Getting back after a year - how?

So, I’m at 11th level and after a short trip to Japan I lost the motivation for about a year.

A couple of months ago I tried to go through my 852 reviews, but, even though I remember part of it perfectly, the rest is extremely painful. I don’t remember the vocab (i.e. master-level), so I lookup the kanji. Then, it turns out I don’t even remember it’s radicals (i.e. enlightened-level), so it’s difficult to remember any mnemonic.

The problem is, I cannot really learn the vocab if I don’t remember kanji+radical, and, as they have high level, they doesn’t show up in the SRS often enough.

So, is starting from scratch the correct solution for me? Did anyone here have a similar problem and got through it?

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you can just work away at your reviews and let the SRS do its thing. the correct-percentage will probably be abysmal but if you’re not bothered by that you’ll be up to speed again in no time.

if not, there’s always that precious reset option, though. maybe just a few levels, so those newer kanji don’t show up and you can focus on training the old items again? (that’s what i did in your situation. hate getting things wrong ^^)

doesn’t really matter as long as you just do it! :wink:



I’ve let it it build up to over 700 reviews at least a couple times, and sit there for a year or more. What works for me is reducing the remaining amount of reviews by about 100 each day, and then when it’s under 300 I can usually power through the rest in a day.

It’s okay to get things wrong, that’s how learning works, and it’s what SRS is there to help you with!

Also, don’t do lessons until your reviews are managable. The number of apprentice items is the biggest factor in your daily review workload.

Good luck :+1:


Everything @Darcinon said. I chose to reset after I came back, but if you just focus on reviews for a while, you might not have to. I would do 100-200 reviews per day, and watch them die off, until you’re back in the swing of it. The SRS will do it’s thing, and you’ll be powering ahead within weeks.

Just remember: You got this!

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I came back to more (1800 reviews) after longer (3 years) and just sat down and did it all in one go. Took me over 12 hours, with little breaks. Most of those are burned now, but there will be a big 500er followup session soon, which I plan to do in one go again. I’ll repeat this until all the old items are out of the system.

I also used WKstats to identify problem kanji and made a drill deck for them. Working on it every day.

The only quick way to get out of a slump is to go berserk and clean up the mess. This costs some time and energy, but if you know that and are prepared, it’s not bad.

I had decided to give myself a maximum of 3 seconds to answer and, in case I couldn’t, type “lala” and hit enter. That cleaned it all up fine, and now I’m doing the same for all new stuff, too (I leveled up since then).

Willpower. Discipline. Diligence.


I wrote about this on my Guide for Wanikani :slight_smile: Chapter 11.

Most recently I came back after a 2 year+ break, but I’ve also taken breaks of around 6 months-1 year before. I’ve never reset a level, just slowly chipped my way through the mountain of reviews and accepted that getting things wrong is to be expected.

Having said that, I also have still studied Japanese at university and so I wasn’t coming back from absolutely no exposure to Japanese. I think that, particularly if you are having trouble with the radicals, it might be worth resetting a couple levels to get things under control.

Ultimately though, you gotta decide what will be most motivating for you. For me, I would be demotivated by going down levels, so I don’t do that. But the sense of satisfaction of grinding my way through 1500+ reviews is motivating. You might be the opposite! Figure out what will keep you engaged, and follow that path.

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Yep. I took about 9 months off. Just push through it.

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I like “nn” for this. Might as well burn out that ‘n’ key even faster than WK already makes me.

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nn is definitely a good alternative, less to type :wink:

I usually type some variation of “ksjbg” :sweat_smile:

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As someone who just got done catching back up from 2500 reviews, the best advice I can give is to take in small chunks everyday. I tried to do about 500 reviews everyday until I was caught back up. It took me about two weeks to get back down to zero, but it was well worth it. Maybe try and take about 150-200 review a day?

Regardless, good luck getting back down!

I came back after… hmm, around 4 years to ~1500 reviews and decided to just start from the beginning all over again. I was only lvl 9, I’d completely forgotten the radicals (and didn’t really pay enough attention to them the first time around anyway) and decided it was better for me in the long run to just restart. And it has been. And as a nice little bonus, I can power through lessons quite quickly sometimes cause they’re mostly made up of things I already know XD

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