I personally wouldn’t buy lifetime.

I started around April and when I got my yearly subscription this was the cheapest option (knowing Lifetime sale would only be in December). I plan to finish may to july so buying lifetime just isn’t feasable anymore.
There are also other reasons to not buying the lifetime membership. I think that having a lifetime membership will actually make you progress slower, because you don’t have to pay for the time you spend. Also, for lifetime users it’s “okay” to make a 2 year break, because they still own WaniKani after that. What these people forget is that they virtually reset their Japanese.


your remaining time will be subtracted from the price if you buy lifetime.
i also think that, if you go with time limited subscription, you’re more likely to stop as soon as you hit 60 and will perceive additional months as not worth the price, which IMHO would be a mistake.
you’d end up with a somewhat solid knowledge up to mid-40 and rather shaky lvl 50+ content, because you didn’t get those often enough to last you a while.
considering that kanji after lvl 50 are somewhat rare, to the point that some don’t even have vocabulary on wk, that would certainly hurt.
with lifetime, you can burn them all, then resurrect whatever you like and repeat it.
you can also come back later, in case new stuff is added, without having to resubscribe.
“ding 60” marks 2/3 of the possible program, if you think about it.


doesn’t work for me :slightly_frowning_face:, I payed with paypal.

Also burning everything makes sense to me, but there are many people having reported that “burning” actually often doesn’t remotely mean burning into memory. The reward of burning an item doesn’t seem that big.
Since I have learned a language to fluency before, I want to try the same strategy I used to succeed there, which didn’t rely on vocab at all. You need a basis of vocab and grammar, but what makes you fluent can only be immersion.
Also, my kanji learning journey shouldn’t end with WaniKani. There are still more Kanji out there used in literature or Names. I am also learning to write every Kanji because right now I can’t “see” most kanji in my mind.
So it’ll be another year tops for me.


I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion. According to this thread paypal-paid subscriptions have to be manually processed to get the prorated discount.

So unless Tofugu has decided and announced sometime during this year that they no longer plan on providing subscription proration for memberships paid through paypal, your conclusion doesn’t seem accurate. (I’m only chiming in so that people who actually may be interested in upgrading to lifetime aren’t misinformed about this.)


The staff at Tofugu were kind enough to me to give me a personalised subscription through paypal over email, depending what the lifetime price goes to if it goes on sale over the holidays I may upgrade from what I am on now.
To be honest, if I do upgrade, I’m just going to ask the staff at Tofugu to keep the extra as a tip because they’ve given me fantastic service so far.
For example, the time it took from me sending a payment through paypal to my account being upgraded was a total of 4 minutes. You can’t really get any better than that.


Look at this screenshot:

“Paying under alternitive methods do not auto-renew or prorate”


^^^That message on the pay screen was there last year and even quoted on the thread I provided a link to earlier. I think that message means that methods like PayPal don’t have same properties as paying via credit card (i.e., the automatic renewal and the direct account association).

In fact, the last person who responded in the quotes I provided above is the creator of WK and the president of Tofugu. So I’m pretty sure if there’s a sale for this year, WK will honor what @koichi said last year about dealing with PayPal payments if a user upgrades to lifetime. unless I misread and completely misunderstood…:thinking:


I got to level 6 about 5 years ago, then stopped and have just taken it up again - dropped back down to level 3 and have just managed to work through the 300 or so reviews I had in about 2 weeks. Next review in half an hour :slight_smile:

Now to start doing lessons again…


Japanese grammar is very different than English, Spanish, French, etc… grammar. I think that Japanese grammar is more logical and simpler. A paid app that I think it is worth is Human Japanese. It is geared towards absolute beginners but it moves fast. I used HJ (basic and then intermediate). Now I am using Genki I book for grammar (you could jump directly to Genki which has more details than HJ but if I had started with Genki, I think I’d lose the motivation).


Did you check out A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar? Koichi praised it to heaven, I’m thinking of using that one. Human Japanese sounds like something I’d be interested in. I’ll check it out, thanks.


