WaniKani Makes Our Mark on PixelCanvas

Last night the WaniKani forum people started working on PixelCanvas to make our mark with our lovable crabigator mascot! MatteoC invited us to join in. He used the logo to make a pixelized image for us to duplicate on the canvas.

PixelCanvas.io is a shared infinite canvas, where you can plop down one pixel of your choice of 16 colors. You can only place an individual pixel once every 70 seconds or so (depending on location I believe), so it’s a race to finish your image before others overwrite it! Our logo is 96 * 75 = 7200 pixels. I don’t know how to read the kanji yet, but I’m assuming it says Wani Kani! 😀

Check out the current progress here:  http://pixelcanvas.io/@-2068,2310

This is what it looked like when I joined. I immediately started working on the right border.

Then three hours later. I started working on the big claw after this.

Here’s a PixelCanvas screenshot at the time I made this post. I bet we will finish it by tonight.

This PixelCanvas we are using is an infinite canvas and variable cooldown, and although people might overwrite our mark (including our own members, haha). We aren’t placed very close to center, so it takes my pixels about 1:12 to be placed. More toward the center I found it only took 20 seconds to place.

Reddit Place

This is the first I’ve heard of a pixel canvas, but looks like Reddit unleashed one for its users on April Fool’s day a few months ago – called Place. In 72 hours, with no rules, here is what happened!

Here’s a slower time lapse of the same canvas.

And… an Incomplete History of r/place:

 

All the Vocabulary I’ve Learned – Handy Tool

This project took me half the day, but I needed it. I wanted a way to see, sort, and search all the vocabulary I’ve learned from WaniKani.  The WaniKani site has a search field, but it doesn’t give Parts of Speech nor is sortable.

Why did I want this? In KaniWani (a separate site that drills you on the WaniKani vocab), instead of showing you the kanji, they show you the English meaning, and you type in the Japanese translations. What messed me up a lot was all the synonyms!

The table I made includes ALL the vocabulary I learned! I’m splitting them up in a page per 10 levels, so that includes approximately 1000 words. Page 1 is done, so that’s the first 10 levels! I added a column with the Parts of Speech that will hopefully help me distinguish some vocabulary going forward.

WaniKani Vocabulary – Levels 1-10 (1,027 terms)

How does this help me? Say I want to see all the words that can signify “action”. I just type “action” in the search box and I see there are four words in levels 1-10 that contain that word.

 

Showing 1 to 4 of 4 entries (filtered from 1,027 total entries)
Or maybe I want to find all the verbs that end in る.  There are 95! Maybe I just want to see the vocab from level 7. I just type 7 in the search. So handy, I love it!
This is all very rudimentary compared to the real databases and web programming I used to do in my career, but it got done fast and fulfills my goal. I just used the WaniKani API into Google Spreadsheets and sorted/displayed the data just how I wanted. I added a new URL column that adds a link directly to the WaniKani page for the word. With a second new column, all my time was taken up by manually inputting the Part of Speech column, which isn’t given by the API, ouch. Then I added it to a huge WordPress Table Press table in my blog.
I’ll be adding other levels as I get to them.

WaniKani Self-Study Quiz Edition

There is nothing better out there for learning Kanji fast than WaniKani. It absolutely works and will help you learn over 2000 kanji in under two years. Before I started, I knew pretty much no kanji, definitely less than 10. A bit over two months later, I’ve reached “Enlightened” on many terms. In four more months, these will be “Burned”, supposedly forever burned in memory. In my drills, I usually get 94-100% correct. If I pause to think really hard on ones I don’t know off the top of my head, I’d get closer to 100%.

But that’s it, I don’t want to have to pause to rack my brain! That involves thinking about the radicals involved and the “story” and then coming up with the answer! Which is understandable and totally fine for the first week or two, but after that, I want instant recognition. I know I should place my trust in the Almighty Crabigator and completely rely on the Spaced Repetition System where my reviews are all carefully timed; which in effect forms the strongest memories by recalling them right at the point you’re about to forget them. Well, gulp, sometimes I do indeed forget them. Or I have to think for a moment to obtain the answer.

WaniKani's SRS Spaced Repetition System Intervals

WaniKani’s SRS Spaced Repetition System Intervals (click to see larger)

 

But am I asking too much?

