Help. Returning after 8months off

As per title I’m returning after roughly 8months off. 200+ reviews 400+ lessons. I’m level 15, I remember struggling bigtime with this level before I unsubscribed.
Completely burnt myself out trying to take the next step in my learning, attempting to read more, watching anime with Japanese subtitles. A lot of listening practice and work books.

Basically wondering best way to tackle these reviews. I know I’m going to get a lot wrong. I want to minimise that as much as possible as my apprentice amount will go through the roof.

Is there any tips/best way or just bite the bullet and try to rinse through them? Also anyone got any tips for not burning out?

Many thanks


hey, i’ve taken many long breaks from WK over the years. i would recommend resetting to a lower level. you don’t have to go all the way back to 1, but even if you do, it won’t take too long to get back to where you are now. (estimating ~11 days or less per level, if you reset to level 5, it will only take ~110 days, and if you reset to level 10, it will only take ~55 days… in likelihood it will be much faster than 11 days per level because you have previous knowledge that will speed you up)

after 8 months, it’s likely that you forgot things that you had previously learned and it would be useful to have those set up in a way for you to be successful - limiting them to a little at a time.

before resetting, you can give it a go and see how many of those reviews that you get correct without thinking too much to see where your remaining knowledge stands. ~200 reviews should take roughly an hour if you don’t spend too much time on any single item.

especially with 400+ lessons i think resetting to a lower level would be less laborious than trying to power through it


How can you get 400+ lessons by being off 8 months? Lessons don’t unlock unless you guru the prerequisite items. This doesn’t happen when you are off. This number smells of reorder script abuse. Did you use a script to prioritize kanji lessons and postpone vocabs? That could lead you to a 400+ lessons backlog. You should not do this. The vocab are there to reinforce the kanji. You should complete the vocab for a level before tackling the kanji of the next level.

I’d take it as a two prong thing to tackle.

  1. The simplest things are the reviews. Set a pace/rules you can work consistently that can fit into your daily schedule most days. For example I will always do 50 reviews and will do 5 lessons if my apprentice level items are <50. This will allow you to build that rhythm again and if you keep on top of it the lessons will have less mental effort to accomplish.

  2. Know why you took your break. Don’t take this as me prying in any way (life can get crazy) but I think it’s good to know the psychology of taking a longer break. Could it be your enthusiasm waned? Life got too busy etc?..

Knowing that can be helpful to level set yourself mentally to avoid burnout. I went through a similar thing using Bunpro because I found those lessons more mentally demanding so I skipped them for a while.

The result was I created the rules and adapted my learning pace to account for a busier schedule. It’s been very helpful as this finally let me tackle the pile of lessons I let build up during a 3 month sabbatical when I moved.

Hope this helps you, just know you are not alone and for most there is no finish line to this, so be easier on yourself!


The lessons were there before I left.

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My enthusiasm definitely waned. Busy work life and lack of progress really took its toll. Being leave 15 I really wanted to progress my learning with reading and grammar but yer it became quite demotivating. I’ll give a steady review process ago.

Looking back it’s frustrating i gave up, but I’ve consumed zero Japanese media either since. Really burned me out. The interest and excitement is back so hopefully I can give it another ago

I never used any scripts. Strictly used tsurukame app on my phone. I just couldn’t keep up with lessons once I hit level 14/15.

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Does Tsurukame have a lesson reorder feature? Did you turn it on inadvertently? I don’t see how someone can get 400+ lessons without lessons reordering.


there are lots of things you could do but basically boils down to 2 primary options:

  1. reset to a lower level (go only 1 or 2 levels at a time) until the reviews thin out
  2. IGNORE lessons, just do your reviews (as someone else said) just do 50-100 a day until they are all worked off, then start adding lessons back

so not to derail making small - but other option is ditch wk and use another learning platform, as long as wk keeps doing things like removing features and adding kana vocab, still no leach management of any kind, no undo button no dark mode super simple stuff that is just -ugh anyway I NEVER recommend wk for kanji learning anymore (just my opinion) I migrated all my wk to kitsun and it’s been quite the blessing! but also free options like kanjidamage with an anki deck, so many free options now, and there is also marumori not free but from the makers of kitsun - best of luck!


I did sign up for a year long subscription for bunpro. Really couldn’t get into it. I didn’t think the lessons were detailed enough/too short so I learnt far too many at once. Tried dialling it back but couldn’t find a groove with it.

I do watch a lot of Japanese from zero and genki YouTube videos which I enjoy

Appreciate everyone taking the time to answer and chuck their opinion forward. Thank you!

Welcome back :slight_smile:


It does. In the lessons settings you can toggle “prioritize current level” and then either 1) do only the radicals and kanji and just not do any lessons when you only have vocab left, or 2) only do a small number of lessons a day, and then you’re left with the majority of that level’s vocab still when you level up and start doing the new level’s radicals and kanji.

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Resetting to a lower level and trying things like Crystal Hunters a manga that teaches Japanese. :heart:

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I completely feel you. Thankfully I have the lifetime memberships for Bunpro and Wanikani so I don’t feel as much stress to overload my lesson queues.

It’s been said in the forum before to previous posts, but find a fun way to learn or get motivated (those methods will fluctuate or change and use that as motivation). Also it’s ok to take time off, the language ain’t going anywhere and even people 20 years in says there is no specific point that you stop learning because you master it.

Just know we’ve all been there in life and you’ve got support if you want to jump on or off the horse haha.

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I’m going through the same thing. Left wanikani for two years on level 13 and returned a month ago. What I’ve been trying to do has been learning every kanji from the past levels and then doing my kanji reviews slowly, and then slowly relearning the vocab. Using the vacation mode really helps because even though you’re not advancing in the actual level at least you’re learning and not giving yourself more lessons or reviews. I’d do the lessons without leveling up, and practice the other levels using scripts for studying (I don’t really remember the names but I think one is self study? I use the one that hides the meanings or the pronunciation and the self study one)
I think other comments are right about finding a good pace, it is really important for keeping you motivated and keeping things in control. Also, knowing your times is good for not having the feel that you’re wasting your time or not advancing enough
And don’t try to tackle too much even if you’re feeling like you’re not doing enough, try to put your effort in one thing that you know you need, not in everything at once, I’ve tried that and it’s just too much at the end it kinda feels like you did nothing

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I have 245 lessons entirely from WaniKani adding new things.


Ok I overlooked that possibility. This accounts for 245 lessons. Where the approximately 200 remaining lessons come from?

Well, when a mummy lesson and a daddy lesson love each other very much…