A word of warning

If you use a lot of SRS that makes you type out answers, and you have a tendency to do 100s of reviews per day, stop doing all of these on your phone.

I’ve managed to give myself an RSI on both thumbs. Got some serious pain whenever I try to type anything on my phone now, and I’ve decided to mostly stop using it at all for a few months just to let them recover. This obviously wasn’t just caused by SRS; I like gaming too, but I don’t do it nearly as much or as often as WK, Bunpro etc. SRS became like an obsession for me (keep in mind I’m doing typed vocab en masse on Bunpro atm).

I kept pushing even when my thumbs hurt badly and now they hurt even when I’m not using them. Stupid, I know, but appetite/addiction is hard to resist at times, especially when I just want to do my reviews lying down in bed and can’t be bothered getting up.

Don’t be like me. Your hands/wrists/etc are important. Doing all those reviews on your phone at high speed puts heaps of strain on your tendons, as I have recently discovered. If your hands hurt, stop.

Anyway, I’m going to keep to a proper computer keyboard for a while now, and reduce my SRS load across the board quite significantly for a couple of months. There are plenty of other ways to practice, after all.

15 Likes

Skill issue

(This is sarcasm)

14 Likes

Considering that a lot of people study vocab at a much faster rate than grammar, do you think there’s a way we can fix this inevitable problem for people? Maybe not multiple choice as such, but a list of kana to choose between for the answer in the correct order similar to apps like Drops and Duolingo (rather than pure typing). Would love your feedback :blush:! Hope you feel better soon!

Slightly off topic - As a medical scientist that was specializing in orthopedics many moons ago, most below elbow/hand nerve problems are a result of impingements in the nerve plexus under the collarbone, known commonly as thoracic outlet syndrome. Frequently caused by chronically rounded shoulders etc. If you think this may apply to you, try stretching out your chest muscles/strenghtening your traps. May save you a lot of pain down the line!

16 Likes

Hmm… I have to say I’m not actually a fan of the kana lists as I don’t think they get the job done well enough to justify the mass number of thumb movements you’d still need to do, though it would indeed reduce the number of thumb movements total and therefore wrist strain.

Multiple choice answers could work too, but the drawback of course is it wouldn’t be as effective.

What would help me more than anything is auto voice input. I tried answering everything by voice on iOS, but I still have to press the voice input button/enter buttons (can’t remember, but whatever it is it’s not hands free) for every review at present. A totally hands free mode once you’ve entered your review stream would be INSANELY good, though I imagine there would be implementation challenges.

Not to mention, you could do your reviews while making something! Knitting! Baking! I’d get a lot of use out of that even without the RSIs. All you’d need to do is glance at the screen and bark out the vocab word. E.g.

Vocab prompt: 便利
You say: convenient
Then you say: “enter” (or “confirm”, or whatever) and it commits the answer either as correct or incorrect. Or you say “try again” (or something) if the voice recognition from your device is wrong, and it clears the text.
Once you’ve confirmed an answer, it marks it correct and incorrect, and you can say “next” to get to the next prompt.

As for your slightly off topic note: That’s interesting. My posture looks like a wet noodle plus I have hypermobility syndrome so I should probably work on that. I’ll do what I can re: strengthening and get some wrist braces in the meantime! Thank you!

8 Likes

Fyi you’ll end up doing the exact same thing, but with all your fingers instead. I had to stop doing type in the answer type questions altogether because my fingers and right wrist hurt too much. (from hitting the enter key to move on to my next review) My personal recommendation is to use either reading modes or anki-like modes wherever you can. It’s eliminated a lot of my issues. For any remaining problems I have a wrist brace and a verticle mouse.

4 Likes

I don’t think I’ll end up doing exactly the same thing on 1/5th of the load. Like. That’s a pretty significant reduction. Also, I spent two years during covid feverishly typing out a two million word story with a friend on my computer, sometimes at a pace of 5,000-10,000 words a day (I am not joking. I apparently have no chill). If that didn’t destroy my hands, I don’t think 25-50 reviews a day will.

4 Likes

That’s very true. If you’re cutting down your reviews that much you should be fine. At the time I was doing hundred of reviews a day between different SRS sites.

3 Likes

Would be nice to have voice prompts. solves all issues and helps with preventing 外人イントネーション. speaketh thy answer and a :heavy_multiplication_x: you shall recieve.

3 Likes

I started doing yoga once a week at my local gym and it basically eliminated all my wrist/hand issues. I work on a comp so it had become quite a problem for me. Just a possible suggestion!

3 Likes

To me, when reviewing on my phone my fingers are fine, no problem there, but my eyesight gets so tired, as soon as I look at the real world everything is blurry af, it is super uncomfortable and honestly a bit scary. Thats why I also prefer to do my reviews on a normal keyboard. It is also faster.

2 Likes

I think doing Bunpro with voice is a great idea for me personally~ I could see myself using that. For Wanikani there was some third party app that did something like that but I think it was an extra paid service or something.

4 Likes

I said it rather facetiously, but I think it would be nice to have it as an option. But I’d put money on any voice recognition software failing with a bunch of noobs trying to speak any word harder than 犬.

If they were to use modern AI, maybe they could handle it though.

1 Like

As someone with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I can sympathize with this. Not sure how effective it would be for one’s thumbs, but if you’re someone who wants to do a ton of reviews in a row, taking a quick break every 10 minutes or so with some stretching and relaxing can be quite helpful.

Another option, though admittedly not perfect, would be to try and use some sort of swipe typing keyboard. Though I’ve yet to find one that does Japanese/Romaji typing well… It would at least work for the translation review type for vocabulary.

3 Likes

The default Japanese “flick” keyboard for kana input is a kind of swipe input that is very effective at inputting Japanese, and I’ve become pretty proficient with that in a relatively short amount of time. I use it almost exclusively for my Wanikani and Bunpro reviews. I started fresh learning Japanese back in October of 2023, starting with learning kana and I think being forced to use a kana keyboard really helped. I know a lot of people say they speedrun through kana, but I feel like if I had spent ~1 week on it and then moved to exclusively using romaji for input I’d be worse off. :man_shrugging:

For English input (on Wanikani meanings, for example) then I just use my phone’s normal swipe keyboard for English.

2 Likes