Graymalkin's Level 60 ramblings. (mmm.... cake!)

I just reached level 60 today.


Every couple of years since college I’ve tried to learn japanese on my own, usually with software help. I’d learn kana, a bunch of vocab, and then hit basic grammar and get stuck and give up. A few years later I’d find something that would inspire me to try again, most recently it was Human Japanese, but again after a couple of months I’d get stuck a little farther on and give up.

At a local natsumatsuri in the summer of 2019 I found out there were weekly adult language classes that didn’t cost too much to sign up for and that I could also fit into my schedule. They use Genki and have it broken across 6 semesters. But they introduce kanji at such a slow pace it was maddening, since being able to READ is one of my major motivations for learning…

Around the time I started Genki, I came across WK and gave it a try. Ran through levels 1-3, reset, did 1-3 again, signed up for an annual subscription, then upgraded to lifetime when the annual sale rolled around.

I could fit in about 15 lessons a day and keep up with the reviews (ALWAYS knocking the reviews down to 0 before to bed, even if I had been out too late seeing a concert), which meant about 2 years to reach level 60, which was right on track with the classes so I didn’t see the need to try to rush any faster. It worked out to about 11days/level. Unfortunately covid knocked classes back two semesters, but keeping up with WK lessons and reviews during that gap has meant I’m way better with kanji and vocab than grammar.

I mostly just let the SRS work, and didn’t do a lot of extra studying of things I had missed, but do I like to copy out all the kanji and vocab for each level into graphpaper notebooks, just because the muscle memory helps me remember the kanji. I swear by the kurotoga pipeslide 0.5mm pencil, and the pilot frixion erasable pen (i’ve run 6 of them out of ink)

I’m also using Bunpro to help with the grammar points SRS. Our instructors vary in quality and some don’t do a great job with teaching the material, so both Japanese Ammo and Cure Dolly on youtube can be a great help. And while I agree with Cure Dolly’s view that the textbooks don’t do a good job in a lot of ways, the constant harping on the textbooks not doing a great job isn’t much use either.

I still need to complete level 60, but I’m looking forward to the reviews tapering off. I had been letting the apprentices get up to 130 or so, but it eventually go to be too much when the office went wonky, and I needed to scale back to 100 somewhere around the mid-level 40’s, because work started to interfere (not being able to grab time during the day to do the first review tended to make words take an extra day to sink in.)

So what now? Since I won’t need to spend the 1.5-2 hours or so reviews and lessons had been taking me, I’m planning on concentrating on reading. I’d been trying earlier, but until class reached short form I couldn’t get too far. And even with short form, I didn’t understand all the other variations that we’re gradually covering. But I’ve got graded readers, Aria, Flying Witch, and Yotsubato to dive into. I should join the books clubs, but I’m bad at joining things and keeping up with them. It’s amazing that I’ve been doing the weekly classes for 4 semesters, and doing the reviews every day for almost two years.

I’m also going back and practicing writing out the kanji for review, many thanks to the WK’er who made the site. I’m sure I lack mastery over what I’ve learned in WK, but I do feel like it’s laid a great groundwork for me when encountering things in the wild, and combined with the ongoing classes it’s gradually pull together. And is really exciting when I see it happen.

Who knows, maybe I’ll reset sometime and read the WK context sentences (they were beyond me at level 1, and the way my daily schedule shook out I never really got back into them once my grammar got better.)


Congratulations, felicitations, laudations, and any other (congratulatory) -ations you can think of!


P.S. Relog, we can’t see that you’re level 60 until you do. :wink:


Thanks. I think that did it.




Congrats. Looks like you and I have been on a similar track these past two years.
I love level 60 posts. I am hoping to post my own next week sometime.


I look forward to seeing it!


Congratulations on reaching level 60!


おめでとうございます :tada:

It’s always good to have a level up buddy. (Shoutout to @ekg)

You can commiserate with each other how you finished WK months ago but still have over a hundred daily reviews and an apprentice count that never seems to go away. :wink::joy:


I have been summoned! :woman_mage: :grin:

But, yeah, I totally agree. It’s nice to have people to share your WK journey with. I’m really thankful to you and others that I got to chat with in the subforums along the way. It was super helpful when tackling the inevitable rough spots on each level. ^^’

@Graymalkin Congrats on reaching lv 60. :partying_face: :tada: It shows some real dedication on your part! :clap:

Please enjoy this cake! ^>^



it’s always great to read the level 60 posts, they’ve been a constant source for motivation! whether it’s speedrunners, or snails (i am so impressed by the people who stick to WK for 5 years, or even longer, and get there eventually. like, mind blown!), or just people who do WK at a “normal” speed.

that constancy in your heatmap is really amazing too!

i wish you success with your continued study of japanese! :smiley:




The kind of funny part is I can look at the heat map and see where work went in crazy mode at various times.


Congratulations on this achievement! Studying every day for two years and putting 535+ hours into reviews alone is impressive. Thanks for the post and hope you enjoy the new readers.