I want *instant* recognition and 100% accuracy! I need more than 8 drills to really burn those into my brain, I mean turtle shells. There is at least one person on the WaniKani forums who I believe has achieved that, he is known for only getting two drills wrong – ever. And he does his own drills.

So I decided I want to do a little extra practice on the side, like right after I learn them – in those first few hours – drill them a bit extra so I really know them. And then letting the SRS magic take its course.

Now, I could import some premade decks into Anki, but I don’t particularly enjoy doing Anki too much. I could painstakingly make my own flashcards (which I did for writing practice), but I prefer practicing on my computer.

WaniKani Self Study Quiz Edition

Then I discovered WaniKani Self Study Quiz Edition browser extension! (The person I mentioned above authored this extension, and this is how he can be so accurate.) Just one click to enable the addon and now, right within WaniKani, I have instant customizable quizzes on my radicals, kanji, and vocabulary! It’s like a dream come true for me. Click the link above to get the script or learn more by heading to the forums with the full list of features.

How to Self Study using this app

Currently you can only drill one set, one level at a time, and I think that’s been fine for everyone who uses it, as the script has been out for a year now. You choose the Level and Category (radicals/kanji/vocab) you want to study. Below I highlighted the new menu you will see once this extension is activated – one above each level.

Self Study Options, yes the first term is “Boobs”

I chose the Radicals for Level 9 – my current level. There isn’t much to study for radicals, just recognize them and know the name WaniKani chose for them, but they are important to keep up with the mnemonic stories to remember kanji and vocab!

Then I customize the quiz options. These settings are conveniently saved so you don’t have to set them again next time. You can also choose handy Presets that have options already configured.

Next time I’ll only have to hit the “Quiz” button to start! 

Customizable Quiz options

Customizable Quiz options

The quiz begins! As an overlay, a small window appears and you can enter the answer. With lightning mode enabled, pressing [Enter] after a correct answer will move to the next quiz item. If you don’t know it, you can  press the Question icon (or F1) to get the answer. After the round, you can do another, or choose the setting to have it end after one round. Stats are displayed at the end.

Similar feel to WK drill

Similar feel to WK drill

What’s really cool is you can also quiz yourself on your listening skills! Something I haven’t looked into much, but hey, I got my first one right!

Here are some animated images that the author used to describe how it all works.

Quiz yourself on wanikani terms

Quiz yourself on wanikani terms with Self-Study Quiz Edition

 

When I first started WaniKani, this is what I so desperately wanted. A way to hide the English meanings and kana readings so I could quiz myself very quickly on the fly, right on the main Kanji page. This is my NEW BEST FRIEND! Look, it even shuffles the terms for you!

私はあなたを愛しています、rfindley!

Only downfall? I can’t use my favorite UserStyle with this script, as it doesn’t look the best, but I don’t mind coming back to WaniKani default colors now and then. 🙂

One small improvement might be to darken the background while you’re doing the quiz. Perhaps make the popup window sizeable or a bit bigger, as it gets lost on my huge monitor. Adding custom sets or combining the levels was something that was discussed on the forums, but honestly, it works fine as is.

If you use WaniKani, do you do any type of extra studying? Anki? Flashcards? Writing practice? Or perhaps Wanikani Self Study Quiz Edition?

Nihongo Master Verbs

What I’ve Learned 4/24 – 5/4

Here’s what I’ve done in the past week and a half!

WaniKani - Level 9 Kanji

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
重heavyじゅう, ちょうおも, かさ, え
負loseふま, お
物thingぶつ, もつもの
新newしんあたら, あら, にい
勝winしょうか
予beforehandよあらかじ
具toolぐ
送sendそうおく
談discussだん
美beauty, beautifulび, みうつく
表expressひょうあらわ, おもて
界worldかい
発departureはつ
部part, department, clubぶへ
事action, matter, thingじこと, つか
受accept, receiveじゅう
実truth, realityじつみ
相mutualそう, しょうあい
屋roof, shop, storeおくや
要needようい, かなめ
定determineてい, じょうさだ
乗rideじょうの
使useしつか
返returnへんかえ
度degrees, occurrenceど, たくたび
客guestきゃく
県prefectureけん
和peace, japanese styleわ, おなご, やわ
持holdじも
待waitたいま
服clothes, clothingふく
泳swimえいおよ
始begin, startしはじ
苦sufferingくくる, にが
仮temporaryかかり

Instead of showing just my current WaniKani level Kanji, I’ll also show the vocabulary I’m working on for level 9. There are over 100 entries, so the table defaults to showing 10 entries, you can tab through them all if you like.

