Any tips for someone just starting out?


Hey everyone, I’m totally new to WaniKani. Nice to meet you! Is there any advice you can give me that might help me starting out? Like a “if I knew then what I know now” sort of thing.




I definitely recommend reading the FAQ and Guide first, if you haven’t already, so that you can understand how WaniKani works

Once you get the hang of the site, I also recommend starting KaniWani to help reinforce your English --> Japanese skills (since WK is only Japanese --> English)

And once you get more familiar and comfortable with the language itself, start learning grammar sooner rather than later, there are lots of resources out there such as Genki for formal grammar textbook study, or Bunpro, which is also an SRS-style site like Wanikani that arranges grammar points by JLPT level and provides you with links to online resources to study from (personal favorite of mine)

These are all things I would’ve loved to know when I first started :slight_smile:

Oh, and most importantly, have fun! This is an incredible and helpful community, so feel free to ask questions and hang out with us on the forums ^^

ようこそ ! :crabigator::sparkles:


Don’t post hentai.


Or do, whatever, I’m sure it’s 100% fine.



  1. There’s a lot of vocabulary – don’t stress out about it. Work the vocab, but keep in mind the main objective, to learn to read kanji. The vocab is important to help you learn readings, but not so much as an end in itself.

  2. Opinions differ on whether it’s a good idea to study the kanji in between reviews (I don’t), but I do make an exception and study the new kanji about an hour before the first apprentice review, then I ace my first review and I feel like I know them better going forward.

  3. Start reading right away. I like Satori Reader, because you can use the API key to display only the kanji that you’ve studied (the rest will be in hiragana), and it’s compatible with WK.

  4. Depending on your goals and your current level, use Hello Talk to practice speaking and listening. Find a good podcast or videos (whatever you’re into) to listen to at least 20 minutes or so per day. Even if you don’t understand anything at first, it helps to get the rhythm and sound of the language, and you’ll gradually start to pick up more and more over time.

  5. If you haven’t studied grammar, I like George Trombley’s Japanese from Zero series. There are four books, with a fifth one at at some point in the future.

Good luck!


Don’t do new lessons unless your reviews queue is empty (or very near empty), and log in every day at least once to do at least 10 reviews, even when you don’t feel like it.

Hi and welcome!


You can also check out the Advice to Pleasants thread for some tips on getting oriented in Wanikani specifically as well as some direction towards things like grammar resources and such.

Welcome and good luck!


REVIEWS: Keep on top of reviews. I just came back a few days ago from 1500+ that I let pile up.

VACATION MODE: On that topic, if you’re not going to do reviews for a few days (e.g. traveling, friends/family are visiting, really busy at work/school), use the vacation mode. There are a number of times that I failed to turn the damn thing on only to find three days later that I had 700+ reviews, which then sat staring at me for months.

USE ANKI: I personally recommend Anki over KaniWani because you can incorporate images and context sentences instead of just doing pure translation (I put up with translation in WaniKani because the mnemonics and ordering make it worthwhile, but I also think that translation is a largely unnecessary crutch that ends up limiting language acquisition in the long run). However, if you don’t have time to make Anki cards for the vocab (or kanji) that you burn, KaniWani is definitely better than nothing.

POMODORO METHOD: My personal favorite tip: use the Pomodoro Method. Basically, you turn on a timer for 25 minutes, and focus exclusively on the task at hand (in this case, WK reviews/lessons) during that time. Then, when it goes off, you set a timer for 5 minutes and take a break and give yourself some sort of reward (I make myself tea, or eat a bit of chocolate/ice cream, pace around the room, etc.). Then you put it on for another 25 minutes. After 4 of these, you take a 15-20 minute break (during which time I usually watch an episode of an anime). There are apps that will do this for you; Clockwork Tomato for Android is my favorite.

The benefit of the Pomodoro method is that it makes it far easier to not get distracted and adds a sense of urgency to your reviews. I can usually knock out ~80-120 reviews during one 25 minute Pomodoro because it puts me in the zone. If I don’t turn the timer on, I average ~50.

DON’T DESPAIR if you fall behind. I have, at various times in my WaniKani practice, fallen behind by hundreds of reviews (700-1500), which has prevented me from doing it for months, at times. Just get back on it, and don’t stress about trying to finish in the minimum possible time. Language learning is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s best to keep going at whatever pace/with whatever pauses you need than to push yourself for a year and then burn out.