How to take an extended break?

Heya guys, interesting question from me today!

I am on level 9 and had planned to make it to level 10 and then stop studying japanese until after my final exams for my degree in may ish kinda time. However, as coursework and my thesis grow ever more pressing, I am not managing to fit in time for WK (let alone grammar and vocab work) basically at all. It’s at the point where it feels like i’m kidding myself in being able to keep going until I finish this all important period.

so my question is, how do I break, in the right way. How can I break from japanese so that when I come back it won’t be like I have lost the 9 months of study I have already committed to. Should I just force myself to find more time for reviews? should I maybe do some Vocab reading (Tango) in bed? any tips are welcomed! <3

thanks guys <3 see ya


I have no idea what your comfort level with consuming Japanese media is, but my best advice would be to find some way to keep interacting with the language on a regular basis. This could be anything, really: maybe find podcasts or music you like to listen to in the background of doing other things, read a page/a paragraph/an article/some amount of something every(-ish) day, watch an episode or a video or whatever, anything you like! The most important thing is that it’s something you enjoy, something you want to do.

The point is that you don’t necessarily have to study in order to interact with the language. Maybe you won’t improve as quickly as if you set aside dedicated “study time,” but just having that consistency and connection is really important imo. Even in the past when I’ve gotten burned out on active study for one reason or another, not interacting with Japanese at all just felt too weird for me to stop entirely, and I think that’s a really helpful point to reach if you can maintain that connection. Best of luck!


I would not stop doing reviews. At level 9 you should be fine if you stop lessons and just do reviews. In a couple of weeks, your reviews will be a breeze and they will continue that way until you burn most—if not all— the items you have already learned. When you come back, you’ll still be in the game.

This is what I did 2 months ago when I got very busy. I stopped taking lessons and just did reviews. This way you won’t forget anything and you keep your mind sharp!


I do most of my reviews at work. I have 3 hours of time not devoted to being at work, driving to and from work, and sleeping.

Eating, shopping, housework, etc. Eat into a lot of that free hours.

So I take advantage of my time before work, waiting to clock in and my breaks and lunch for reviews.

This alone gives me nearly an hour for reviews. Bored with a few minutes of free time? Time for me to smash out 10 reviews real quick.

A little throughout the day makes an hour/hour and a half easy and fun. It’s a task I get to look forward to when I find a few minutes/half hour at most.

It never turns into a chore (I mean I’m only level three so take that with a grain of salt.)


This sounds like the very best advice to me.


You probably have like 50 reviews a day tops, what’s the problem?

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Seconding what everyone else has said – it’s going to depend on your level what this looks like, but finding some way to check in with the language as close as possible to every day, no matter how little it has to be per day, is likely to make you come back in far better shape than if you 100% drop it.


Best way would be to force yourself to find a very small amount of time to do a set number of reviews. 5-20 of them should not take more than 5 minutes. Stick to your number and don’t be tempted to do more.

If you do have an extra 10 minutes or so, you could try watching a video from Comprehensive Japanese.


Hi, Everyone. I’m naka naka fresh here, being on third level. Several thoughts are coming to mind. Ninth level in nine months? With all due respect, isn’t it a bit sluggish pace? I understand that we are here not for speeding things up, but since it took me some 2-3 weeks to arrive at level 3, I imagined level 9 might be in the next two/two and a half months, where am I wrong here?
Also, if we are to take a break, is our record history retained so that we may take over at the same level we finished at?
Thanks for feedback.


The first 2 (I think) levels of Wanikani move at an accelerated pace compared to the following ones, but on the normal levels, the fastest you came move up is about 7 days (until some levels beyond the 40s that can theoretically be done in under 4 each). There’s a detailed guide to Wanikani here with a lot of info and advice on managing everything.

What speed you should actually go at is going to depend on you, and levelling speed is determined by how quickly you get all of the kanji to guru level (influenced by how soon you do radical lessons because some kanji are locked behind radicals), but that’s the fastest possible.

Yeah, your position shouldn’t ever be lost. That said, if you are going to step away totally (not recommended if you can at all avoid it, but sometimes life doesn’t cooperate), you will either have all of your past reviews you don’t do pile up, potentially into the thousands, or you can activate “vacation mode” to pause all reviews. The latter is preferable, but even then, it’s going to mess with your memory and make you miss more when you return, which will still mess with SRS and intervals and push your items down, potentially sticking you in place for a bit.

You can, should the need ever arise, also opt to manually reduce your level to any previous one.


To highlight this point, vacation mode sounds like what you want OP.

Settings-> Account-> Scroll down to Vacation Mode


Its More Like 3 levels Per Month At average Speed Of Learning

I started about a month after him and I’m lvl 30, and I AFK’d for two months out of that time. A week per level is about the fast speed, up to lvl 42 or something where you can speed through the levels at twice the speed ending up with 3.5 day levels.

I think you might have meant to say “week” here rather than “month”, right?

Yeah obviously, fixed.

Hi Travis. I recently took a month plus break by just putting it on “vacation mode” until Iwas done with my “crunch time”.Tenugui explained how to do it nicely.

Occasionally, I felt like unwinding with a few reviews that were stacked up. So I popped vacation mode off, did some (using the @10 button to cut it off when I was ready to send that session), and popped “vacation mode” back on. Vacation Mode just freezes that point in time.

If you don’t do any additional lessons, you can get things you’ve done up to now up to Master just during your short “relaxation review sessions”. :blush:

Review before re-starting reviews: I found it helpful to scan the level lists to “refresh my recollection” before coming back off of “vacation mode” and back to my normal routine.


Thanks, very helpful info. Not that i want to cut off Japanese feed thoroughly, but “sometimes life doesn’t cooperate” (love the phrase :smiley: )


I have to admit I wasn’t really looking for people to berate my learning pace. It is all good and well for some people being able to learn god knows how fast, but everyone learns at their own paces and this happens to be mine. if you would rather go off and do 2 levels a week or whatever people claim is possible then be my guest, but it assumes you a) never have other commitments during the day and b) never get a review wrong. if you can do both those things then please by all means make comment on my pace.

A post about wanting to take a break to focus for a month or so on my 40,000 euro degree has ended up being some peoples invitation to flex or shun. hopefully it makes you guys feel good, but I have to admit it doesn’t help me in anyway and just makes me feel shit

thanks for that one


I’m sorry you had to read some of those replies. Don’t let them get you down. If I were you, I’d focus on either doing just reviews or put WK on vacation mode, depending on what you feel you can handle during this busy period; and engage with some very light Japanese content you enjoy (such as shows) for fun, with little pressure, during the free time you still manage to carve for yourself. This way your brain can enjoy some much needed study breaks that still count as really low-effort maintenance. You should concentrate on and be able to enjoy finishing your degree. I wish you luck!


thank you my friend <3 yeah I think I will do just that!