How do I convince my parents to buy Wanikani

こんにちは!初めまして私はサムです.Hi! I’m a bit new to learning Japanese and I’ve been using WaniKani for a few months now! A few minutes ago (lol) I just reached level 3, and its saying to continue past level 3 I will need to pay money. My parents already know I’m practicing Japanese and are (kinda) proud of me. So how do I tell my dad that to continue learning I need to buy something. I also wanted to ask him for the genki textbook and workbook for Christmas and I don’t even know if I can ask for both. What do I do?


Nice work so far!

Well, you know your parents better than we do, so it’s hard to say, but this is a rather personally enriching hobby you’ve taken on, so I’d hope that would help, assuming it’s reasonable with your family’s financial circumstances. There is a lifetime sale starting soon (the 20th IIRC) if the combination of a sale and not being an ongoing subscription might help, but it still comes to $200, which might be a bit of a shock, depending on your family.

If it really comes down to it, just know that if you want to do this enough, there are almost TOO many good resources out there for learning Japanese, and plenty of them can be had for free. Obviously I think Wanikani is worth the value, but you could always look into other methodologies, even just learning kanji through Anki if it comes to that. Since you know you like WK though, maybe the grammar resource is where to cut costs? Between Youtube channels like Cure Dolly, Japanese Ammo, and Nihongo no Mori, and written resources like Tae Kim and Maggie Sensei’s website (she might not be usable from zero, but her pages have frequently been useful for specific questions), there is a lot of free content online that is all well regarded and has a great track record of getting people started towards Japanese proficiency.


Yearly subscription is $89, that might be a more suitable price range for a christmas gift.


birthday coming up?
aside <I hope your name isn’t really what you think about yourself. The way you talk to yourself matters.>


“Dad, you want me to stay winning?”

Honestly speaking, tell them that learning another language will help you open doors to more opportunities in the future and to appreciate more other cultures. This is honestly a worthy goal, especially when the initiative comes from you. If it doesn’t work out for you, don’t give up on learning Japanese. There are so many free resources out there, you can keep using those for now until you can afford tools like WaniKani or textbooks like Genki.


Compare it to the price of buying video games, or even any outdoor activity. Hobbies cost money, usually, and learning Japanese is cheaper than most. There’s very little “gear” to buy. Plus, learning Japanese has a lasting benefit vs. say, video games where the benefit other than entertainment is debatable.


I think part of the convincing will come down to showing them that you will be using it. $89, let alone $200 is an investment that they’ll want to make sure you’ll make use of. If you don’t already have the heat map add-on, I suggest getting that to show them how often you’ve been doing reviews and new lessons. If you’ve consistently been studying every day (or at least a couple times a week) for the past three months it shows you’re committed.


I disagree with that last bit. There are lots of video games that are pure education. Even playing Luigis Mansion or Super Mario Odyssey increases your problem solving abilities.

A lot of older people look down on video games. They sit there like a braindead zombie and say video games are bad for you when actually they are more educational than tv hands down.


I’m going to avoid derailing the thread (I knew that would happen), because: debatable. Depends what games you play, I guess. :man_shrugging:

And it still costs money.


I think plenty of videogames can be real pieces of art that enhance one’s life… but yeah, beside the point.

On topic, I still think you’re right to bring it up, because for the vast majority of parents that I know, anyway? Yeah, it’s “the thing my kid wastes time and money on instead of learning/exercise/whatever.” From the perspective of many of them, something being not-games is in itself a benefit.


ありがとございます!Thank you for your help. I will sure try to explain to them and show them this! And I will see and try other methods if I cannot get it.

the most my parents have spent on me for ALL my presents is like 150

Thank you for this! I will explain it to them

Hi! Like others have said, letting them know that you’ll use it is important. You can tell them you’ve been at it for a few months and still haven’t given up like most people do. You could even say Japanese opens up potential jobs for you in the future.

Definitely for Grammar I’d suggest YouTube (CureDolly), but if you’re insistent on using Genki, you should wait till you’re around level 10, you don’t need to rush into it.

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Okay! Thank you! ill start watching their videos and maybe ill ask for the genki textbooks for my birthday since its in around 5 months!

How old are you? Since there are quite a few things you want, if you are of working age you could get a part-time job? Or maybe you can earn some pocket money from doing chores to save up for them.

But first, I recommend just asking your parents for it. If you don’t get it for Christmas then there is a chance you could get it for your birthday. Also, any Christmas or birthday money you receive you can save up to put towards a subscription!

I hope you get it for Christmas though! Keep up the great study!


If all else fails you can just use Anki and get the appropriate decks for it, 100% free. You’ll just miss out on the organization of WK and its constant updates.

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As other people have said, unfortunately, these things do cost money. But luckily, you got to level 3 at exactly the right time because of the special December sale! I think that it’s 100% worthwhile, especially if you’re enjoying it so far. I personally waited 2 full years, doing my best to study on other sites, before I finally caved and bought a subscription to Wanikani. I regret waiting for so long.

In addition to the stuff other people said about languages opening doors, improving mental health, creating an appreciation of other cultures, etc… If your heart is set on lifetime but the price is scaring your parents away, first make sure they know how big the sale is ($100 off is a lot!). If they’re still unsure, tell them you’re willing to split the cost. I’m not sure how old you are, but based on your post I’m guessing you’re still in school, and while I don’t know if you have a part-time job or an allowance or anything, I am guessing you have at least a little bit of money saved up. A willingness to spend your own hard-earned money on this can show your parents how determined you are, and make it more likely for them to say yes. (No promises about that though, I cannot see the future)

As @Fryie and @Snappleby said, the 1-year subscription is much more price-friendly to spend at one time. However, based on your 3 months to level 3 I would recommend lifetime, since it will save you money in the long run. 1 level per month is 60 months, aka 5 years. Saving money in the long run is another selling point you can offer to your parents.

Genki is cool and all but there are tons of other resources you can work with in lieu of asking for those for Christmas. I think that WK is more worthwhile than Genki :+1: (though grammar is extremely important too)

Best of luck and happy Christmas! :sparkles:

(wow I wrote a lot, I guess thanks for coming to my TED talk)


I don’t think that kind of reasoning necessarily makes sense from the parents’ POV.

  1. Giving gifts is not about “saving money in the long run”. The parents aren’t buying the subscription for themselves.
  2. For all we know, OP might be old enough that the parents might reasonably expect them to pay for their own hobbies in 1-2 years from now.
  3. The parents don’t necessarily know that their kid will keep using WK, or even keep learning Japanese, for the next several years. Lots of people drop out of learning Japanese, or at least out of WK. 1 level per month might mean “the person will take 5 years to complete WK”, but it might also mean “the person will eventually get frustrated with the slowness of it all and give up”. Nobody can know that, especially not after only three levels.

I don’t know OP’s parents, it’s perfectly possible that they might be delighted and would gladly pay this money, even for lifetime because they would be convinced it’s for a good cause (other parents buy their kids cars, for example). But it’s also possible that they would be more cautious and prefer to pay for yearly, or even for a couple of months only, and see how things pan out.

To OP:

I think it’s best to just be transparent about your goals and about the different pricing models (monthly, yearly, lifetime, lifetime discounted) and then try to understand how far they would be willing to support you and what kind of commitment they might be expect from you in return. Suggesting to split the bill, as others have mentioned, would be a good option too. But ultimately you know your own parents better than we all do.


You’re not asking for a video game, you’re trying to learn. If you’re serious about it, just talk with them and let them know this is something you want to do. I’m sure they would be happy to do something to help you learn. You can have my old Genki1 text book if you want it, though it may have some writing in it.