Anyone else facing burnout?

I just wanted to respond directly to your concerns about looking up a ton of vocab. Unfortunately this will be the case for a very, very long time. At some point (maybe after finishing or nearly finishing Genki 2) I’d recommend you try reading something. You’ll likely still have to look up a ton, but it’s better than waiting and doing flashcards forever.

If you’re worried about the slang in Yotsubato, you could always try another manga like Aria the Masterpiece, which has characters with generally more normal speech. Or perhaps you’ll want to join one of the beginner book clubs at some point so that there’s a vocab sheet and people to help if you have trouble.


Thanks for the suggestion! I’m mostly just focusing on vocab right now, but here and there I’ll pick up one of the graded readers when I have the time. I’ve fetched Crayon Shin-chan, Doraemon, Chii’s Sweet Home, and Yotsuba&! for my first dip in to beginner level manga, but I’ll take your suggestion and check out Aria as well!

Make sure it’s Aria the Masterpiece or Aqua. It’s a bit confusing, but the original Aria was published after two volumes of Aqua, but Aqua is included in Aria the Masterpiece.

If you do check it out, you’re always welcome to ask questions in the existing chapter discussion threads.

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I found the discussion thread but I’m having trouble finding the official Japanese title. I just see アリア

If you are really cannot study your midterms and do WaniKani at the same time, you could go into Vacation Mode which stops the SRS System until you are ready to continue. I however suggest that in your breaks from studying, you should do WaniKani as much as possible. Good luck!

This thread has the links to where you can buy it from:

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I don’t think you have burnout. I think you have been mistaking motivation for discipline. It’s great to be motivated to learn/study Japanese. When you sit down and are just pumped to learn more and more. However, that won’t be the case forever. You will go through cycles, but the important part of continuing any hobby is discipline. Doing the hobby when you really don’t want to. Studying at least 1 hour a day no matter what. You already are doing Wanikani + Genki which are what I used to start out.

You can come on here and complain or procrastinate as much as you want and it really only affects you. It isn’t always going to be fun, you just have to put more and more time into it if you really want to learn Japanese.


Ah thank you! I found myself on the chapter 1 discussion thread and not the home thread.


I’ve never personally experienced Japanese learning burnout, but perhaps if I was a college student with mounds of homework I’d feel differently. I hate to tell you this, but 300 is a staggering amount of reviews to have piled up and a number that intimidating is probably one of the biggest killers of your motivation. I try not to let my own reviews accumulate higher than 50-ish because I’ve personally found higher numbers than that start to feel like a bit of slog to plow through.

As for grammar, I think the Genki books are great, but you might want to consider giving Human Japanese a try. Human Japanese 1+2 doesn’t cover as much material as Genki 1+2, but what is covered is explained vastly better with more depth and with a wonderful sense of humor that keeps motivation high (Brian Rak’s writing made me laugh out loud many times). After completing Human Japanese 1+2, I recommending going through the chapters in Genki 2 which covers the things absent in Human Japanese. After that, you’ll have a pretty solid foundation of Japanese grammar. From that point, to really learn all the finer points of Japanese grammar, you can move on to something like Satori Reader (made by the creators of Human Japanese if you like their style) or the A Dictionary of Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese grammar series. Satori Reader is nice because in addition to explaining everything super well, you can also use it to practice your listening comprehension. I also have the complete A Dictionary of series, and it’s great being able to look up any grammar point with excellent explanations and examples.

I came to this thread because I have been experiencing loss of motivation lately. I am about to hit level 21, into the Death zone. I feel so accomplished, yet I cannot seem to find the motivation to do my 350 reviews and level up. I still have 35 lessons to do too. I have the time, just not the motivation. Ughhh halp!


Have you been using what youve learnt/reviewed? For example tried reading something you tried to read 10 levels ago?

Maybe you need a little time to breathe, just do your reviews for a while and focus on other parts of Japanese without doing lessons? Somewhere between the early and mid 20ies I also was close to burn out and didn’t feel like I should be spending so much time on WaniKani anymore. I started to read more, got a Netflix subscription to watch a lot of Japanese content, watched Japanese YouTube and so on and focused more on grammar for a while.

And now the time feels right again to speed up in WaniKani and in turn neglect grammar for a few months. Only so many hours in a day…

When I feel super overwhelmed and demotivated I also allow myself to just watch TV. As long as it is Japanese without English subtitles, everything counts. The only thing that matters is doing something consistently. If your brain needs time to breathe then I think if that “something” is just having fun for a while that is OK too.


I do, sometimes I’ll visit Japanese Wikipedia or YouTube with Japanese subtitles to practice reading. Doing that does keep me motivated, especially when I can read a good amount of the kanji. Or if I’m feeling extra lazy I’ll turn something on so that I’m at least listening to Japanese. I’m sure it will come back, it’s just been really blah lately. I bought the first 2 volumes of Shirokuma Cafe and I’m going to participate in the book club next month, so I’m hoping that gets me going again.

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Yeah, I think I’m gonna finish out my reviews (minus guruing the level 20 kanji) and do those 35 lessons and chill out for a couple of days before leveling up. Maybe watch some anime for good measure. I think my brain just needs a break.

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If it helps: I spend something like 130 or 180 days around level 23. Sometimes it just takes a while but your motivation will come back as long as you just keep using the language every day in some way.


