Feel slow and making not making anough progress

I’ve bought the yearly subscription and my guru plus is 436 kanji and 1307 vocabulary, hade a major depressive episode for 6 month or so and it really slowed me down including now, idk if I’m even making decent progress or not, my enxiety only shuts up when I compare myself to someone else unfortunately, thanks


I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling depressed lately; it can be difficult to do anything when going through that so give yourself credit that you’re still trying! Slow steps forward are still getting you there!

You’ll see lots of people online talking about getting to level 60 super quickly but there are plently of people who are taking their time with wanikani too. “Decent progress” means different things for different people. So maybe surround yourself with others who don’t mind the slow and steady approach. I really recommend the “Durtle the Scenic Route” group on here for this :slight_smile:

Hang in there! Anxiety and depression are horrible, but you can do this!


Everybody has their own life, routine, daily duties, and goals. A person who has no kids, no pets, and no job can probably dedicate 4x as much of their day to WaniKani compared to someone who works, has family obligations, etc. Are either of those differences in priorities wrong? No. I think most of us are just learning Japanese for fun, so take your time. The fastest you can speed run WK is slightly over a year anyway and quite frankly I don’t know if dedicating huge chunks of your day to flashcards sounds that awesome in the grand scheme of things.

I think that it would help you feel better if you hit daily goals with WK, though. I use the WaniKani Heatmap user script to hit my goals. The minimum amount of lessons I want to do is 3, the minimum amount of reviews is 30 (I set the bar very low so it motivates me to push further).

Lastly, I really think that if you aren’t already, you probably need to focus on alleviating your depression through life style changes, self-help books, a counselor, etc. Japanese isn’t really the root of your problems and being awesome at WK probably won’t help you through depressive episodes. Struggling with depression is the true problem and that’s why Japanese (and probably other things in your life) were consequently affected.

There are frequently forum posts where life happens and people get out of the WK habit for a long period of time, either through life happening or suffering from depression just like you (it happened to me, I had a 4 month slump myself and life was absolutely miserable during that time to say the least). I really hope that things improve for you, don’t give up and don’t beat yourself up too much about it because you really aren’t alone.


Progress is progress no matter how slow it is. I started WaniKani in 2019 and couldn’t keep up with it for the longest time. I only recently got more consistent with it in August and just this year started doing it daily. The biggest thing I realized was that you have to start small. Not able to do it daily? Take weekends off. Not able to do more than 30 or 50 reviews in a day? Its all right, set a goal and try to hit it. Find some sort of goal that you can hit consistently and if you can keep that up you can start raising the bar. But always remember that learning a language naturally takes a long time and the most important thing is that you’re actually learning it (and having fun). So go at your own pace.

And like someone else has already said, you’re definitely far from alone in this struggle.

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“don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect” is a saying that comes to mind. I remember when I would get frustrated I wasn’t good enough and in time I finally reached one of my biggest goals and realized I was doing this for me the whole time and all the levels and JLPT stuff didn’t actually matter. I started this journey to improve myself. Good luck and I hope you find what you’re looking for.


If you do not have a clear definition of what you consider to be “Enough progress” , you will probably always feel like you are not reaching it. It is all too easy to say “I only did X reviews today, but I should have done X+1”. If you set yourself small goals it will be easier to track them and feel like you are making progress.
That being said, I don’t believe that it is possible to make bad progress. Any progress is good.
The finish line is not moving away from you, and there is no deadline approaching you from behind either. Every review you make is one more step forward and every lesson you make is one more word or kanji you can read next time you see it.
You’ve done good to make it this far and you’ll for sure get to the end of it.


I started immersion after lvl 11 and I started having an idea what I knew and what was missing to get to media entertainment.

You could start now this to check yourself your progress if so far you have at least the grasp of vocab necessary for “the wild out there”.

thank you so much it really motivated me, I’ll try to do 30 to 40 a day until I get off medications so I can focus again

You’ll get used to the feeling of not getting enough progress, that feeling probably never goes away. Just have realistic expectations and move accordingly. Make the process a routine and enjoy the journey with consuming content you like. Once the learning gets on autopilot and it’s not something you have to drag yourself to do, it will just go on… autopilot.

Comparing oneself to others can be somewhat helpful to gauge if one is doing something correctly or not and see if one needs to recorrect. But also need to keep in mind that you are not other people, some people have more time, more interest, more anything and less of other things that you might value that they don’t have.

Just don’t worry about it, make it a routine and get good.


sounds good :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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Sorry to hear your going through a tough time. I just want to wish you the best and hope you get through it OK.

I had a fairly major depressive episode over the last couple of months and feel that I’m just coming out the other side now. My feeling is don’t be too hard on yourself.

The goals have to be achievable. Even if that means just 1 lesson and 1 review a week. Set yourself a minimum goal that you know you can achieve easily and then you’ll feel good when you surpass that. Take it slow and don’t increase your goals until you’re sure you’re ready. Gradually I’m sure that it will become fun and satisfying again. Don’t be afraid to take a break either, sometimes that’s the best thing for your health.

Best of luck to you!


Try not to worry so much about speed and comparing with others.
Remember that learning a language is a marathon, not a sprint. Even though the main page of WaniKani says “In just over a year.”, it will take the average user (from what I’ve seen here in the community) maybe 2 years.

I’m level 15 currently and my Guru+ is at 499 for kanji and 1532 for vocabulary which isn’t so different.

As long as you show up at least once a day to do some reviews then you’re making progress. And if you feel like you’re not remembering anything and your accuracy is low, then take a break from new lessons for a week and just focus on reviews to get that Apprentice pile down.
+1 for people mentioning “Durtle the Scenic Route”!

You’ve got this! Just take it easy for a little while before increasing your speed so you can take things in. Good luck!


I would focus on doing something everyday first; and then sometimes a little addition. Progress is unreliable and dependent on measurements. Also, only that you did some decent work-up that you would try to measure progress.

Something to do everyday might be in the morning and at night, and that isn’t necessary Wanikani. Only that Wanikani is a system that requires not to miss a day (so vacation mode if you must).

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