WaniKani Level 9 Vocabulary

CharacterKanaMeaning
物ものthing
予定よていa plan, plan
泳ぐおよぐto swim
勝者しょうしゃwinner, victor
和風わふうjapanese style
待つまつto wait
乗るのるto ride
美人びじんbeautiful woman
服ふくclothes, clothing
お客さんおきゃくさんguest, visitor, customer
用事ようじerrand, business
中学校ちゅうがっこうmiddle school, junior high school
待たせるまたせるto make someone wait, to keep someone waiting, to make wait, to keep waiting
〜県けんprefecture
毎度まいどeach time, frequently, every time
勝負しょうぶmatch, showdown, contest
仮にかりにtemporarily, suppose
相談そうだんconsultation, discussion, advice
本屋ほんやbookstore, book shop
食事しょくじmeal
不自由ふじゆうdiscomfort, inconvenience, disability, impairment, poverty, destitution
全部ぜんぶall, entire, whole
天使てんしangel
新年しんねんnew year
食べ物たべものfood
火事かじfire
発表はっぴょうannouncement, presentation
記事きじarticle, news story, report, account, news article
仮定かていassumption, hypothesis
通りとおりavenue, street, road, way
気を付けてきをつけてbe careful, take care
苦いにがいbitter tasting, bitter
体重たいじゅうbody weight
肉屋にくやbutcher shop, meat shop, meat store
対談たいだんconversation, dialogue, talk
決定けっていdecision, determination
〜度どdegrees
出発しゅっぱつdeparture
発見はっけんdiscovery
二重にじゅうdouble, dual
楽勝らくしょうeasy victory, easy win
重要じゅうようessential, important, necessary
魚屋さかなやfish shop, fish market, fish dealer, fish store, fishmonger
発売はつばいfor sale, selling, item for sale, sale
表おもてfront, surface, exterior, face, outside, appearance
家具かぐfurniture
客室きゃくしつguest room
高校生こうこうせいhigh school student, high schooler
家事かじhousework, chores
何度なんどhow many times, how often, what temperature
大事だいじimportant, valuable, serious matter
和食わしょくjapanese style food, japanese food
仮名かなkana
必要ひつようnecessary, needed, essential
新しいあたらしいnew
苦しいくるしいpainful, agonizing, agonising
相手あいてpartner, companion
弱々しいよわよわしいweak looking, frail, weak seeming, seemingly weak
住民じゅうみんresidents, citizens
〜屋やstore, shop
必勝ひっしょうsure victory, certain victory, sure win, sure victory, certain win
泳ぎおよぎswimming, swim
茶屋ちゃやtea shop, tea store, tea house
〜部ぶdepartment, club, category
和室わしつjapanese style room
本物ほんものthe real thing, real deal, the real deal, real thing, genuine article, the genuine article
持つもつto hold, to bring, to carry
事ことthing, matter, action
今度こんどthis time, next time
工事こうじconstruction
返事へんじreply, response
付くつくto be attached
実力じつりょくtrue strength, true ability, true power
道具どうぐtool
勝つかつto win
受けるうけるto receive, to accept, to catch
和服わふくjapanese style clothes, japanese clothing, japanese style clothing, japanese clothes
始めにはじめにin the beginning, to begin with, to start with
部屋へやroom
始まるはじまるto begin, something begins, to start, something starts
角度かくどangle
弱虫よわむしweakling, coward
始めるはじめるto begin, to start, to begin something, to start something
気持ちきもちfeeling
小学校しょうがっこうelementary school, primary school, grade school
名物めいぶつfamous product, special product, famous goods, special goods, famous item, special item
世界せかいthe world, society, the universe
見付けるみつけるto find, to find something
美しいうつくしいbeautiful
要点ようてんmain point, gist, main idea, essence
負けるまけるto lose, to be defeated
重いおもいheavy
高さたかさheight
白黒しろくろblack and white, white and black
乗せるのせるto give a ride, to give someone a ride, to place on
部室ぶしつclubroom
通すとおすto let pass, to overlook, to continue, to keep, to make way for, to persist in
欠かすかかすto miss, to fail, to fail to attend
要るいるto need
返すかえすto return, to return something
使うつかうto use
事実じじつtruth, fact, reality
実じつtruth, reality
乗り物のりものvehicle
発音はつおんpronunciation
部分ぶぶんportion, section, part
教えおしえteaching, instruction, teachings, lesson, doctrine
付近ふきんneighborhood, neighbourhood, vicinity, environs, nearby, locality
部首ぶしゅradical
表すあらわすto express
ハート形ハートがた, はーとがたheart shaped
丁度ちょうどexactly, just
具合ぐあいcondition, health
生物せいぶつliving things, creatures, bio
送るおくるto send
名古屋なごやnagoya
平和へいわpeace, harmony
見物けんぶつsightseeing, sightseer, watching, watcher, viewing, viewer
金持ちかねもちrich person, rich, wealthy

