So i discovered a brilliant website for learning Kanji – http://www.wanikani.com!
It’s currently in beta mode so I don’t think you can join it right now but hopefully it will get past this development stage and open up for everyone to use; because it really is amazing.
This website uses something called SRS or Spaced Repetition System to help you learn the kanji quicker, more effectively and with less time spent studying. I’m going to post the website’s own definition of SRS to fully explain the concept for you guys….
“WaniKani uses a spaced repetition system (SRS) to help you to learn the radicals, kanji, and vocabulary. The basic idea with an SRS is that you’ll see items you’re bad at more often and see items you’re good at less often. This becomes really effective because the best memories are created by recalling them right before you forget them. So, the better you know something, the longer you have to wait until you’re about to forget it.
WaniKani tries to guess these timings for you based on your previous answers so that you can have the best opportunity to learn your kanji and vocabulary. Stick with the system and you’ll find yourself learning more than you ever thought possible. Don’t forget, memory is all about the long term!” (wanikani.com)
So there you go – thats what they do!!
There are 50 levels in total on the website, and the creators claim that by the time you reach level 50; you will be able to read around 80% of the kanji one might see on a daily basis (including newspapers). Nifty huh?
The first two levels are completely free, and you don’t have to put in any kind of payment information unless you decide to pay for levels 3-50. Two levels gives you enough time to figure out if the website works for you or not, so I think it’s a pretty good deal! I’m currently on level 5 and am already impressed with the amount of everyday kanji I have started to recognise.
The one downside to this website, is that if you already know quite a few kanji, the first few levels can be very tedious; but I’m pretty sure that if you stick it out; you won’t be disappointed!!
Quick side note – there are also app versions of the website available on both iOS and Android, although these are all third party and not actually made by the websites developers. I have had experience of both and have found them to be excellent, with great interfaces and they sync up perfectly with the website!
Let me know if you give WaniKani a try, or if you know of any other great Japanese learning resources!!