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

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!


My progress is very very slow and I like it that way. I’m a language teacher and I can tell you from both theory and experience that trying to cram in too much too fast does NOT lead to good learning. I love studying, and I’m not on a deadline, so I intend to keep going at a snail’s pace for as long as it takes.


Exactly. Isn’t the whole point that you can’t go faster than the scheduled reviews? What do you people mean with this going too fast and forgetting? If you forget that won’t be because of the speed.

To answer my own question and yours @gfaster, I guess doing other forms of study alongside WaniKani is best. If you only do WaniKani, that means you’re learning all these new kanji/vocab only on here and once you burn them you don’t seem them again, and you’ll be more likely to forget.

So supplementing WaniKani with other studies may cause you to level up slower but it can also help retain the information and make it more permanent.

Then again, even if I study outside of WaniKani why wouldn’t I just keep up with the reviews also? Anyway it doesn’t really make sense to me.

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Yeah I agree. Just do what you can, when you can. Consistency is more important anyway imo.

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Yes, I’m doing immersion and grammar studies on top of WaniKani. Since WaniKani is really only teaching us an alphabet (and some vocab to remember how to read it) I’m also spending time reading. Satori Reader, for example, can sync with your WaniKani progress to remove furigana of Kanji you already know.

Why don’t I just keep up with the reviews/lessons?

  1. My retention goes down when adding too many apprentice items. I want to keep my general rate around/above 80%. I’ve seen it plummet when I have too many new items.
  2. As you get further in the program, the total amount of items increases, leading to overall larger reviews. You don’t burn items at nearly the rate you add them, so sessions naturally get longer.
  3. I’m 30 years old. I have many responsibilities that make reviewing cards all day, every day, impossible. If I added too many items, even if I could remember them all, I literately would not have enough hours in the day to keep up with the reviews.

I’d possibly have enough time if I gave up all other forms of study, but I don’t think that’s ultimately best for long term retention either (esp. since you stop seeing burned items, so seeing them “in the wild” to remember them becomes necessary).


本当に? :sparkles: that’s so exciting to hear - i’m just about to start the 20s! I feel like vocab memorization really solidifies when u see it in the wild!

Completely agree with what everyone’s been saying - it’s most important to follow a pace that allows you to continue learning in the long term and works best with your lifestlye! it should be sustainable and enjoyable! :yellow_heart:


Really looking forward to that day! Good luck and congrats on making it 1/3 of the way :smiley:


There is really no such thing as “too fast” or “too slow” in absolute terms, IMHO. There is only “too fast to be manageable for my workload” and “too slow to reach the goals that I’ve made for myself”.

I think understanding how long, roughly, it will take one to complete WK and then compare that to one’s expectations is important. I think it’s also important to realise that WK is just one part of Japanese. Some people focus a lot on WK before doing other things, others have a more balanced approach from the start (personally, rushing to lvl60 without any grammar study, non-WK vocab or other practice would not be satisfying, but everyone is different). That’s also a reason why completion times can differ so much.


According to my completely scientific statistical method, watching Terrace House with Japanese subtitles, recognition counts improve more rapidly between level 10 and 20 than they did between level 1 and 10.


I honestly haven’t seen anything like that in recent memory. If anything, the gist is “hey guys, I did it this way, but it was a ton of work and I don’t recommend it at all unless you’re ready for that”.

One thing I have noticed is that the discussion on optimization can swing too far sometimes in optimizing for the ideal case instead of the normal case with the constraints that we all have to some extent.

That’s a really good way to put it. There are trade offs either way you go.


hehe i totally misunderstood the levels u were referring to oops but YES i totally agree with this too and i respect the science :relieved:

not to mention throughout levels 10-20 i think you get better at guessing readings/meanings for the vocabulary that isn’t on WK but is made up of kanji you’ve learnt and seen in other vocabulary if that makes sense? (for example i don’t think WK teaches you 店長 but you could work it out based on learning 駅長, 店員 etc.) This is just to say that i really do think levels 10 to 20 are fun ones and a new type of development/progression in one’s japanese studies!

i watched a lot of terrace house very early on in my WK journey :o i wonder if i should rewatch with japanese subtitles; that sounds like a good exercise!


I’m finding it takes about 2 weeks a level these days, and am assuming closer to 3 as time goes by. I would say 3 years is darned good and 4 to 5 is average. Look at it this way, it takes Japanese children about 9 years to get this down. So 5 years for a busy adult seems more than reasonable.


I’m 5 years in and only on Level 17…

It’s comforting to see I’m not the only one who is moving at such a sluggish pace. I thought I’d be done at this point 5 years down the line, but boy was I mistaken - my life has become so busy and preoccupied with other things, I simply can’t find enough time to make it through all the daily reviews I accumulate, and that’s with using Juken to fly through them as flashcards! Let alone start my new lessons without first clearing out all that’s accumulated on my daily review. I honestly don’t see how others feasibly move as fast as they do, as if it was their full-time job and they had all the time in the world.

Alas, it appears some of us were never meant to do this so rapidly. It’s a really deep slow-burn process for us. I’m just glad I took advantage of the WaniKani lifetime deal all those years ago. I’m making the most out of that purchase at least, money well spent :sweat_smile:


Yeah it’s more of a scheduling commitment than anything. I was able to carve out three 20m sessions in the morning, noon, and evening and do all of Wanikani in around an hour per day, but that was doing 11-15 days per level and slowing down near the end.

Aye, as long as you’re making progress and it’s still interesting and fun, then that’s awesome.

Haha, one of the best use cases for lifetime IMO. :+1: