At level 42 stuck for months

I have been studying Wanikani for over two years now and my brains no longer seem to be able to store more info.

I have literally been looking at the same 100-150 words for months now and I keep on getting them wrong, especially the reading. I know the plateaus are normal but this one has been going on for months now. I don’t get these words past apprentice no matter how ofter I see them.

Anyone has any advice/experience? I still have 18 levels to go…


You might want to consider resetting a few levels. Also, I’d recommend consuming more Japanese content, which will help you remember things. It’s always cool when you see a word in the wild that you recently learned on WK.

For example, the most recent one for me was when I spotted 輪郭 in Kiyo’s Behind the Frame video.

Also, while watching Demon Slayer last night, he says “Unleash a move!” (per the subtitles) and I noticed that the Japanese sounded something like “waza wo dase” and so realized that “waza” was probably “move” and looked it up on Jisho. It turns out that it’s actually lvl14 on WK, so I should have already known it.


This is happening with my current lvl 57, It has been 33 days now stuck in this level, and when I see the progress bar on smoudering durtles, still at least 20 days to lvl up

Many new words that dont stick so easily like previous levels.

This is part of why I’ve really slowed down on WK lately to try and keep it more in line with my other studying so I can see words in the wild. Are you just doing WK or are you doing other things, like reading native material, to reinforce the learning? Though it seems like the upper levels might have a lot more obscure words, so that might be harder to do.

Unless it’s a money concern (I got lifetime for this reason myself), it sounds like either resetting (a few levels) and just taking the new lessons very slowly (or even pausing on the lessons for a while) would be a good idea. Then you can really stop, look very closely at the handful of new kanji, and really give yourself time with it before adding anything new. Look at how it’s constructed, what kanji it’s similar to and how it differs, really absorb what it means. There’s absolutely no reason to race through WK just to discover down the line none of it stuck. That’s just a waste of your time. Better to take 10 years and come out being able to read than to take 1 year and only have learned how to “beat” WK.

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Read light novels / visual novels to help memorize all these words.

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Thanks for the quick replies so far. I have had weeks without taking in any new words or kanji so the issue is also within remembering words from levels as ‘low’ as level 11 that just don’t stick. So these words I keep on seeing at least once a day and I keep getting stuck at apprentice level.

I have a lifelong subscription so no need to rush through WK at all…

What do you do outside of WK? Do you read a lot of Japanese?

Personally I’ve been ramping up my Japanese reading a lot lately, which really helps maintaining and improving my existing Japanese knowledge. I remember that the word 大人 was a leech of mine (due to its unexpected reading) but I encounter it regularly in the wild and now it’s no longer an issue.

So my general advice is spending more time reading Japanese than focusing on WK and not obsess too much on getting your reviews perfectly right.

For the record I too have a bunch of leeches from lower levels, some as low as Guru I (I keep forgetting the reading for 欠く, annoyingly):

From my experience studying other languages, this isn’t particularly strange or worrisome. It’s easy to focus and obsess over the things you fail while missing the overwhelming majority of things you got right.

I wish that WK had a way to exclude leeches to avoid getting reviews over and over and over again for the same words that clearly won’t stick. Add it to the stack of “features standard in most SRS software that WK decided they didn’t need”.


At level 42 stuck for months

If you’ve arrive at the answer, maybe it’s time to figure out the question? :thinking:


Don’t worry, being stuck for months is normal. It happened to me!