I did a thing

So, I purchased a lifetime WaniKani subscription in 2017, and then proceeded to barely use it for about two years.

In late 2019, after returning from my second annual trip to Japan, I resolved to get serious about learning Kanji. I resumed studying, and then the pandemic set in in short order. I did really well - for about six months, getting to level 32. Then 2020 got to me. I activated Vacation mode, and despaired as my chances of ever returning to Japan, let alone moving there, were pushed ever further into the future.

I was able to resume in late 2020, resetting back to level 10 and getting back to 32, but that only lasted a few months. I had to move, and that was extremely disruptive. I placed it in vacation mode again. Another year went by, I suffered a stroke, and the dream just seemed ever more impossible. I moved again, and things seemed to be on the mend. I reset to level 20 and resumed, but again that only lasted a few months.

I got to the point that I really felt it was diminishing returns. I would spend an hour or two a day just doing reviews, and it was really discouraging. In this time I started to really resent the gamification aspect of the system. I don’t want to play a game, I want to learn. I don’t want to compete, with others or software or myself.

I wasn’t getting any joy, or even a sense of accomplishment from it. It was a chore that was eating hours out of my day. I stopped until I could figure out what I wanted to do.

That was 80 days ago.

In the meantime, I tried just increasing my input. Listening, and reading wherever I could. It was clear I had made some significant progress, and there was definitely Kanji in my head. I started contemplating a new approach, one that rejects my sunk-costs fallacy leading to hoarding the levels I had already passed, but didn’t really learn.

I decided to just reset all the way back. Going forward I will be entering each level into “Kanji Study”, an excellent Android app that will allow me to practice writing as I start over (a fun aside there - some months ago a friend had sent me a photo of a Yoshida Brothers CD that he couldn’t tell was signed or not. With the help of two native speakers and a knowledge of stroke order, what would look to the uninitiated as a scribble, turned out to actually be a signature - emphasizing the importance of stroke order). I really feel the haptic aspect will help with recall and retention. Also, I will concentrate on the sample sentences this time around, reciting them and reading them. I basically ignored them previously.



May your reviews be quick and your leeches be little. Good luck to you!


Go for it! You are basically at the same point I was at. I also already know nearly all of the Kanji taught here, but also can’t write them. Do you plan to “skip” vocab and radicals, so only concentrate on the Kanji and on writing? Made things a lot more digestable, I need to spend a very small amount of time actually doing SRS and when I do, I have my pen and book to actually do something productive. :smiley:

For actually producing and not recalling I use KameSame, but will look into Kanji Study, maybe that’s even more fun! :partying_face:

What do you mean by “skip” vocab and radicals?

Well, the radicals are needed for nothing than the initial bridge to remember how to write each Kanji, they serve no use but the one here on WK, so I just skip through them, even if I don’t remember them.
Vocab I skip mostly through, because I know the words anyway. I’m really solely here to learn handwriting, so I only focus on that.
Helps with not having to spend too much time with SRS, which tends to bore me really fast. :smiley:

I had basically stopped paying attention to WaniKani’s radicals by level 20. They weren’t terribly hard to memorize, so I was able to just get through them.

I find the vocab useful, as I am not terribly fluent yet. Will be reviewing that as well.

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radicals I always mark them as correct since they are not absolute. They differ depending on the methodology you find out there.

My focus only goes to the kanji and vocab.