Did WaniKani update the Kanji?

I noticed something that actually made me confused. I thought the fast levels start from level 46 but it happened to me before that.

I am not going at full speed but I am trying to level up as fast as I can without holding back my other priorities.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 15.53.12

I really took my time for level 43 and I still leveled up in only 8 days. For level 44 I tried to be a bit faster and it took 5 days.

Did WK change something when they updated the UI? I feel like I missed something.


There have historically been, and maybe there still are, a few levels outside of the last 15 that are also fast. It depends on the ratio of radicals to kanji in the level, and they do sometimes add kanji, or move kanji to other levels, so which ones are fast can change. I think 26 used to be fast and isn’t anymore. I don’t think they go out of their way to plan for certain levels to be fast, it just happens that way with the ratios.


Interesting, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info man!

They do change it from time to time. Currently, the fast levels are 41, 43-44, 46-47, and 49-60. They made a change last October that turned 41 into a slow level, but that change seems to have been undone since then. I read that 26 used to be a fast level, but I think that was changed a long time ago.


Yeah I just realized that 45 isn’t a fast level T_T

I have to wait extra 4 days just for one more Kanji, feelsbadman.

Edit: Oh 48 as well? Why do you do this Koichi?!


hey there, i’m curious and hope you can answer me:
how much are you able to read at lv 45? in terms of general japanese literature (manga, novels) or newspaper?

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A lot! I mean at this level you have enough Kanji knowledge to be at N2 level(only my Kanji level is at N2 though haha).

That being said, reading Kanji is different from reading overall. You will still be very slow at reading but you will be able to recognize a lot of characters. In other words, you won’t spend 3 hours trying to read a page.

The greatest benefit I would say is being able to discover new Kanji. What I mean by that is when you discover a new Kanji and you don’t know the reading you can actually find it. You know a lot about radicals, you know a lot of Kanji and you can play around until you “decrypt” the Kanji that you don’t know. At least, you will be able to pull that off most of the time.

It also becomes easier to learn more about grammar because you can focus on the actual grammar “process” instead of worrying about what the characters even mean. You won’t be scared of facing new Kanji, actually the opposite. It will become like a challenge to find that goddamn Kanji haha.

TL;DR You can start enjoying native material but you are still far from fluency.


Oh yeah I guess you have to study from sources other than wanikani… do you have recommendations for reading + grammar? :smiley:

Plus levels 1 and 2; those are fast levels as well.
So, in a nutshell, fast levels are…
1, 2, 41, 43-44, 46-47, and 49-60.

I’ve been using the app “Manabí Reader”, which has a nice variety of levels and topics; you can try it for free, then if you like it the subscription price is meagre ($16/yr I think). Manga, NHK News, folktale books, blogs, travel guides, etc. are all good options; basically, whatever you like and can get your hands on.

For grammar, I’ve bought books mostly, but there are online resources too if you look for them. Someone else can help more here, lol.

Though for anyone new to the site, just to be clear, the reason they are fast is different. 1 and 2 are fast because the intervals are halved. Later levels are fast because they don’t have enough radicals to keep you from reaching 90% of kanji guru’d in one round of lessons.


Yep. By “fast level”, I mean a level with only one “half”, where you can do the radicals and kanji concurrently. By that standard, levels 1 and 2 are slow levels just like the rest.

Levels 1 and 2 have to be handled as a special case anyway. Normal levels take around a week, while fast levels take half that. But, assuming my calculations are correct, levels 1 and 2 only take three days, not three and a half days like the true fast levels. The situation is completely different due to the use of different intervals.

Levels 1 and 2, as well as the “fast” levels all take 3 days and 10 hours, just for different reasons, as mentioned above. A “normal level” takes 6 days and 20 hours because of two rounds of 3 days 10 hours. Fast levels only require one round, and levels 1 and 2 have two rounds at double speed.

That is not accurate. Levels 1 and 2 use intervals of 2/4/8/23, compared to the normal 4/8/23/47. This means that they require a theoretical minimum of 3 days and 2 hours rather than 3 days and 10 hours.

You can see the details here.


https://docs.api.wanikani.com/20170710/#srs-stages might be a better point for those unused to reading API docs

Ooof, it’s been weird having the kanji changed up on me. I’m coming across stuff I SWEAR I came across in lower levels before (here’s lookin’ at you, 久)!

You can learn all about that at WK stats. At level 45 you should be able to read about 95% of kanji. (I don’t know about vocab but you probably want to supplement somewhere else.)

The best way to improve your grammar is through textbooks. I recommend Genki 1 & 2 then Tobira.

If you don’t like textbooks, you can use sources like Imabi & Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide.

Finally, if you are outside and you want to use something on your phone, you can use Lingodeer & Human Japanese.

For reading, you will practice as you are learning grammar. If it’s not enough, you can always check some native material that fits your level :slight_smile:

Edit: Needless to say, you have to keep doing WaniKani consistently.

Hi kemperb - thanks for the shoutout for Manabi Reader, I made that app :slight_smile: As an indie dev, I rely on word-of-mouth like this. Please let me know if you have any feedback. I’m always working on improving it.


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Since when was this related to cucumbers and not Jar Jar Binks! (I know they changed it when they did the big radicals overhaul).

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