How long do you take on lessons?

I’ve just finished going through a batch of almost one hundred lessons, it’s the first one I’ve gotten from level 9, so it included radicals. It took me around six hours to finish it. How long do you guys say you’d take?
I figure I’m slow like that because I research a lot of stuff in order to make a more helpful mnemonic for myself and read everything out loud… and take a lot of breaks. lol
Most of the mnemonics I come up with have a lot of references to pop culture that I want to be correct, and learning some random trivia, which is always fun, also helps making the kanji easy to recall, because there are now more information linked to it, from things I was already familiar with before.
I’ve never once tried using the audio option (just found out there is one), how helpful do you say it is?

A hundred lessons for about an hour, less if it has a lot of compound words which take almost no time.

I don’t bother a lot with memorising it super hard on the first time - that’t why it is SRS, after all, to (at least try to) use the time more optimally.

I also don’t use audio - Japanese is not English, things are pronounced in a predictable way.

I’d say it takes me around two or three hours for a hundred lessons. I prefer to do them slowly and paying close attention to mnemonics and example sentences. I used to rush them and items would keep going back to guru or apprentice later, so in the long run doing my lessons slowly saves me a bunch of time. Higher accuracy also means I can do 7 or 8-day levels without ever getting swamped by 500 reviews/day.


What do you mean by this? Japanese is not English? The audio function is great, since you will hear the pronounciation for each word that you encounter in the lessons, why would that be a bad thing?

You are correct that most things are pronounced in a predicatable way, but hearing the words and especially if they have specific intonations, is really great. As well as hearing the sound and pronouncing it after the native speakers, will make it stick easier (at least for me). Not to forget that you will practice on your speech at the same time.

Also, there are words that you will pronounce wrong if you think in a predictable way, as a vague example:

If you pronounce the い sound in 先生 the same way as you do in いくら you would pronounce it Sense-“i” when It’s more pronounced like sensee.

I never do more than 30 or so lessons in a day - there’s no reason to. On average, WK forces you to learn about 20ish lessons a day at most. I probably take about a minute or so per lesson to read it and really try to visualize it. Then, after I finish my 30ish lessons, I open up evernote, copy all the kanji/radicals/vocab from the printout screen and try to output all of the readings and meanings from memory at once. Recall is the most important part of memory after all, not repetition or how long you spend looking at it.

I have about 95% accuracy using this method

Not bad, just redundant for me.


As for sounds, there’s some merit in hearing the word as a whole. If you can do this mentally by reading it, that’s fine, but some people are more tuned to auditory learning than others, so use whatever works for you. Eventually, some readings will start to just sound right.

Right. We are all learning differently of course :slight_smile:
But I will never understand why it would be redundant to be exposed to the sound of a native speaker saying the word, that’s all ^^

[quote=“Metamorphosis, post:4, topic:18926”]
If you pronounce the い sound in 先生 the same way as you do in いくら you would pronounce it Sense-“i” when It’s more pronounced like sensee.
[/quote]That’s covered by the pronunciation rules, no?

On the general matter of exceptions, it doesn’t seem there are many.

1 Like

True. But it still comes back to Intonations, even though It’s not the most important thing to get right at first. If you read the word and you pronounce it out loud, then It’s perfectly fine of course. I just think It’s a asset to play the audio from a native speaker and then try to sound as close to him/her as you can. For me, it has been amazingly helpful since I struggled a lot with hearing the difference in intonation and pronouncing long wovels and such.

Not saying that it must be used, but it definetely helps for speaking, especially when you are a beginner like me.
It’s also a bit difficult to stick with the pronounciation rules, if you just have them in your head and are not actively hearing them being used/using them yourself, I would say.

But let’s not derail from the topic, let’s just agree to disagree that we have different viewpoints on this function :slight_smile:

1 Like

Well, speaking isn’t my priority, I don’t care about it. Besides, Japanese pronouncing is very straightforward, so I wouldn’t bother with polishing pronunciation even if speaking were my goal.

1 Like

There’s an option to set the audio to auto play. It helps me learn the words a little faster and recognize them in the wild more easily. I don’t specifically use the WK audio to study, though. There are better resources for listening/shadow practice out there (and hopefully eto eto soonish) so I don’t actively make use of the audio clips.

