I’m super slow

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!

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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


I started 495 days (1.36 years) ago and am on level 36. Is that slow? My worst time on WK was when the burn reviews started in earnest. I only use this one SRS and other self study materials.

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Hi Super Slow, I’m Cat :smile_cat:

I move at a rate of about 5-15 lessons a day. There are some days where I won’t do any new lessons at all due to needing to prioritize other tasks. I almost always do reviews every day, but not necessarily the whole thing. I’ve been doing this since September and I’m only at level 12.
The nice thing about learning a language on your own is you really do get to move at your own pace. Sometimes you can slow it down and sometimes you can speed it up but ultimately you call the shots depending on what you feel like you can handle for one day. Theres nothing wrong with changing the pace or going slow or needing to reshuffle your priorities on any given day and theres no standard overall pace you “should be” going. It’s so easy to get lost in those “shoulds” but they can create more anxiety than motivation so dont focus on how you think you should be doing and focus more on how you think you’d get the most out of learning. What is needed for you to have more fun and enjoyment, to retain more, to stress less?

And what’s wanikani going to do if you dont do your reviews for one day, expel you?!


Welcome to Team Slow!

xD Slow and steady is better than not at all! I’ve been hacking away at this longer than you but I think you’ve gotten a biiiiiit farther!
Learning a language is an ongoing process that you never really finish, so we might as well all hang out and not finish together! :partying_face:


Hey don’t worry you are doing great

I started here about 5 years ago…
Went to level 13 at max and couldn’t do it , too many reviews piled so I went back to level 7
Now it’s going well


I’ve been doing this for over two years now.
I’ve done 87,214 reviews.
And I’m now at level 16.
Happy with my progress so far!