This is probably more of a rant then anything else.

I’ve been doing my honest best with wanikani for almost 2 years now and I feel like I’ve gotten hardly anywhere.
I feel like I’m absolute trash at learning a new language, I don’t feel like the mnemonics are helping me I often score under 60% of my reviews and I’m doing less then 100 reviews a day.

I try to do reviews twice a day once in the morning before I go to work and once in the evening before bed and it often stresses me out.

I have to really focus on my reviews else I find myself readily looking for some distraction to put off doing it for a few mins longer.

I also know I should compare myself to others and that any progress is good but I some times I look at others and feel like I’m bashing myself against a wall and not measuring up.

Am I just doing something wrong? I literally don’t have any more time to try and do more reviews in a day and I’m feeling hopeless, disappointed and incredibly demotivated.


Realistically, the answer is most likely “yes”, if we set aside any feel good ego boosting stuff.

The problem is that in order to give you a specific answer of how to better your learning, we need a much more accurate picture of what your situation is like.

When can you do reviews?
How much time are you setting aside a day?
When are you doing your 4 and 8hr reviews?
What is your retention like on those reviews?
What do you do when you get a question wrong?
Are you using the mnemonics they give? Do you make your own?
How do you go about doing your lessons?


I don’t feel like the mnemonics are helping me I often score under 60% of my reviews and I’m doing less then 100 reviews a day.

i know i’m just a wanikani babby, but i have a few questions about this:

  • when you see a mnemonic in a new lesson for the first time, how do you use it?
  • if a mnemonic is not working out for you, what do you do?
  • if you get a review wrong, what do you do?

Looks like there’s objectively something wrong with your studying. Maybe you could fill us in with some details like what Vanilla asked and maybe we can troubleshoot your problems.

For one, probably try to not do lessons all together, focus on finishing up your reviews and just consume Japanese content for the sake of enjoying it (if you’re at that level). If not, just use another study resource for now if WK isn’t working for you. Seeing that you have a lifetime sub, you can just come back to WK at any time you want.


I am currently officially learning for the N1 but it is really incredibly boring and since two weeks ago I felt that learning turned into just staring at the book and feeling bad. If its not fun, no one can keep up learning anything, that’s normal. Maybe just take a break and do something that is just fun for a while and forget about Japanese? If you feel like learning Japanese again it might be also a good idea to do something you like, like watching anime or reading manga, I am sure you will find a lot of the Kanji you know already :cherry_blossom:


Honestly I’ve been studying Japanese for a few years now, and I’m much farther behind many people that have been studying as long as I have. There are a lot of personal reasons for that, but I know I’m also just not as good at picking up languages as a lot of people. Remembering vocab is really hard for me, but I still like to study because it’s fun. If Wanikani isn’t fun for you and you want to keep studying Japanese, put it on vacation mode and find something else to try until you want to get back to it, if you ever do. I like to try watching anime without subs or with JPN subs! Even if I only understand a few scraps, it’s still fun to watch, and it’s helped my listening skills! I wish you the best in your studies!


I’ll try to honestly break it down so we can see where I’m going wrong.

When can you do reviews?
I wake up in the morning get a coffee and do my first review usually around 8 to 9 am but some days it’s much later depending on my work schd. After which I’m working for large portions of the day.

How much time are you setting aside a day?
I usually only have about 40 mins to do my morning review unless I get up much earlier at which time my review would only contain a dozen or so reviews. In the evening I try to do my review before I go to bed which leaves about 30 to 50 reviews for me to do more often then not, some times more but no more then 80 reviews.

When are you doing your 4 and 8hr reviews?
I am not doing 4 hours reviews because I’m at work and not physically able to set aside to do them as even if I’d do my best to time my break and use the app I’d have to give up my 30 mins of lunch skipping eating to do them.

What is your retention like on those reviews?
I’m not even sure how to answer that, honestly more often then not it feels like I’m guessing.

What do you do when you get a question wrong?
I try my best to re-read the mnemonics , sound out the word, I have a script installed that tells me what I might be confusing the word with. Some times I look the word up online.

Are you using the mnemonics they give? Do you make your own?
The given mnemonics never really worked for me as oven half the time it’s a jukugo and there is no mnemonic just “This is a jukugo word, which usually means on’yomi readings from the kanji. If you know the readings of your kanji you’ll know how to read this as well.”
which is incredibly frustrating and unhelpful.
The other half of the time the mnemonic has me remembering the wrong word or spelling it incorrectly.

