How the hell do people go through levels so fast?

I think you only need to guru your kanji to advance to the next level, the vocabulary can take a back seat, so focus on getting your kanji right. The bad thing about this is that you’ll get overwhelmed by more and more vocabulary that you get wrong, especially the ones with odd readings, I’ve been stuck on level 11 for over a month because I was trying to nail everything down before doing more lessons, it’s quite hard with work commitments though.

Careful with that advice - you still need to do your vocab (not reorder it away)


I would hazard you to never neglect your vocabulary and always make sure lessons are completed before levelling up. I ended up with nearly seven-hundred vocab lessons by ignoring them for too long. Likewise with reviews; yes it doesn’t matter if you don’t guru your vocab, because your progress continues anyway, but your review numbers will be higher if you don’t put as much effort into vocab as you do in kanji.


Urgh. Really need to install some script to let me take another chance. For some reason when typing wk inserts extra hiragana to the text and sometimes I by accident hit the submit button and get it marked as incorrect, even if I remember what the term is! So annoying! Even worse is when the kanji/vocab gets thrown back to apprentice for no fault of my own!

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Can you give an example of when you get unwanted hiragana in your input? People sometimes have problems with ん since you have to press the n-key two times. Like こんにちは becomes こんいちは instead by mistake.

I dont remember all the examples but one that just happened was that ue became uue.

Please use it responsibly :wink:


I feel your pain. Here’s my view/story, for what it’s worth. Some of the structure may help… Hope you find your way.

I slogged my way through Levels 1 and 2 without really understanding the difference between kanji and vocabulary and making mistakes because of that. Level 3 plus all the guru-ish reviews looming back from the early levels beat me down so hard and it took me twice as long. Plus I kept making typos because I still wasn’t being careful enough. Reviews made me sweat. And I felt really stupid. Only at that point did I confront how the SRS was working. It was a painful period but I learned a few things (about me and about the process):

  • I want to know a little about the SRS levels (so I can feel my progress), but will never be that interested in the techie/gamey side of scripts;

  • I need to know my hiragana (using Tofugu’s guide) really well, and need to check my answers carefully to avoid typos;

  • I can manage 5 lessons per day; rarely, I will do 10 if it’s radicals, or otherwise items I somehow find easy or have seen elsewhere; I do lessons in bed before I go to sleep. I do reviews in any patches of dead time throughout the day and a bigger batch in bed. I have no schedule beyond that;

  • I have time for WK, plus Duolingo (2 lessons a day), plus a Japanese evening class once a week, plus some Michel Thomas audio lessons, maybe 3 or 4 per week, often none;

  • I’ve got the Flaming Durtles app which I have set to deliver Reviews in batches of 7; I can abandon a session if I make a typo, which won’t have bumped the item down the SRS, nor will I have to re-do too many items. Maybe there are way slicker ways of doing this but this is low-intervention and works for me;

  • it has been taking me about a month per level; that’s five years to get to Level 60, minimum. So be it!

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I’m one of those people levelling up pretty fast. But in the early levels, I consistently got most of these wrong.

One way to look at it, it’s not a failure, it’s highlighting the words you don’t know, then you can figure out what to focus on. If I find I’m getting two words or kanji confused all the time, I focus on finding a way to remember them.

Eg something that is sagging is going down.

For さがる vs さげる = my quite stupid way, that worked for me, was to imagine the げ as hands around an object, lowering it down (same for あげる). Whereas the other one is just dropping by itself.

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Gotta put this on for both the typos and the moments where you submit and just as you press the submit button you go ‘oh shit, this is wrong’ and remember the correct answer.

ive tried that but with somethings it doesnt work for me. Theres just so many syous, syuus, chyuus, jyuus, theres just so many variations of that and they get jumbled in the head and I cant come up with reasonable mnemonic for most of them.

Oh, I also love getting wrong answer for shiytsu instead of shyutsu >.< its the same damn hiragana!

That’s fair enough. May be worth taking a break/ letting these words settle in, while looking at other resources at the same time.

I started WK very similarly to you, with minimal Japanese, and found a lot of the vocab strange. I think I have the advantage of reasonable rote memory (daughter of a maths teacher) which has helped me. I still often run into stumbling blocks as above.

To me it’s really easy to remember the kanji/vocab and the english translation. It’s the japanese words that cause most issue and even then its mostly the jyu, shyu ilk of them. There seems to be just endless parade of them with some words bein homophones sharing same jyus. Outside of those I can do relatively well remembering the readings even if they’re pretty alien. Of course, something like inu is easy when you know shiba inu and so forth.

Without knowing Finnish, is it maybe that they are similar sounds in your language that make it more confusing? Though generally yes, there are a lot of homophones.

Nope. Finnish and japanese are so wildly different on vocabulary that theres no way to mix things up. Poistumistie, shyutsu. Koira, inu. Laskeutua, sageretsu. Pudota, sagaretsu. And so forth. Also the grammar is different too, at least as far as I can tell, at least a bit. We too use a lot of particles, suffixes and so forth but for example there cannot be an sentence without subject in finnish (I don’t think. Despite working towards being an author my knowledge of finnish grammar is extremely poor.)

Oh, wait, we have a form of joo, yes, that is juu. That might be pretty close but its pronounced pretty differently.


Isn’t that 75% of WK, and the other 25% are parts of them?

If I can return to this really briefly.

If you ignore what Tofugu says about when to start grammar, these sorts of issues can be resolved super early in the studies.

If you start with N5 grammar alongside WK you’ll learn very soon about transitivity. You’ll then look it up probably and learn the tips @diego_barreto talks about.

Similarly, very early into grammar you’ll learn that some i-adjectives can become nouns by adding 「さ」 to the stem.

長い>長さ (long > length)
大きい>大きさ (big > size)
深い>深さ (deep > depth)

So, if grammar is actually encouraged from the start (as most WK users will advocate) the vocab learnt through WK becomes easier to understand and compartmentalise. You’ll see words change from verb to noun or adverb or adjective and understand why and how because you’ll have that grammatical background (相変わらず) springs to mind.

The mystery of why these similar looking words exist without rhyme or reason becomes solved.

as an aside I also recommend listening to Japanese music bc that way you get exposed to kanji that will come in future lessons

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That script is not maintained anymore. Better to use [Userscript]: Double-Check (Version 2.x) which is in everyway superior and has more features. @t3h_bunbun