How the hell do people go through levels so fast?

Personal experience of learning a language doesn’t equate to universal experience. A simple google search will give you articles, opinion pieces, and scientific papers discussing the difficult of learning English. Yes, the grammar is somewhat predictable if you come from a European country, but Europe is not the largest population on the planet. English, yes, has a benefit of being widely available media and a plethora of teaching materials, largely because it’s the most logical second language to teach.

English is filled with homophones, holographs, and homonyms that make it extremely difficult for a non-native speaker to reach a high level of proficiency. It’s a melting pot language and so you can’t naturally assume anything.

Definitely read the poem that @zyoeru shared, it’s called The Chaos and it’s the best example of unpredictable spelling in English.


Welcome to the community @t3h_bunbun!

Japanese is a fundamentally different language from most western languages. The attention to detail necessary for understanding a new writing system is something that everyone learning it has to develop. A lot of the faster users already have had exposure to the language via other means. Also, some of the users rely on scripts to speed through the levels. I wouldn’t really concern yourself with the speed of other users. Kanji and kanji based vocabulary definitely takes time to get acclimated to, but honestly I’d say this is the least important part of your Japanese language learning journey right now. Instead I’d say to spend way more time focusing on grammar and conversation. The kanji & kanji based vocabulary will eventually start to click as time goes by, and you’ll be burning through the levels in due time.

So in other words, relax. You’re normal! :slight_smile:


Hello, friend! I think we all feel this way sometimes. I’m a stay-home father of 2, and I often feel that I should be able to make more progress than I am (currently on level 5 after ~40 days) despite doing my reviews every hour on the hour and new lessons as able.

Again, without having to work, I’m still on pace for about 2 years to completion. That’s okay. Giving up now means that in 2 years, I’ll know less than I’ve already learned, so I’ll keep at it instead.


I have to admit first 3 months I got no idea what I’m doing. I got the excitement phase at first couple weeks, as it worn off I got slow down. Too lazy to pick up new lessons, got a lot items wrong.

I think what makes my motivation regain is strolling around the community. I found out how to use User Script, thanks to the script author for great works! And in community you can find any information you need, new insight, and pro tips and trick ~

For items that haunting you, I recommend to use [Userscript] Wanikani Item Inspector . So far, I always got items that haunting me, and doesn’t stick easily :sweat: . But as long as you relearn the items, it’s will stick sooner or later ~

* this is a bit embarrassing I failed 切れる (level 3 vocab) for the 5th time, I hope I can sweep all of them soon haha



I will try to get this thing rolling as for now. I am full time student who, alongside with the classes and homework, works on my first novel and read a lot so I don’t want to take too much onto my plate at one time. Once I feel pretty comfortable with learning kanji I’ll start look into grammar with some more depth!


\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}
Goodness gracious, three first posts in one topic in such a short space of time? I wonder if this is some kind of record? Oh well, who am I to resist the temptation to wish every new user a warm welcome to the forums? For everyone shall be welcomed, it’s my way!

welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.
Though you’re getting on fine without them if you’re level 4 already

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you…
… though you seem fine without them, they’re still useful though…

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!
The New And Improved List Of API and Third Party Apps

I hope your Japanese learning journey continues to go well and that you enjoy your time with us :smiley:


As a father of only one, who is at nursery most of the time, I salute your perseverance. I always think that the crucible of real life pressures makes us stronger learners in the long run, so well done for keeping up. I’ve been sat on level 13 for two months and sat on level 10 for seven, so never worry that you’re going too slow. Keeping on keeping on, slow and steady, will get us to the goal at the end and that’s the most important thing ^-^


If English is so easy, why do I constantly see spelling and grammar errors in social media? People THINK it’s easy and it’s pretty easy being understood, even with small mistakes.

But being really competent in English? Most Germans I know aren’t. (Although Americans would pull the 上手 card for most of them. Yeah, they have that, too :smiley:)


There’s enough native English speakers, in all of the lands where it’s spoken, that have trouble with spelling that it’s very clearly confusing for many people.

I would thing that it’s about 60/40 for people who get their/they’re/there right consistently. Hell, even I’ll mistype them sometimes and consider myself fairly literate.


I’d argue the “they’re/their/there” thing is actually EASIER for “foreigner”, because we have formally learned the grammar at some point and think about it.

