How do some level up so fast

As previously recommended, read jprs’ guide. And consume a butt ton of japanese content. Min 20 items a day will get you by.

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I’m lumping that in with …


(it’s going to take me like 4 years :sweat_smile:, so not me either) :crazy_face:

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I personally prefer sitting underneath my favourite thinking tree.


I never used any script tbh ( i don’t know how) and don’t want to at this point. When i started i used to do all the lessons in single day. And almost never truly read the mnemonics. And i kinda paid for it couple levels later lol. Go on your own pace. And if you use other resources in the side(i don’t use any🙃) i do recommend u slowing down a bit.



This is funny because i am an ecologist - and this morning i have been working on, and talking about HABITAT creation. so obviously i was half thinking about it when i made this typo :sweat_smile:

Although I quite like the idea of a optimized ‘learning habitat’ :crazy_face:


Since a lot people have talked about the technicalities, I’ll contribute with the memory stuff.

If you have more of a photographic memory and can recognize shapes well, that’ll help a lot. Same goes for prior experience learning (which has been already brought up), but also a large exposure to the language. There’s no way you wouldn’t pick anything up. That way you probably know a lot of the especially low level vocabulary and realize that you have heard the words before in maybe anime or Japanese songs.

With memorizing kanji readings, seeing the vocabulary it’s used in is great because you might see a word you’re familiar with and use that to remember the kanji. You can also use those words you know already to associate the new with the old or if your native language has something that makes it easier to remember the kanji/vocabulary.

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At fastest you can level up in 7 days, if you make very few mistakes and if you are able to make the reviews as they are available.
The reviews are available after 4h from the lesson and further after 8h, 24h and 48 h.
For example, if you choose to make the lessons at 7 AM, the reviews will be available at 11AM, 7PM, again 7PM next day and 7PM after 2 more days. And here you get the other lessons from this level. You will get the nex review at 11PM, next day 7AM , one more day 7AM and two more days 7AM. If you make a calculation there are 7 days.
In simple words, the first half lessons from a level you can finish in 3,5 days, when you get the other half, which you can level up in other 3,5 days.
This is the ideal case. Of course you have to be make very few mistakes, especially when it comes to radicals and kanji, and keep the time.
But… it’s worth the effort?
And why should you go so fast? Your speed fits you the best.

You’re right that fits there :joy:

So if OP if you wanted a practical example of the category, there you go :stuck_out_tongue:

To be fair when I did level 2 for the first time I had learned most of the kanji of that level in my Japanese class. We had learned to write simple kanji such as numbers, day names, etc. Even then I was not able to complete level 2 in 3 days 10 hours.

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Teamwork makes the dream work :fist_right: :fist_left:

Congrats on lvl 60 btw !!! when did you get there?

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Yeah, I should’ve mentioned that I’ve been learning Japanese for a few years already, while I spent two years studying it during my vocal training which I’ll be finishing soon. So, I already know 70-80% of the vocab and Kanji I’m learning (so far)

I also studied Chinese for a few years before, so memorising Kanji is not too difficult.

That said, find your own pace, stick with it and be comfortable. It’s supposed to be fun! :slight_smile:

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It does :raised_hands:

Thank you!! Around december if I remember correctly :thinking:

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I’m a crazy person who’s speedrunning WK starting completely from scratch (no previous Japanese knowledge) and not using any userscripts. I’m just powering through it the hard way. (Understanding WK’s intervals, focusing your memorization effort on the level critical items and being strategic about review timing help of course)

Recently, my accuracy has been dropping though (or at least it seems that way). Before, I’d typically get in the 80s or 90s, but most of my recent review sessions have been in the 70s or 80s. I think I need to do more reading practice, but it’s hard to find the time to do it. Still, as long as you don’t mess up the radicals or kanji on the current level, doing badly on vocab reviews won’t actually stop you from leveling. It just means more time spent in reviews.


Yes its like some people mentioned.

Its not a technical question but more of how some are able to do it.

Me for example I have no prior Japanese experience, I’m starting from scratch, and I didn’t do any classes or apps or anything.

I learned hiragana and katakana on my own, and now I started kanji with wani kanji, and I find it more difficult than hiragana and katakana, and much more complex.

After doing radicals on level 1 I thought it wasn’t so hard.
Then I started kanji and ok that was harder be cause how it’s written are such new words and some mnemonics made no sense to me.