 

NihongoMaster

I spent several days reviewing particle usage due to getting too many drills wrong relating to particles. I’ve increased my accuracy a lot, but still need to work on them more. I caved and made a OneNote on particle grammar (after I said I only write down notes in a notebook).  Now I have pages for each particle, complete with examples!

My OneNote notes on Particles

My OneNote notes on Japanese Particles

 

I also decided to add all the verbs I’ve learned in NihongoMaster, since I can search and sort the tables. Here is my Godan verb page.

Nihongo Master Verbs

Nihongo Master – Godan Verbs

 

I didn’t think I’d get much done with all this particle and verb review, but luckily, all the lessons covered kanji or vocab I already learned in WaniKani. But in NihongoMaster, I get to see and work with them in actual sentences!

You’ll notice a lot of my grammar lessons involve counters in both NihongoMaster and Human Japanese. Japanese have counters for everything it seems! You can’t just say two cats or two papers. There are special “counter” words for everything.

NihongoMaster Lessons

HUMAN JAPANESE

Still mostly reviewing all previous chapters, trying to “Master” all the quizzes. But most of the below is a review on what I’ve already learned with NihongoMaster or WaniKani.

  • Chapter 32: Counting Objects
    Teaches how to use numbers in sentences, which requires devices called counters, which are akin to English words like a loaf of bread, a pound of flour, and a bottle of wine.
  • Chapter 33: But…
    Examines how to create compound sentences with the negative conjunction.
  • Chapter 34: Adjectives
    Introduces adjectives in Japanese, along with the surprising fact that, like verbs, they conjugate to indicate tense.
  • Chapter 35: More Adjectives
    A vocab building lesson that adds dozens more adjectives to the student’s repertoire. Includes a dialogue.

JapanesePod101 Listening Practice

I finally settled on a learning track and finished Absolute Beginner Season 1 (25 lessons) and am a quarter of the way through Absolute Beginner Season 2. I plan to go over what I learned in more detail in another post.

What I’ve Learned (4/17 to 4/24)

With the weather turning nicer I’ve been outside a lot walking my dog, but also last week the mmo I’ve been playing for 6 years released Eternal Weapons, so I’ve been questing for that. But I have not neglected my Nihongo studies!

Something new that I’ve added is trying to get more Japanese listening opportunities in. I’ll go over this in more detail in my next post.

NihongoMaster (40% into Beginner)

  • Two “to be” verbs: いる (for animate things that move) and ある (for inanimate things)
  • Describing locations with the above verbs using particle に
  • Review on particles that can be confusing: に, で, and を
  • Learning the Japanese concept of uchi and soto (in-groups or not) and how to speak about family members to various people
  • More Kanji: 分, 語, 右, 左, 半 (I knew all but “language”, second kanji listed, from WaniKani)
  • Using と to list nouns, “with”, meeting people

Human Japanese

I’m at the end of a big review, so my progress has been slowed. I just want to make sure I completely understand everything before going forward. It nicely parallels NihongoMaster, in a very readable chapter format. Concepts I’ve been focusing on the past week include the “to be” verbs, と usage, particles, family member vocabulary and how to use it when talking within your own family, talking to a friend about their family, or talking about your own family to other people.

