“I want to learn Japanese but… I don’t know… Learning kanji is too scary…”
This has probably been the beginning of most conversation that I’ve had in the past few months when I told anyone that I was actually studying Japanese in a serious manner (serious being relative here…)
You see… There’s like a ton of guide out there on how to do just that, but even then people seem to struggle to actually get to it… (I know; it took me like 10 years to actually start doing something about it…). As it turns out, it’s actually really simple and ingenious. But first, some history.
A long long time ago,
in a galaxy far far away, I discovered a relatively small youtube channel. As I would later figure out the host of that channel (Koichi) was a little (read: “really”) crazy. Somehow, little me at the time was captivated and so, it became one of the very few channels that I’d ever subscribed to.
You see, I really wanted to learn Japanese, but I was to lazy to do anything and I didn’t know where to start… But some of the videos on tofugu’s channel were able to give me some basics understanding… (or so I’d like to think (＾ω＾) )
Anyway, fast forward a few millennia, I’d buy a subscription to his new text guide on learning Japanese: textfugu.com. I ended up getting an email about the beta of a new kanji learning service that they’d made called WaniKani. I took a few years to subscribe and another few years to do anything on it, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it, and like a lot of people, I just skipped the “tutorial”… Cause why not…
Anyway, fast forward to a few months ago, I finally decided to take the first few steps on WaniKani and discover it’s power. It uses crazy (and sometimes really shitty (*´ω｀*) ）stories as mnemonics to help learn kanji and it’s SRS (Spaced Based Repetition) somehow make learning easy, effortless and entertaining. By waiting for your brain to be about to forget a kanji before asking it to be remembered again, you basically bait your brain into putting the information in the long term memory faster.
Of course the system isn’t perfect for me as english is a second language. But it has definitely allowed me to gain much in just a few months I already know nearly 400 kanji and 1000 words!
Tofugu seems very focused on teaching, it’s clear to me they’re passionate about it, I mean, they even brought their price down! Hopefully they keep working on it and making it even better!
At least for me, it has allowed me to stay on track with learning, and staying motivated! I finally feel like I can get through this and achieve my goal!
Honestly I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn kanji the easy(er) way!