Hitting a Wall

I started using WaniKani back in February. So far it has gone really well, but recently I’ve noticed the kanji aren’t sticking as well. The last couple levels I’ve started to miss more answers, especially with the readings for the kanji and vocab. I think the main cause is I’m getting a lot of 干渉 (interference) between kanji with similar appearances and meanings. Does anyone have advice for dealing with the increased memory load?


Do you use the radicals and mnemonics much? That makes a huge difference for me. Naming all the radicals in the kanji in my head reminds me of the mnemonic, and recollection becomes much easier. It’s good to have mental pathways that go beyond trying to recognise it at a glance.

It can also help to devote extra time to those leeches.

With the Self-Study script along with the Additional Filters, you can set up study quizzes that only cover leeches. If it’s not sticking the regular way after repeated attempts getting it through the SRS, they may need a more forceful hand.

Do you read much? The extra exposure in context can also really help to cement things. As, again, you’ll be developing more mental pathways connected to those items. ^^

Sometimes it’s also easier to remember if you know some of the kanji’s compounds tend to take certain readings. I still think the semantic-phonetic composition script should be a standard part of WK, because it’s so useful.

Best of luck! I think almost all of us run into this at some point.

When I saw the topic, I thought, “Oh, @pragmata is having a tough time of it, huh?” But no, you two just use identical avatars, with a slight difference in how zoomed in it is.


Sorry I don’t have many useful tips, but only the reassuring thought that nearly everyone hits a wall at some point, I personally get it around every 10 levels, and I just stop doing lessons and do reviews only until I feel like my brain can handle some new lessons again

You’ll probably climb over the wall naturally after some time!!


I hit the same wall, I’m just starting to come out of it but the last month has been pretty miserable. Slow progress and no motivation. I was starting to resent doing my reviews and was not enjoying the learning process at all. I’m not sure what’s changed, I just made sure that I kept turning up, kept on doing my reviews and this week everything clicked into place again.

My advice is to just keep going, we all go through it and the key is not to try and not let yourself get too bogged down by it. It will pass.


I wouldn’t have gone as far without the phonetic-semantic extension. A lot of kanji share the same readings, and it also helps you identify which part of the kanji that give its meaning/reading and similar kanji.

Another thing that I did, which I think it helped me, it’s to learn how to write the kanji. You’ll start breaking down the radicals a little better, and it’ll help improve your recall and recognition ability. It will also help you read those weird fonts!

Or maybe you just need a little break? Stick only to reviews for a while and when you feel like your brain can take the load, you come back to learning.


Well, crap.


Yeah I’ve had more trouble learning grammar and keeping up reading without a system like WaniKani. For now I am only doing reviews and focusing on reading which hopefully will help consolidate the kanji I know and give me a mental reset.

Wow I didn’t know that existed! It looks really helpful.

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I’ve thought about learning to write, but it seems like such an investment of time given all the low hanging Japanese language fruit I have yet to harvest. What sort of system did you use?

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I use this anki deck:

It uses pretty much the wanikani order, you can start slowly, maybe 3 or 5 per day. If you use it with ankidroid, you can also write it on the screen.

There is also a paid app called Kanji Study for android/ios that does the same thing, but you’ll have to create your decks manually, which isn’t as bad as it sounds.

But even if you don’t want to learn how to write all of them, you could do like 200 or so just to get a good feel for them, and then keep reviewing just the ones that give you trouble!

Bonus useful article, Stroke order is important!

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