I did Wanikani intensively for a year and a half and reached Level 31. Then life and flagging motivation got in the way and I took a break from Wanikani for an entire year. Tried a few times to start up again but became more frustrated when the review percentage was so low. Since I had a lifetime subscription (which I highly recommend if you’re serious about this, $100 off during Christmas BTW) I just decided to start all over again from Level 1 and treat it like a giant review until I got back to where I was previously. It’ll probably take at least a year to get back to Level 31 again. As others have mentioned, my advice is to not give up doing Reviews at all costs. You can control the pace by backing off Lessons but if you give up reviews for an extended period of time you’ll forget even “Burned” items as well and it’ll almost feel like you have to start over. I was a bit shocked by how much I’d forgotten. Don’t lose momentum like I did. If I hadn’t stopped a year ago I’d probably be past Level 50 by now instead of grinding away at Level 9.


Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to reach lvl9 the second time? Would you say it was easier/faster the second time around?


Actually, it has been easier the second time around so I certainly can’t call the first time I did it a complete waste. Quite a few of them do get recalled from the dark recesses of my mind so some of those Burns did stick. Progress has been a little faster and I should finish Level 9 by the end of this week, which will be exactly three months after I started up again. I also don’t seem to miss as many on the reviews, which helps down the road. The real test will be when I start hitting the “teens” levels. As I recall that’s when the characters started to get tougher.


Like other posters have mentioned, I would also suggest supplementing Wanikani with outside reading. Seeing these characters in context definitely helps them stick better. Don’t think that you have to reach lvl20 etc. before you do any outside reading. I didn’t do enough of that during my first go around and now regret it. I’m a big fan of NHK Easy, especially since they added the button where you can switch the furigana for the kanji on and off. The recordings of the articles are helpful too.


I actually own a copy of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.

While I agree with the Koichi’s review of the book about how useful and nice it is, the book is more oriented as a grammar reference book than something you would use to start learning grammar.

For an example of how you’d normally use the book: you run into a sentence where you see a verb in Te form followed by the verb くる (kuru), and you wonder what that means; you just open the book in the letter “K”, search for kuru, and you eventually find an entry explaining how that verb is used as an auxiliary and how that transforms the meaning of the main verb.

While you can certainly read the book from A to Z and learn a lot, it would probably be very confusing unless you already have some knowledge of japanese grammar. I must also mention that grammar terminology is a bit heavy in this book, so if you feel that reading something like “when hodo is preceded by a noun, the predicate must be negative” would be over your head, you might want to get familiar with standard grammar terms first.


So start with Genki and/or Human Japanese first, then?


doesn’t matter what you use, all programs have their ups and downs. just stick to one thing, shopping around for something better isn’t worth it.
you’ll be in a much better position to choose something better when you’re finished with one course.


Sadly I haven’t used either of them, so I can’t really tell you much except for what I’ve read in reviews and from other WK users. They both seem to be highly regarded and used. The only complaint I’ve heard about Genki is that it is more classroom oriented and not that great for self-learners (and somewhat expensive)

My own grammar studies have been really messy. I started by reading blogs and articles online, then ended up buying a couple of books, “Japanese Demystified” and “Japanese Barron’s Gramar”, none of which I enjoyed that much. Both felt too oriented towards business people and maybe tourist that want to delve just a bit deeper, and I feel it simplifies many explanations and doesn’t quite get you the exact nuances of many constructions and particles.

Finally I settled with Tae Kim’s grammar, which is a free resource that I like quite a lot, but at that point I already had a background. Not sure how exactly it feels from the perspective of a beginner.


I agree that Genki is easier to use in a classroom context. I’m not using it in a course but I meet with a tutor who grades my Genki exercises. Tae Kim is also good but I only used as a reference so I’m not sure about exercises. I forgot to mention that HJ has a trial version so the first few chapters are free.


i started with pimsleur, did all courses. then michel thomas, from start to end. then japanesepod101, beginner to upper intermediate. listening/speaking is my strong suit, which was intended back then, since i prepared myself for moving to japan, so i had immediate need.

were i to start again from zero, i’d do it again while doing wk, because reading speeds it up so much.
unfortunately, i discovered wk pretty late. i was already a fluent speaker when i first did wk in 2015, then time constraints led to me quitting. now i’m back and will finish the job - now i also have a need for literacy beyond everyday business, since i’m working with japanese colleagues, and i’m dealing with japanese documents from time to time. need will fill in where motivation fails, if it will fail.