A (snail's) journey of 1621 days (or even 30 years) to Level 60

First of all, sorry for my silence so far, this is my first post, but I enjoyed reading posts now and then.
Here my stats (level 60 finished):

And here’s my story:

About 30 years ago I met my wife, a Japanese woman from Osaka, and this started my interest for Japan and Japanese language (which had been basically nonexistent before). In fact I started learning kanjis right after our marriage in 1991, however without a specific goal, as I didn’t need to read kanjis, I just liked them. Most of you may not be able to imagine a world without internet - we used to live in such a world -quite happily. And so I started to learn kanji by handwriting, one by one, and I enjoyed it. The problem began when the number of learnt kanjis exceeded about 200. It became impossible to repeat them frequently enough to not forget them. To cut a long story short, I eventually gave up, but never really lost interest. After a loooong time, meanwhile living in Germany, our son spent a year at Tohoku University in Sendai when he discovered WaniKani and sent me the link. I knew immediately that this was a great chance for me to finish my old kanji project and bought a lifetime subscription.

And now I got there, 30 years later, 1621 days of them with WK. Why it took me so long? Three reasons: i) as a full-time researcher I just don’t have enough time and brains every day; ii) I’m 65 now and probably one of the oldest level 60 reachers (?), and iii) I like a glass of whine or two in the evening, and this is certainly not very helpful for memorizing kanjis and doing reviews.

As a real slow-goer I probably shouldn’t give much advice, except may be for those aged over 50 and worried about whether their old brains can do it at all … at least I proved that!

Thanks a lot to the WK team for a great tool and to everyone who contributed useful scripts and other things or comments.


Amazing! Congrats and thanks for sharing. Care to share pictures of your handwritten kanji?


Well done! Do you speak Japanese with your wife or children?
And out of curiosity, what is your research focused on?


Wow what a beautiful kanji journey!


Nice!!! It was slow but at least you did it hahaha


This is great, congratulations on reviving your kanji learning 30 years later and making it to level 60! :partying_face::clinking_glasses:


What a great achievement, you can be so proud of yourself!! :hibiscus:

Do you also study japanese grammar etc. or even speak japanese with your family?


Wow, I’d never be able to do that without a scheduled routine - I don’t have enough will power for that.
You have quite a will :slight_smile:
** pays respect **

Beautiful story!


Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story!

Congratulations! As a fellow snail-paced user, your achievement gives me hope. Thanks for sharing your story.


Congratulations :grinning: :cake: :crabigator:


Congratulations! What an amazing story of stubbornness!
Even when a goal seems so distant, we may reach it eventually if we take it step by step, and this is the kind of inspiration we need!


I’ve found similar results after having a scotch or two before my evening reviews! Imagine that! :joy:


Congratulations!! :confetti_ball: :confetti_ball: :partying_face: :tada: :tada:

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Congratulations! Very impressed with you for doing this and making it to level 60.
It’s all about the journey right? Not about winning races or doing it in 310 days.
Keep enjoying life and wine and please send ne some of your amazing spirit
Well done and congratulations again


Congratulations! This is not a banal story. I am glad to read it.


What an inspiration for us other older people. I’m 70 and also working slowly, but I love it. I hope to get to level 60 some day!


I kept them for a long time, but I guess I got rid of them when we moved to a new apartment some years ago. Here’s the only fragment I found:


Oof. I definitely feel you on the glass of wine or two in the evening not being conducive to reviews. Alcohol has been the bane of my language study pretty much from the start. I’ve had to pretty much cut it out entirely, though that’s not a choice everyone’s going to be willing to make.

Problem is, with me personally, if I have alcohol in the house, I’m going to drink it in the evening. And if I do, I’m going to end up with 3 or so hours that I can’t really do anything productive.

Congrats on reaching level 60!


Living in Germany, we usually speak German and my Japanese is not really good, although I spent quite some time on learning. But there’s a quite interesting anecdote that comes to my mind:
When our son started to speak (age between 1 and 2 years) my wife very consequently spoke only in Japanese to him. I thought that’s a great chance for me to learn it with him. But each time I participated in a conversation in Japanese, he strictly refused to talk to me. Apparently he had realized that there are two languages, mothers tongue and fathers tongue. Obviously he could distinguish them and wanted to keep them separate. The result was that he speaks Japanese now very well and I don’t!
We are both biochemists and do research about drug metabolism. Naturally, English was our first common language. Thanks for your interest!