Lately I’ve been feeling burnout, guys. No matter how hard I try sometimes to recall a word I do know, it is impossible for me to remember it and my reviews have gone from 70%-80% to 60%-65%. I can’t say it is a lack of motivation, but not being able to achieve my regular percentage has taken a toll in my self-steem. I do want to continue studying and reviewing my lessons but I’m afraid I won’t do well. What should I do? Any advice you have, believe me, will be received with open arms.
I’ve been where you are back when I was a regular user of WK years ago. The first step is just to take a moment and adjust your perspective:
You’re not “failing” to learn Japanese / Kanji. The 60 - 80% you’re able to remember now is still better than what you’d have if you didn’t study at all. You’re making progress, but this is a challenging phase of WK, level-wise.
Take a look at which items you’re failing to recall, and focus on figuring out why they’re ambiguous. Is the mnemonic not a very good one? Are the interpretations of the Kanji a bit unusual? Are you just oversaturated with the amount of items you’re trying to learn in one sitting?
Cheer yourself up by remembering that it’s only a matter of time until you learn it successfully, and instead direct your attention to all of the other things that you’re managing to learn and get correct. Everyone has the devil kanji or vocab that is just a real pain to learn.
I’m a native English speaker and there are sometimes words that I’m unable to recall on my best days. The brain can be a flimsy thing sometimes, and that’s ok.
Always remember to find the fun in what you’re doing. WK is fun because leveling up is game-like, so just treat this like a difficult level / boss fight. It’s always satisfying to give those items that you struggle with the middle finger once you defeat them.
Agree 100% with what @Ryosuke said and also because he said it better than I can.
I would just like to add the “redirecting the mindset” part of how I handle WK. I understand where you are because I will have moments exactly as you described, I just know for a fact that these are temporary one-offs and that I will get back to the 80-90 range (I actually had a 53% not too long ago, but now back on track ) So whenever I have a moment like that I always like to read these two quotes and it somehow brings back my mindset to where I need it to be:
“Remember, the thoughts that you think and the statements you make regarding yourself determine your mental attitude. If you have a worthwhile objective, find the one reason why you can achieve it rather than hundreds of reasons why you can’t.”
― Napoleon Hill
Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
― Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield
As soon as I read these I regain my footing. Hope you can find something similar to bring back your motivation. Don’t give up! You always have control of your thinking. Do not let yourself be defeated before even going to battle.
Hope this helped you! All the best!
Thanks to all of you for tips. It’s been a daunting task learning Kanji and I still find it rewarding because not everyone takes on a challenge like this one. I think that taking on this language is already a huge leap. Perhaps I need to put i practice what I already know and not losing the focus of the reason behind studying them.
Thank you all once again for your encouraging words and advices. Believe me, I will strongly take them into consideration
To be honest, I was experiencing burnout a bit myself and I just cancelled my subscription for a few months and came back totally refreshed. Depending on how quickly you want to learn Japanese this may not be an option for you, but taking a break can really help (although I guess WaniKani wouldn’t want me giving this advice).
I also experienced a burn-out around level 30!! No worries, this is really common I think. You are learning A LOT and at some point your brain needs a bit of a rest!
Don’t feel bad, you’re doing so well!!
60% is still way better than 1%. I think you’re doing fine.
Here is something to cheer you up! I like watching anything funny in Japanese to get my spirits up again.
I’m in a bit of similar situation. I’ve been an a break from lessons since getting to lvl 30 (for about a month already).
I ealized I focused on WK too much. But there’s more to learning Japanese than Kanji. So I started focusing on grammar and preparing for JLPT. I also want to start reading more. It’s so much easier to memorize kanji when I recognize them in text.
So, I’d recommend you to take a break from WK and do other kinds of study. Then return to WK when you feel you would like to continue.
I’ve been thinking about that. Perhaps take a couple of weeks but continue being “immersed” in the language and then come back all freshed up.
Slow down on new lessons and start reading more native material.
the danger of taking a break from WK is the demotivation you’ll get when you return to hundreds of reviews.
maybe at least enable vacation mode. though remember the brain doesn’t take breaks
I’d just take it easy, stop doing lessons for a while, and celebrate every victory.
Have you heart about the video game Dark Souls? It’s incredibly hard, especially the boss fights. But almost anyone who plays it and doesn’t give up, eventually gets a huge kick of happiness and relief and achievement once they finally overcome the challenge.
It wouldn’t be as rewarding if it wasn’t as hard.
I had this happen to me a few levels ago. My personal life took over my studying and I got off-track. I kept reviewing and reviewing and not remembering or just not remembering by time it was ready to move to master. It took months to get back on track. I got back on track, but then this last week took a bit of a hit as I started struggling to remember new kanji. I just keep moving forward because stopping isn’t an option for me. If you can afford a break then take a few days or a week off to relax is okay. Just don’t let too much time slip away or you risk falling too far back.
I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve been doing my reviews on a regular basis. I’m not in a hurry to learn new radicals/kanji/vocab. I would like to focus in the ones I’m struggling with and not feel the pressure that I have to learn something new. I will keep enjoying learning.
I’m more into Nioh or Hollow Knight but I get what you mean. It has happened to me that, once I am able to recall a certain word or a kanji correctly I have this huge rewarding feeling within me. I will focus more in those feelings rather than just digging a deeper hole which later on it will be difficult to get out.
You should be proud of how much you’ve already accomplished! Level 28 is no small feat! But I totally get how much of an obstacle burnout can be. It’s hard when we feel like we’re not living up to our own standards of success, but 60% is still good progress! I hope your self-esteem improves regardless of your review percentage, but I understand that it’s easier said than done. Be kind and patient with yourself, you got this!
I was at the same point this late summer, at level 25. All time low. Frustrated, bad retention, no motivation.
I did a reset to level 20 - it instantly improved my relationship with WK, and the fun came back. Maybe something to consider?
Dude, my daily existence is 96% in Japanese and I can’t fathom how hard it must be to stay motivated without having the almost instantaneous feedback and have the luxury of practicing what I’ve learned and rehashed here on WK of what I’ve been fortunate to have acquired over literally more than two decades here! I am in awe of your motivation! You are down a path that may be long but it will reap rewards that you may not be able to fathom at present…your future self is gonna be soooo grateful!
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