  • Chapter 29: Verbs, The Return
    Part vocabulary builder and part grammar lesson, this chapter introduces more verbs, then shows how to create sentences that join multiple verbs in a single statement.
  • Chapter 30: Interrogatives and Ga
    Tracks down the who, what, when, where, and why, which require the use of a new particle, ga.
  • Chapter 31: Cultural Notes: Prices
    Looks into the myth that Japan is an expensive country, relating a recent experience the author had staying in an apartment near Tokyo.

WaniKani – Level 8

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
森forest, woodsしんもり
対versusたい
君buddyくんきみ
買buyばいか
馬horseばうま
研sharpenけんと
楽comfort, ease, pleasureらく, がくたの
話talk, speakわはな, はなし
所placeしょところ
電electricityでん
答answer, response, replyとうこた
番number in a series, turn, ordinal numberばん
医medicineい
間interval, interval of time, time intervalかん, けんあいだ, ま
局bureau, departmentきょく
身somebody, someone, bodyしんみ
朝morningちょうあさ
者someone, somebodyしゃもの
道road, street, path, wayどうみち
助helpじょたす, すけ
合suit, fit, joinごう, がっあ, あい
住dwelling, reside, dwellじゅうす
反antiはん
投throwとうな
役service, dutyやく
決decide, decisionけつき
支support, branchしささ
数count, number, amountすうかぞ, かず
場location, placeじょうば
絵drawing, paintingえ
究researchきゅうきわ
雲cloudうんくも

My Kanji Wallpaper (generated today) is filling out nicely!

Kanji wallpaper

Kanji wallpaper

Looking at some of the very first kanji I’ve learned, it won’t be until four months until I review them again – and hopefully burn them!

Next Review: 

Unlocked Date: February 28, 2017

End of August… seems so far away.

I Have Reached Enlightenment!

This is a major day in WaniKani for me! I have reached the “Enlightened” level on some of my terms. Just 10 Radicals, but Kanji will be following soon too! It took me exactly 7 weeks and 2 days to reach Enlightened. I also reached my 1000th Guru turtle! Yes, we call them turtles, and we want to burn the kanji on these turtle shells.

WK Enlightened

WK Enlightened

Level 8!

Also tonight I reached Level 8. Don’t worry, I am not going to celebrate every one of my 60 WaniKani levels, it’s just that getting to the next level “Enlightened” is special! And you’ll definitely see me post when I “Burn” my first items as well. 🙂

Celebrate!

 

WaniKani Stats

Below I’m sharing some WaniKani stats from a site called WaniKani Stats, featuring very useful graphs to chart my progress.

SRS is the spaced-repetition system WaniKani uses – the learning technique that increased the intervals of time you review. There are a total of nine levels, split across the five groups below. Starting with Apprentice, your reviews will come within hours or a few days. The highest group, Burn, is when you can recall an item after 4 months.

  • Apprentice (3 intervals)
  • Guru (2 intervals)
  • Master (2 intervals)
  • Enlightened (1 interval)
  • Burned (1 interval)

SRS Total Breakdown

I only have a sliver of Enlightened, tons of Guru and Mastered, a few Apprentice for now, and no Burns yet. But I have only been at it for less then two months, I will get there!

Level Progression Time

This chart shows my average time to complete levels. Level 4-5 was when I was on Spring Break in Mexico for 10 days, I still worked on WK everyday, just not as fast as I do when I’m at home. Looks like my average level takes 8 days. If I keep up this pace, I’ll be done in about one year exactly – to Level 50.  It’s okay if I take longer, I’m not racing for any reason. There are an extra 10 bonus levels, so it’ll definitely take me longer than a year to finish it all.

 

WaniKani Progress and JLPT Kanji Progress

This handy chart visually shows me my progress through the WaniKani program, as well as the JLPT levels.

 

More Progress Visuals

As you can see, I’m very far from the JLPT N1! But maybe soon I’ll be ready for N5. This chart can also show Joyo and Frequency charts.

 

What I Learned This Week (4/9 to 4/16)

Here’s what I learned this past week! Sorry it is up a bit later than I wanted, it was a busy end of the week.

WaniKani

New Kanji, level 7. The first few days of a new level keeps me pretty busy, plus I tried my best to do some KaniWani, the reverse site, I am pretty far behind.