I few days ago, around the end of level 13 I noticed that I might suffer something like a burnout soon. I had around 200-250 reviews piled up (because of doing none for 2-3 days) which made me feel very demotivated for the past week.

I started off quite slow on wanikani taking around 14-16 days for each level in the beginning, because I just did reviews and lessons whenever I had time for them. Then I heard about this “SRS interval formular” doing your reviews 3 times a day (in a +4/+8 hour interval) for more efficiency and paced myself accordingly with the goal to level up roughly every 10 days. It worked kind of well for 4-5 levels (but it was still challenging to do new lessons and reviews in the morning before going to work and doing reviews during lunch time; doing revews in the evening was less of a struggle for me time-wise). However, as I reached level 10, I started with grammar as it is adviced. So in addition to studying with wanikani and learning and reviewing some vocab with anki every day, I wanted to do grammar as well on a few days a week. Not to mention my plans on joining the absolute beginner book club, reading 1 page of a book each day.
I guess all of these led to me being overwhelmed quite a bit. That’s why I decided to slow down on wanikani. For now, I want to get my reviews down and focus on my apprentice items and leeches. No new lessons until I hit a certain number I feel comfortable with. Only then will I continue with level 14 but veeeeeery slowly (no such goal as leveling up in X days anymore!).

I think the “SRS interval formular” is great to know and to understand how wanikani works. It helped me a lot with setting a schedule for studying, sticking to it and turning it into a habit studying at specific times a day (and every day). But for me personally it was quite toxic doing lessons in the morning and reviews three times a day just for the sake of going fast.

Wow, I feel like this thread became more of a therapeutic option for a lot of people, talking about struggles and demotivation. At least for me, it felt kind of reassuring that I’m not the only one and that it doesn’t matter which level you are, how fast or slow you go or which methods of studying you use, you can feel really lost at times and want to give up wanikani and studying Japanese.
So chin up, everyone! We can do this and avoid or get past any kind of burnout! :slight_smile:


At least from my experience and observation, motivation to study a certain way often grows when you can feel a tangible benefit from that method. According to wkstats, the difference between level 15 and level 20 (your current level according to the forum) for reading Japanese Wiki is 8.13% (74.77 - 66.64), youre not going to feel that difference. What you will feel is not knowing every fourth kanji.

Reading Shirotama cafe will likely help or something like this.

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So I kind of missed this part of information when I started (my fault definitely) , got to level 27 without studying anything else, studied abroad in Japan, could literally only read kanji lol

My Japanese skills were so asymmetrical that I had a difficult time finding the right level of Japanese classes and ended up in a higher class where I was always the worst student. I like to think I learned the most at the end though

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond, there’s a lot of you so I can’t go through one by one but just know that I read everything on here. Despite the suggestions of some, I didn’t reset my level back by one, (or back to one, as someone suggested), but just decided to sit down and power through all the lessons and reviews.

My outlook on things can vary pretty wildly sometimes, so when I wrote the original post I knew it was possible to dig myself out but I just needed some words of encouragement. And if there’s one thing this forum is good at, it’s encouragement. I finished level 7 after 33 days, and while I’m going a bit slow on level eight, I now have a schedule in place that should let me level up once every 8 days or so without getting so much piled up that I face the same kind of burnout. It’s gonna be 6 days until I’m out of eight, but when nine starts I’ll do my best to stick with that plan. I’m definitely bookmarking this thread to come back and read whenever I face the same thing again, so thank you all.

If you’re in a similar place, try the following routine (while I did figure this out on my own, after doing a bit more research I also saw that a ton of people have done it before me, which if anything just reassures me that it will work)

-Find 3 times during the day that you can use WK, I recommend morning, afternoon, night, because from what I’ve seen it works best if you give yourself 4 hours between the first two and 8 hours between the second two. Note that WK works on the hours, and (I think) rounds down. So if there’s an 8-hour gap after reviews you do from 12:00pm-12:30pm, everything will be up for a new review at exactly 8:00pm.

-Save new lessons for that morning review session. Work through all lessons that you have (or at least as many as you can, and save any extras for the next morning). Make sure you really take the time to digest the meaning and reading, the less you get it wrong in the future the faster you’ll go

-Do the first review for those lessons in the afternoon (The first review slot unlocks 4 hours after lessons)

-Do the second review at night (8 hours after the previous one)

-Do the third review the following night (24 hours after)

-Do the last (last in the sense of getting to Guru, anyways) review the night after tomorrow (48 hours)

-Do the lessons that unlock with guruing something the following morning

Based on that (and someone please let me know if part of that is wrong), you’ll be leveling up every 8 days (Apprentice I, II, III on day 1, App IV on day 2, day 3 nothing, Guru I on day 4, new lessons up to App III on day 5, App IV on day 6, day 7 nothing, Guru I for the second wave on day 8, rinse repeat)

The only challenge I can forsee with that schedule is older reviews coming in and dogpiling a single day, which can throw off everything if you (like me) don’t use any kind of override script

Here’s what my levels have looked like, in case anyone was interested:

Wow that ended up being way more lengthy than the quick thank you I had set out to make. Anyways, hopefully this thread will he helpful to others as well. Thanks guys.


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