I am new and (somewhat) helpless

Well, then I do indeed seem to have a debit card, but I have no clue how to use it internationally… It’s from a local German bank and while I could use it for German websites before, I never was able to input anything remotely looking like my card number into an international paying attempt. However, it might very well be possible and me just being stupid; I definitely deem that an option. Maybe I was just too careful? Obviously, non-native language + stuff that concerns money = Better be careful and don’t do anything you aren’t sure of.


Just have to enter those deets and let Jesus take the wheel (trust that WK won’t make fraudulent charges)

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If that doesn’t work and PayPal is an option for you, you can send a mail to hello@wanikani.com and ask them about that option, they’ll definitely accommodate you. Many have reported success using this.


So I am one of those people who’s really good at learning languages, and the first couple of levels of Wanikani still messed me up! There’s a lot of multiple-common-reading kanji in the first couple of levels, and I’m at level 18 now and still make mistakes on some of those early-level words almost every time.


Once you hit level five or so, there start being a lot fewer multiple-common-reading kanji. And by that point, your brain will have figured out a little better how to work with kanji and Wanikani’s specific teaching method, and you’ll start picking things up faster.

You mentioned earlier that you were looking for a way to learn grammar; Obenkyo is free and is great for that because they break down the grammar lessons in more informal, relatable language than you’ll get in a textbook. Obenkyo also has lessons and a flashcard system for all sorts of different aspects of Japanese, although it’s not regulated with an SRS system at all.

Stick with it! Once you hit about level ten or so, you’ll realize that when you’re looking at doujins and stuff you can actually recognize a lot of the kanji and be able to guess some of the dialogue’s meaning from context - that was a HUGE motivator for me!


This is a good example of why some grammar helps. You have things called counters in Japanese which have different meanings from the number words. That’s why these particular vocabulary words are confusing for you. I did the same thing as you until I learned about counters.

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The thread is long enough that I may have missed this, but have you looked into Heisig’s Remember the Kanji series? Much like what WK is doing, you work to associate keywords with the kanji, but also to practice writing them. I’m wondering if something physical like that would help get things in your head better. Technically you don’t need Heisig to practice writing – you could just look things up as they come up in WK – but it’s a thought.

And a quick edit – it does look to be available in German, if you might find that even more helpful.


Whoa, I come back and there’s so many new replies!:grinning:

I’ll definitely find a way to make payment happen if stuff keeps working out for me. My mom visited me today as well and when I told her about how my self-studies are going and that I found this website she suggested maybe talking to my father about a year-subscription as an early birthday present for me. That’s definitely also something I will consider! So yes, I do believe I have options now. Paypal is definitely the easiest thing for me, though, since I’m so used to using it.

Thank you for that suggestion, I will definitely look into that! I actually managed to get myself a digital copy of Genki I and II by reaching out to some of my old university buddies by now, but I found that seeing the pages of a textbook only on the screen instead of in front of me is sort of different, so I might indeed need something else on top of it. Definitely checking into different things at this point as duolingo keeps being kind of dumb - I actually do like the general style of their lessons, but the fact that they don’t explain anything at all is horrid.
And I definitely look forward to being able to read all the doujins and video games I want to read, so I’ll definitely stick with it! Thank you for the motivation!

Actually I am right now at the duolingo lesson teaching that counter and also the one for birds and rabbits (yeah that’s clearly the most important choice lol). I actually don’t find the grammar behind them very confusing, just the readings. Too many readings!

Though I must say that so far, level 2 is easier than level 1. Then again, I haven’t hit the vocabs yet…:see_no_evil:

I have never heard about that before and will look it up! I do believe writing would indeed help me; I have basically zero talent to learn things via audio, so WKs audio vocab help isn’t doing anything for me. Writing might help more, who knows. Though honestly I do keep doing awesomely on the meanings and the readings are the issue and I dunno if writing will help with that, but it might be worth a try.

Honestly though I looked into some of the threads of the people here who reached level 60 and their tips and I feel like that also helped me a lot.
There is hope for me maybe. At least until the next vocabs.:sweat_smile:


I’m not going to lie this one was so weird I memorized it on my first go. I didn’t want it to work but it did. It is one of the few where I consistently got it right at the very beginnning.

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Since I was asked to post updates: I now - according to an email I got - reached level four and, with that, subscription-territory. I also learned by communicating with the staff that monthly payments cannot be done via paypal, only year-long or lifetime ones, which means I have one big, ugly problem because it means that I might have to wait for my birthday (July 31st) and hope I get enough birthday money to pay for a yearly subscription… and not buy a much-needed new vacuum cleaner from the money. Well then, I never liked clean floors anyway.:sweat_smile:
Given how horribly poor I am at some of the Level 3 (and some Level 2) stuff still, it’s okay to not start with Level 4 yet, but the end of July is pretty far away. Oh well… I’ll see if I can talk someone into lending me the money early, at least.

