An absentees quest for JLPT N3

Hello lovely community!

I have returned from yet another long absence.
Learn blocks have been a real thing and just thinking about learning kanji specifically has put me in an almost depressed state time and time again, because I always felt like nothing ever sticked, and I didn’t progress at all.


A lot has changed since my last wk activity in 2018/2019. I have been to japan thrice (one month alone in 2018, one month with friends in 2019, and half a year with my now-ex-fiance in 2020/21). So it’s been a ride.
Recent changes in my personal life gave me the required push to pick up my japanese learning endeavor again.

So here I am right now, on lvl 13, with one JLPT N3 application already sent for this summer. On first glance it probably seems fully irresponsible to reach that high, but I did put some thought into it. I did already pass the N5 yeaaaars back. I know way more vocabulary and grammar compared to what my wk lvl indicates. I have been to a japanese language school and their entry exam placed me in the N3 course. And there’s 150 days to go until the test, so I should be able to reach lvl28 until then, covering 85% of the N3 kanji. (Yes, this is my mantra I tell myself every morning to not-freak-out. No, it doesn’t help. :joy:)
Still, my fingers are crossed.

Learning for the JLPT will now contain wanikani, looking up and grammar insecurities, consuming spoken japanese content, and reading 君の名は, as a personal challenge project.

To end this incredibly long monologue, have one of the probably weirdest wkstats charts you will ever see, from someone on lvl13 who started her account way back in 2014, and had two major breaks on her way up to today…


Y-you got married, right? :cold_sweat:


Welcome back to WK!

How were your trips to Japan? Were you able to practice a lot of Japanese reading, listening, or speaking while you were there?

I think your thought process makes complete sense!

If it makes you feel better, I just passed N3 last month, and my wanikani level is only 20. And I don’t do any kanji drills outside of wanikani (just reading practice – NHK Web Easy, Yotsuba, and Percy Jackson at a very very very slow pace, leaning heavily on furigana).

Good luck! I believe in you.


Mmmh nope.
Sadly no happy-end-story there. We were together for 7,5years when he proposed on the 2020/21 japan trip (on the most southern point of mainland japan, it’s a really cool spot), and then I broke up with him half a year later, because he got it into his head that he wanted to go/live in japan for an undefined period of time, while I stayed home, without knowing when (or even if) he came back, and while looking after my terminally ill mother.

But looking back (it’s soon a year since I broke it off), it was the best decision I could do, and I spent the remaining time with my mom, which I will always treasure in my heart (she passed away two weeks ago, also part of my „goddamn I have to DO things“ motivational spurt).


First things first, congratulations on passing the N3! You did such a good job, I‘m really happy for you! :slight_smile:

All of my trips were not the biggest hits in the „learning japanese“ department, but I think I got something out of each of them.

2018 I took a campingvan and drove through tohoku by myself. On 道の駅 rest stations, where I parked to spend the nights, I sometimes got into conversation with the japanese camping folks. They were incredibly open and inviting and nice, but I didn’t meet someone each night, so some days flew by without any speaking at all.

2019 I went with three friends who had never been to japan before, so I was kind of like the „tour guide“ who knew broken japanese to get us around. It worked well in any instances where it was needed, but ofc we spent a lot of time together and didn’t speak japanese with each other.
The two most memorable moments where: 1) where we went to eat kobe beef in kobe, in a high end teppanyaki restaurant. The chef lady preparing our things was stoked to be able to talk to me and ask us things about us and our trip. And 2) where we had trouble checking into our hotel in Osaka, because a friend thought that she lost something important in Tokyo, and I had to explain to the hotel guy what was happening, and called the hotel in Tokyo to ask, etc. (She found her stuff a while later.)

2020/21 started off with the earlier mentioned language school, so lots of japanese in there. But with my then-boyfriend and some classmates who were more confident in english compared to japanese, we spoke different languages.
After school was over, we traveled along the southern coastline/shikoku by car, and on the more rural sections I was our main conversation person once again. So things like talking to the (very kind) airbnb people, texting with them to arrange things, discussing any formalities in city offices (for our half year duration we registered our living place and got insurance etc), and talking to the car renting company, was done by me.
little extra: GPS tracking of our roadtrip tour, the route back from kagoshima was done by shinkansen. the timeframe for this was 2,5 months with some few-days-stays at larger cities.

So all of them were kinda nice experiences, but if your goal would have been to go to japan “to learn/use the language”, then I would have missed that goal. For me/us, traveling and experiencing the country was the main focus, and I think we nailed that.


Well, that sucks, but glad you were able to spend some time with your mom.

That trip, though, damn.

If the point of a language is to be able to get around, you surely accomplished it.


Sounds like some really nice trips!

This is so great hahaha. Like Kazzeon, that’s the point of a language, and you get to practice really useful situational stuff that doesn’t come up as much in iTalki casual converstions.

Also I am so jealous of you travelling by camper van and car! I live in Japan now but can’t drive, and I’ve always thought about how awesome it would be to have that freedom.


1 Like

Oh yes definitely. It is a completely different experience compared to traveling by train, because you see a whole different countryside. Should you ever be able to roadtrip with someone, do try it <3

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.