Going slow is not something to be proud of

It’s not okay to encourage new users to be slow. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but hear me out. I said that going slow is not something to be proud of, because what we should be proud of is of the kanji we have learned. Yes, there are people that reach lvl 60s with long level up times, but taking 30 days to level up is not the norm here, also the people that go slow usually have normal level up times, but get stuck in some levels for a long while.
Here are the reasons for having consistently long level up times:

  • You don’t have a schedule.
  • You do lessons on a whim. Meaning that most of the time “you don’t feel like it”, since you need to be motivated first.
  • Learning kanji is not really a priority in your life.

“But I have a life you know…” Yes you have a life, much like other wanikaners. Do you mean you are more busy than other lvl 60s (that got there in 1-2 years? That’s a strong assumption.

I think it’s okay to take breaks of lessons sometimes, but we should always strive to comeback to our normal level up speed time. If not we would be messing with the SRS system.

In conclusion: Instead of telling users that its “fine” or “okay” to level up every month, maybe we should encourage them to continue with the program like it was designed to be used.


Yeah, it was better when your computer exploded if you didn’t level up within 2 weeks.

EDIT: But seriously, everyone does have a limited amount of time to do things in their life. I play Rocket League, and I’m platinum rank, which is about average. If someone said “being platinum is not something to be proud of” it’s like… okay, yeah, I could study kanji less and get to diamond, and champion, etc… but I like my platinum goal explosion I earned last season, and it’s enough of an accomplishment for me. If someone is proud that they know 100 kanji, instead of 0, or 200 instead of 100… more power to them.


I don’t think comparing yourself to others is a good thing either. At the end of the day, if you’re better than you were at the start of it, it’s solid progress, and you should be proud of that. Going slow or fast has nothing to do with it. The only problem I see is if you REALLY have a financial situation and you absolutely NEED to make the best of your subscription, but otherwise :man_shrugging:. To each their own…


If the alternative is stopping, then going slow is fine.

There’s no point in saying something like, “You should focus more on WaniKani so you can level up faster.”

Also, what’s the “normal” level-up speed time?

I don’t think anyone says, “Hey, new guy, you should go slow.”


Within 2 weeks.
Also they definitely do say that.

That has nothing to do with speed though. Because going slow is not a virtue. Learning is, and learning fewer items is not as good as learning more items, because knowing 200 kanji is better than 100, if your goal is learning the 2000 kanji.

No one prioritizes going slow as the virtue.


Reread my title and post then. That’s the whole point.

The point seems to be about shaming people who go slow, and I don’t agree with it.


“It’s not okay to encourage new users to be slow” This is shaming now? Ok. I noticed users doing exactly this, that’s why I made this post. Not for shaming anybody.

1 Like

The bullet list of reasons why people go slow seems to be framing it as though the only reason people go slow is because of shortcomings.


Can you explain why it is not like that then?

I see what you’re saying, up to a point.

For starters, I personally don’t feel like new users are encouraged to be slow. I mostly see people reassuring other members that any progress at all is good progress if they are dedicating all that they can to WK.

Otherwise, people know their limits. Their available time. Their level of current commitment to speedy learning. If they know (or are kindly made aware) of the potential benefits to speeding up, and have access to advice on how to go faster if they so wish, I feel like that’s all we can do.

Because I suppose I don’t see how to do things differently from how they are done already. There’s no point in saying “speed up, or quit,” because I don’t feel like learning should be considered a zero-sum activity where you should do it at 100% optimal efficiency, or not do it at all.

For me, I mostly worry if I feel like someone is trying to get a foothold in Japanese while doing mostly / only WK. If they proceed slowly, and are not doing much grammar, they might not be able to read and listen to native things in a quick enough time-frame to keep retaining the words. Even something at Burned level will fade if it’s not used, so going through WK over a matter of years without having too much options to reinforce through reading and listening might mean they have to re-do a lot of that effort later down the road. But plenty of people do things outside of WK, so this might also not be very large group of people at all - I wouldn’t know.


Doing a certain amount of lessons/reviews does not actually mean you have learned them though, it’s not the same. Everyone has a limit where doing more will actually result in less successful learning. I could easily be Level 60 right now had I done all the lessons on max speed, but I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to actually recall all the Kanji I’ve learned; I would have probably forgotten quite a lot. I also probably would have been burned out months ago.


I gave my example. I’m platinum in Rocket League, not because I think being platinum is a virtue, but because that’s just what the amount I play works out to how I end up being ranked. But I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished within the play I’ve had. People who go whatever speed they go are still learning kanji, and that’s something to be proud of, regardless of speed. It doesn’t invalidate it if they go at a slower pace, for any reason they end up going at that pace.

Now, if someone says “hey I want to go faster, please tell me the things I need to do to go faster” then that’s one thing. But I encourage people to go at the pace that is best for them, and I’ve never considered differences in pace to be the result of shortcomings on their part.


This gets brought up often but SRS isn’t a bubble. Technically, any outside study “disrupts” the system and that isn’t realistic at all. I think most of us are just trying to survive the language and have positive progress toward all the variety of goals from different users.

I get your message, it sounds like you would like to encourage people to move forward with their studies and that’s a good thing. However if you word it with absolutes, then I predict you will hear negative feedback.


I also don’t see why you think going slow is bad, but say that 2 weeks is fine.

That’s slow as heck for a lot of people, and if you say that anything more than that is not managing your priorities properly, then you could argue for always being able to go faster.

But I don’t think that’s how it works.


Also, there’s a difference between “you should go slow,” (which, I agree with others, I’ve never heard anyone put it that way) and “don’t worry if you can’t maintain the speeds you hear others maintaining.”

When I got to level 60 the first time, I tried to maintain the max pace, because I wanted to get as far as possible before the JLPT, but I don’t think it’s something to be proud of in a vacuum (that is, the pace isn’t the thing, it’s the kanji).

It doesn’t take any special ability… beyond just devoting a lot of time to the site, you just have to be willing to set an alarm for 3:00AM occasionally.

And you certainly do not need to be good at remembering your kanji to go fast. You can go fast and learn very little, and pile up apprentice items, burn out, and quit. Very doable. To level up, you just need to remember stuff for a few days.


I’ve spent a lot of time on the forums over the last few weeks. The general vibe I get from the community is that you should set your own pace. Whether that’s quick or slow is down to the individual and how much time they can commit to learning.


Yeah explain why it doesn’t work if you already agree that even 2 weeks is slow. I obviously made this for the extreme side of the spectrum that take so long to complete a level, not the average slow dude.