I finally made it to level 60 after 4 years and 3 months and in that time a bunch of major life event happened.
I thought about waiting till I finish all of the lessons before writing something, but I’m just too excited to have my fingertips gripping the final ledge of this mountain climb that a spontaneous shout for glee is in order
Looking back on these stats, it’s interesting to think of what I was doing during the noticeably longer times it took to get through levels. Thought I might share, if only to get it off my chest haha.
The first (though not too spectacularly) long spell is Level 10, 11, 12. Around that time, I was visiting two friends in Italy and Germany for a month, and then coming back and getting in the groove of things again.
The next spell is Level 16, 17, 18. During these three levels, a Japanese language exchange friend I was talking with for the whole previous year (pretty much coincides with starting level 1), came to stay with me for 3 months, which was during these three levels. She is Japanese, but was living Australia at the time on a working holiday visa. So it was like a 3 month holiday from the work holiday visa haha. Thinking back, she had some balls going to ANOTHER foreign country to visit some dork that she had only video chatted and messaged. Granted, those video chats and messages were at that point happening daily
The next, and longest, spell is Level 25. As I reached this level, I arrived in Japan to live and work. So for about three months I was pretty much doing all the fun Japan stuff and getting settled into my new life. Around the time I finished this level, my language exchange friend who stayed with me for 3 months in the States the same year came to move in with me in my new town.
The next long spell is Level 27. We find out she is pregnant.
Level 32, 33, 34, we have just handed in our “we’re married” papers, and are preparing for the baby. I am also volunteering a lot for an art festival in our town. During the whole pregnancy I am nervous, anxious, and uncertain about everything, and this results is me being not at my best. Baby is born in during Level 34. That’s a special level (As I write this thinking back, I can’t think of a single more important day in my life than his birthday, even though at the time I was dead beat tired from staying up all night with my wife and her labor pains. Getting married is easy, but having a kid changed so much for me, both in terms of day to day activities, and my feelings about everything. Not that I noticed that right away.)
I can’t remember what happened in Level 38. Looking back at photos, it just looks like our small family fighting the (reportedly) worst winter in decades in our town, and putting up some plaster on our walls. I saw a wild monkey (in a part of Japan where monkey are very very rare) hah
Levels 41 through 45 take almost a year. I think it was just working, figuring out next path, and mostly figuring out how to be a dad and partner. Figuring out lots of stuff. (There was also figuring out kanji!! though only a moderate amount apparently) Maybe it was related to the mysterious number “42”…? Somewhere in there we took a trip back to the states for the first time to show off our kid to my parents! That was surreal.
Level 48, we visited my wife’s hometown, and in level 49, found out she was pregnant
So I decided that before this kid is born (due date late Sept), I want to be done with Wanikani, or at least reach level 60 and just be doing reviews now and then and spending more time studying other things, and of course, being a dad and not sneaking away to do more WK (I will someday atone for those sins…)
I’m particularly happy that my shortest level was as the last level. Having the app definitely helped that. I also got a little lazy with continuing to do lessons as I made a sprint for the finish…But now I can do them! hah
Anyway that’s my life in a nutshell for the past 4ish years. Thanks for reading
Short thoughts on WK:
I recommend Wanikani to anyone serious about learning Japanese, and you don’t need to go fast to have it give you a full effect. The mnemonics were amazing help for the first several levels. After a point it I was just able to just get the reading and meaning super quick. maybe other people have that. WK doesn’t teach vocab, it teaches you how to read kanji via words that use those kanji. Learning vocab is learning words in their context and their fuctional patterns. (This is from repeated experiences of saying a word I saw in WK and not being understood, but that was because I just didn’t know how to correctly use that word.) 10/10, thank you so much for this great app, Tofugu.
feels good to have that gold 60.
And thanks for the community. It’s always a pleasure procrastinating here from time to time
using in part the skills I learned from WK, my goals are:
Short term goals:
- Pass 7,6,5級 of the 日本語検定(Nihongo Kentei);
- Continue writing essays
Mid Term goals:
- Become a Japanese language teacher in an American high school
- Pass 4級 of the 日本語検定
- Read in the original 竹取物語 (Kaguya-hime)
- Pass 3級 and 準2級 of the 日本語検定
- Write 3 or 4 (if not more) lyrically fantastic songs in Japanese.