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
夏summerげ, か, がなつ
必certainひつかなら.ず
家house, homeか, けいえ, や, うち
魚fishぎょさかな
鳥birdちょうとり
船boat, shipせんふね
黄yellowおうき
由reasonゆうよし, よ.る
高tall, expensive, highこうたか.い
未not yetみま.だ, いま.だ, ひつじ
欠lackけつか.ける
黒blackこくくろ.い
付attachふつ
弱weakじゃくよわ.い
辺areaへんあた.り, べ
組group, association, teamそくみ
強strong, strengthきょうつよ.い
以by means of, by the means of, by way of, by the way ofい
風wind, styleふうかぜ
記write down, recordきしる.す
紙paperしかみ
時time, o'clock, hourじとき
理reasonりことわり
教teachきょうおし.える, おそ.わる
末endまつすえ
校schoolこう
氏family name, last name, surnameしうじ
民peoples, people, nationみんたみ
失faultしつうしな.う
札bill, label, noteさつふだ
週weekしゅう
通pass throughつうとお.る, かよ.う
雪snowせつゆき

NihongoMaster (35% into Beginner)

  • へ particle – indicating direction of motion (its only use). Pronounced as “e”.
  • New Kanji – 会, 何, 時, 行, 間
  • Polite past tense
  • Negative past tense (えいごのじゅぎょうはおもしろくありませんでした。)
  • particle で  with verbs and objects: フォークでピザをたべますか。
    in using locations: としょかんでべんきょうをします。
  • Knowing when to use に and when to use で
  • Particle  が and describing people: ジョンさんはせがたかいですか。
  • From Here to There, using から and まで
  • Honorific Where どちら
  • And lots of new vocab and verbs relating to the above lessons

I also joined their Daily Jōyō Kanji Challenge, where I get three new kanji sent to my email everyday. What I’m doing is adding these to my NihongoMaster drills everyday. So far I know all of them, they are all having to do with numbers.

HumanJapanese App

I did a massive review, took all the chapter tests from the beginning. You get more points until you “master” each question, which I think is if you get it right 4 times in a row.

  • Chapter 24: Objects and Wo
    Opens up new grammatical vistas by introducing the particle wo, which marks the direct object in a sentence.
  • Chapter 25: Existence and Ni
    Introduces a second use for the particle ni, which is to indicate the location of existence for some verbs.
  • Chapter 26: Friends and Family
    Teaches the vocabulary needed to talk about everyone and their brother.
  • Chapter 27: Recreation and Leisure
    A vocabulary lesson packed with words related to sports, recreation, and leisure.
  • Chapter 28: Post-positional Phrases
    Puts the particle no to use in a new way by showing how to construct sentences that use what are called prepositional phrases in English, such as “on top of the refrigerator,” or “inside the car.”

Remembering the Kanji

Remembering the Kanji

Remembering the Kanji

New to my blog’s weekly updates is this book – Remembering the Kanji, by James W. Heiseg.

So many people have used this book to learn their kanji, and many new programs are heavily influenced by Remembering the Kanji (RTK for short). I figure I’ll go through some of the lessons to check out what it’s about.

日本ごをべんきょうでいそがしいです

Slowly, but surely, I’m going to try to write in more Japanese, as I learn more words and grammar. I hope the sentence below sentence means: I am busy with my Japanese studies!

日本ごをべんきょうでいそがしいです!

The day kicked off when I woke up to 120 WaniKani drills! That just could be my highest drill count yet. I had just leveled up late last night, and it took a few hours to complete all the new lessons and the first round of reviews. I’m so happy to be level 7 though, I’ve made it a goal to try to listen and read more Japanese (easy level) outside my studies once I’m level 10, so that’s one step closer.

WK Overlay Script

As I learn the new kanji, I get to play with the user scripts I installed. The one below is called WK Overlay and it displays the appropriate radical or kanji tags. Of course, they’re added after you answer the drill, otherwise that would be cheating! I find this helps reinforce the building blocks which helps me figure words out with those radicals/kanji next time.

So “Summer” was a new kanji presented to me for level seven. Most of the time the radical/kanji tags start off all in a clump, but for the kanji character page, you can move them around. Here I separated them a tiny bit, so you can see the radicals better. I chose this kanji at random.

