Am I taking too much time to learn?

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Worked like a charm, thank you so much!

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There’s Vacation Mode though. There’s no point in doing your reviews if you can’t think straight due to the flu or whatever, it will do more harm than good IMO.

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Not a race, do it at a pace that is comfortable to you.

I also think speed varies between individual preferences anyway; too fast and you burn out, too slow and you lose interest. If you think your current pace is too slow, try adjusting it, but only you can know the sweet spot.

IMO: I don’t aim for 100%. Most of the kanji/words really only stick when put in context, so you should probably focus more on concrete learning (i.e reading/writing) than trying to 100% everything.


vacation mode stops the SRS timer, but it doesn’t stop memory rot. your brain has no vacation mode. better to do all the reviews while feeling like shit and having a low accuracy, than no accuracy, and a hammer to the face when you come back.

when you feel you’ll get sick, stop all lessons immediately.

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I am 89% of the way to level 5 and for me since I am a beginner with Japanese in general as well as fall in that want to be a perfectionist category, I thought I would share my experience.

I have no time frame in which I need to learn everything, I am doing it by my own choice, not necessity. I do have goals on learning though, so I am not really just mindlessly wandering. haha!

I do lessons throughout the day instead of a big chunk at a time, but only do 3 lessons per session, but with radicals I would end up doing maybe 15 or so per day in lessons, kanji and vocab maybe 9-12 per day depending on what other grammar or outside wanikani vocab, or whatever else I may be doing in that particular day of learning.

So far I have been extremely happy with my progress in just over a month of learning Japanese. I have learned hiragana and katakana, completely. I have learned a ton of key phrases, as well as quite a bit of grammar, how to count, and other random things as well. And I am almost level 5 in WaniKani (should be by end of day). Compared to everyone else as far as speed goes, I would consider myself going twice as slow as everyone doing the 7 days levels. I take about 12-14 depending on how much vocab may be in each level. At the same time though, I am also practicing writing out all of the new kanji I am learning for retention, because for me specifically I want to be able to write them from memory, not just recognize them when I see them. But that isn’t for everyone, it is just a goal for myself.

So basically, I don’t think there is a too slow or taking too much time to learn. Everyone learns everything at a different pace, in different ways, and for different reasons. So basically, you just have to figure out why you are learning, how you are learning, and do you need to know it in a certain amount of time, or what goal you have for yourself with it to figure out for you specifically whether you are going too fast.

For me, if I take the time to do a lesson, I don’t want that time to go to waste, so I would rather feel like I am really learning something instead of just hoping I am learning it, but I know that way is definitely not for everybody…lol! Hope that gives it another perspective too?


Thanks for all the amazing replies! I’d like all of them if I still had any left for today.
I’ll see what I can do to improve my schedule. This community is amazing :heart:


take a look at this, a small guide i wrote up a few days ago

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That’s awesome, it lines up almost perfectly with what I am doing! Now I feel a lot better about how I have been doing everything. Gotta get those readers to start working on that too, thanks!

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Personally if I don’t have defined rules I tend to err towards the lazy side. Recently someone posted their (Rather quick) journey to 60 and it inspired me to set some stricter rules on myself. I put at least 20 lessons as a mandatory part of my morning schedule to get both of the first reviews in one day(I thought being half asleep would affect my learning but I’ve been fine mostly), and I have made sure to clear my review queue every night no exceptions. It’s easy to brush off 70 or so for it to quickly turn into 700. I’ve noticed that going at a steady pace tends to keep your reviews at a steady amount, so if you are worried about being overwhelmed try a fixed pace and after a few weeks decide if you want to add or take away from that.

As for accuracy, at first I was really concerned about Kouichi-san’s warning about why there is no ignore button, but I found I learned kanji a lot better as I was going over the vocabulary for the kanji. If there ends up being a kanji I’m not super great with I will just fail it before it gets burned and boom it’s back in your queue.
I think I’ve decided blazing through wanikani at as fast as a pace as possible is going to be best for me, so I’ll just see how it goes from here.

Good luck!


I disagree. I was busy and out of it so I turned on vacation mode for a week. After I started reviews again, my accuracy stayed the same or slightly increased. Generally I’d also say to keep vacation mode to a minimum, but there are appropriate times to use it.


if you’re really sick, and i mean a real influenza, not just an annoying cold (and a stuffy nose and headache can do terrible things to your concentration), then do it. just be aware that most of your apprentice items will be gone after this.

if i’d get sick for 2 weeks, i’d reset a level.

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Wanikani can be done at your own speed, and you can change your approach over time as your goals/abilities/burnout level changes.

One aspect I would like to contribute to this conversation is that while wanikani is amazing, it doesn’t help me actually speak Japanese or even necessarily fully understand spoken/written Japanese. So while I may in theory “learn” a word in wanikani, I generally need a lot of supplemental work with conversation, grammer, reading, exposure to usage etc, to really have the wanikani knowledge become practical.

