User Guide

  • How do I delete decks?
    Go to the deck chooser and swipe your finger from right to left over the deck name.
  • No audio during study
    Got to 'Settings' and then 'Style' to enable audio.
  • No audio for kanji
    The audio covers the JLPT vocabulary (8000+ words) but not the JLPT kanji. Japanese words only have one reading (usually) so they have a corresponding audio. Kanji nearly always has more than one reading so having a corresponding audio is not feasible.
  • About the audio
    Real audio samples for around 8200 words are included in the app giving complete coverage of the JLPT N1-N5 vocabulary sets. Audio is spoken by a native speaker with standard Japanese intonation (beware of apps that rely on the built in synthesised voice for audio - the intonation is a little strange). When swiping cards left and right or while studying, this audio can automatically play (switchable in settings).
  • Reviews lost in space
    There seems to be the (very logical) belief among users of the App Store that developers see reviews they leave. This explains why reviews seem to reach out to developers with requests such as ‘I would LOVE it if he added this / fixed this / changed this’.

    There are 100+ App Stores each with their own review section. On a wet Saturday afternoon, I COULD spend time checking each stores’ reviews (for each of my apps) but I prefer coding. There isn’t a way to pool reviews into one source (I’m open to being proved wrong here) with the result being that I rarely read reviews anymore even though I’d like to. There are 3rd party services out there that can scoop the reviews up for me but I’m not so happy about turning off Apple’s Two-step verification, which is required for them to access my account.

    So, I’m left here on the dark side of the moon, in the dark, relying on the users out there who email me directly while knowing there are reviews out there relaying to other users that they’d like a certain feature added.

    Moral of the story: Serious developers love emails.
  • Japanese Menus!
    It’s not the app, it’s your device’s settings that need a tweak. Go to the settings app in your iPhone/iPad. Go to General -> Language & Region. Move 'English' to the top of the list in 'Preferred language order' to restore the menus to English.
  • I deleted a built in deck by accident, how do I get it back?
    Create a new deck with exactly the same name then go to settings and 'Restore To Original'.
  • Can I break a deck into chunks to make things easier?
    The study algorithm will progressively work it's way through the deck. The more you answer correctly, the more it will move forward but if you're finding things difficult, the app will stop introducing new stickies and instead spend time on the problem stickies by continually looping through them until you make some progress. So, while the deck cannot be broken up into bite size chunks by the user (for example if you'd like to study x number of stickies everyday) you can rely on the algorithm to wisely progress through the deck for you.
  • How do I delete stickies?
    Go to list view and swipe your finger from right to left over the sticky.
  • Badge not showing on the app icon!
    If you have set the badge to show study progress, etc, in the app settings and it still doesn’t show it could either be due to having a study progress of 0% or that notifications have been disabled on your device. You can re-enable notifications in your device’s settings: settings -> notifications -> StickyStudy -> ‘Allow notifications’.
  • Is Japanese very hard to learn?
    It depends how much you want it. You don’t need to be a language genius but you do need to be ridiculously motivated to push past the crazy kanji barrier. If you can stay motivated, you’re half way there.

    The other half is choosing your materials. Find something you like doing in Japanese (Manga, TV, Aikido, newspapers, etc) and avoid mind-numbing textbooks like the plague. Apply for the JLPT exam to give you something to aim for and help you plan your attack. If you like studying radicals and their history, go for it, otherwise, find another angle to get those kanji in your head - there are many ways to arrive at the same point. Avoid learning too much polite Japanese as you'll be lost in a real world conversation.

    I was the annoying foreigner, dictionary in hand, who used to forcefully practice his Japanese at every single opportunity. I even used to pretend I was French to avoid speaking English (embarrassing and shameful, but it worked). Getting started was the most difficult part but once the ball is rolling and you build up some basic conversational skills, just speaking becomes studying.

    I didn’t like studing radicals, keigo, sonkeigo.. I just wanted to speak. I was often accused of speaking like a primary school kid because of my overly casual style. Even now, my keigo is still wonky but that’s fine by me.

    After a couple of years I bought all 250 episodes of ‘Friends’ on Ebay with the intention of watching them all (again) in Japanese. They’d been on TV forever in the UK so the stories were already indelibly engrained on my brain. The first month of so of daily listening was gobbledegook. 4 years later after listening/watching to them on the train, before bed, while jogging, I had pretty much memorised all 80 hours. In the meantime my wife found herself hooked on watching them, too, and seemed to achieve the same results in English. Best purchase ever.
  • What's the JLPT exam like?
    I studied under my own steam for many years and started with N2 (after about 6 years in Japan) which was very similar to the everyday Japanese I had already been using so I found it very doable. If you have N2 (and maybe N3) you'll be fine in most Japanese situations. As for N1, I personally found it quite a jump. Not so much the kanji or grammar but the reading articles with their tricky questions.. If you want N1, you need to be reading Japanese regularly. Not necessarily study materials, just reading. Everything else is secondary and will fall into place once you have this habit. Avoid my initial mistake of learning kanji, vocab and grammar on their own without seeing them in their normal context (i.e. reading).
  • What makes StickyStudy different to other SRS apps?
    I'm a study junkie. Over the years I've tried, enjoyed and achieved varying success using most of the big name flashcard apps out there but there was always one negative that would eventually drive me to create my own solution: they didn't have a goal I could set in the future that I could work towards. I needed this goal so I would know when to move on to the next stage, whatever I decided that may be. Closure, if you like.

    SRS is based on the premise of an indefinite 'learn and review' cycle (and very effective it is too). You keep going until you feel you've got the content mastered. But, there are times where it can be more efficient to just stop and shift your study focus onto material that uses this vocabulary in context to solidify the 1st stage of learning instead of the continued reviewing.

    For me, this endless reviewing weakened my motivation and, more worryingly, became an unnecessary, daily burden that was (ironically) slowing down my overall progress. Having a goal not only pushed me to study harder but gave me a sense of achievement while at the same time maintaining the confidence that I was using an established and well proven study algorithm.
  • Credits
    Jim Breen’s superior contribution to the Japanese learning community has been essential in guiding the evolution of this app. Over time, other sources have been used to expand and develop the databases but Jim's springboard was a game changer for me and other kanji nuts.

    Ulrich Apel (kanji animations) has made an incredible contribution to the kanji community. Thank you so much. (KanjiVG is copyright Ulrich Apel and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Aline 3.0 licence.)

    I'm also very grateful for the user support helping me iron out the creases (bugs) over the years. I’ve genuinely been amazed how helpful users have been.

    And, not forgetting, a big thanks to Mrs. StickyStudy for honing the decks over the years and for being made to say 8200 Japanese words into a microphone in a cold windowless room with meagre rations and a single lightbulb for heat and light.