Am I foolish for wanting to "complete" WK in two years?

For context:
I started with WaniKani around two months ago, aka during summer vacation, because I was bored and felt like learning japanese would be something interesting and special. I never thought much about how long WK would take me, as I assumed around a year or two would be plenty of time.
But I just read another thread and ppl there shared stories on how they didn’t even know anymore when they started, only that they restarted multiple times. I still want to keep learning even if I’m off by a year or so in my planning, but would like to ask now before I end up spending five years on something that started as not more than a side project.
Thanks for any answers in advance!
(Oh, also, this is my first post here, so sorry if I come off a wee bit awkward or ask any stupid questions).

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Well there’s 2074 kanji and 6501 vocab to learn here, which works out to about 3 kanji and 10 vocab per day over two years.
If that seems doable for you then no not foolish at all!

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What exactly do you mean with “3 kanji and 10 vocab per day”? Would that be the amount I’d have to complete or unlock on average, or…?

That would be the number of lessons you’d do, then also reviews on top of that. For reference, I’m going at about that pace and I’m getting100ish reviews a day.

after several years away from studying (i originally joined in 2013) i reset back in july of 2021 and just a few weeks ago unlocked everything at level 60. I have tons of free time and some of my reviews got very heavy (like upwards of 2-300 reviews a day in the busier levels) so that should be a gauge if you went full tilt like me and did all lessons as soon as they unlocked.


I try doing my lessons as fast as possible, but have found ~20 - ~ 30 new things per day to work out pretty well so far, because any more and I’d get overwhelmed by the amount of new things in my reviews.
Also, I still have school eight hours a day, so that is going to slow me down quite alot in times where I don’t currently have vacation :confused:

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it was fine for my situation. with my health issues, I have a lot of free time to focus on studying. definitely do not recommend going all out on lessons like me if you have other responsibilities lol. but if i can do it in just barely over a year, 2 years should be easily doable at a more relaxed pace.

Not foolish at all, the only reason people reset is if they mess up their learning, like going on huge vacations without turning on vacation mode, or skipping too much lessons, or maybe just cheating and marking things as right.

2 years as a school student should be no issue. As for me, I’m on track to finishing in about 1 year and 8 months (Planning on lvl 60 this december). I have never reset, but near the beginning I was inconsistent and that’s what slowed me down. From level 25 onwards I consistently went max speed, though I wouldn’t recommend it, a school student probably could not maintain that, it means sacrificing sleep and overwhelming yourself, so please be careful not to go too fast or else you might find yourself resetting


On that “vacation mode”…
How? How do I turn that on? I’m happy to have heard about it now as I’m off to my first vacation since about three years in a bit over a week.

I did it in two years. I had a pretty messy start, but after around four months I figured out the system. 2 years is actually not that difficult to accomplish, but you need to dedicate a small portion of time to it each day and never miss a day. If you build a habit it will be almost effortless.

You only need 14 days per level to accomplish it, which is far from the 7 days the speed runners do. With just 15 lessons a day it is pretty manageable. I did reviews around 3 times a day: One during lunch break, one right after work and one before going to bed. I never touched vacation mode before reaching level 60, since then I’ve only done it for a few days in the summer each year. I just didn’t find that Wanikani takes up that much of my time. I also happen to be bored frequently so maybe that has something to do with it.


Click on your profile while on the dashboard, then under settings, click account. Scroll down and you’ll see vacation mode. It freezes SRS and prevents buildup.

Though keep in mind, when you come back since you’d have spent some time from Japanese, you’ll inevitably have forgotten some stuff.

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It’s certainly doable, but it takes mental stamina. It’s easy to stay the course for days and weeks, it’s hard to do it for months and years. In the beginning I was more or less on that pace, I cleared 30 levels in my first year, but this year I fell behind during a busy stretch and just never made a comeback. Abusing vacation mode has kept my account on life support. I’ve pretty much dug myself out of the hole I was in, and I drop in to do reviews in bursts, but I haven’t found the motivation to continue onwards with more lessons yet. I finish my 150 or so daily reviews that accrue passively, and by then I’m exhausted with it.

Mine may sound like a pretty inauspicious anecdote, but I can’t stress enough the wonders just clearing to level 30 did for my ability. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from the service. I’ve never been a dedicated learner, but I’ve dabbled in Japanese ever since high school, and that was a frighteningly long time ago. Before discovering WaniKani, I never imagined I would be as versed in kanji as I am now. It’s a very cool feeling, though I’m kind of afraid of losing it now.

That being said, what else are you doing to learn Japanese? In my opinion there’s no better tool for learning kanji than WaniKani, but it’s a supplement. You can’t actually learn the language just by doing this.


My goal is actually just to reach level 30. At that stage I will consider my journey to be ‘complete’ as far as achieving what I set out to do with wanikani.

If I want to go beyond there great, but will I ever get to 60? Maybe one day, maybe not. No pressure.

It’s certainly doable, since plenty of users have before you. The just over a year is not a lie, but most people don’t rush the process but let real life considerations take president, while WK takes the back-seat. In this scenario, it’s best to stick to a set number of lessons per day and stretch out the process. Get life-time and so on.

It really depends on how much Japanese you know before starting WK. That’s the key aspect of how fast you can finish, while still making it feasible.

If you just started learning Japanese, it’s really not. It’s just too much new information to process at once. This could lead to burnout. But, if you already have several years of learning Japanese, either taking courses or lessons or just studying on your own, going fast through the levels is not as big a deal. You might already know a lot of the vocab and their readings, or know kanji from elsewhere. That would vastly decrease the sense of being overwhelmed by WK, even at a fast pace of 6-7 days/level.

At the end of the day, choose a pace that suits your study goals and situation. Going fast is all good until your feel like you can’t handle the review load anymore. But, if you’re prepared for having between 200-300+ reviews in the upper levels and think you have the time, then it’s fine really. It’s all up to you.

Good luck with your studies and ganbatte!


It’s not always foolish to want something. It is, however, foolish to expect something. I think its totally reasonable to finish in two years, but wanting to be done with it in 2 years, I get a different idea in my head about your goals. I think in language learning you kind have to accept the pace of whatever it is your doing. We would all love to be the “How I passed the N1 in 3 weeks” and be legit about it, but in reality we all work at different paces, have different goals, etc.

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I don’t think wanting to complete WK is two years at all. If you plan it out and keep up the pace I don’t see why not.

For me I am going really slow so I know it will be more than two years for me, but my goal is making sure it gets to my long term memory while using other resources besides WK.

It means lessons, as a rough estimate, that works out on average about… 60-100 reviews per day? Depending how quickly you retain the content

Then you must have some crazy high accuracy. I’m at like 10ish lessons per day and 250 daily reviews…

Set a goal, and make a plan. Changing the plan is fine too, just make consistent DAILY progress. No days off, ever!

you’ll need to have very good discipline to be able to finish wk in 2 years. If you want to maintain a pace of less than 10 days per level, you’ll be tackling about 250 ish reviews everyday in your lv 20s and 30s. you’ll still spend over 2000 hours regardless of if you do it in 2 years or 6.

I prefer learning a language organically, that is learn grammar and read novels/manga while learning kanji and take jlpt exams. Rather than just rushing towards level 60, try to clear jlpt levels and use wk as the kanji and vocab textbook. At the end of the day, clearing JLPT N2 or N1 and being able to speak and read japanese is more meaningful than having lv 60 in WK. So think about your goals and decide accordingly