Today I finally reached level 60! It feels really good but I’m afraid I cannot believe it yet! It took about 14 months, mostly an enjoyable time but sometimes stressful as hell!
I had to take a break of two months altogether within this period of time because of work. But these two breaks were good to regain some energy and the learning afterwards was even more pleasant. So for all people out there who are about to face a WK burnout: don’t hesitate to take a break!
With no doubt, WK is really great. For sure one of the best ways to learn kanji quickly but also for fortifying the acquired knowledge. My reading ability has improved a lot. While being in Japan two months ago I was very happy not being an analphabet anymore.
I’m now able to search in Japanese internet databases and libraries for literature, especially haiku which was my main reason to learn Japanese beside just being curious about this beautiful language. It’s so wonderful to read haiku in its original form. It often needs some research on the correct transliteration and pronunciation depending of the date of origin but now it’s much easier for me to find the correct information or to find secondary Japanese literature about the haiku authors or for example the use and meaning of particles in Late Middle Japanese. So overall it was a good decision to start WK!
To me the WK SRS system is absolutely the best way to learn kanji. It forces you to keep on going, to focus on your individual progress. The mnemonics are a great help but I must admit after some levels it was actually much easier to learn new kanji either with my own mnemonics or just visually.
Sometimes I also wished to have the possibility to adjust the SRS system for my individual purposes. While leveling between 50-60 I realized that reducing the time of learning and reviewing to 3.5-4 days were no problem at all. From my point of view it would be helpful to implement a possibility to adjust the time of leveling so that you can decide more freely if you want to speed up things depending on your individual capacity. Additionally it would be nice to switch off the burning of kanji. Personally I think these late reviews do not really make sense to fortify knowledge. It may depend on each learner individually but from my experience they often interfere with new content and cause stress because of adding a big amount of reviews each day which makes it unnecessarily harder to focus on the current kanji. I think it would be better to invest more time in reading to stabilize remembering kanji. But there are of course many equally good ways, pros and cons, different views. For my way of learning it would have been much more convenient to have options to adjust the SRS system.
Now I’m planning to learn the rest of kanji and vocabulary of level 60 the next three days (or after Christmas time…). But after that I will stop. I won’t burn any item anymore. I will focus on reading. And to be honest, I’m soooo happy to get back to my normal life! Lol. No daily review hell anymore! Yay!
From time to time I will return to recap some kanji. There are some nice scripts like the one for verb conjugations. So the voyage is not over yet. And of course I will keep on being an active part of this wonderful community. I always enjoyed all these posts and comments and recommendations. So helpful and a lot of fun!
Merry Christmas and