Blitzing through vocabulary?

Hello guys!

So, I’ve only just reached LV.11 in what’s definitely not record time, but I am kind of wondering about vocab, because I’ve accumulated about 150 for LV.10.

150 vocab/lvl seems quite reasonable to cover the approx ~6500 vocab by LV60, but then it makes me wonder; how do people get there in a year, with reasonable vocab retention?

If you do 15 vocab / day, that’ll take you about 10 days to get through. PLUS radicals and kanji and having those Guru’d. Realistically, that’s closer to 15 days a level, more if you make mistakes or if you really want to take your time with drilling in the vocab.

So my question to those who manage the 60 lvls in roughly a year; Do you guys just blitz through vocab and stuff, sort of sacrificing drilling them in as you go? I find it difficult to remember more than say, the 15 vocab a day as I go through them, so do people just crush through the 150+ vocab and move on? That’d seem like a sure way to not remember them all that well. Or maybe I am just worse than I think :smiley:

I am also supplementing WK with Genki, Anime and other immersive resources, so I don’t really mind my sluggish pace, but I was really curios with how people approach this.

Oh, and this community continues to be an awesome source of inspiration and encouragement <3 Really appreciate you guys around OwO


Level 60 in a year is a breakneck pace. People who accomplish that are akin to Olympic-level sprinters. I wouldn’t recommend setting yourself to that pace. I would consider level 60 in 18 months to be fast, with two years being more reasonable for most people. Of course your mileage may vary depending on how many hours per day you’re willing to spend on reviews.

Some people skip vocabulary using re-order scripts, but I would not recommend doing so: The practice often leads to stories of misery as the kanji will be much harder to burn without the reinforcement that comes from their vocab words. And besides, if the goal is to learn Japanese rather than learning kanji, vocabulary is essential.

So take your time and find a pace that works for you. will show you your pace and extrapolate out, if you’re curious.


Keep in mind that not everyone who starts WK is a beginner. They may be learning the kanji and already know a lot of vocabulary, or know a lot of kanji and are just trying to reach new content quickly.


i have a lot of free time, so i can spend more time on doing lessons etc. than many others.

so i can easily do 20 lessons a day, or a little more to make sure that all the lessons from the previous level are done. i also use a re-order script so that i can start the level with radicals instead of old vocab, and spread vocab and kanji a bit more evenly over the level. that way, if i maintain high enough accuracy, i can (sometimes) get 7-day levels.

but what it really comes down to is that i have enough time to do 20+ lessons a day, and all the reviews which follow from that.

also, re-order scripts bear danger, it’s easy to let the vocab lessons pile up, which leads to bad times.

additional notes: i find most vocab lessons much easier than kanji lessons. only a small minority of them need a new mnemonic or anything. so i do “blitz” through them, in a way.

you’re now just about at the heaviest levels, as far as the number of lessons is concerned. later levels have considerably fewer items, which also makes it easier to go faster.


I was on track to get WK done in just over a year until life got in the way, averaging ~8 days a level through the first 20 levels.

I did all lessons as soon as they were available. Every time. No spreading things out over multiple days. Really wasn’t as bad as one might think, at least for a while. I eventually just burned out on it and lost motivation after I did a trip to Japan, which was my initial motivation for everything.


Thank you! This is pretty much what I was thinking too. Thank you for confirming my beliefs :slight_smile:

Like I said, it’s not so much the issue of doing, say 50 lessons a day. The thing is that then you’re retaining only a fraction of it and end up repeating the reviews multiple times anyway.

And as mentioned, I don’t really want to sacrifice vocabulary. I’ve been enjoying my pace and feel like I am learning a lot of new stuff, together with Genki.

And as long as there’s motivation, there’s no burn out :slight_smile: Happy to see the experience of others all the same <3

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I joined a couple years ago and made a big post about how THIS time I was going to learn Japanese, but I quit…again. So, according to my stats I spent over 600 days on level 2. ha! I have been spending roughly 20 days per level since I started back up 2,3, and now 4 almost complete. It is slow, but it has been such a great supplement to everything else. I am going to attempt a faster pace when I hit level 5.

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Well, I binged all lessons, so yes, blitz through the vocab. But I also knew several words from before WK, so it’s not like it was all new information for me. I slowed down for vocab with unique readings, but not much. The SRS will ensure that the items that doesn’t stick gets repeated until they do. And I would return to the info pages as needed. But the majority of items would just progress to guru on their own.

There is no need to overthink it with SRS. If you need further repetition of an item, WK will give you that. Just watch out for leeches and leech train regularly to stay on top of the situation in Apprentice and Guru. :eyes:


I just got to level 5 a few days ago.

I don’t blitz through anything because I don’t use mnemonics. I started noticing how much time I spent thinking in English so I saw mnemonics as “thought noise” which disrupted my ability to review my Kanji and Vocabulary. You’ll probably notice that some mnemonics are four sentences or more. Or that there are no mnemonics at all so you’re simply expected to know just because (that works fine for jukugo because of words using Onyomi readings only).

The best action I’m taking right now to resolve this and compensate for lack of mnemonics is learning grammar so I can start typing the Kanji and Vocabulary I know. What I don’t use, I lose. That’s why I get Kanji and Vocabulary I learned in previous levels wrong, which sets me back to Guru or Apprentice when I should have been Master or Enlightened. I have been burning Radicals only so far, but I might burn some Kanji and Vocabulary soon, so my situation isn’t dire.

I review everyday. But my average percentage fluctuates from 90% at most to even 0% at worst because I prioritize current level Kanji and Vocabulary. The levels I completed before, I leave to SRS.

I use Genki with WaniKani and Bunpro, but it’s the second edition, not the third edition. I would suggest buying the latter due to improvements made over the former, but if you have the second edition, that’s okay. Be with a study group that will correct your grammar from that edition. Write notes on pages in the second edition whose changes are addressed in the third edition. That way your second edition will have up to date information; simple sticky notes work.

EDIT: I turned desktop notifications on for WaniKani, so if you reply to this post while I’m on my laptop, I may almost immediately reply.

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40 of those items will have an obvious reading and extremely intuitive meaning, and at least 9 of the other 10 will have at least one of the those things. So you have roughly 40 items that will pass every review without demanding any significant attention, 10 that you’ve already half learned and can get sorted out over the next day or two, and rarely (like less than once per level) an oddball that just requires pure memorization.

So if we only consider those 10 items to require “learning” to memorize, then doing say, 20 lessons would mean you’re now “learning” 4 items, with the other 6 still buried behind the freebies. I personally have no previous Japanese experience and haven’t touched Genki, but for me Cure Dolly’s explanations of Japanese word structure have provided the context that makes vocabulary acquisition vastly easier than relying solely on WaniKani’s sporadic instruction.

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