Forgot everything after a break: my experience and questions

Same old story, I have seen countless posts about this. But I am posting as I need advice on two points and share my experience.

I have been studying japanese on and off for several years and I go to Japan at least twice a year.
I started december 2018 went very quickly up to level 20, then it became harder to keep up with the pace and after a few difficult weeks I had to stop completely (work and my daughter was born). During that time I still had some exposure to Japanese, but much less than in the past

Now, after 6-7 months, I feel I am back to the beginning.

What I tried to do
a) I tried to remember a bit with the wanikani speed app and although I guess right most of the times (like 90%), I guess there is some subconscius memory, most kanji look like… empty to me

b) I tried to do go the other way round with kaniwani but it’s not helping.

What should I do?

  1. I should start over right? Maybe go back to level 5 or 10? What do you think? The first levels were too easy and painfully slow. so I could just go over them quickly without srs. Would that be a good approach?

  2. Most troubling part is that I have difficulties even with my 2200 burned items. Is that normal? I guess even if you complete wanikani you still need to have constant exposure to Japanese. I have read it in other posts but I was a bit schocked by how quickly I lost my kanji and words.

thank you!

Patrick

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On your first point, I recommend going through each level and trying to remember the kanji. Once you get to a level you’re super unfamiliar with, reset to that one. Having reset 3 times, this is the most efficient way I’ve found to do it!

On the second, I found this too, however I started reading (big shout out to the book clubs!) and have found that most of these words are coming back to me with exposure. If I was super unhappy I’d probably unburn them individually, but right now it’s working for me to just keep seeing them over and over.

Good luck!!

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You might not remember them if you look at them on WK, but you’d be surprised how easily they come back when they show up in a sentence. :wink:

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Thank you! You have all been super helpful!