I’m super slow


I feel like I’m super slow at burning words. I use both wanikani and kaniwani. I’m at level 36 and I’ve been going about 1,5 years almost. I’m burnt out mentally and I’m guessing that’s why, but I almost only ever see people who are fast at burning. Where my slow people at? I want my slow friends haha


You see mostly fast people because they are more likely to post.

For every fast person you see, there are probably 10 slower people and 50 more people who have given up.

Give yourself a pat on the back for making it to level 36! It may not feel like it, but that’s a huge accomplishment.

Slow down or put WK on vacation mode for a week if you need to, but don’t give up! You’ve come too far!


Well, compared to how slow I am, you are quite fast :sweat_smile:
I’ve joined in Spring 2016 and was going quite fast at first, but then I started forgetting things and feeling ovwerwhelmed. I reached level 37 and then got buried by a huge pile of reviews. I’ve spent nearly a year trying to force myself to tackle that pile, then realized that it’s getting me nowhere and reset to level 1. The second time I reached some 20+ level and it happened again, so I did a second reset.
And last autumn it happened yet again once I’ve reached level 22… I’ve spent half a year neglecting my reviews, then decided to tackle them without another reset and, as you can see, I’m level 23 now…
So, don’t worry, it’s ok to be slow. The important thing is to keep moving!


@trunklayer is telling the truth! This is what they look like studying.


So now that you’ve done both resets and the non-reset tackle, which strategy do you recommend to someone who is faced with a huge pile of reviews after a while of not doing it?

1 Like

Hard to say… I think it depends on the person and also on how much items they think they still remember…

I think the best way would be whatever would let that person resume studying sooner. The worst is just sitting and trying to force oneself. It’s as master Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try”.
Either you go and start tackling your reviews or you do not - in that case you should do a reset. Not necessarily to level 1 as I did both times, but to the level you think you still remember. In any case, the key is to return to studying everyday.

Before deciding to do a reset, I think it’s a good idea to go through all the kanji you’ve learned and through at least some of the vocab items too. So that you’d be able to determine more precisely, whether you’d need a reset and if so - to what level.


I’ve been stuck with a pile & knew that some words & kanji always frustrated me, so I’ve decided to reset, but not to L1. Mind, I’ve been at level 4 or 5 when I did the reset, so… not very far :slight_smile:
I reset to L3 I believe towards the end of last year, and I’m only at L6 now… been for more than a month, and still not tackled all L6 radicals. My approach? I only do lessons once I feel comfortable enough that I don’t have a zillion apprentice reviews coming up. So I’m moving super, super slow - but so far it works, I feel the stuff I’m learning sticks, which is all I want to achieve :slight_smile:


What matters is habit. Burning out is tough. I’ve been there. If it is possible just do one review a day. Or maybe a vacation would be better and then you can start reviews slowly but surely. A chain of studying a little is more than just sheer motivation. Remember no one posts that they’ve given up or life happened to them (well, definitely true for the former…). You’ll only really see overachievers show their speed in an anonymous forum…But I would argue that it is very dangerous for your mental wellbeing to strive towards perfectionist standards and think this forum is reality of what you SHOULD be doing. Should is a word used in cognitive distortion a lot. Language learning is a marathon. Best of luck.


Don’t pressure yourself too much - it’s called “slowly but surely” for a reason :cherry_blossom:


I started in January last year, so we’ve been on WK for a similar amount of time. You’re going faster than me :+1:


There are posts about people going slow too. I see them, maybe not as often as the go fast, but they’re there.

Here are two level 60 posts from people going slower with WK (that were easy to find due to title in @jprspereira’s compilation of got to 60 posts):

And these threads were just a couple I knew how to easily find. Just searching for posts might find you a lot more.

Also, I’m a case. I started about 1,5 years ago, and I’m 25 (almost 26).

If you are feeling burnout, my two top tips would be:

  1. Slow down
  2. Do fun things with Japanese, but not in study mode (so watch some anime if you like it and turn on subtitles in a language you understand, read easy-for-you manga/books, etc.)

Some combination of those two usually works for me. So slow down usually means no (or very few) lessons but usually all reviews (unless there are a lot). But sometimes it is enough to dig into the things I am learning Japanese for (which for me is reading manga and books, so I read manga and books that I can easily digest at with my current ability). Sometimes I need both, sometimes I need one or the other. And it is also okay to take a break for a couple of weeks.


Oh well :smiley: The only one you compete against is yourself. I want to try and take the N5 in December so I’m very motivated right now.

But really, learning Japanese is your hobby I assume, not your job and your life doesn’t depend on it - so from my perspective I don’t see a reason to burn yourself out :tulip:


I tend to bounce around between focusing on kanji/vocab/grammar/listening/reading/speaking.

I’ve just picked up my first novel, and I can have basic conversations/follow more complicated ones, so I’m very happy with my overall progress :slight_smile:

But yeah, there’s no rush and keeping it fun is the priority.


Thank you so much!
I decided to use vacation mode once a week, it helps to keep it fun too.


I’m taking the N5 this summer! I hope we pass


Thanks for your advice. I’m not very active here so I’m not surprised I missed posts about going slow. I appreciate you sharing a couple of threads! Thanks again!

1 Like

It will be one year next week, and I plan to turn level 21 on Friday. Hopefully I’ll be your level in six months from now! :sweat_smile:


Unless you need to learn the language urgently for some particular reasons (which I doubt you would), I think it helps immensely to see it as a long-term process and not to put too much pressure on yourself (while still staying consistent and motivated, of course!). Language learning (let alone mastering!) is lifelong anyway, and every step, however small or slow, counts. :durtle_love:


11 months, level 22, so around your pace or even slower. I don’t think this is super slow at all, it’s just average for someone who is doing this casually and actually faster than going to language schools (regarding kanji alone). Don’t get discouraged by the vocal, active part of WK’s userbase.

I’m also often at 75-85% in my reviews when older unburnt stuff kicks back into the review queue, if you want to feel better about this as well.


Been doing this everyday with only a handful of exceptions for over 4 years. Kanji needs to take a back seat to grammar anyway