2 Years Late - My Journey AFTER lvl60

Hello Fellow WaniKani Learners
(insert “Hello fellow kids” meme here)

Since this is became longer than anticipated, there is a short TL:DR on the bottom.

As is tradition, I am writing to commemorate me reaching level 60.
Or so I would like to say, but I already reached it two years ago… and still this is the first time I am writing about it. I always wanted to write, but then put it of again, due to work, or hobbies, or… well any other excuse really. I am a lazy person at heart :sloth:

Anyway, to tell you a bit about my story:
I started WaniKani when I had just startet to work, and therefore make money - money so I could afford to pay for this helpful site and not think about it too much. This was in Autumn 2019 and I quickly knew, I would be in for the long haul. So I bought the lifetime sub in December that year. My goal was clear: get to learn as much vocabulary (and Kanji) as possible and then visit Japan to try and see how far I would get.
I had already done a few courses in University and had the Genki I + II books, so I did know some Grammar - which I also revised during that time to get myself up to speed.

The target date: Mai 2020, when I had booked my trip to Japan. Or so I thought.
Little did I know at the time, that Covid would have such a big impact on travel.
So of course I had to cancel my trip and put these plans on Ice - but that meant I could pursue Kanji and Vocabulary from WaniKani even further and be ready, when I would eventuallybe able to visit Japan.

Fast Forward to 2021 November: I managed to reach level 60 and knew, I should write about it on the Forums. But it was also an extremely busy time at my work, since we just had started working on projects again, including visiting the facilities of our customers, so I put it off due to that. Also, there where still so many things to burn.

Fast forward again to today:
According to WaniKani I have been on this level for 714 days exactly, so just under two years. What have I achieved in this time? Well, I burned 8989 items so far. I have 36 Kanji remaining, though part of them have been introduced newly since then. And the other thing: I have been to Japan. twice. both times 4 weeks each. And it was amazing.

Funnily, I found that you can get by in most areas just fine with English (at least, unless you go out of the cities and into the inaka). However, I also found out, how surprised, happy and friendly the Japanese can get, once they realize you made an effort to learn their language.
I have been invited to dinner twice, I met up with a Language exchange partner I connected to on “Hello Talk” and I have been able to make some minor small talks, even jokes, in Japanese - much to the surprise and delight of both the people I met and myself.

Looking back, getting this huge pool of Vocabulary was an immense help in understanding and learning everything else - especially Grammar, which suddenly made much more sense, when you have something to apply it to.
It is still my weakest part, compared to Kanji and Vocab, but I realized you can say a lot, when you have the vocab, even if your grammar is very basic.

But now that I visited Japan twice, I needed a new goal - something that I could look forward to. And something I always wanted to try and do, is live & work there. Not as in “forever”, but as in “I want to try and see if this suits me”.
In the past, I had been to New Zealand, all blue-eyed thinking “I am going to the best country in the world, cause this is middle earth!”. I soon learned, that every country has its issues, and New Zealand was no exception.
But because of that, I approached Japan with more open eyes and ears. I know there are many issues that you cannot see on the surface. I know that travelling the country as a toursit and actually living/working there are two entirely different things. But I still want to try it out.
Not immigrate, but maybe spend a year or two and then see, where I take things from there.

And to do that, I will need to revise many of the Kanji and Vocabulary I burned again.
I will need to further learn other Kanji and Vocabulary, because Japanese, too, has more than the ~7000 Vocabulary Words and ~2000 Kanji or so that I have learned so far.
And I will have to revise and improve my grammar.
(not to mention reading and listening comprehension :see_no_evil: )

I hope I will manage to push myself out of the cozy zone, and to approach each of these tasks seriously, one at a time, step by step - so as to not overload myself and fall back into lazyness again. To that end, I will also have to create additional decks, (in Anki?) since unfortunately, WaniKani does not let you add cards yourself. Yet. (In the future maybe? no? yes? I am still hoping, since I am lazy :innocent: )

And I do want to continue visiting the forums more often, as I did in the past.
On that note:
久しぶり でした ね。
そして 改めて よろしく お願いします! :bowing_man:

And since that became waaay longer than I anticipated:
Here’s a TL:DR for all those who are lazy like me :grin:

I got to level 60 two years ago, went to Japan twice after that, it was great.
I managed to speak and understand quite some Japanese.
Now as a next step, I want to try and live there for a year or two.
Therefore, I will continue with new vocab, Kanji, practice grammar and reading/listening.
And I will come back to the forums more often. hopefully^^

I wish all of you a beautiful Autumn Time (the best Season of the year) and I hope your studies prove fruitfull to you.
Yours sincerely,
the_whookie

32 Likes

A belated congratulations!! :cake:
It is great that you were able to continue improving and utilizing different resources despite reaching level 60, and it sounds like those two trips you had were absolutely amazing if you now want to try staying there for a year. I wish you the best of luck in your continued studies and future endeavors in Japan! :smile:

Do you ever planned on taking JLPT sometime?
Especially N1 since it seems that wanikani have only around 80% of the Kanjis if referred to the wkstats.