When I’ve noticed that wanikani kanji and vocab aren’t sticking because my ability to successful burn kanji has outpaced my ability to understand and speak, I now slow down wanikani lessons so that I can really digest what I’ve already learned/burned. At first, I went through wanikani relatively quickly up to ~lvl 30, but then I spent a while without any wanikani lessons until my reading/listening/speaking ability caught up. Now I’m trying to be better balanced.

Finally, I do find my sustainable speed on wanikani is fastest when I’m learning to read kanji that are parts of words I already know or are getting exposed to. With a coordinated approach of speaking, listening and reading, I can move quickly and retain/use what I’m learning in a practical way. Finding that right balance is tricky, though.

Good luck!


Not all “lessons” are the same.

Radicals: Just go ahead and do them all. There is no reading, and as soon as you “see” it, it won’t be too hard to remember.

Kanji: Really hard. By far the hardest thing to remember. Some of them you will get lucky with and the mnemonic for the reading/meaning will stick the first time. Some you might already know from somewhere else. But the rest are just hard. I find about 15 a days i my max, and even then, I only get about 50% right the first try. The only good thing is: SRS. My 2nd try success rate (4 hours later, hopefully), is much closer to 90%.

Vocab: Depends on the reading. If it shares a reading with the kanji, and the meaning is related to the kanji reading, these are pretty easy. If they’re unrelated in either meaning or reading, makes things much tougher. Still, I can usually do about 25 a day and not have too much trouble.


Radicals: all
Kanji: ~ 10-15 per day
Vocab: ~15-25 per day

Obviously depends on your time commitment, your memory. your tolerance for forgetting things once or twice and just getting them right the next time.


Think about it. If you got 100% all the time, you wouldn’t need Wani Kani.


Definitely! I find I have a higher success rate with them if I randomize the lessons though. Sogoing into a new level lately I have been setting the lesson settings to ‘order by ascending level then item type’ Do previous level vocab and new radicals. Then if I feel I can handle more, (or get impatient a couple hours later) I change the setting to ‘random’ and just do however many kanji and vocab from the new level I feel like doing. I usually do keep an eye on my apprentice queue, but I have no problem letting it bloat to 150 items. (Or ~180 after the radical overhaul, because I wanted to get rid of the banner. Sadly didn’t work).
Getting a couple items wrong has made the guruing progress bit by bit, which makes it easy to keep the lessons at zero.
But my leveling chart is all over the place, so if you are looking for advice on how to level steadily at level intervals, I am not the one to yake advice from! :joy:


While you’re certainly free to do WK at whatever pace you’d like - yes, I do think you may be significantly hampering your learning.

To learn and to grow I truly believe you need to put yourself a few steps outside of your comfort zone. Holds true of Japanese, holds true in a professional career, holds true doing exercise. “No pain no gain.” That means you should be aiming to make some mistakes.

We all want to do well and get excited when we have a great review, but I just don’t see any advantage to tip-toeing through it.

I think a good objective measure is to aim to have ~100-150 apprentice cards in circulation at any one time. Take more lessons to get in this range, slow up on lessons if you’re nearing the upper bound.


Remeber that the average human brain can only take so much at one time. If you over study you will not retain as much as you will if you use a steady pace. Think of it like running a marathon for the first time. If you run the first 5k of the race at a pace that is too fast you will reach probably reach the 5k point and then burn out somewhere soon after and never finush the race. If you run a steady pace that you are comfortable with you have a better chance of finishing. Learning Japanese is a life long marathon.

I have been studying on and off for 25 years and I still learn new stuff everyday.


Well, so it’s not really about speed, that’s just a byproduct. It’s a function of not wasting your time studying something until you’ve proven you need to. If you’re drilling yourself on items you haven’t failed yet, you’re doing it wrong. The way SRS works (in theory) is that the reviews ARE the studying, let it tell you when to do them. 100% means you’re studying too much, or if that’s not the case, you aren’t going as fast as you could. At 90% (average, not per review session) I’d start slowing down, but actually the workload of re-reviewing failures takes care of that anyway.

So, when you don’t have any reviews to do but you still feel like you have time to study, that’s when you do some lessons. The speed follows from that.

Edit: SOME lessons. Not all the lessons you think you can handle today. See 1000 “why is WK so slow” threads for exhaustive discussion of that.

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i think there’s merit in not doing too little. kanji are a thing you just have to do completely, or your reading will suffer. reading is important, because it provides you with input and all those kanji with context, and kanji need all the help they can get to become reliable memories. (for beginners, this is different for the same reason: still lacking vocabulary, not enough grammar knowledge do the same as not enough kanji)

it’s always going to be hard to find the perfect balance, especially with all the ups and downs in life. that’s the challenge. and the sooner you finish, the sooner you get rid of that burden, too, which is my reason to go as fast as i feel works for me.