Then started vocab words and then it really got hard when I figured out that learning that person is jin is not that useful… When it’s also hito…and nin… and…ahh… and 1 being Ichi is not so useful when it’s not always Ichi but also hito…and I…tsu…and…ah…

So that’s why I started this topic because I find it quite difficult to soak up so much new knowledge that is also so different and also has many same things that are called different things etc…


I understand the feeling, I didn’t have any prior experience and don’t use any scripts. The first 8 levels were pretty hard to me and I struggled a lot because everything was so new.

However, I started levelling up at maximum speed after that, with many levels completely in 6 days 20 hours. It just depends how much work you want to put into learning the language (and if you don’t mind loosing a few hours of sleep, if you want to go at full speed).

Just trying to memorize everything from Wanikani isn’t easy. You need more contact with the language in order to retain everything. Things that have helped me a lot:

  • Writing the kanji down. I used anki+RTK in order to learn kanji stroke order and one definition for each of them. Both recollection and recall cards. I never confused similar-looking kanji on Wanikani after that. Even if you don’t want to use another SRS program, just writing things down while doing lessons helps a lot with memorization.

  • If there’s a leech in Wanikani, I also write it down a few times, make my own mnemonic, and write down some sentences using the word.

  • Reading. I force myself to read at least two hours every single day, no matter how painful. I would recommend learning basic grammar as soon as possible (such as Tae Kim’s guide) and then picking something online to read with a mouseover dictionary. It’s amazing how I always find a lot of new Wanikani vocabulary right in the next novel I read. Every single time. So many times I thought a vocabulary wasn’t very useful, but then it started noticing it all the time in native content.

  • Watching native content with Japanese subtitles. Shows on netflix or some youtube videos tend to have those subtitles available. You will naturally learn the reading of a lot of vocabulary like this. Don’t worry if you don’t understand much at first, just keep watching stuff everyday. Keep using Japanese sites everyday. Eventually it will become much easier.


My 2 cents: don’t lose sleep just to level up faster.

You have to have sleep to consolidate memories. It’s how the body & mind work.


Do you have suggestions about what and where to read? So far I’ve read a few of the N5 tagged articles on Watanoc, but I find it frustrating that not all the words have definitions available. I previously tried NHK News Easy, but I had to separately copy and paste it into jisho to get definitions, and the lack of an official English translation made it impossible to judge how far off my understand was (Google Translate often mangles Japanese, so it doesn’t help entirely with figuring out what the article “really” said)


Yes! I found this true to a certain extent for every language class I’ve ever seen. When people want to learn a language, they’re looking to start with the simple words that are commonly used. But when a word is commonly used, it almost immediately becomes irregular. Pronunciation, conjugation (in almost every language the most common verbs are the irregular ones), native speakers will swallow half the vowels or use the word in the strangest sentence constructions.
Sometimes I wish a language course would start with the ‘difficult’ words. You know, the ones fully regular in grammar, pronunciation, writing - only they’re longer and less frequently used. But no, every language course smacks you over the head with exceptions in the first two months… it will take longer to encounter the regular words at which point you start to develop an idea of the basic rulesets - and then things become easier. For a while anyway.

me after learning hiragana: konnichiha
teacher: no, konnichiwa
me: but that’s a ha
teacher: it’s because ha is pronounced wa when it’s a particle
me: but this is a word
teacher: it’s because… JUST LEARN IT FOR NOW

(in my case the ‘teacher’ is a mix of apps, websites and forums btw). Some things are not that useful to get into when you have no foundation to build upon.


I first started reading stories on You can also read many news websites through it. The definitions and parsing isn’t 100% correct sometimes, but it’s a useful training wheel.

I also recommend downloading a mouse-over dictionary (such as yomichan) and reading all sorts of things that interest you online. So you won’t have to manually copy and paste vocabulary to look them up.

Don’t worry too much about understanding everything completely. At first just getting the gist of the articles will help enough. Personally, I think reading stories might be the most useful to test understanding. In case I misread something in a story, I might notice right away if the next dialogue doesn’t make sense. In those cases, I reread the part and look up for the grammar points and possible nuances I have missed. It has improved my understanding a lot over time.


Sorry for just jumping in like this, but you can also find great resources for reading on this thread: Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content. I keep coming back to that thread, it’s jam packed with useful information!

When I’m having trouble parsing a sentence, I use, as often suggested by others around here :slight_smile:

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