[Discussion & Feedback] - Kitsun JLPT N2 Deck

I originally posted this as a review to the deck, but seeing that the formatting was utterly destroyed and rendered too difficult to read, I figured I should repost it here. Hope it’s okay that I’m making this thread myself!^^

This is a very thorough deck overall, with most of the vocabulary found in a similar JLPT N2 preparatory book. I know the directions on the deck itself state to use the built in suggest feature to suggest changes, however I think there are a few major structural problems (some that can be easily addressed!) that are both beyond the scope of any particular card and make the deck difficult to use beyond the first 200 or so words. In my objective order of importance (and seemingly ease of addressing), they are:

1. Available Testing Layouts

The biggest issue is with the layouts available, namely that there isn’t an option to quiz Reading -> English. This is an issue for a number of reasons—one of which is my next point—but the most glaring of them is the way the JLPT itself tests vocabulary knowledge. For a number of questions in the first section of the test, the test presents the test taker with a vocabulary word in kana and then asks the test taker to select the most appropriate definition or usage in a sentence. Reviewing only Japanese -> Reading can make this section (and understanding other words throughout the test) particularly difficult because there is no kanji with which to match meaning. If you’re used to seeing 絨毯, it can be difficult to remember and connect じゅうたん with its meaning without access to its kanji. This is made more difficult by the fact that…

2. Nonstandard Kanji Associations

Many cards seem to match vocabulary words with some incredibly rare kanji. Not only too rare to appear on the JLPT N2 itself, but some that you’re unlikely to ever encounter in everyday life in Japan. Since there’s no option to study from the reading, the user has no choice but memorize these rare kanji in order to associate the Japanese word with its English meaning (of course there’s the option to test English -> Japanese, but this isn’t as useful for JLPT prep as testing the opposite direction).

3. Deck Ordering (i.e. large batches of loanwords or onomatopoeia)

I’d assume this is due to the deck being largely programmatically generated, but the order of cards in this deck is often less than helpful towards productive study. At one point, there are nearly 100 katakana words in a row (not including words like 護謨 [ゴム] and 混凝土 [コンクリート] which use rare ateji kanji). In another stretch, there are a number of onomatopoeia and other abstract, similarly sounding (こっそり、うっかり、くしゃみ、そそっかしい) concepts that are extremely difficult to distinguish within the app. These sections can be somewhat mitigated using the function to add cards to the beginning of new lessons, but this process is tedious when repeated two dozen times.

Again, this is an extremely thorough deck and a great resource that would benefit from more options to manipulate and make use of its data. Just wanted to share these thoughts as it’s quite difficult to use right now, but could become very powerful with a few trivial (and not so trivial) edits.

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Hi Andrew! Thanks for the detailed feedback!

I think having Reading -> English would be extremely difficult to pull off due to the nature of Japanese itself. There are so many words using the same readings that it would be near impossible to know which one is being asked for. The only proper way to know is by adding Japanese context sentences, but I’m afraid I don’t have those available.

In the English -> Japanese layout you already have to answer with the reading, which at least helps a bit in that regard?

I’ve been trying to remove these and convert them to kana-only words if applicable. However this is quite the task and I am working on it while going through the decks myself. So it would be very appreciated if everyone could report them through the feedback tool when needed and I’ll convert them right away ^^

For the ateji kanji please report them if you can and I’ll take care of it. I’ll see if I can randomize the order a bit more :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the feedback, much appreciated!

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Another reason I like my custom kana-only layout that I added for the default template. Sometimes the word is usually written in kana, but shows up in kanji occasionally. In those cases, I wanted to still see the kanji, just not focus on it and not be quizzed on it. Here’s what an example card looks like:

image

If I decide the kanji is too rare to bother including (or simply no kanji exists), it would look like this (just like a normal card):

image

(The layout shown in these pictures is based on the new default template/layouts. I don’t know if you’re using the old or new version of the N2 deck.)

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This is so true in the case of the language generally, or studying via an overall “study” function that pulls from multiple decks (this doesn’t exist, right?), but I don’t think it would be a particularly big issue for this deck. Perhaps for some verbs like ふく which exist in many contexts, though I guess it’s my fault for thinking I could study something like that without the collocation.

Will do! I’ve already taken to proposing changes to a couple of them and I’ll keep doing that for any words that pop up from now on!

I’ve made cards like this as well! I also recommend making one for sentence/notes -> meaning if you want to study words with collocations/in the context they’re most often seen. Alas, I don’t believe it’s possible to use custom layouts with community decks even if they’ve been made for the default template.

Same comment as above. The community deck is based on the new default layouts, but I don’t believe you can use custom layouts with community decks (if I’m incorrect on this, please tell me!).

Cheers! I’ll try to check the suggestions every day :smile:

Correct, Kitsun wouldnt know which layout to use with which cards, especially once you start mixing templates as well…

I’m going to add a Kana -> English layout to the default layouts, but I’m not adding those to the N decks yet due to aforementioned issues. However, if there is enough demand for it I might consider adding it…

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve taken care of all the suggestions so far. Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to improve this deck together :smiley:

I’ve also added generated audio to all the N decks (still have to do N1), let me know if the pronunciation is using the wrong reading, as that might be the case sometimes.