Do you finish all of your vocabulary before starting Radicals/Kanji?

I wouldn’t exactly call myself a speed-runner (I don’t go max-speed), but I do go fast, and and also just power through all lessons. I use no scripts.

But, I did self-study Japanese several years before WK, so I know a lot of vocabulary. Even now on lv 30, I mostly encounter stuff I know. So, for me, vocab-lessons are done before they start almost.

That’s not something someone encountering most items for the first time can do. I think I’d then take my time to digest all the new info, and not rush things. Better to make sure things stick, rather than having to go back an redo lessons because it’s all mixed up in my head at that point. ^^;

You are absolutely right in that you shouldn’t skip the vocab lessons. They are very valuable to make the kanji stick. ^>^


I do my vocab before starting with the new lesson. I have to admit my speed ranges from 10-22 days (depending on how busy I am), so my lesson backlog from the old level is most often not that high. From 14-15 it was 40 and now from 15-16 it was only 8. I also sometimes do all the vocab at once together with the new radicals because so far I didn’t have too many issues remembering them.
For me it takes very long to get one Kanji to Guru, but once I remembered it, the vocab is no big issue. But I also studied Japanese before Wanikani for 2 years so I already knew a lot of the vocab and now I just see it in Kanji.
So doing all at once might not work for others who see it for the first time

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I used the reorder script to always do radicles first, then kanji.
Got lazy with the vocab, ended up resetting ^^;

After reset I joined team 0/0!
Always have a zero lessons/zero reviews at least once per level! (preferably daily on reviews)
I have a “score” of 41/42 now, will get the last for level 42 before continuing.

What I did this time around is radicles at level up, then kanji. Try get zero lessons (do all vocabs) before the radicles go to guru.

Last 19 levels I’m doing vocabs first. I have 4 lessons left, all of them are radicles :wink:
I will do this for the rest of the levels too, even though all are “fast levels” (so few kanji unlock from the radicles that you can level up with the kanji ready at first, making 3 1/2 day levels) I will do them slow =P


For the first few levels, I just did everything in the order it was given to me. Then I went on to the forums, and saw that people were using scripts to reorder and get the radicals and kanji first so they could unlock the second set of kanji quicker.

I started doing the same, and did that for two or so levels, until I realised it wasn’t helping me at all. Memorising vocabulary (particularly words that are just two on’yomi readings) helps consolidate the kanji reading in my mind. So if I skip the vocab, I find I don’t know the kanji as well as if I didn’t.

It means I’m not going as fast, but I do know the kanji far better than if I kept using the reorder script. And I don’t have a towering stack of vocab from levels ago either.

If I just have vocabulary lessons, I’ll do 15-20 a day. If it’s kanji, 10 a day. Radicals I try to do all in one go. I have about 48 lessons in my pile at the moment, which isn’t too bad, I think.


It isn’t the lesson pile that is high (unless script abuse)
It is the review pile! :sob:
My biggest days are 600+ reviews O_o
Most are 150+, which is manageable. I hate when they go over 300, but 250 is a normal day =P
Anything under 150 is a slow day :wink:

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\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}
even though you’re level 11 already and so have clearly been at this a while

welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you, like:

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!
The New And Improved List Of API and Third Party Apps

I hope your Japanese learning journey continues to go well and that you enjoy your time with us!


I saw some people having very precise timings for reviews. They are working on some strict schedules and somehow manage to get through very fast with those 6.5 days per level or even faster.

My approach is purely barbaric as I stated above. I don’t have schedules. But pattern is that I am obliged to destroy all of the morning reviews before work (60-120 items on average). Then during workday I do reviews here and there, as many of them as I can. When I come back home I am obliged to clear all of the leftover reviews. Then during evening I come back occasionally to smash those small piles so I can go to sleep safely.

But no matter how you do it, everything is limited by the time period you can or want to dedicate per day on reviews. Reviews are pretty much limitless, but lessons shouldn’t exceed 30-40 items mark under any circumstances because your brain may just reject that huge amount of new information. And never rush lessons. Do thorough research on the item and create own mnemonics if default is useless and doesn’t ring a bell.

And as for me, I spend 8 days per level on average.


Just wanted to point out that this isn’t possible, in case anyone thinks that it is and is disappointed when they can’t go super fast.

Given how the SRS (Spaced Repetition System) works, there is a maximum possible speed at which it’s possible to progress on WaniKani; 6 days 20hours per level.

That maximum speed is because you can only progress to the next level when you’ve gotten the majority of kanji for the current level to Guru. When you level up, you get just over half of the kanji for that level unlocked and you must get these up to Guru before you unlock the rest for that level.

So if you look at the maths this way:
Note that these intervals are reduced by around 50% for level 1 and 2, so they’ll go faster

Unlock Kanji = 0hrs
Apprentice 1 -> 2 = 4hrs later
Apprentice 2 -> 3 = 8hrs after that
Apprentice 3 -> 4 = 23hrs after that
Apprentice 4 -> Guru = 47hrs after that

So the total levelling time for first batch = 3 days 10 hours
You then unlock the next batch and must spend 3 days 10 hours again on those

I wasn’t trying to be precise. I just remembered some six point something number. But whatever I guess.

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No, I get that - just making sure that no new users lurking and reading this stuff who haven’t read about the SRS system, don’t start thinking that it’s possible (or wise even if it was) to go faster than is possible.

Wasn’t intended as any kind of slight you you :slight_smile:

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…have I been abusing scripts? I had over 100 lessons so I’m trying to clear all vocab I have and from that point forward trying not to let lessons get that high.

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its actually 23 and 47 for app3 and app4
all levels after 1 day have a -1 hour attached in order to disperse the reviews, so you dont get them all at once, like if you have a schedule of doing your reviews at 10PM you’ll start getting them reviews at 9 too already


Cheers for that, I always forget to change that bit - WK obfuscate it somewhat on the knowledgeable by putting ‘1 day’ and ‘2 days’


to be exact they put ~1 day
thus indicating that its about 1 day but not exactly

That may have been the case at one point, not so at the moment:


You’re talking forum, I’m talking website.

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hmm ic, but i am sure its still 23 and 47hours


No, you’re definitely right, it’s been confirmed by the team iirc :slight_smile:

It makes sense too, because the maximum quoted speed is always 6d 20hr, whereas it would be 7d if we added four extra hours on.


It was due to how something or other worked, and not intentional.
They considered “fixing it” to be exactly 24 hours and 48 hours, people just NO! Leave it! :rofl:

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100 isn’t bad, if you stop to do them there.
I would say avoid getting any vocabs from earlier levels left behind.
You can do radicles and kanji from the new level without doing the vocab from last level first, as some are unlocked at level up. But any -2 leves are script abuse and will hurt your retention of those kanji.
Basically aim for Zero lessons at least once per level. If you do, the order doesn’t hurt.


Thanks! That was essentially my plan, so it’s good to hear it from you as well.