And then I move them around all nice and neat, near what they represent, while memorizing the little mnemonic I’m given. For Kanji, they provide radical tags, with the radicals outlined in blue.

WaniKani’s mnemonic to help me remember “Summer” kanji

The eye leaf grows only in the winter. Every other leaf, however, will do the opposite, which is to grow in the summer.

Here’s another example for “school”.

You find your father with a lid on his head, up in a tree. He yells down at you. “Hey! Welcome to your first day of school!”

The stories may seem silly, if you’re not used to mnemonics. But they work!

Here is a more complex vocabulary word (in a higher level), this was a sample on the script page. This script will add black kanji tags to vocabulary words.

My Own Mnemonics

Also, as I learn new kanji/vocab, I get tested right away. If I know something is definitely not going to be memorable enough for me, I don’t hesitate to think up my own mnemonic. Below I added my own “Reading Note” to remember the kanji “Weak”, both its meaning and reading, it’s on the bottom of this image. Poor Jacku, Rose should’ve been a bit less weak…

Kanji for weak

“I’ll never let go, *Jacku*! Oh wait, I’m too WEAK, goodbye Jacku!”

KaniWani

Once I was done with so many hours of WaniKani, I went to their forums, and somebody started a thread asking how many KaniWani drills you had piled up. I don’t think I ever covered KaniWani in detail on my blog yet, I’ll do that another time, but it’s basically a fan-created site that tests WaniKani in reverse.

I hadn’t done KaniWani much, so I had 418 drills to do! I only started it right before vacation and was frustrated that it took time to get any to “Master” level. (Anybody who uses WK knows you just need patience, drills are spaced out. No matter how good you are, you won’t “Burn” your kanji in just a month of starting.)

A few MORE hours of working in KaniWani, and I got it down to 233. (I actually got it down to 140, but of course more drills came to join the fun.) And look! I started to “Master” my first words!

A lot of similar words with the same or very similar meanings always trip me up in KaniWani. And some just tripped me up anyway. For example, the kanji for “Sell” confused me, in the vocab words, it almost always had the り kana after the う. I hadn’t seen that before…

Then, lo and behold, in NihongoMaster, I learned the kanji for sell, and they showed me the polite form of うる was うり! (To be honest, I had just learned about the various forms of verbs last week, so it all makes sense now.) But I don’t think I will ever miss that change again.

Progressing in NihongoMaster

Speaking of which, I also worked very hard today to get to level 10 in NihongoMaster. Levels don’t mean as much here, as your points slide with inactivity, even after a few hours. I think it does show how hard you work with their program, all the top learners are in the level 20s. I feel like such a newb at 9. I do know you lose points steadily, and I’m not sure yet how to optimize points gain. Do the points start to drop after a certain timeframe of inactivity?I emailed their support last week to ask and they never answered. I’ll probably ask the question in their forums. I get about 100 drills a day in this program, although it’s hard to tell with timed SRS drills – I do them several times a day as they pop up.

You may think I’m crazy for using so many different programs to learn Japanese, but I very carefully choose my main ones I work with everyday. I love how new concepts are reinforced in various ways, whether it’s conjugating the verb tenses, seeing the kanji, grammar explanations and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Learned This Week

This is Week 2 of “What I Learned This Week” for the blog! Incidentally, I am considering this Month 2 of my Japanese studies, where I’m really buckling down and not planning to stop.  Before I start, I am going to be adding my progress to the right side bar, up on top. So it’s very visible and you can see where my progress is in my two main learning tools. As of week 2, I am 30% into NihongoMaster Beginner classroom and Level 6 for WaniKani.

Kanji

Let’s start with the Kanji studies.

