I started Wanikani with the intention to do 1 level per week without fail. However somewhere along the way I got burnt out and resorted to just doing radical/kanji lessons every week.
This resulted in piles of vocabulary stacking up for 2 months straight, to the point where I had ~1100 lessons available until last week.
I’m now down to 600 lessons after a couple of days - but still have a long way to go.
This is also interesting for me because I’ve always wondered - how much new information can we retain in a short amount of time?
I’m guessing I’ll only remember half of these words when they come up for review, and the other half I’ll get right eventually with the help of SRS. I’ll be posting the results on here also.
What is the most amount of lessons/reviews you’ve done in one go??
What got me motivated to get through all of these was reading, where I noticed how many kanji I was able to recognize compared to 2 months ago when I stopped doing vocabulary lessons, and it was clear at this point I was being held back by my lack of vocabulary.
It also helped when I managed to get a subscription to Abema (It’s like netflix in Japan) by making a Japan iTunes account and subscribing through Apple Pay - watching Japanese dramas/live TV is completely different to anime and I now prefer it for listening practice.
I don’t know why they make it so difficult to access content outside of Japan.
I really recommend getting into reading/watching Japanese TV if you’re in need of an incentive to keep going - it’s fulfilling whenever you hear or read a word and remember how you just learned it the other day.
I’m glad to have kept going with Wanikani in some form or other since the beginning and it’s now starting to pay off extremely.
My goal is to be level 60 by the end of this year or sooner.
Last year in spring I decided to “learn all the 1500 kanji I don’t know, but do it in a really short amount of time, and thus have it over with.” I did this with anki and not wanikani ofc.
In about a month I added 950 kanji, and some days I did thousands of reviews, over that whole period I did just above 20k reviews. Of course I burnt out and since I at best hade like a 2-3 week as the highest recall interval they are all gone now. I call it the lost month.
If you cram all those 1100 lessons into the srs in just a week the srs will absolutely bury you and you’ll likely experience a burnout like last time. So uhm… stop and chill 2-3 weeks with what you already crammed in, and then do maybe max 100 a week.
I agree with clearing your lesson queue down, so maybe avoiding radical/kanji lessons and doing just vocab using a script. However, pushing that many lessons in a short amount of time just sounds like a good way to get a huge amount of leeches. You are correct that you’ll eventually get through them if you keep at it but having a large amount of leeches can be a real drag.
I understand the burnout. The last time I was really dedicated to WaniKani was about 3 years ago. When I logged in I saw that I have 1050 reviews to do. Since I’m minoring in Japanese (and I may make the decision to major), I decided to bite the bullet and get a lifetime subscription. I’ve had a WK account since 2016.
May I suggest you space out your lessons? I understand wanting to get it done, but you could get burned out again. Plus, cramming is the worst way to learn. You’ll remember the first and last lessons but not the middle.
I started watching shows (anime and dramas) exclusively in Japanese. I’ve only taken 3 semesters of Japanese, but I can just barely get the gist of what’s going on. Like you said, it’s rewarding to recognize words! It’s even more rewarding to read a Japanese newspaper and recognize kanji.
I’ve found Japanese communities on Twitter and Instagram where I can practice reading and very basic conversation.
Good luck to you! I wish you well on your journey.
I would chill with the lessons. 400+ is rough in the long run, granted you’ll guru them eventually. But I had like 300+ apprentice for two days and it was rough. Then the guru sessions came and it was somewhat painful. I’d chill with the lessons and keep it atleast under 200 if you feel ambitious.
What is better though is doing 20 every day no matter how many lessons you have. You will burn out eventually doing 1100 lessons in a week, the amount of reviews is no joke.
This is coming from someone that is fairly hardcore.
You’ve had experience with burnout, but now you say you’re gonna do 1100 lessons in a week. So, you don’t think there was a lesson to be had in not overdoing it with the lessons and study pace?
As for retention…as far as I know there is no need to worry about it much. The SRS will keep things going. The real issue is having too many reviews piling up, not allowing you to do them at their ideal SRS-timings, which is pretty important in the beginning. That might make you fail more items than necessary, which will make it take even longer unto guru’d, and so the apprentice items pile up.
I don’t have any experience in that many lessons, my tops was only about 200 for the same-ish reason, but I believe in the spray and pray method. I just do a bunch of lessons and don’t even worry about the retention rate, this first part is only about weeding out those cards that are very easy to remember (stuff like compunds and the sort that stick in my head much easier). After that whenever I fail a review, I open up the mnemonic and read it a bit. After a few rounds of this the items should be mostly gone and because I failed a bunch of them, they ought to be spaced well enough apart that doing reviews isn’t a pita.
I do the same when I get overrun by lessons, try to space them out the best I can and other than that, mostly the shotgun method. Will get most right, those that doesn’t SRS will handle. But 1100 sounds like too much to shotgun though, because the amount of reviews will be just too much.
It is doable though, but doing 500+ reviews daily for a couple weeks sounds like something I wouldn’t do sober.
Doing a lot of lessons at once will create equivalent waves down the line that translate into additional reviews of close to a thousand items per week (depends on accuracy of course) for each SRS stage. Sounds like a recipe for either more burnout or more script abuse.
Also, with not doing vocabulary you unnecessarily weaken exposure and repetition and you’ll miss out on many alternative readings for Kanji. Personally, I’m a fan of 0/0’ing once every level.
Why though? Like, really. Do you have some deadline? I’m pretty sure it’s not because it’ll improve learning.
Sorry, I’m just a bit tired of seeing people trying to speedrun, fail and reset, all for no good reason.
Maybe there’s an argument to be made about trying to lay a more stable base but whatever works for you is best. Doesn’t seem like you’d be disappointed if you were faced with a level reset as best option and obviously you don’t fear walls of lessons and reviews that much, so with that attitude i can only wish you good luck!
Also i only talk high and mighty – have done all sorts of mistakes myself and reset multiple times with ultraslow progress over many years So in a sense i’m calling myself out just as much @Joeni …
You still need to use a VPN on top of this right? And was a Japanese CC required or something so you had to use Apple Pay?
I wanted to start using Abema a while back but then it was so strange that they offer you the option for premium on the app then 90% of the content is region lock…
You need a VPN on always. I use NordVPN but any should do. Most stuff requires a Japanese CC, but the reason I made a Japanese iTunes account was to be able to download all the regional apps in the first place. I got Shounen Jump, Abema as well as a couple other ones which are helpful. With books I either use Apple books, which has some Japanese content, or JP Amazon - which I can only buy stuff using JPY giftcards.
I never get any buffering with the VPN so it doesn’t make much difference for me like I thought it would.
If you’re thinking about logging out of your Apple account and going to a temporary Japanese one just know your downloaded music might get uninstalled and a few other things might bug out when you switch back to your main account.
Oh no… I’ve been there. Neglected my lessons for a while, ended up going through >1000 lessons in a few weeks. That was a few months ago - and some of those items still haunt me to this day xD Your screenshots give me ptsd. Bestest of luck, you can absolutely do this! My advice is to just try cutting through the lessons slower - if you go too fast, they will haunt you and burn you out again.