Hit Lvl 60 - Should I restart?

After two and a half years with Wanikani I hit Level 60. Does it make sense to clear everything and start Wanikani over from scratch?

I’m a lifetime member so cost isn’t an issue, and I do like the SRS system as a way of retaining info. Unfortunately my “burned” items aren’t really burned, since every time I try to read NHK Easy it takes 20 minutes per article with all the stopping to look up half-remembered vocab.

I guess could just do my stack of 7,000 burned reviews but I wonder if going through SRS Round Two would help the lessons stick better. Have others done the same thing? Thanks!

Three thoughts on Wanikani as a whole:

  1. Bring back the summary page–it’s an essential part of lesson retention.
  2. I noticed while going from 1-60 that some of the “sound” mnemonics are inconsistent across lessons. For example か is usually mnemonicized as “car,” but sometimes かる is mnemonicized as car and you really shouldn’t have both. To take another example, さ is usually mnemonicized as “saw” but sometimes saw is さわ. The way I see it, if a user is able to successfully internalize the mnemonic to the degree that they remember the correct reading sounds like “a sharp-toothed metal tool that you use to cut down trees,” then they shouldn’t also have to jump through a second hoop to figure out whether Wanikani wants さ or さわ. It’s not a huge issue but it seems like something that could be cleaned up.
  3. Seriously, bring back the summary page already, it’s been months :upside_down_face:
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Hey, congrats on reaching level 60! I’ll throw in my personal opinion, which is that you want to be moving on, not running through all of WK all over again. Sure, some of the words you’ll encounter in your reading will be WK ones you’ve forgotten, but a lot of them will not – and as you go on the ratio will tilt even further in that direction. So you want an SRS system you can gradually fill with the words you’re encountering in your day to day reading (there are several options).

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I haven’t got anything to say about resetting or not, but I think you should at least keep tackling these articles as often as you can. I’m currently doing a reading changeling which I wrote about here to try and increase the amount of time I spend reading and it’s proving to be very beneficial!

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Thanks for this, the Satori reader is new to me and I am going to go through it to bookmark some stories.

I guess I enjoy the gamification of Wanikani and similar web-based SRS (make the numbers go down! level up! get a badge!) and consequently I find myself struggling when it’s just “wake up and put in the hours every single day” with no short-term dopamine feedback. :expressionless:

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Do you have recommendations? I have been using Duolingo and am experimenting with Marumori. I know Anki is highly recommended but I couldn’t figure out how to get started. :grimacing:

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First of all, congrats on making it to lv 60! :partying_face: :tada: Great job on that! :clap:

There are a couple of options for you here.

The first is to do a reset. People before you have done so. I did so, after having taking a 9 (?) month hiatus of not doing WK or starting in on reading. Which made me feel incredibly rusty once I started to dig into real text.

Like you, I don’t mind the SRS-process, so that’s something that speaks for doing a reset and maybe working over previous ground. But, I would not suggest for a reset way to the beginning. That’s should be wasted time and effort. Better restart further along after you identify what you are actually uncertain about. :eyes:

The second option is to just use the Burn Manager to do mass unburning of items from entire levels to individual items, and review a much more narrow scope of items from WK that you feel you haven’t really mastered.

The upside to this, is that you can reburn the items along the way. You don’t really have to burn them again, in other words, just keep them in the SRS for as long as you feel like it, the click for them to go back to burn.

The third option is to just ignore the feeling of insecurity and keep on working on your reading. I think, reading is a bit slow going no matter how much you’ve studied initially. You simply won’t get up to speed quickly, but with a lot of patience and experience it will happen.

And it’s a matter of time before it will make more sense to abandon doing WK, but just doing immersion and perhaps some other SRS-learning to supplement your reading.

It’s always hard to say which of these options are the best choice. Only you can definitely say, what would suit you right where you are in your learning.

ganbatechi

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I have used Anki in the past and am currently using jpdb.io. I think it depends a bit on whether you mostly read paper or electronically. I largely read paper books and like jpdb’s large list of pre-made decks for various books. If you read electronically there’s a lot more scope with Anki for setting up a workflow where you can directly incorporate unknown words from sentences you read into your Anki deck. That kind of thing can be a bit complicated to set up but there are tutorials out there (or ask for help in these forums). Mostly with Anki I personally used premade decks, though – as I say all my reading is paper books.

I have no experience with Duolingo; mostly I’ve seen other people dis-recommending it…

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If it were me I and I wanted to keep using WK, I would search unknown words as I encountered them in WK and if it was burned, then I would resurrect the item.

Seems excessive to do it all again. Use that time to read more.

Congrats!

Edit: Actually I would never do this, but instead just “graduate” from WK and bask in the reducing reviews. I’ll pick up any forgotten burns elsewhere.

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Hey danwallaceMSP! Congratulations on reaching level 60!! Here is some cake for you!

cakechop

I agree with consensus from other forum users here that you don’t need to do WK over again. In my opinion, I think your time will be better served consuming content in Japanese and putting the kanji and vocabulary words you learned to work. Since you are a lifetime member, I might recommend working through any new vocabulary that gets added to WK, but all 60 levels again, I think you’ve graduated! :slightly_smiling_face: :mortar_board:

-Nick at WK

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Satori is amazing, and imo the best SRS out there bc of how it’s integrated with the stories. You automatically have the context, audio, reading, etc, accessible, and it’s reinforcing what you’re reading

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I’d advise you to move on. Learning via SRS helps prepare you for encountering words while reading (or reinforce ones you recently encountered), but the goal is to actually read. You only get better at reading by doing more reading.

Decoding words while reading an actual piece of writing is a different skill than cold recall (SRS). I’ve literally had times when I’ve gotten a word in something I’m reading, and then 2 sentences later blanked on that same word. The reason is that my brain is busy decoding all the other words, managing context, decoding grammar, putting together the meaning, etc.

If you want reading recommendations, I’d check out things like Satori Reader, Crystal Hunters manga, the Japan Store, or Hiragana Times. All of these were designed with learners in mind. Edit: You could also find a manga or two and use a pre-made deck on jpdb.io . It will be hard, but slowly gets easier with time.

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It seems like you’re relatively new to reading native material and I’d have to say this is actually normal/expected regardless of how much WK you’ve completed to this point. Lunacodes mentioned the difficulty of processing things in context, but there’s also going to be recognition faults from not seeing words in dictionary form, or seeing words used differently than you would have learned them. I’m with the camp that believes you won’t really ‘learn’ a word until you’ve seen it in the wild a few times. Keep calm, take the lumps, and try to enjoy the process for what it is.

If you do use SRS I think it needs to be more tailored to your needs moving forward rather than something generalized like WK. Anki, Kitsun, and JPDB are what I would consider the best for long term use. Figure out what content you want to engage with, then which platforms support your learning style given for that kind of content. For example, I use JPDB because I’m mostly reading VNs with a book club here and prefer premade word lists that are sortable (ie. no time spent mining) while also having the option to SRS kanji based on those word lists.

Also, +1 for Satori. I think it’s a much nicer bridge into reading. I don’t think it’s a good long term learning platform, but something a user should pick up for however long it takes them to finish the content that interests them and move on.

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No! It’s time to start reading and move on! Even if you don’t remember everything, its in your brain somewhere and you just need to start using it.

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Here’s an alternative idea that I wish I did instead of resetting.

Move on to more reading / speaking content (games, anime, manga, etc) and when you come across a Wanikani word or kanji that you can’t remember, or maybe even just hesitate a little more than you’d like, unburn it. Continue doing this until you have a decent amount of unburned items then start up the reviews again, while still continuously unburning new problematic words you come across in your readings.

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Since plenty of people have already sung the praises of immersion and getting into reading, I just wanted to quickly drop https://learnnatively.com here - maybe it’ll scratch at least some of that gamification/dopamine feedback itch. Natively is a website where books and manga are rated on a level scale according to difficulty, which makes choosing reading material yourself easier. You can also track your reading.

I really enjoy reading just for the sake of it, but it’s also nice logging my read pages and seeing those percentages go up, and long term seeing that I’m able to read stuff on higher levels!

(Also, WK book clubs are the best.)

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First off, congrats on hitting level 60! but I’ll echo what a lot of other people have been saying: you should start reading more!

WaniKani is really good at teaching you to recognize lexical meanings of words (ie, definitions), but that is not the only aspect of learning a word in a new language!

In addition to this, you’ll need to experience the word in its natural habitat. Gotta see the kinds of words it happens around, the ideas that it’s usually connected to, the kinds of sentences they appear in

On top of that, reading in a new language is really its own skill, and you will have to practice it independently to get better at it. Resetting to level 1 and getting back to 60 won’t help you improve your actual reading ability much, but spending that time going through some graded readers or an easier manga series (chi’s sweet home, yotsuba, ruri dragon, happiness are all good options depending on what your preferences are) will help a ton!

And, if you want to hang around with other people, you can always join the Read Every Day challenge thread or go through the list of book clubs or jump in with the Absolute Beginner Book Club or Beginner Book Club!

There will be a new challenge thread in july, but a lot of people (myself included) hang around in the thread during the off month to post progress updates and share cool books and readings

Edit: I’ll also second using natively, it’s really good for tracking the stuff you read, and also for looking for level appropriate things.

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I think grammar and practical skills are the points here. Grammar points at least up to around N4 should be learned well. Reading can be approached at any time without learning grammar in advance, though it might be harder to decode.

I don’t think you should reset. Resurrect, maybe, but that’s not the most important thing. Probably even no new vocabulary / Kanji learning for a while, tbh.

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Congratulations on attaining level 60. I advise you just to read and mine words using yomichan/Anki. After each book you have finished reading, you’ll be considerably better in Japanese.

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You can follow this guide for yomichan / anki: Lazy Guide

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I am not as far along as you but I have some of the same questions. I have gone back to the burned items and resurrected the ones I am forgetting. I wish that I could resurrect whole levels but that doesn’t seem to be possible on WK. Also, another way is to start reading. Reading is very helpfuI. I started out with level readers and it really helped my confidence. I started reading when I was at WK level 3 and have continued on. I started with Grade 1 and I was actually able to read it through without looking up words which was a great confidence builder. 頑張って!

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