit and ended up adding 100 words a day for about 2 months, maxed out at 600 reviews a day and took me around the same time. That being said it was easier because I already knew a decent amount of Japanese at that point.
Reply
#15
kameden Wrote:I didn't even do RTK before I started and I was adding 50 words a day in the core deck with 90%+ accuracy and it took me 90 minutes a day roughly (to be fair I started at like 10 a day because I was scared of forgetting, but after a couple weeks I was up to 50). I don't think I ever went above 500 reviews.

A year later after I decided to go hardcore Anki a little bit and ended up adding 100 words a day for about 2 months, maxed out at 600 reviews a day and took me around the same time. That being said it was easier because I already knew a decent amount of Japanese at that point.
Oh man I'd really love to be able to add 50 new words per day(or even 20) but I can only manage <15. Was anki your sole study, or were you getting exposure outside of anki? As I mentioned, my memory is sub-par, but it's not THAT bad.
Reply
#16
yogert909 Wrote:Oh man I'd really love to be able to add 50 new words per day(or even 20) but I can only manage <15. Was anki your sole study, or were you getting exposure outside of anki? As I mentioned, my memory is sub-par, but it's not THAT bad.
Could it be that you are scared of forgetting? Because I notice that's a common thing for people who learn languages. I imagine if you went up to 50 cards a day (for vocab) you probably wouldn't notice very much loss in retention overall.
Reply
#17
kameden Wrote:Could it be that you are scared of forgetting? Because I notice that's a common thing for people who learn languages. I imagine if you went up to 50 cards a day (for vocab) you probably wouldn't notice very much loss in retention overall.
Of course I'm scared of forgetting - I'm not learning to forget but to remember! But seriously, I've set my anki settings for high intervals where my retention plummeted <70% some days and I still couldn't add more than 10 per day anyway because of too much relearning. Of course my experience is n=1, but it seems others I've read in this forum and other places have similar experiences.
Reply
#18
gaiaslastlaugh Wrote:
ryuudou Wrote:WaniKani pays people to advertise like this FYI. They do it on Reddit too.
If that's true, that's really slimey.
Is it though? I am pretty sure money is needed to pay for servers and stuff.

Ask anyone involved in any business, and they will agree with Mark Cuban

Quote:1. Sales Cures All

This one is simple, Cuban said. "There has never been a business that succeeded without sales." Entrepreneurs often think they need a business plan or the infrastructure to support a growing company, but really, they don't. They need sales. So get out there and sell.
And this is an internet billionaire guy. Sales, and little else, matters. Of course a long view on sales, (that you have to deliver value from the customer's point of view) is how you stay alive.
Reply
#19
kapalama Wrote:And this is an internet billionaire guy. Sales, and little else, matters. Of course a long view on sales, (that you have to deliver value from the customer's point of view) is how you stay alive.
Nobody is criticizing selling anything. People are criticizing paying for positive reviews. And there's plenty of companies who stay in business without paying for reviews.
Reply
#20
yogert909 Wrote:
kapalama Wrote:And this is an internet billionaire guy. Sales, and little else, matters. Of course a long view on sales, (that you have to deliver value from the customer's point of view) is how you stay alive.
Nobody is criticizing selling anything. People are criticizing paying for positive reviews. And there's plenty of companies who stay in business without paying for reviews.
Mad Men was a recent famous television show about companies paying big bucks for positive reviews. In the age of the monoculture that sort of advertising was possible.

Just because people have figured out how to advertise after the death of the monoculture does not mean that advertising is dead. It's just embedded. Like the ads we see at this site.
Reply
#21
yogert909 Wrote:Still, that's more than I can do in 90 minutes. Vempele, those 6000 cards you did @ 2 seconds each, were they material you were already familiar with..or fresh vocab? It takes me 8-10 seconds/card for vocab I'm learning from scratch.
A language I studied at school for six years and proceeded to not use for six years... I'd estimate an even split of words I'd never seen before, words I'd forgotten (I mostly suspended words I could still remember) and words I knew from English or Finnish. 25-35% of the cards were L1->L2 counterparts of L2->L1 cards. Learning accounted for 1000 minutes over 6380 cards. Steps 0.2 5 30, adding 50-100 cards at a time.
Reply
#22
kapalama Wrote:Mad Men was a recent famous television show about companies paying big bucks for positive reviews. In the age of the monoculture that sort of advertising was possible.

Just because people have figured out how to advertise after the death of the monoculture does not mean that advertising is dead. It's just embedded. Like the ads we see at this site.
I can't speak to madman because I've only seen one episode. But being that I work in the advertisement business, I'm not about to criticize advertising or banner ads. But then again everybody knows banner ads are advertisements. But if somebody paid me to write in this forum how great a product was, nobody knows I'm being paid and have a reason to be biased. I'm not sure I even think it should be illegal, but I do believe it is slimy. You don't?
Reply
#23
Vempele Wrote:
yogert909 Wrote:Still, that's more than I can do in 90 minutes. Vempele, those 6000 cards you did @ 2 seconds each, were they material you were already familiar with..or fresh vocab? It takes me 8-10 seconds/card for vocab I'm learning from scratch.
A language I studied at school for six years and proceeded to not use for six years... I'd estimate an even split of words I'd never seen before, words I'd forgotten (I mostly suspended words I could still remember) and words I knew from English or Finnish. 25-35% of the cards were L1->L2 counterparts of L2->L1 cards. Learning accounted for 1000 minutes over 6380 cards. Steps 0.2 5 30, adding 50-100 cards at a time.
I had a similar experience with some vocab I learned in classes several years before I started studying again. Those vocabulary went pretty quickly - I can see it in my anki stats. It's difficult to say if somebody starting out fresh would have a similar experience. I would think not based on the experience of other people I've read.
Reply
#24
1 month in: This site is incredibly poorly organized and too damn slow. On this site we usually get our reviews in one huge chunk or two, on that site it's split up into so many sets that I'd finish a review only to have another one in 5 minutes, then another in 7 minutes, then another in 6 minutes instead of doing it all at once. Using RTK you'd probably learn 20 kanji a day for a total of 140 a week, on wanikani you'd learn all 140 in a day which is incredibly overwhelming. You also have to type out your answer on the flashcard system which is surprising very time consuming and the system is unforgiving of typos that could delay progress for literally days. As for the people on the forum, they are incredibly useless when it comes to Japanese advice, they direct almost every single question to grammar. Doesn't matter what you ask they will somehow shift the topic to you needing to learn more grammar. Once I asked them why the example sentences have kanji that is far too advanced to read and they f*cking told me to learn grammar. I'm still not going to give up on that site just yet, I'll stick for at least a year to really get to know the site and see if it's truly useless or not, my foots too deep in the shit to pull out. I'll report back then with another review of my experiences.
Reply
#25
It's a useless site if you want to move at your own pace. I don't disagree with its focus on reading rather than writing however. It is a very good looking site with pretty colors. That is it's main advantage.

I did the first 3 levels and everything I learned there is still pretty well ingrained in my brain. It was how I learned my first Japanese words and kanji readings, and it was actually pretty effective. I didn't use the mnemonics however, which I thought were annoying. Its lack of customization makes it a bad choice if you're seriously dedicated to spending a large amount of time on Japanese.

I think having someone do the free levels can give them confidence to continue in Japanese, or just introduce them to it and to the idea that they can actually memorize things.
Reply