FAQ

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What is Kanjiway?

Kanjiway is an app for learning Japanese language. Our goal is to give our users the most effective tools for learning hiragana, katakana and 2136+ kanji, as well as other elements of Japanese language and culture. Kanjiway is designed in such way so that you could use it for 10 minutes per day or as a serious tool for language learning with which you can spend multiple hours in a row.

Kanjiway methodologies are based on learning principles of world's most famous polyglots, on the works of a linguist Stephen Krashen, who spent over 50 years studying the problem of second language acquisition and on the works of James Heisig, author of the book series Remembering the Kanji, which were one of the most efficient methods of learning Japanese kanji since 1970s. With all of the above such complicated task as learning 2136 kanji becomes easy and simple process, in which you constantly use your visual memory and imagination for the most rapid memorization of the new information.

Articles

In this FAQ we are going to look at the most common questions that our users may have while learning on Kanjiway. Also we have a number of articles, which we also recommend for you to read.

How long does it usually take to study on Kanjiway?

First of all let's recognize, that Kanjiway gives you primarily the most used information in Japanese language most often used kanji/words. These 20% kanji, which are used in 80% of Japanese texts

Stages of learning on Kanjiway can be divided as such:

  1. In your first month you learn hiragana, katakana and 100-300 kanji. You will be able to read hiragana and katakana, but not always understand what the text is about.
  2. For the next 2-3 months you continue to learn kanji and know already 1000-1500. You already know enough to read Japanese text of average difficulty and watch Japanese anime/series with subtitles and understand 40-60%. You look things up in the dictionary when you don't understand something.
  3. For the next 2-5 month you learn all ~2500 needed kanji. You have a good understanding of Japanese texts and you can watch anime/series with subtitles without consulting with dictionary every 10 minutes.
  4. You've learned all important kanji, but still, you need to review them sometimes. You go on Kanjiway for 1-3 months more and review the most rare kanji, which you may forget sometimes.

We want to make clear, that when we say "learned kanji" we don't mean "looked at them one time and memorized them". We mean "learned them one time and reviewed them successfully 4-10 times". You may not read kanji as fast as you want yet, but you don't need to look them up at all, you remember them very well.

So we have around 6-12 months on Kanjiway. As you can see most of the studying happens in the first 2-4 months. Here we talk about the average time of learning, but in reality you can learn much faster if you want so. You see, Kanjiway is not "Japanese courses" or "Japanese lessons" in traditional understanding. You don't have a group of peers for you to stay on one level with. We don't limit you with any restrictions and you can learn with exactly the pace, which is comfortable for you.

To better understand Kanjiway methodologies, we suggest you read these articles:

  1. Is it possible to learn Japanese online without spending money on expensive courses?
  2. How to learn Japanese and how much time will it take?

Is Kanjiway suitable for beginners or only for experienced Japanese learners?

Kanjiway has both beginners and experienced learners as students.

If you are a newbie, we will explain to you most important learning concepts in the first couple of hours. Also we suggest you read our articles.

If you know some Japanese already and want to learn more kanji/words, then you may search for important kanji/words just for you. You can disable items you don't want to learn (if you already know them) and set important items as "Want to learn".

One thing that immediately seems strange for some people who already familiar with Japanese is the fact that we begin with learning kanji's meanings without readings. We describe why this approach is actually more efficient in article How to learn kanji?

What is Spaced Repetition System?

Spaced Repetition System is a smart program, which sets for you time of next repetitions in such way, so that you can acquire new information in the most efficient way. Instead of reviewing kanji 10 times on your first day and forget it the next day, you will review it when you need it most. For example, two times on your first day, one time the next day, another time in three days, another time in a week and so on. This will go on until you can recall information almost instantly.

If you learn kanji and successfully pass repetitions, you will see this kanji rarely. If you fail repetitions, you will see this kanji more often. You will not need to ever remember when to review new dataJLPT. Kanjiway is built around this system and sets your own schedule and path for learning Japanese.

What is JLPT?

JLPT (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test) is a standardized test to verify your level of Japanese. JLPT is developed by Japanese government. It is split in 5 levels, where level 5 is the lowest and level 1 means a very proficient knowledge of Japanese. If you want to live or work in Japan, you will probably encounter JLPT a lot.

If you are currently studying to pass JLPT, Kanjiway can help you with that.

What is the highest level on Kanjiway?

For now - 50.

What are reps?

Rep is a repetition of learned information. Whenever you learn a new item - Kanjiway creates a rep for this item. After completing the rep (whether successfully or not), Kanjiway calculates for you time of the next rep.

Which is more important - reps of learning new information?

In our view of the process we believe reps to be more important, so that you won't forget what you've learned. When you open Kanjiway it is best to complete your reps first and then begin to learn new items.

How often should I complete reps?

Easiest strategy of learning on Kanjiway - come here every day and complete all reps. After that continue to learn new items.

Why is my result lower than 100% even if I pass the rep successfully?

