How the hell do people go through levels so fast?

I feel it is bit of a chicken and egg problem. What knowing grammar helps if you don’t have the words to speak or write the language? But what does words help if you don’t know the grammar to construct sentences? I do think that early kanji is recommended because it is so difficult, it takes so long due to the ammount of kanji, readings and vocab and so forth and because there is no easy way around it. You just have to learn and remember this shit.

Atm I am doing light grammar besides the wk and will look for some sort of text book soon. Gonna try to get that override script for wk and have some sort of balanced diet of grammar, which is easier for me, and kanji.

1 Like

Because they’re selling a product. You’ve already identified a problem, and had it confirmed from other people that what you’re experiencing is not strange or abnormal (and perhaps you’re even touching on being in the majority or “correct”.)

Here’s a quote from yours truly from an earlier thread (2018!) on the exact same issue:

My personal opinion is that that tip borders on unethical. The amount of vocabulary you need to use a beginner textbook is generally not much.

And an answer from another user:

a good textbook will teach you vocabulary as you go along, books like Genki are made to be started from 0, and have the necessary vocabulary inside them. Picking a random example from level 20 words. You don’t need words like 水害 before you can open a grammar book.

Sigh. Such is life in capitalist society. And I might not go for such a strong word as unethical but I am quite sure that this expirience has demoralized more than few to-be japanese learners and studiers. Personally, I am glad that you people are such a nice bunch and tolerate people like me and my moods and are willing to help. Without this, I might have stopped and given up. Instead I now have more avenues on how to move fowards. So thanks to you all :3

Oh come on guys, now you’re totally overdoing it. 3 levels are free to try, you’re not even there yet…

1 Like

Personally I didn’t know any japanese or hiragana or katakana until 1 week before I started here. I don’t consider myself any kind of language genius, and my Japanese is still only upper beginner / poor n3, but wanikani has made it possible for me to slowly read native Japanese stuff that interests me rather than text books. My only advice would be you do need the 4 hour intervals for some words - if you try and do 12 hour hour reviews some things never stick. Some words take me 2 days before I ever remember them, but then they often stick better than the one’s I never get wrong until burn review time and suddenly cant remember.


I see what you mean. I don’t feel the frustration though. I actually feel excited to learn it, because it’s so nice to recognize characters that almost no one else understands. To start seeing them in texts — even if I don’t really understand the whole sentence — is very rewarding. That blob of random strokes starts to slowly make some sense.

I also mixed (and still mix) that similar vocab a lot (大きい、大きさ、上げる、上がる, etc). I think everyone does :sweat_smile: The good news is there are some tips regarding the transitive/intransitive verbs that will help you. You will probably come across them in the future.

Just a small correction: when I said 5/10 lessons, I meant 5 or 10 items, not 5 or 10 sessions (25 to 50 items, which is a lot). So I think your pace of 2 sessions a day (10 items) is good.

Regarding the chicken-egg dilemma, I don’t think you should choose one or the other (kanji or grammar or anything else), but rather study a bit of both concurrently. All the beginner textbooks (げんき、みんなの日本語、Japanese from Zero, etc.) teach with hiragana and use simple kanji with furigana. I wouldn’t recommend みんなの日本語 for a complete beginner though, since it doesn’t have any English and assumes you know some Japanese beforehand.

Considering your replies so far, I think your biggest problem is not the Japanese language itself. I think it’s just a bit of impatience. The study of Japanese may actually help you to develop your patience and endurance. I know it can be frustrating to not even be able to read what you see, but remember that Japanese people learn the 2000 kanji in 9 years and can’t even remember them all. You don’t have a deadline to finish the 60 levels. Also, stop caring about other people’s pace and don’t compare yourself to others. The important thing is to keep up with small steps every day, look at your progress a few months from now and see how much you have already improved.


When I feel discouraged it helps to look in the rear view mirror. Oh I might have gotten that answer wrong in WK for the 10th time, but 2 months ago I didn’t know any kana, zero kanij and now according to WK I know nearly 300 hundred!
Also I recognise more kanji when watching anime and can excitedly point it out to my kids… hey hey that one means rice paddy!

I’ve set myself small goals in the short and medium term… get to Lvl 10, study for JPLT N5… that sort of thing…
Yes, plenty of stupid brain, why can't you remember that moments but also a lot of ‘how the hell did I remember that!’ moments too (ok not as many!)

It does help when items start to flow into the guru and master categories, for me that started around lvl 3.


Exactly, AND, knowing words and knowing kanji are two very different things though. There are so many important words that wanikani doesn’t teach you.

Like in the sentence above it doesn’t teach you that you add たがる to the i-stem of a word in order to say “seems like they want to X”

Which is very important to know to not accidentally say. あなたは行きたい。Which would be rude and ungrammatical.

Chicken and egg I guess. You need both new words and new grammar to learn a language. But you only need a little bit of words and ALOT of grammar to speak well. If you know a lot of words and NO grammar you can’t speak at all.

To read well you need a lot of both, so what is your goal?

I mean I’ve been stuck on level one for 22 days because I keep on doing dumb things such as typing the reading instead of the meaning or the meaning instead of the reading. I wish I was done with level 1 already.

\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}

welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you, like:

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

I’m sorry you’ve been stuck on Level 1 so long, hopefully it gets better soon!

1 Like

Ha, you call that slow? I’ve been on level 21 for 200 days. Trying to squash most of my leeches.

1 Like

I’ve been going for a long time, on and off, and it’s true, it takes a long time to reach level 60, unless you are extremely disciplined. Now for advice and all that you can read all other comments, I just wanted to validate your opinion because you are not wrong.

Youre right. It’s my impatience which is doing me in. It’s not the first time either. On that front I am just a little kid screaming ‘are we there yet, are we there yet’ in the back of a car (as a sidenote, as an adult, I do feel bad for putting my parents through that several times). And I must admit, there is a feeling that I should know everything now.

I will have to see what text book I’ll get. Genki and Kim Tae has been mentioned repeatedly. Guess it will be either of those but I’ll have to do some research into the matter before deciding. Or just getting either one!


I try to do the reviews on hour but there are two big hurdless: classes and sleep. Classes I ‘have’ to attend since I pay my studies out of my own pocked and theres no way I’ll stay up for 3 am to do the reviews. As such, there is always to points in my day where I’ll have a backlog of review items: morning and after school but you gotta live within the boundaries of you’r personal life and the things it requires.

1 Like

True enough. I will look for a textbook, or try to decide which one to get. Before that I’ll check some of the youtube videos linked here.

As for goal, well, first of all, it would be nice to be able to talk with japanese people but the true dream is to be able to read authors like kawabata and mishima in japanese. No idea if and when I’ll get there but I’d really like to be able to since they have written some of my favourite novels.


Personally I would advise something like Bunrpo or Wasabi’s Grammar guide over Wasabi if you go the web route. I have quite a few issues with Tae Kim’s guide, but I’m not going to rant about that now.

you could use the double check userscript. I think there’s also a userscript out there that makes it more obvious if it’s asking for meaning vs reading.

Yeah, never feel like you are going too slow or anything like that. It usually takes me about a month per lesson, but that’s me and that’s okay. We are all in this together.

1 Like

Not how, why. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
How is getting up all hours of the night, and/or getting near-perfect accuracies to get 7-days per level, and 3.5 days on fast ones.

Why? If it takes you a month per level, and there’s sixty levels, you get through it all in five years. If that what it takes to learn it, that’s very impressive!

(Reserved post for 頑張って)