Subscription issues aside, I was quite surprised just how different the levels were. While I haven’t found out how to access these neat graphs yet (maybe they’re just for subscribers?), I am pretty sure I did Level 2 in less than a week while needing almost two weeks for Level 3. Not quite sure why that happened, but it did. I am also struggling with remembering things from my Guru-category very often, especially verbs which just have different hiragana endings; I tend to mix their meanings up and also often forget which reading the one-kanji vocabs want because I don’t get the merciful “Nope, not that one”-screenshaking for vocabs.

That said, though, I made it to the end of Level 3 at least and didn’t give up! (Well, Kanji are at exactly 90%, so I’m not fully done but 90% is apparently level-up-time.)


If you think that having Genki I on paper instead of on a screen would be more helpful to you, I could send you the book (as a gift of course, I live in Germany also). I bought it years ago, but then never used it because when I started taking classes here in Germany, the teachers used the Marugoto series… And if I ever continue taking classes it would be in the same place and again with Marugoto.



This is where you can see those neat graphs and numbers.

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OMG, while that would be the greatest gift ever, you should totally be aware that you could easily sell it for 50+ Euro on Ebay. The university I took my classes in back then (Cologne) used Genki exclusively and because it was pretty hard to get back then even for bookstores, students went crazy about trying to get it from other sources. Given its Amazon reviews and price for used copies, you could probably make a lot of money from selling it!

Thank you for the link! I checked it and actually saw that site before. It says I need an API Key, but I generated one before and it didn’t accept the key. That’s why I think it might just be for subscribed people - or because I don’t know how to use them correctly. That is actually a very likely possibility, too.

There is https://wkstats.com:10001 which uses the API v2 key.

And https://www.wkstats.com/#progress which uses the API v1 key.


You seem motivated and that is the most important thing to learning Japanese. I would say use the time you have till your birthday to maybe focus on some other aspects of Japanese.

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing

This post gives you a good idea of things you can use.


Oooh thank you! That explains matters! I hadn’t used a API v1 key since I thought those were obsolete or whatever.

Thank you so much for the tips! My mom and dad, however, decided to let me have my birthday present early when I talked to them about it today, so now I am officially subscribed for a year (and with that have no right to chicken out anymore) and have now 60 new lessons waiting for me.
I wonder when I will come to regret that I decided to wish months-long torture upon myself for my birthday… most likely in like 15 minutes when I’m done with the lessons and realize that nothing is sticking in my brain.:upside_down_face:


You got this :grin:


Let the Crabbygator consume you and you will forget the meaning of the word “regret”!
Also if you need help with something, feel free to message me. Im German as well. (No promise I can actually help tho)


According to my reviews, I indeed got, uh, 72% of this!:smile:

Does that mean that once I get to the Kanji meaning “regret” and forget what they mean, I can blame the Crabbygator?:thinking:
Also thank you so much! It’s awesome how helpful and kind this community is!


That’s Level 18, so you’ll have a chance to forget it in a couple months or so. :wink:

Also, how’s the progress so far? I see you got Level 4 so it must have started to click. :slight_smile:


That will indeed be a looong way off! Seems like a level a week is not doable for me, I get too much stuff wrong for that, it seems. More like 10 days for a level or something, my scores seem to be around ~75% most of the time.

Thank you for asking!:slightly_smiling_face: It’s going… I don’t know. I do feel it’s generally pretty okay but that’s often because I get a lot of easy stuff (looking at you, 百 and all the words you unlocked that are pretty much the same).

I did notice about myself that I am a purely visual learner and that it’s a big problem with mnemonics. I can’t even blame it on English not being my first language. For example, let’s take 名(めい). The mnemonic was something with the month May. But you better believe it makes me type まい every single time because May is written with an “a” and not with an “e”. I just cannot learn by sound, ever. Right now it’s 主 (しゅ), with me typing ちゅall the time because the mnemonic was something about a chute…
And of course there’s a few words I feel I will always and for all eternity never learn. 土(つち) is one of the very worst; I keep having it in apprentice even though it’s a Level 2 one. Also some of the counting words.

So yeah, basically, I feel like I still need to figure out a way to remember things better. And to maybe learn more than one meaning of a word (because there’s like a ton of words meaning the same thing already, hi “girl” and “past” and “master”), to finally remember which reading is used in which case and stuff like that. I have a long way to go, but I’m keeping at it. :slight_smile: