A question to the fast learners ~8 days per level

@Pkdragon Great stuff! :slightly_smiling_face: In my case, studying Japanese is without question my dominant activity aside work (with is based in a Japanese school, so I’m utilizing it to read documents, make lesson plans, communicate with coworkers, etc). My daily life typically consists of biking in the morning before work, working, coming home and either playing Poke’mon (in Japanese) while listening to Japanese radio, studying Japanese (whether it be writing drills, WaniKani, Kaniwani, other kanji, or grammar), and reading (translating Japanese books). So I definitely can’t be used as a valid comparison. xD

@Metamorphosis One thing I’d definitely recommend changing is your KaniWani usage. While it may feel like “cheating the SRS,” utilizing KaniWani from the apprentice stage may up your workload quite a bit but will help you tremendously with remembering the kanji. Identifying meaning/readings from kanji and remembering kanji (if you use IME) and readings from the meaning actually forms different pathways in your brain, resulting in a more complex, and therefore stronger, memory of the content. I personally don’t take KaniWani nearly as seriously as I do WaniKani, letting myself get as much wrong without stressing about it. The study intervals seem faster than WaniKani (someone correct me if I’m wrong), so leeches will get reviewed so much you’ll be too sick of them to forget. In addition, I find the synonyms very easy to remember due to mixing them up on KaniWani.

The only other recommendation I could think of would be to take small steps to “spice up” your study time. If you are consistent yet aren’t getting the results you want, often a change in approach rather than a change in the amount of studying will yield better results. I don’t use Anki or another flash-card type system because I don’t want to cheat the SRS, but I will most definitely study the kanji I’m learning in different ways, such as practicing writing, looking up vocabulary not on WaniKani, and researching the background behind a kanji to see if there’s a cool reason why it’s written the way it is. These tactics make the kanji less of something to memorize and more of something which which I can connect. Rather than remembering that 秋 has “Tree” and “Fire,” it’s neat to think about a forest with trees that have leaves so red it looks like they’re on fire. Don’t let yourself get down. Have fun with it. :grin:

Well, I know that this might not be true at all times, but IMO it kinda all comes down to experience. And I do mean that old (but gold) rule of “the more you do, the better you do”. You say that you are about to be studying japanese for a year. I do the levels in about 7d12h, but I have been studying japanese for about 4 years now, I didn’t use WK all of the time, I tried (and liked to some extent) Minna no Nihongo and Genki for grammar, Houhou and KW, duendecat, japanese101, japanese from zero, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

And in that time I learnt what work and what doesn’t work for me. I know that when learning a new radical, kanji or vocab, speaking out loud the meaning and reading while staring at it makes it stick to my brain for a little while. And if I know which radicals or kanjis make that up, I also speak aloud my own mnemonic for that item, so whenever it pops up, I can hear myself inside my head saying the phrase, meaning and reading.

Also, if there are similar kanjis, I would try to associate each with something that they resemble. Like, so far almost everything with the radical “tsunami” is associated with water, so when I see that radical, I already know it has something to do with it, which makes remembering the rest much easier.
For vocab I do the same. I don’t remember where I saw that one, but someone once explained that they differentiate glory (栄光/eikou) and honor (光栄/kouei) by thinking where does the light stands for in such situations. Like, the person is the 栄 and the light is 光, so if the light is coming from behind of you, as if you were above a mountain with the rising sun on your back (very anime-ish), that is honor. If the light is coming from the front, as if cast by Heaven itself, that is glory. (And by front and back, I mean from left to right, as if reading a sentence in english).

So, you asked how do we memorize such crazy symbols with ease? We don’t exactly do it with ease (at least, I know I don’t), but with much craziness and abstraction.
And as I said, (I know it is a somewhat silly advice, but) you do need to find out what works for you AND accept your own time and limitations.


So I didn’t realize doing things another way was an option until recently, so what I have been doing has been doing every new lesson right on the day that they appear, and finishing every review in my queue by bedtime every day. I have 139 apprentice items and 443 guru items right now. On the days of the week where I am not learning new lessons, I typically do about 250 reviews a day. The learning days are rough though, so don’t do that part my way. Maybe, just make sure to do all the kanji on the first day, and then like 20 vocab a day for lessons, and you should be fine that way I think. More manageable. Good luck.

It is my first time here, I hope to fullfil more levels in short time

Agreed! To add, some people (like me) only did WK and (nearly) ignored everything else… so while I did get to level 60 in around 15 months, my grammar and listening skills are still around N5/N4 level.


This. My consolation is that when I do have a solid kanji/vocab base it should make learning the grammar much easier.

OP - if I was still working in an open lab rather than a semi-private office it’d be much more difficult to go full speed. Same if I was in a relationship/family. Everyone has their own circumstances so don’t compare too much - the important thing is to stay the path. :slight_smile:


I feel like I am moving quickly, but somehow level three took me NINE. FREAKING. DAYS. I take about 5 lessons at a time, 1-3 times a day usually except the day my new radicals come (first day) and the day I guru those radicals and get new kanji.

Levels 1 and 2 are significantly sped up. Level 3 is the first level with the standard wanikani speed. What you experienced was normal.


Two days seems to be the usual delay I get if I either have trouble with a level or have a busy week where I can’t focus on WK. If both occur, I’m typically delayed about 4 days. As a result, my level history is a combination of mainly 6-7 day completions, some 9 day levels, and a few 11 day levels.

This will probably be my longest level, taking a serious break for the holidays and basically only doing reviews, then it’s back to the grind. Bring down that average a little, hopefully.

oh wow, a lot of people here have really intense and structured methods!

I level up about every 8 days but I’m pretty casual about my routine. I always do all the reviews I get in the morning before work and during the day if i have more than 20 ill try and do them. Then I finish any reviews I have in the evening.

As for lessons I just do them if I find time in the day when I feel receptive to learning and I dont have any reviews. I’ll do as many as I feel I can manage which can be anywhere from 5 to 50. If I go a full day or 2 without doing any lessons I will force myself to do 1 or 2 batches even though I know Ill get them wrong a bunch of times.

When I level up I get pretty excited about new kanji to learn so I have the focus to get through quite a few lessons.

Because of the random nature of when and how much I do lessons I get a pretty random workload but I personally like that. Trying to be perfect and structured would distract me from the task too much.

The only thing I really try to manage is my apprentice items, I try to keep them below 130. When I got above that I found the reviews could get overwhelming. Too few and it gets a little boring though.

I wasn’t really tracking my speed but the graph shows its still just every 8 days. I have quite a load of lessons to get through from last level still though so it might slow down a bit

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I beleive we have the same process @Pluckabee.

I’m only level 7, but I’ve been taking about 7.5 days to level up pretty consistently so far.

In earlier levels I always had between 100 and 150 items in apprentice, but more recently rarely go above 100. I think this change has mostly been because of changing how I approach lessons, and more recently how I approach mistakes. I’d actually like more reviews (they’re fun!) but figure I’ll regret these words when I start getting enlightenment and burn reviews ^^’

I initially would just go through the lessons, immediately take the quiz, and move on with my day. When I got stuff wrong in reviews I just took the attitude that leaving it up to the SRS would eventually force those items into my memory. I then read lots of threads about people’s approaches to WaniKani and the dangers of letting leeches build up!

I now take more time over lessons - before taking the quiz I cycle through the items, covering the English up with my hand saying the translation and reading out loud, and possibly thinking through the mnemonic if I think I’ll need it to help me remember. I do that until I feel reasonably comfortable, and then I do the quiz.

After finishing a whole session (usually 18ish items) I go through the items on the summary page and make sure I still remember the meanings and readings (out loud again) for the whole lot together before finishing. I find the small batches of lessons mean you can end up just memorizing an ordered set of sounds so looking over them all together in a shuffled fashion is really helpful.

After a review session, I look through my mistakes on the summary page to check which were actual mistakes and which were just me being an idiot. For the actual mistakes, I revisit the item, go through the mnemonic if I’ve forgotten it, make up a new one if I think I need it, bring up the similar item I’m confusing it with to nail down the differences… whatever I think will help. My overall accuracy is high enough that this really doesn’t take as long as it sounds, especially as there are a high number of ‘I was being an idiot’ mistakes :smiley: but I think it really helps to keep on top of things.

I space my lessons out, but only into batches of radicals, kanji, vocab etc. Sorry for the long spiel, especially as I’m a super low level and don’t really know what I’m talking about, but I thought it might help somebody… :slight_smile:

I’ll probably slow down a bit when my Japanese course finishes in March (I found WaniKani because I was in dire straits kanji-wise), but for now I find this pace very comfortable.

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