Kanjiway also counts the time it takes for you to complete the rep. We do it because it is important for us that you won't be looking at a kanji and try to remember it for a couple of seconds. We want you to read it as fast as words in your native language.

For 2nd level kanji if you enter main translation - you will get max 100% and if you enter any other translation - you will get max 90%.

What is streak?

Streak counts how many days in a row you've been learning on Kanjiway. For you to complete your streak you need to get 1000 exp. (around 10 reps on average)

Do I need to go on Kanjiway every day?

Preferably. If you don't have enough time, try to study at least for 5 minutes to complete some reps and finish today's streak. Streaks are created exactly for this reason - to motivate you to study at least a little, even if you are incredibly busy.

I can't remember some kanji or word

Don't worry. Exactly for this reason Kanjiway uses spaced repetition system, because we understand that forgetting is a normal process, which starts in your brain when it understands that you don't use this information very often.

Every person is unique in a way of remembering and forgetting new information. For some people it is easier to learn simple kanji which are written in 2-5 strokes, for others it is easier to remember more complicated kanji by using stories and markers.

If yocontinue to complete reps - sooner or later you will remember everything that you may struggle with right now.

I have an idea of what you need to add to Kanjiway

We have a lot of ideas as well and we try to implement them as fast as we can. If something is bothering you or you need something very much - contact us and we will try to solve your problem.

What is available on Kanjiway's trial version?

On trial version you have access to learning 100 kanji, 6 hiragana, 7 words and 300 reps. These kanji, hiragana and words are always the same for all users. We begin to adapt your learning path for you after about 200 learned kanji.

How much does Kanjiway subscription costs?

Month - 299₽, 6 months - 1499₽, year - 2399₽.

Why the prices are shown in Russian rubles?

Kanjiway is a Russian company. We process payments through Russian bank: Tinkoff Bank. We are currently working on adapting prices for other currencies.

One month of Kanjiway costs 299₽, which is around $4.60 or €4.20

How can I contact you?

Like that.

Japanese

How long will it take to learn Japanese?

We answer this question in this article

When will I be able to watch anime in Japanese?

If you study on Kanjiway for at least 30 minutes per day, you will be able to read subtitles and have some basic understanding of what is going on in a couple of months. We advise you to start watching Japanese shows and listening to Japanese language as soon as you can. Yes, you won't understand most of it in the beginning, but with every day you will understand more and more.

Why do you advise to watch, listen and read Japanese even if I don't understand anything?

Try to remember how you've learned your native language. In the beginning you didn't understand anything as well, but over time you mastered it. That is exactly how people learn - by diving head first into the field which they don't understand at all. When you are listening to Japanese, even if you don't understand it much, in the background your brain tries to decipher everything that you put in it. If you follow this advise - in a couple of months you will recognize the full power of this approach

One of the main problems that people have when learning a new language is the discomfort that you have, when you realise that you have absolutely no idea what is going on and all you can see is a long way ahead of you. Obviously it would be more comfortable to use your native language, but if you can accept this discomfort of learning - you will begin to progress way faster.

Kanji

I've encountered kanji without translation. How do I learn it?

This is a radical without translation. You need to learn it in the same way that you learn other kanji, but instead of learning translation you create a marker and remember it.

How many kanji do I need to learn per day?

We advise you to start with 20-50 kanji per day and then figure out which amount is best for you. The most important is to NOT overplan and burnout yourself. Even if you want to learn 70 kanji per day right now, after 10 days you may recognize that this pace is way too overwhelming and you may quit studying at all. Unfortunately this happens to a lot of Japanese learners. If you are comfortable with learning 10 kanji per day - learn 10 kanji every day and don't think about how much you "have to" learn. If your learning process will be easy and pleasant - you will want to keep it in your life. So it is better to have a long and productive study, rather than short and ineffective.

Do I need to draw kanji on paper while learning?

Yes! We have a mobile version of Kanjiway and you can study while sitting in a public transport, but it is preferable to write down kanji because this will help you with remembering.

It depends on your goals, to be fair. In any case you need to understand that if you want to live or work in Japan at some point in your life it will be very unpleasant if you have a perfect spoken Japanese but won't be able to fill our a form in some bank.

In what order will I learn kanji?

To pick which kanji to show you next, Kanjiway looks at different variables, such as frequency of use and your progress in learning other kanji. We adapt the order of learning for your skill level and make you your own path of learning kanji.

Do I need to learn the main translation of all of them?

You need to remember only one translation. We show you other translations so you may have a better understanding of what this kanji means and what meanings it can have. If you don't find the main translation attractive - you can pick any other translation.

What is a story in kanji learning?

Story is a simple visual scene in your imagination that helps you to remember the kanji. Instead of trying to remember kanji by it's shape and strokes, you remember components of the kanji and create a simple story with them. This triggers your visual memory and you begin to study way more efficiently. We dive deep into usage of stories in this article.

How do I make up stories?

The most important part is to spend some time to imagine the story in your mind. You will need to concentrate on your thoughts and images so that all visual ideas would have time to ground in your imagination. Don't rush yourself. This will take 10-20 seconds and will help you immensely.

