Does anyone else feel like they’re slower than the turtles we burn?

The last 3 level 60 posts I saw ranged from 2-5 years, so you’re doing ok so far. I think what’s happened is that you’ve finally realized how much of a commitment it’s going to be to do something day after day for 2-3 years, and that’s perfectly normal.

After about 6 months the novelty wears off and you can see the grind ahead.

I used to climb cell phone towers for a living, and they ranged from 80 to 120 feet tall. When most people talk about heights, they tell you not to look down. In my case, I felt like it was even worse to look up and see how much farther I had to go. In either case, though, I mostly looked straight ahead and just kept climbing rung after rung.

You’ll get there, just keep going. :slight_smile: :+1:


This is very validating! I have been doing this for 8 months and am still on Level 4!! But I’ve signed up for life so the commitment is there. I do my reviews daily but I only do 5-10 new lessons every now and again. I am obviously a beginner but like you, Ladymeralan, I find this a fun thing to do.

I have also been doing Duolingo for nearly 12 months and with this combo I have learnt so much more Japanese vocab and grammar than I did in 4 terms of adult education classes. It is the consistency of daily practice I believe. I am obviously a novice student of Japanese, and I realise there is much more to learning a language than what I’m doing, but you have to start somewhere!

Go well fellow slow coaches!


I feel like the turtles we burn really shouldn’t be moving at all. You guys haven’t been burning turtles alive, have you?


I started WaniKani when it was in beta back in January 2015 maybe? I’ve made it to level 28 twice and stopped about there.
This time I’m determined to make it past 30.


Everyone’s situation is different and I think we see a LOT of here’s how I got to level 60 at max speed posts on here that are discouraging to other people, but my plan is honestly something like 5 years. If you’re actually trying to learn Japanese you’re going to be spending time on things other than just WK. Depends what your end goal is if you even need level 60 necessarily, but for me it’s a lot less discouraging to really feel like I retained the things I’m studying here, and that only happens at the slower pace for lots of reasons, so I decided for myself if I keep a level under a month I’ll be completely satisfied, and that also frees me up to go study grammar or vocab or even just do other hobbies without just fruitlessly trying for force more WK into my brain.


I’ve been here since 2016! I knew I wouldn’t have the same amount of hours a day other people have and got the lifetime sub right out the gate. I’m glad I did because it’s taken me a long time to figure out a method that has been something I can stick to. This thread might be one you’d wanna check out:


Thanks. Out of all the replies, yours really resonates with me the most. It’s definitely become a daily habit, so I’ve got momentum on my side. Will just keep moving forward and climb lesson after lesson, level after level. :slight_smile:


Only 3? I’ll take 5 or 6 at my current pace.

As a word of encouragement, I’ve found the difference between the early 10s and the early 20s to be pretty huge as far as what you start to recognize in the wild.


I’ve been at this for 5 years and I’m only now halfway through. It really depends on the person and what their learning speed and schedule is like. I work a two Japanese elementary schools and have a fiancé. I’m also not very good at learning languages as it turns out :sweat_smile: :sob:
Don’t worry about how fast or slow other users are and take this at your own speed. I prefer going slower and using the kanji knowledge I acquire outside of WK, but don’t always have the time to sit and read native material :woman_shrugging:


You might have already read this (and if you have, I apologize), but have you looked at the ultimate guide to WK? Even if you aren’t going full speed, it wouldn’t probably add too much time to your schedule if you wanted to go a little faster! There are some tricks that go a long way to making WK much less painful to do. Two of the easiest methods are paying a little more attention to the early SRS stages, and doing a set number of lessons every day instead of binging them. I’m going at a rate of about two weeks a level (roughly 12 lessons a day), and it’s not strenuous at all.

Of course, if your pace is working for you, there’s no need to go faster! I’ve enjoyed the Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route thread (linked in an earlier post) because of the focus on going at your own pace rather than trying to rush to a particular level number goal. It’s nice to have somewhere to celebrate your milestones, even if they take you longer to reach than other people.

Also, if your time really is super limited, you might be better off putting any extra time into learning other aspects of Japanese besides kanji, as kanji is only one small piece of the puzzle. I think striving for balance is more important than speed. If you manage to reach level 60 after 3+ years but also have a solid foundation of grammar and a bunch more vocab under your belt, you’ll be better off than someone who rushed to 60 in a year and skipped grammar study completely in order to do it.


When I first started WK in the beginning on 2019 I thought I’d get to level 30 in a year. I thought thay would be reasonable at that time. Here I am 3 years later and should be reaching level 30 in the next month or two. I rushed and stayed on track, but then life got in the way and it has made it difficult to stay on track. I’ve had a lot of times where I didn’t touch WK for months at a time. I’ve learned to pace myself and to get back on it. Sometimes life will hold you back, but don’t give up.
It’s truly great that some people can find the time, motivation and ability to learn kanji and vocab so fast. It does take a lot of time of effort. You have to find what works for you. It’s better to go slow and steady rather than too fast and quitting or forgetting everything. Of course there’s nothing wrong with going fast, but it’s not something everyone can do.


“Finish” is an interesting word. Learning a language never really ends, and since WK level 60 doesn’t mean much when it comes right down to it, you might consider some other near, mid, and long term goals to keep you motivated.

I’m happy for the folks that get to 60 at warp speed, but many of us mere mortals might benefit from focusing on other things besides our “finish” date:

  • streak tracking:

    • how many days can you go without skipping (doing at least one review, hopefully more?)
    • longest streak of reviews or questions without an incorrect answer
    • days with accuracy above 80% or whatever
    • etc.
  • round number targets:

    • burned item counts or percentages
    • total unlocked items
    • total vocabulary words you’ve learned (guru stage and above)
    • lessons per week
    • days or weeks per level
    • etc.

Human motivation is weird. Most of us respond to the silliest hacks.


Best not to compare! But if it makes you feel better, I started in 2018 :slight_smile:


I’m in a very similar position but it’s taken me 11 months to get to level 11. The speed is slow but I feel that it will be much easier for me to maintain consistency for however many years it takes. So instead of focusing on what level I’ve reached, I’m more focused on maintaining my streak.


When I first started studying I tried to be a fast boy. As you can see in early 2020 that caught up to me and I ended up with 2K pending reviews at some point.

You are definitely best off finding your own pace that you can do consistently to avoid breaks or burn outs.

Join the slow club!


I keep seeing people post this chart. What script or website or whatever is it?


I’m level 6 and didn’t burned any single kanji yet xD
I’m learning 10 new card everyday and practise all cards with >85% rate. Not sure how many time will take me to finish.


If you started in October of last year, I don’t think you’d have an opportunity to burn one yet, no matter how fast you were trying to go.


Probably my favourite userscript


Definitely hear you. If I have one criticism of these Speedy L60 posts, it’s the subtle suggestion that “if you’re not doing it fast, you’re somehow lacking (or, to use a recently learned vocab, 欠ける :wink:)”. Everyone who reaches L60 should be applauded - it’s an amazing feat - but adjusting one’s mindset that the speed that works for YOU is the right speed takes regular maintenance. For me anyway!

If it’s any consolation @fitzfactor you’re ahead of me and in less time, so keep it up!