I started using wanikani in 2020 yet still haven’t completed it, keep doing it on and off, resetting it again and again. Currently took a break from work to fully focus on studying Japanese to increase my skillset. I noticed I barely have enough to survive in this industry so having a 3rd language would help immensely in my line of work. Aiming to complete wanikani within August next year while also taking the JLPT N2 in December.

Definitely hard agree on having large library of vocabulary and kanji you can access in your brain without looking it up make it easier to study grammar. I mean if you look back during our time during childhood we always started learning language by slowly taking in vocabs from people surrounding us. Not grammar lol
Which is why I changed my approach on studying Japanese by memorizing vocabs and kanjis first and foremost, while grammar second.

Also, congrats for the completion!

1 Like

Thanks!
To be fair, I have been interested in Japan for quite some time before those trips, so it was my main goal at that point. And it didn’t disappoint, even though I had to wait longer due to that darn Covid :see_no_evil:

I am still on my first steps to improving my Japanese (or more accurately, to get back on track with improving it) so for now most of those are just empty words I must admit :sweat_smile:
But I really DO want to follow up on them and keep those promises.

Wanna i is amazing in that it is great for lazy people like me - its set up already completely, and the only thing you need to do is work your way through it.
I do wish I could just add new vocabulary there myself, but I can understand there might be some limitations to this engine.
So I will have to see, how I can (lazily​:grin:) improve myself on another app where I can add my own vocabulary and Kanji :thinking:

2 Likes

I did indeed take the JLPT in the past, though it was only N5, which I managed to pass, and two years later the N4, which I did not pass at the time.

I am currently looking at taking the N2 (or N3, if that proves too difficult) next summer, but I am a bit scared ofthe reading and listening comprehension.
It is true that I k ow lots of Kanji and Vocab, but I forgot some along the way too. And in the end you also need grammar to some degree, if you want to pass, so I will have to check these coming weeks, if the N2 is something that is achievable next summer and what I need to do for it :thinking:

I have also been looking at the “Kanken”, which focuses more on writing, reading and understanding Kanji. That one has a lot more levels, but again, while I can usually look at a kanji and know the order of the strokes, it is something different when you are asked to write them based on the meaning or reading only :sweat_smile:

I have to also admit, that while it is definitely not perfect, I did learn a lot from watching Anime.
True, real Japanese people don’t speak like that, but taking out minor phrases, remembering interesting words, and most of all, recognizing words that I learned prior on WaniKani has been a beneficial. Although I cannot say to what degree^^

I wish you all the best for your plans and maybe we’ll see each other again while working towards that JLPT N2 level :wink::+1:t2:

1 Like

Hey the_whookie!

Congratulations on making it to level 60! :partying_face: Good luck on all of your future Japanese language learning endeavors!

You made it to level 60, so I don’t know if you’re that lazy!! :slightly_smiling_face:

Also, dropping this here since you mentioned it, and because it’s possibly my favorite meme of all time:

giphy

Happy Autumn! :leaves: :fallen_leaf:

-Nick at WK

1 Like

Hey Nick!
Thanks for dropping that meme, I really like that one too :smiley:

By “lazy” I actually mean that Wanikani gives you stories or “mnemonics” to memorize the meaings and readings, which I’d have to do all by myself with Anki Cards for example.
And all the vocab and Kanji cards are already in a format, which forces you to both get the reading as well as meaning right → I understand you can do that at Anki too (I am looking into setting up a deck for new vocab with Anki soon). And I have taken a look into that article on Tofugu how to do it actually, but at the moment it feels like too much work :stuck_out_tongue:

Therefore, WaniKani was and is the perfect system for me to learn new words and Kanji, because it let’s me be lazy :wink:

Thanks! I wish you a beautiful autmn time too!
Just in time with the new 紅葉 vocabulary as well :slight_smile:

1 Like

Oh, yea, let WaniKani do the work for you, at least in the first part of your journey. :slightly_smiling_face: Good luck making your own Anki deck, you’ll really be able to target what you want to learn and customize it to your interests. I will admit, it is a ton of work though! :sweat_smile: But you’re ready, I can tell!!

It’s the best time of year, especially seeing the 紅葉! :maple_leaf: :fallen_leaf:

-Nick at WK

1 Like