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
亡deceased, deathぼうな.く
安relax, cheapあんやす.い
両bothりょう
明brightめいあ, あか.るい, あき.らか
店shop, storeてんみせ
科scienceか
南southなんみなみ
歩walkほある.く, あゆ.む
死deathしし.ぬ
羊sheepようひつじ
前front, beforeぜんまえ
長long, leaderちょうなが.い
星starせいほし
次nextじつぎ
有haveゆう, うあ.る
姉older sister, big sister, elder sisterしお.ねえ, あね, ねえ
活livelyかつい
後behind, after, back, rearご, こううし.ろ, あと, のち
国countryこくくに
京capitalきょうみやこ
食eat, mealしょくた.べる, く
妹younger sister, little sisterまいいもうと
地earth, groundち, じ
夜night, eveningやよ, よる
州state, province, countyしゅう
点point, decimal, decimal pointてんつ.ける
思think, thoughtしおも.う
画drawing, paintingが, かく
向yonder, facingこうむ.き
首neckしゅくび
化changeかば.ける, ば.かす
茶teaちゃ, さ
曲music, bendきょくま.げる, ま.がる
血bloodけつち
全all, wholeぜんすべ.て, まった.く
知knowちし.る
室roomしつ
東eastとうひがし
海sea, oceanかいうみ
直fix, directちょく, じきなお.す

 

Grammar/Vocab

NihongoMaster

In my main resource, NihongoMaster, since last week I’ve learned a dizzying assortment of new grammar! I’m now 30% into Beginner.

  • Adverbs – and how to express myself in varying degrees
  • Verbs! – I learned so many new things about verbs. This made me feel like a little school child knowing I’m just beginning to learn such basic things. I learned there is a polite and dictionary form of verbs. I learned three kinds of verbs and how to obtain the stem and polite form – Irregular, Ichidan, and Godan. And of course learned a whole slew of new vocabulary verbs.
  • More な adjectives: Like/dislike/skilled/unskilled/like very much and how to use these concepts
  • Demonstrative words (I even blogged a huge lesson on Demonstratives!)
  • Conjunctions -“but” and “and”
  • Verbs “come” and “go”
  • More about で and に particle usage

Human Japanese app

Read the following chapters this past week. I was thrilled it followed along with my NihongoMaster studies, and I plan to do my best to sync them from now on, doing NihongoMaster lesson first, and then Human Japanese app lesson.
  • 20. The Possessive and No – Introduces the particle no, used to indicate a possessive relationship between two things.
  • 21. Verbs – Explains how verbs work in Japanese, including how to use them in sentences and how to conjugate them to their various forms.
  • 22. Cultural Notes: The Countryside – Offers a glimpse of small town life in the Japanese countryside.
  • 23.  Directions and Ni – Shows how to indicate direction with the particle ni.

Genki 1

Since so many use this text, I thought I’d check it out. I read the first chapter and did the workbook.

Books

Since I can’t quite yet read books in Japanese, I’m reading books about Japanese. Both of these two books are free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited!

 

 

 

Kanji Wallpaper

10% through WaniKani!

Level 6! 10%!

I hit level 6 this morning. 10% of max level 60 is level 6! I can’t remember the last time I so eagerly anticipated an event. ! Well, I do eagerly anticipate the UPS truck coming with fun goodies, but a new WaniKani level is something that brings so much more. 🙂

I knew going to bed last night that when I wake up (I usually sleep in late), I’d have 8 kanji to review and then I’d hit level 6. And I totally knew those kanji. So it was a very busy morning unlocking all the new stuff, and reviewing a ton of other stuff that hit.

Forum Addiction

I realize I am addicted to the WaniKani community forums. I have always been a “forum” person, and love learning from other people and such, but the first month I mostly lurked. Clicked on a topic if it intrigued me. Now I can’t stay away! Hitting the new level gave me so many lessons and reviews, but I kept rewarding myself every 10 lessons by obsessively checking the forums. I finally added a link straight to the forums to my Bookmark bar, and not buried in some sub bookmark folder.

I just wish they had private messages and sigs enabled. Oh well. Maybe one day I’ll find another active forum with some of my favorite features enabled.

Thank You WK Members!

A big thanks to @kumir~ for helping me find cool new tools and scripts! A big thanks to @alexbel~ for motivating myself and everyone in learning grammar and keeping us on track with Genki. (I’m leaving off part of their usernames for privacy reasons.) Thanks to everyone who likes kittehs and those who make scripts to make WK more enjoyable!

I started a new thread on posting everyone’s screenshots and what user script extensions they’re using. That will be one of my next posts, a detailed list of what I’m using, complete with screenshots of them in action.

Kanji Background

Kanji Wallpaper

Kanji Wallpaper

I’ve updated the Kanji background of my desktop to reflect level 6. Once I unlock all the kanji for this level, I’ll post the new kanji I’m learning.