What are markers and why do we use them?

Marker is a word (or multiple words) that help you to remember kanji. You may want to use markers for radicals that don't have translations or for kanji that have a very abstract meaning and it's hard to create stories with them. For example words as "most", "such", "all". Instead of trying to make a story with this translation - you create a marker and use it to make a story.

What can I use as marker?

Anything you want. The power of this system is that you use your own memory and your own associations for remembering. You may use regular words as well as words and ideas that are connected to you personally. For example if you want to create marker for word "most" you may use the name of your most favorite musician. After creating a marker every time you will encounter kanji "most" you will immediately remember the your most favorite musician and story that you use with him.

Don't make the marker too uncomfortable to type. For reviewing the marker you may need to type it.

Which kanji need markers?

You may want to use markers for kanji that have a very abstract meaning and it's hard to create stories with them. For example words as "most", "such", "all". Ideally, while learning on Kanjiway you will use markers for only 5-15% of kanji. At first you will hesitate whether you need a marker or not but over time you will develop a good understanding of why and when you would use them.

How many levels do kanji have?

Kanji have 4 levels and each of them has its own type of task that you need to complete to pass the rep.

  • Level 1.

You see kanji and pick a translation out of multiple options

  • Level 2.

You see kanji and type in the kanji translation. If it is a radical without a translation, you type in the marker

  • Level 3.

You see kanji's translation (or marker) and pick kanji out of multiple options

  • Level 4.

You see kanji's translation (or marker), imagine the kanji itself and pick how well and fast you have recalled the kanji

On level 4 we do not test you with any kind of task, you just pick your own level of knowing. Yes, in that case you may cheat and always say that your level is higher than it is, but we are counting on your honesty and desire to learn Japanese.

How many kanji do I need to know to understand Japanese language?

To understand Japanese at least a little you will need 500-1000 kanji. To have a good understanding of Japanese you will need all 2136 jōyō kanji, but it is better to know about 2500-3000 most popular kanji.

What are jōyō kanji?

Jōyō kanji is a list of 2136 kanji picked by Japanese Ministry of Education for everyday use. All newspapers and official documents use only jōyō kanji. The reality is that Japanese people use more than 2136 kanji, but if they are not jōyō kanji - they are usually accompanied by furigana.

How many kanji are on Kanjiway?

We have all 2136 jōyō kanji, as well as some other popular kanji. Total amount of kanji and radicals right know - 2400+.

Words

How do words differ from kanji?

Kanji is a system of symbols. Words are just words, same as in any language.

Words may be of different types:

  • 犬 (dog) - composed of single kanji
  • 時間 (time) - composed of multiple kanji
  • 食べる (eat) - composed of kanji and hiragana
  • ありがとう (thank you) - composed only from hiragana
  • ロシア (Russia) - composed only from katakana

What does symbol 々 mean?

This is kanji iteration mark. It repeats the kanji that is written before it. For example, 人々 (people) is the same as 人人.

How many words do I need to know to understand Japanese language?

Let's remember Paretto principle - 20% of work is responsible for 80% of the result. In case of languages we can definitively say that 20% of words are responsible for 80% of language we use every day (maybe even more).

People often forget about this simple truth when learning languages and think they have to learn tens of thousands of words. Everything is much simpler! Take English language for example. To understand 80-90% of English writing you need to know only 2000 words!. Situation is the same for other languages.

If you know 300-500 words - you will understand more than 50% of Japanese texts. That means if you know 1000-2000 words, you will have a very good understanding of the Japanese language.

Also don't forget that to understand other 10-20% of the language you will need way more words. For JLPT N1 (highest level) you will need about 10000 words, but don't think about volume too much. After you learn the base of the language, everything else will become much easier.

How many words are on Kanjiway?

Kanjiway has 1000 words. We chose the most popular Japanese words for you to begin your study. After learning them, you will understand more than 70% of the Japanese written texts.

Will Kanjiway have more words someday?

Sometimes we add or change some words. For us it is more important to teach you 1000 words very well than to teach you 10000 words in a mediocre way.

How many levels do words have?

Words have 4 levels and each of them has their own type of task that you need to complete to pass the rep.

  • Level 1.

You see a word with furigana and type it in Japanese

  • Level 2.

You see a word and choose translation from multiple options

  • Level 3.

You see a word without furigana and type it in Japanese

  • Level 4.

You see a words, remember it's translation and pick how fast you remembered it

By going through these levels you will remember the word's reading as well as it's meaning.

Hiragana and katakana

How many levels do hiragana and katakana have?

Just one level, as well as hiragana and katakana words.

Promo

How can I get two weeks for free for inviting a friend?

If you invite any friend to Kanjiway and he buys any subscription, you and your friend both get two weeks of Kanjiway for free. More on that

Other

How does the payment work. Can you steal my card data?

We redirect you to Tinkoff Bank for processing payments and you enter your data on bank's website. Kanjiway have no access to your card data.


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