How do you go about doing your lessons?
Not sure what you mean by this.


Thanks for trouble shooting, I posted my answer to your questions under oreodisaster’s comment.

Thank you for your post, I gave a brief overview under oreodisaster’s post.

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Are you studying Japanese in any way outside of WaniKani? Have you learned/are you learning any grammar? I can imagine the words in WK feeling useless/difficult to remember if you have 0 chances to apply them anywhere else.


I trying reading random words I come across, I listen to a little japanese media and I’m currently doing bunpro.

I have tried doing things like playing simple games like pokemon in jp ans using other apps like kawaiinihongo and influent.

I don’t have much useful advice to offer because our situations are very different, but on this I was in the same place for a while. What I did was doing new lessons in the morning (just 10 every day usually) and then during lunch, I only did the reviews for those 10 items, because they were the ones with 4h intervals. Took me about 5 minutes. Not sure if you can make the same work, but imo trying to stick to the early intervals is really important for retention and could help reduce the load overall.


Hmm, so if I’m understanding your post correctly, then it looks like the most important thing for you right now is probably improving your short term recall.

People’s personal opinions come into play here, but I think most other advanced users would agree you want to ensure you’re getting a very very high percentage correct on your 4 and 8 hr reviews. The quality of your initial learning of the word is the greatest predictor of your ability to retain it imo. From a personal standpoint, a single missed 4 or 8hr review was an indicator to me that I did my lessons incorrectly (usually going too fast). If you feel like you are guessing on a lot of them thats probably the best place to start.

As for what to do, it sounds like wanikani’s mnemonics aren’t really working for you. So what I would do is do your best to come up with your own for ones that don’t seem memorable. The fact that jukugo readings are hard for you tells me that you aren’t remembering the base kanji readings. Go back through, maybe focusing on 10 per day, and try to come up with quality ways for you to remember each one. If the mnemonics arent working for you in the first place, rereading them probably wont do much.

What do you mean by this?

All I mean is, when you do your lessons, what specifically do you do? How long for each word? What do you do to ensure you remember the word? How many lessons do you do in a batch? How many lessons do you do in a day?


I just read a book about caffeine and it seems the blood volume in the brain after consuming a cup of coffee is reduced by 30%. For this and other reasons I am quitting caffeine now completely and would have been happy to have known many things when I was still younger. It’s not good for memory neither because of the adrenaline stress reaction.


Are you getting any breaks at work? Perhaps it would help if you do lessons on your second 15 minute break instead of in the morning (perhaps only do under 10 lessons so that you aren’t running out of time, but you might need to experiment a little to figure out how many you can squeeze in, as well as leaving some wiggle room for variations in initial required time). This should allow you to make your 4 hour review sometime after work, then hit the 8 hour review in the morning before work.

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When I say the mnemonic has me remebering the wrong wird or spelling I mean the I remeber the wrong word the mnemonic is trying to get me remeber by over emphasising another word in it or the way tue try to use englush words to mimic the way the word sounds in jp.

For example two cheese for tsuchi.

How do you go about doing your lessons?
I’m mostly doing just reviews till I feel like there are too few coming up in the morning and ir afternoon at which time I do 1 new lesson in a hatch if 5.

I try to spend a bit of time in a word but I don’t spend linger then 20 seconds, at this point I’ve almost completly given up on mnemonics both the ones used by wanikani or self made ones as I don’t feel like there helping and at times activly making it worse.

A portion of what has me sticking to wanikani is the sunk cost falicy of paying for anlife sub.

I only get a 30 min break at work during longer shifts and that usally leaves me with only just enough time to eat my lunch unless I inhale my food.

Hmm, well I’ll be honest, I think that might be your issue. For someone familiar with 3000 kanji learning a word with their 3001st kanji, just remembering its reading real quick in a few seconds is certainly doable. For a level 11 though, especially when you have to learn meaning AND reading, a few minutes might not be a bad idea. maybe 2-3 minutes per average per lesson for new stuff is a good average to shoot for. Thats currently like 7x what you currently are doing, but I think long term it certainly pays off. For the time being, I would only move onto the next lesson when you are sure you’ve got it for the one you’re on.


There are equally as many studies that say blk coffee is good for your memory but that said I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I have no other form if stress relief other then some video games or reading while working a stressful job in customer service.

The coffee is my one vice stopping me from actually killing another human.


Seems like a sound idea.

Think I shoukd reset to level 1 again?

I have words burned at this point that im still not sure I’m good with and at least with a life time sub i’m not under a ling term time limit.

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