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!


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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!!


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!

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