The German equivalent to it is btw “das/dass”…


Logically, I guess それ、あれ、これ are probably quite similar in terms of difficulty, as non-native learning and having to remember this, that over there, and that.

@t3h_bunbun If you really want to learn Japanese, you should participate on Japanese courses. WaniKani can only offer you assistance with learning kanji, but you shouldn’t use it as your primary source of studying. If you live anywhere near the Helsinki area, I can personally warmly recommend these courses:

I myself started from knowing 0 kanji and very little grammar when I took the 5 first courses from that list in 2018. The courses were heavy as hell, but the learning curve was amazing. I took the JLPT N4 test that year’s december and passed it ranking in the top 5% of the N4 participants. I started using wanikani some months after that, and I’ve felt that this is a good tool for refreshing my memory with kanji that I already learned, and making learning new kanji easier.

I mainly think of wanikani as an enabler for faster learning because of that, but in my opinion where the actual deep learning happens is the application of what you’ve learnt here. So for example reading the kanji in an environment where they are naturally used like newspapers and textbooks, and writing the kanji in full sentences, for example when doing exercises from a textbook or writing essays. If you would only memorize the kanji and some vocabulary, but not actually learn them, they wouldn’t really serve you much of a purpose.

Due to my full time studies I don’t think I can afford taking on other heavy duty courses. I know that wanikani teaches only kanji and vocab and as such I am looking for other resources. I am moving within the constraints of my current situation and studying japanese in the way that is doable for me and won’t lead to burnout.

That’s the correct approach :+1: burnout can come really easily when trying to do everything at the same time. But these courses are held in the summer when university studies are on hold, which is why I was able to participate on them being a full time student as well. But of course this isn’t the only option, just one that I can personally guarantee to be good. But I guess my point is that you might end up with serious discrepancies in your Japanese if you don’t take any courses with a proper teacher. On the courses you will not learn just about the language, but about the culture as well which is important.

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Right. If they’re on summer then it might be possible. We will see once the summer comes round. As for now, I’ll keep going, trying to wrap my head around this kanji stuff and then move to grammar and see how things go.


Hey, sorry to jump on you like this.

I’m curious what was going wrong and how you tackled that to get levels back down to 10 days or so?

Well first level took me a week. Second one around that. I felt what you are feeling and i am sure all of us did.

First of all, welcome to the community!

I won’t repeat what other people have already said, but I’d like to contribute with some experience I got from the past months I spent on WaniKani.
There are times in which life demands us to pay attention to other important things rather than learning kanji and it’s crucial that you don’t neglect either your friends/family or your work in order to simply level up fast.
I got stuck for several weeks at some levels during these hard times of pademics, because I’m a doctor and I had responsabilities far more urgent than doing reviews. However, ocasionally being here sometimes has proven me to be a real escape from the harsh world and a rare moment of tranquility.
Thus, don’t make it an obligation. Give yourself all the time you need and, eventually, we will all get there =)


To answer the actual title of the thread, some people (like myself) can go fast because of how their job works, and/or because they are sacrificing a significant amount of their free time to do this. You don’t ned to do this. Go at a pace, and then occasionally see if the pace you are going at is satisfactory to you. If not, see what you can do to fix it. Don’t compare yourself to other people, because that doesn’t lead down a good road for anyone.


I’ve been here over five years now, and am only level 46. I swear I have to be the slowest one here, that is here consistently.


Hey there!
Well, actually I started WK this Jan and then figured out I want to take JLPT4 at Jul… And WK is not much JLPT-firendly, so I postponed it a bit to focus on N4 curriculum. Back than all this lockdown stuff was not such a thing and I still believed I could take the test… but they moved it to Dec after all, so this idea turned to be not such a great one. :disappointed:
Then Jul was ruined as well with my neighbours became turbo-noisy even at night making it impossible to live in my old apart let alone any studies of new stuff. So after some delibiration I moved back to my parents, where managed to maintain proper study schedule after all.
It’s not as comfy and neat as living alone back then, but at least I can focus on my studies properly (not to mention helping my eldery parents bit more than usual is always good thing).
This totally suit my plan of moving to live&work in Japan as well, so I just consider my current state as sort of poverty language school :yum:

tl;dr there were obstacles. I removed them, read guides how to build proper WK schedule and focused on studies.

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