Feedback Request: Kanji Answer

We are considering adjusting all sentences to accept kanji input as well as hiragana. The scope of the change means it would take a considerable amount of time so we want to make sure it is indeed something everyone things would be valuable.

To that end, we are gathering feedback first before moving forward.


Would you prefer to have the option to type into the answer field with a Japanese IME and use kanji? (non Japanese IME conversion and pure hiragana answers would still be accepted)

  • Yes! 100% this!
  • It would be nice to have.
  • No preference
  • Kanji?? What’s that?

0 voters

Sorry for the biased poll. If you don’t think kanji input should be accepted please let us know through the second poll

  • I don’t think it should accept Kanji.
  • I would prefer hiragana input with kanji in the answer field after submitting.
  • Kanji? What’s that??

0 voters

If you could let us know any extra thoughts you have about this, we would greatly appreciate it! Thanks :bowing_man:

5 Likes

I would really like this. If you implement it, could I additionally request keyboard controls for direct kana input? For reasons not really relevant here I strongly prefer using kana input over romaji input in my IME, but all the shortcuts (e.g. pressing ‘a’ to show answer) don’t work with that.

4 Likes

As argued in another thread (Kanji Input Support - #9 by nekoyama), this might actually be a bad thing. Or at least, it would be wise to make sure the pitfalls pointed at in this thread are well addressed. Do you have any plans/idea about this issue?

8 Likes

I pretty much avoid using the ime when I can so it’s a bit of a nice to have. But wouldn’t the prediction candidates kind of make it easier? I guess my real question is, why is this a concern?

In my case, I would appreciate seeing the kanji show up in some correct answers during reviews. Like, for 以上 all of the example sentences show kanji but when answering them the response stays as hiragana. It would be nice if it accepted kana input, but would correct itself to kanji in some instances.

Like this.

Top is current behavior, bottom is what I’d like to see when kanji use is normal for that point.

As it is, I don’t really see kanji at all during reviews and it causes a bit of a disconnect when I run into a grammar point in the wild that uses it.

6 Likes

I kind of agree with ccookf. The auto-prediction text might be a clue as to the right answer, which is a detriment to the learning process.

I think the hiragrana-only input is fine and probably preferable. the point is to learn the pronunciation, and kanji will just come later.

On another note, your poll might become slightly skewed since you don’t have a pure “this is not a good idea” answer. If you add that, you might get a more balanced response from users.

9 Likes

Good point. I voted “Kanji?? What’s that?” because there was no alternative to say “No, bad idea”.

And welcome on the forum @Merocor !

4 Likes

Good point! I can’t edit it now though :man_facepalming:

5 Likes

Yeah I’m moreso in the camp where I’d be fine with the answer defaulting to its kanji state (if available), with the recent great improvements the site has made I feel like things of those nature should get the priority at this time. Interesting idea though nonetheless!

5 Likes

Agreed. When I text friends, I usually use kana input and there’s definitely times where I rely on auto-correct to tell me the right kanji.

I think it would be fine to show the kanji after you’ve answered – you could show it when you scroll through alternate answers while pressing space bar.

4 Likes

@Merocor @ccookf @MZa @Adarain @BORN2PEEPEE @FredKore

Sorry for the biased poll. I have added a second one to the original post.

As always we really appreciate the feedback and discussion. It helps give us a better idea on how optimally implement (or abandon) any given idea.

5 Likes

No worries man! I only recognized it cause I took a statistics and research couse this past term. I think you’ll get a better idea of what the users think with those additional responses.

Love the website still. On a near 30 day streak so far.

2 Likes

Yes, kanji really should be accepted. Especially for N2 and up.

2 Likes

Welcome to the streak club! Enjoy your stay, see you at 365 for your fancy new badge :wink:

2 Likes

100% what ccookf said. I know the kanji from Wanikani, I know what it means, but I don’t make the association because I keep seeing the grammar point in hiragana. Plus there are those “usually written in kana” deals where the kanji isn’t used, so it would be super helpful to be able to see in reviews what the grammar point or entire sentence is supposed to look like kanji-wise once you’ve gotten it correct.

6 Likes

I still think kanji input is a bad idea. Showing the kanji after enter is pressed is fine, but kanji input via a typical Japanese IME actively sabotages the learning process.

For example there’s a grammar point for の下で “under”. If kanji input is accepted, we can type at least した, しも, or もと to write the correct kanji. If bunpro couldn’t verify that we correctly type もと, in my mind it would be a failure as a learning tool. It would reinforce the wrong answer instead of correcting us.

It happens at lower levels too, e.g. there’s an N5 grammar point for 好き. Because this is often read ずき I can type that too to get my phone to suggest 好き. But in the test questions it’s never read ずき and bunpro should not accept and reinforce it.

Accepting kanji is like accepting fuzzy answers or answers with typos. It’s like manually marking answers as good because in one’s mind the answer was “close enough”. It breaks the SRS.

I’ve previously also pointed out that kanji suggestions when using a Japanese input method can give away mistakes too without giving bunpro a chance to score accordingly; for example when we know the kanji but it’s not showing up in the suggestions for some reason, we can infer we made a mistake. IMHO this is more of a self-discipline thing but it’s something to be aware of.

12 Likes

As long as you give the option to continue typing in Hiragana I don’t really mind, as others said, IME autocomplete might hint you the answer, but to each their own, with their quest for Japanese enlightenment.

On the other hand, if the addition of this feature is gonna delay other cool features / content in the super secret to-do list, then I’d say “Don’t”

3 Likes

As others have stated, it would allow a bit too much fuzziness in my eyes to still make the SRS work correctly in reinforcing the right grammar. If this didn’t take considerable amount of re-working I wouldn’t really mind, as each person is free to learn / use it in the way they want, but I’d rather see some other suggestions / features implemented instead of this. (I do however agree with the showing of Kanji in the answer field after submitting!)

5 Likes

One thing I will note is that a few months ago I failed to recognize the た方がいい grammar point since I always see it as たほうがいい on bunpro. I think the “I would prefer hiragana input with kanji in the answer field after submitting.” option would be good as it lets people who do not read the sentences also have a chance to see it with kanji.

An obvious solution right now is to just read the example sentences, but personally I usually avoid the example sentences since they spoil the SRS for me and for simple grammar points I don’t usually go back very often to look over them.

4 Likes

Maybe you could roll out a little experimental Kanji acceptance on some higher tier questions to let people try it out and see if it’s a good or a bad?

2 Likes

I think showing the answer in Kanji (in the cases where that is the common way to spell it) would be good regardless of whether you implement Kanji input.

4 Likes