I was on monthly for over a year. I then went with annual six months ago and got lifetime this month with the discount and the proration for the remainder of my annual sub.
I have about 10 levels left and I started WK in Feb of 2019. I would say that 2 years to get to 60 is about a decent pace. The absolute fastest is about 1 year but that doesn’t count the 6 month tail of burns. 3 years would probably be the most comfortable pace with solid progress but less of a daily time commitment.
In my case, getting lifetime from the beginning probably would have saved me an additional $100+, but like many have said, I went monthly since I was unsure whether I could stick with it long term.
After the first year was when I started planning to get lifetime so it’s definitely a question you have to ask yourself.
That’s good to know! Thank you. I think for me, I already know Japanese is something I’ll study and work at my whole life as I’ve already got such strong connections to the country. It was more a question of whether it would take me over 2 years to complete WK as with the current sale on a lifetime subscription would be worth it if it does.
It seems like even though 1 year is possible, it’s not the norm and doesn’t allow for life interfering with reviews, and it doesn’t make sense to get an annual if I end up getting lifetime anyway or buying annual more than twice, so I think I’ll just get lifetime now.
Thanks for the advice everyone! It was a big help.
I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with WK since I’m obsessed enough that I’ve been zeroing my reviews literally every single day for 95 days straight, lmao. After much pondering though, I decided I’d just pay monthly since $200 felt like a lot at once. …Then I got an unexpected holiday bonus and took it as a sign, lol. Lifetime here I come.
I bought the annual membership hitting level 04, and planned to get to level 60 in under a year. I did it, in 2018. The idea was to seize the most of the website because I wasn’t sure that I’d have the money to pay for another suscription.
I recently (yesterday…) learned that when you get to level 60, WK team offers you to get the lifetime suscription for I believe 60USD, which was my case.
By this I’m not explicitly recommending you to go full speed, but since you say that you live in Japan, you most likely will breeze through the first levels, so maybe buying the annual suscription and get the level 60 discount would be adequate for you. Though I think it’s completely worth it to pay for the lifetime suscription if you have the money right now
I really appreciate the information you shared. I didn’t know anything about those resources, but they’re especially helpful to me, particularly the audio track that supports reading on watanoc! I’m pretty sure I will end up purchasing the lifetime subscription. I’ve just been weighing the pros and cons.
Everybody who regretted buying a subscription (lifetime or otherwise) will have left the forums and are not here to answer any more.
Yeah, that’s a fair point. At the moment my problem is more that I know too many readings, like I know 中 can be read as ちゅう (Onyomi) or なか、うち as Kunyomi, but when I put ちゅう or うち instead of なか it gets marked wrong, which is frustrating.
Same with 土, I know it as Earth, but it gets marked wrong if I don’t write dirt for the radical or if I write と instead of つち.
Otherwise there’s nothing so far that is new to me so it’s pretty easy to stay on top of things right now, but I’m not expecting that to remain the case as I progress.
I had meant to get Lifetime this year, but when it came to it, I simply couldn’t afford it (thanks Prime Day sales) even if it would be a saving overall. I’ve been on WaniKani for two years now, which means I’ve paid 24 monthly payments (even during my seven month break, I still carried on paying, which is somewhat silly) and so if I’d had Lifetime to begin with, it would have paid for itself by now. As it stands, I don’t regret paying monthly - I have a Lifetime plan for LingoDeer and I have 0 motivation to do anything on it some of the time - having a monthly plan here at least keeps me somewhat reminded that I should come and do reviews.
I think a lifetime subscription is nice because you’ll never lose access to WaniKani. Even if you complete the course in two years or less, you may want to do a refresher at some point. Or if plans change, you can stop studying and come back to it later. You’re much more likely to learn kanji if you have this kind of flexibility.
Just to clarify, if you get the vocab word 中 with the purple background and you write ちゅう, then it is wrong. Same with 土 and と. They don’t stand by themselves as words. For kanji, WK shakes to give you a chance to give you other reading, since then it’s a bit ambiguous.
I bought a lifetime subscription in 2016 (in the winter sale) - I’d been going for a few months at that point and was enjoying it enough to go for it! No regrets as I’ve reset twice since then and it’s great to have the flexibility of time to just start over if I want to.
I think it’s worth saying that the Annual membership costs 45.50 per year (using the promo code), so it would actually be 4 years of annual membership before you reach the same cost as discounted Lifetime.
I’m also in a very similar situation as you, in terms of living in Japan previously but had no formal education. I also restarted WaniKani around mid December.
Maybe that was what has been happening then. To be honest I don’t pay much attention to the background colour, so maybe I should start.
Usually when I read or write I can tell the reading required from context, so when I see words alone out of context I treat them as kanji and if WK doesn’t allow that I can see where I’ve been going wrong. Thanks for clarifying!
Hey Cuthien, welcome to WaniKani and congrats on making it to level 3!
Also, Happy New Year!
As someone that has left and returned to focused Japanese study multiple times over the course of… about 12 years, WaniKani has been with me for about 7 years. The lifetime membership was 100% worth it when I bought back in 2013 or 2014 or whenever it was.
While my level is low now, it has been much higher before a recent-ish reset. WK has always been useful to me, and whenever I feel the need to brush up, it’s here. Case in point, I took my wife’s family (Chinese Malaysian Americans), all 7 of them, to Japan this past February and I was the only Japanese speaker/reader. So a few months before, I dove back into WK and it was just as useful as ever to help me remember what being a competent, literate adult in Japanese was like.
I would highly recommend the lifetime option if you think your interest in Japanese and Japan will stick around for the long-term.
I don’t think I have a promo code, how do you get one? I’m in the U.K. so the exchange rate also impacts the cost for me. Right now it’s not great, but who knows if it will improve or not.
Happy new year! Thank you for your advice. I am confident I will be learning Japanese my whole life as it’s already been 10 years since I first moved to Japan and I can’t imagine ever not needing Japanese in life. It’s good to know that you find it useful even after completing it, as now I no longer live in Japan I worry that I will lose my skills and part of the reason I’m here is to help me maintain them. I can definitely see how lifetime would be beneficial if I do find myself needing to refresh my knowledge.
I second this - extra stress can often cause burnouts or crashes for people who aren’t good at dealing with it (like me) and having less stress for my Japanese study allows me to enjoy it more and do it at my own pace.
There have been a lot of good points made in this thread and since I find it unlikely that I’ll cease to have any use for WaniKani in the next 20 months given that I haven’t in the last 24…
The exchange rate from sterling to dollars is quite good right now (considering the political-economics of the time).
With regards to membership, I would say go for lifetime. This is purely because of the sale, the only reason you should buy lifetime outside of the sale period is to support WK and Tofugu as a company. At only about £20-30 more expensive than two years on the annual plan, I would say that it is worth the piece of mind and the ability to go at your own pace.
Just to second that, if there are any other Brits considering it - it works out about £140 at today’s exchange rate, or more or less 20 months of standard monthly sub.