Reviews times will vary on your study methods. There are people who study the material before it unlocks and people who use reviews as learning. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but as one of the other users has pointed out you don’t have to do all of lessons in a day. With the new ordering or a reorder script you can generally do about 20 items per day and still level in a week. It should help cut back strain quite a bit and even out your reviews per day.

1 Like

Whoa!!! That’s intense! (Both the volume of lessons, and how in-depth you study.)

I do my lessons in batches of 5, and do 1-2 of them in a row. Then I spend as little as 20 seconds on an item (an easy, logical compound word/jukugo vocabulary) to as much as 2 minutes on an item, repeating the reading and the meaning aloud while staring at it. I do this again during the post-secondary quiz(es). This ends up taking at most 25 minutes (if I take the whole time for all items + quizzes), and then for any radicals and occasionally other items (where I double check Jisho to see if it’s a proper definition) I also make synonyms on the item pages for things I deem necessary.

If I do that twice a day (which I haven’t in a long time) the most I’d spend on lessons is still under an hour (30-50 minutes).


I rush through my grammar too (when reading Genki)… However somehow turn a 5-7 minute Nihongonomori video into 20+ minutes of note-taking. (Part of it is looking up correct stroke orders to write as neatly and correctly as possible.)

Listening isn’t one of your goals either?

It is, but after reading.

I rely more on other resources for listening though, single words on their own don’t help me with it (used an Anki deck with audio).

I.e. I didn’t notice any visible effect compared to the words I didn’t hear - it is equally hard to discern the words in the natural speech.

I’m the loser who spends about 0 time trying to memorize the items in lessons. I just toss them into reviews and let that do the work :stuck_out_tongue: Perhaps it’s less efficient, but it’s also less effort on my part re: coming up with mnemonics. I link new kanji to words I already know, usually, and if I don’t know a word that contains that kanji I’ll try to use the given mnemonic. But otherwise, SRS usually does the trick for me.

I don’t use the audio option either, I forget it exists 99% of the time. Especially since I do my lessons and reviews at work where I can’t have audio on.

Maybe the small things aren’t obvious yet. I don’t know what your Japanese level is, you can never assume how far along someone is based on their WaniKani level. But to me, it’s important to hear the intonation.

帰る and 替える are both かえる, but have different intonations, giving you just that extra piece of information to work with.

As for my process with lessons, in the days leading up to a new level (which is basically all the time these days), I print out a few sheets of this spreadsheet I slapped together and give myself a head start on the lessons.

I used to do that, until I realized that [0] and [1] (and 尾高型) sound different, for example 橋 and 箸. Also, often, Heiban couldn’t be guessed, nor made a default thinking…

You might try WaniKani Pitch Info. Although I would prefer if it is updated to add a diagram.

1 Like

Installed! Dunno how much it’ll help because I have a terrible time understanding high vs low in audio even though I’m very good at discerning pitch changes lmao

I plan on picking up some podcasts and more material to listen to anyway so I shouldn’t have too much trouble picking up on tone.

At first I did all lessons in one sitting, but around level 7 or 8 the numbers got high enough that I decided to ease off. I also started encountering more kanji and words I wasn’t already familiar with, which of course makes the lessons harder.

I currently use the reorder script to get all the radicals done first when new lessons come in. But kanji and vocabulary I keep mixed, and I no longer do them all at once. I find kanji very abstract in a way vocabulary are not for me, so they’re much harder to remember than anything else.

I’m willing to let lessons take a few days to go through at this point, as I’ve already given up on getting through levels super quickly. It seems like I should expect a lot of 11-day levels at this point. Typically I’ll look at how difficult I feel a lesson batch was before taking on the next one. I do lessons in five item chunks, and if everything is really simple (conceptually predictable compounds, or words I already recognized) I’ll jump right into the next five. If four or five of the words were totally foreign to me, and are things I need to learn from scratch (or worst of all, multiple verbs that all mean basically the same thing), I’ll probably hold off on the next batch for a bit.

But I do not stop and study each item in a lesson. I’m with team “get the gist and move on” because it’s not like I can keep dozens of new mnemonics in my head at once anyway.