Breaks and Burnout

Recently I have been seeing posts on other boards regarding burnout and taking breaks and this phrase keeps going through my head in regards to learning Japanese: Are you taking a break from learning or are you taking a break from Japanese?

Because I took a REALLY long break from WaniKani, but I didn’t stop reading and doing things in Japanese, which actually helped me when I came back because I now have contextual memory for words and not just how I learned them in WK. This was a very different experience from my first break where it was only 3 or 4 weeks but I had forgotten everything because I did absolutely no Japanese in that time.

Anyone else have a similar experience or idea? What comes to your head when you think about taking a break?


I’ve been taking a “break” from WaniKani for about a month and a half and by that I mean I didn’t do any new lessons. But I didn’t stop doing my reviews, and I was participating in a WaniKani book club, doing vocab srs from the new words from the book club, and doing Grammar on BunPro.

Now that I’m in between book clubs I got back to doing new lessons on WaniKani a few days ago. So… I definitely didn’t take a break from Japanese but I did consider my time a “break” from WaniKani.

I’m curious what others think!!

(On a good note, during my “break” I got nearly everything into enlightened and got my first burns! yay!)


I really like that way of handling it. That’s awesome! Keep it up! :smiley:

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I took a break recently where I didn’t attend any lessons and I didn’t do any srs (except wanikani reviews), but I still did the things i think are fun. So I read manga, I played pokemon in japanese, etc. And when I came back after 2 weeks, I felt I had actually still made progress. And it reminded me that Japanese doesn’t always have to be an unpleasant grind. So I agree that taking a break doesn’t have to be doing nothing, it can be really helpful to only do the type of interactions with the language that you want to do.


Great Answer! haha I’m playing Pokemon Omega Ruby when I don’t have anything else to do. But that’s what I noticed too, like I find actively reading compliments WK and actually accelerates your progress because you know the words and see them outside of WK’s SRS system.

From my experience, I think you’re exactly right that it’s good to take breaks from individual things, but not stop studying Japanese altogether. As long as you don’t take a break from SRS reviews because those really pile up!

I tend to slowly add things to my workload until I realize I’ve taken on too much, then I figure out the least valuable things I can cut out. (this applies to my life as a whole, not just Japanese)

Most recently I realized the WaniKani words I’m learning don’t mean much until I see them in context reading. I’m taking a break from lessons (for 2 months so far) but still doing all my reviews. I’m trying to get my daily review count down as far as possible, so I’m doing some extra study of leeches. It took surprisingly long to get less than 30 reviews a day!

Dang, I had 0 Apprentice for a short while, but I didn’t get a screenshot.

One thing I’ve noticed about taking breaks from WaniKani is that you’re left with all the items you have trouble with. Counterintuitively, when you start doing lessons again it seems easier for a while because you’re not just seeing the hard words.

Among the other things I’m intentionally trying to cut back on is my genki study group. I’m still following along, but I discovered I don’t have the time to put 100% into it. Nobody from that thread is reading this, right? I swear I’m trying! :sweat_smile: