Great Filters: Is it worth asking the question of Wani Kani dropouts?

A Thought occurred to me when browsing some topics when I should’ve been working:

What is the median level range of people who stop using Wani Kani?

When does the crabbigator become too great a challenger and the user is slain? Is there any publicly available way to know this?

I’m sure this is a concern for the developers seeing how they want the user to not only succeed, but to also pay the subscription fee or utilize their lifetime membership. I kind of want to know since this level has been a bit of a struggle for me. I am not sure what it is about level 16, but it is really kicking my butt with half-learned kanjis. I either know the reading or the meaning, but rarely both.

I won’t be giving up considering I’m in Japan now and it would be foolish to give up, but I wonder if I am past the point where most learners give up or if I have yet to hit the levels that end most Wani Kani’ers runs. I’m not sure knowing this information would help or hinder most learners, but I can’t help but be curious.


I regret to say I don’t know who made this graph. But it shows how many people are on the different levels of WK (I don’t know exactly how it was made… but someone might). So look how well you’re doing compared to those that have fallen by the wayside! (I know that’s a bit mean. But it is a bit encouraging too).


I wonder how old this is


To be really useful I think you need to be able to ask why people drop out, not just the rate. I’ve pretty much dropped out. I’ll be surprised if I reach level two. Lots of reasons, but they boil down to simple loss of interest.

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aha I found the thread I ‘borrowed’ it from. It has more graphs made by Kumirei and others if you scroll down :slight_smile:

It seems that pretty much 10% of the people doing a particular level will fall by the wayside. I am feeling stubborn at the moment though.


The main way to finish WaniKani is consistency, and discipline, and also having a good strategy for days when for reasons outside of one’s control, one cannot do reviews. Any small setback can snowball very fast. I myself have had plenty of times like that since joining in 2014. Even now, even though I reset from 60 and wanted to level again to challenge myself, I’ve been on vacation mode for a while because I couldn’t keep up with the daily work.


I would emphasis your point about not getting things snow ball on you. There are plenty of threads in which people are askin
g for courage to do 1000+ reviews which pilled up. Thats a real party pooper.

I would not be surprised if the sight of such pile is the main cause of people parting ways with コウイチ and the gang.


That’s what I’m thinking, based on my own experience.

Loss of interest in Japanese? Or in learning Kanji with Wanikani?

Because learning Japanese without Kanji is not learning Japanese, easy as that.


I think this happens often.

Most important thing is to have a clear motivating goal. “Learn Japanese” IMO is not a goal on its own. A language is a means to an end and a tool in the toolbox. Goal might be to take a trip over there and speak with people, or to speak with relatives in the language, or whatever it might be.

Having that clear target helps stay on track.


I think it’s about learning Japanese generally. I need to know more, but it becomes a chore, and there are other things I’d rather do. I’m not into manga or anime, and the whole Japanese thing of making everything cute or かわいい frankly leaves me cold. My interest is more in the history and things like ukiyo-e. Kanji doesn’t seem to stick, and with WK I seem to have to do a lot of unlearning of the kanji I do know. I think it’s a good system if mnemonics work for you; they don’t seem to work for me.


I live in Japan. It’s not an especially happy experience. I have enough Japanese to survive and function in a Japanese work environment, but I’ve been here long enough to discover the real stresses in both work and home life. Which is why I do not plan on staying permanently in Japan.


It’s more subtle than that.
About 50% of people who start level one drop out by level three. Part of that will be them deciding they don’t want to pay after the free levels. Another 50% will have dropped off by level five. It’s only from level six that the dropout rate starts to fall to about 10-15%.

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I am not a dropout, but lets call it a prolonged hiatus. I just got onto a new level after about 6 months of inactivity on lessons. I have tried to do reviews but I have not had time to do lesson, because I have been so stressed/overworked/other life has gotten into way. I could guess that (loss of consistency) can be the falling point for many. I am planning to continue (and I am continuing currently).

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I’ve found myself having to unlearn kanji I already know as well due to the mnemonics system. Like how I have to specifically write “stone” for the 右 radical even though I know it means ‘right’. Sometimes the mnemonics also don’t make much sense so it requires extra memorization.


I think this data was pulled from the forum data, so it doesn’t include people not registered on the forum. Which surprisingly is the larger majority. Hard to say if and how that skewes the data.

Listening and speaking Japanese is definitely learning Japanese.


Stone (石) and right (右) may look similar but they are different. Not sure why you would be writing stone when looking at the latter.


Yeah ok, you’re right. But especially as OP even lives in Japan, it’s strange not to learn to read…


I didn’t get the impression OP was giving up; just curious about, is all.

I can’t believe I didn’t notice they were different, thanks for pointing this out :pray: Still getting used to differentiating kanji haha. :slight_smile: