I did the thing: An (apparently not so) brief level 60 post

See title. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.



I’m joking. I have at least a little (added post-writing: apparently a lot) more than that to say.

This post is coming about a day earlier than I expected to make it. I had initially planned on holding off until I guru’d enough of the level 60 kanji for the level to be considered “completed,” but a forced re-log means that I have received my badge a little earlier than anticipated!

Due to that, I decided to pick up some celebratory cheesecake, and have sat down to write this post, somewhat premature though it may be.

Any Advice??

I’m not really sure that I have any advice, or any tips or tricks that literally anybody else couldn’t tell you. I’m hardly the fastest person to complete WaniKani, having started in April of 2020 as a result of Covid quarantine boredom, and a slight spark of an idea that, “Hey, I enjoy a lot of Japanese media. Maybe I should arbitrarily try and learn this incredibly difficult language as little more than a hobby.”

I didn’t have any illusions about sticking to it, at that point. I figured, much like our current… vague hand wave situation, the urge to learn Japanese would pass quickly. I would hit a wall and become discouraged, and it’ll have been a fun, but ultimately pointless distraction to kill some time without having to doom scroll on social media while quarantining.

It’s pretty much just an accident that learning Japanese has become what I devote most of my free time to, and that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the language, to the point that I’m now here, just shy of two years later, having (mostly) completed a program to learn ~2000 kanji, with the full intention to continue to devote time to learning the language.

I guess my advice, though not specific to WaniKani, would just be to try things out. Chase your whims and allow yourself to be surprised by where they lead. Just enjoy the journey.

For WaniKani specifically, I would have to echo the sentiments of the wonderful @sansarret. Just keep going. It’s not easy, by any means, but it’s as simple as that. Take a little bit of time, every day, let it become a basic habit that you can do even on your worst days, and eventually, you’ll get there. Maybe it’ll be slow, maybe it’ll be fast. It doesn’t matter what the pace is, so long as it’s the pace that best suits you.

Also, start reading, and watching, and listening to things in Japanese as soon as you can. Graded readers, level 0. An anime you love, even if you don’t understand all of it. Podcasts, Youtubers, Twitch streamers, VTubers, anything! Do whatever it takes to expose yourself to as much as the language as you can, as soon as you can. It makes a huge difference. Join book clubs, chat with fellow learners, you’ll gain so, so much, I promise!

On that note…

Acknowledgements

I can’t possibly begin to thank everyone who’s helped me out. I would be here forever. If I leave anyone out, I apologize, please know that I am sincerely thankful for every bit of guidance I’ve received on this journey so far, and I will continue to be grateful for all the future help I’m going to inevitably need!

First and foremost, I have to offer a huge shoutout and thanks to @TobiasW, who has been my sounding board for frustrations and thoughts, discussion buddy on odd things I run into, a cheerleader for these last few levels of WaniKani, and all-around wonderful friend and confidant! I seriously doubt I would be as motivated to continue learning if not for chatting with him all the time, and he’s helped push me out of my socially anxious little shell into starting proper tutor sessions to try and start actually using the language for more than just reading!

Similarly, I cannot offer enough thanks to everybody in the book clubs I’ve been in (here is where I’m going to start not being able to remember all the names at once!). @ChristopherFritz, @omk3, and @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz, especially, have been absolutely incredible at helping me figure so many things out, and I am always happy to see their profile pictures pop up as “replying…” whenever I have any questions, because I know I’ll get an excellent answer that helps me see something I missed!

I’m also incredibly grateful for everybody who is still sticking with me as I run the Takagi-san offshoot club, folks like @aamunoz, @shuly, @lucylavelle, and several others! You folks are amazing! :smiley:

Finally, I want to give thanks to the people in the Japanese Sentence a Day Challenge thread. While my posting there has been anything but consistent, everybody there has been incredibly supportive and helpful (especially @Iinchou and @yamitenshi), and I will continue to engage in conversations there whenever I have the chance (and the capability to form my thoughts!)

I’m going to stop there, because I could seriously go at this all night, and nobody wants to read a list of names all night, I’m sure. :sweat_smile: Again, if I missed anyone, I’m sorry, and still know that you are appreciated and adored! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Anyhow, that’s enough from me! I hope everyone stays happy and healthy! Best of luck in your studies! I’ll see you all around the forums! :grin:

Obligatory Stats

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Just to tack on really quick:

Huge thanks to @rfindley for WKStats, it’s amazing and I used it constantly!

And also thanks to @Kumirei for the HeatMap. I wish I had used it constantly, but only picked it up at level 57 or so in anticipation for this thread… Those last few levels with it were amazing, though, and I would have been a lot more motivated if I’d used it from the start. Everyone, learn from my mistake! Download this script early. Seriously. It’s great!

I would have mentioned them both in the OP, but I’m apparently limited to 10 mentions… Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t try to list everyone! :laughing:

One last mention: @Jonapedia! If you’re not following their twitter series, please do! It’s been wonderful so far, and I’m looking forward to what they have in store for the future!

o.o Not sure what I did to accidentally delete this post. I wasn’t clicked into the correct window when I went to type something else, and I think I hit a keyboard shortcut by mistake. :sweat_smile:

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best advice for so many things in life!!! おめでとうございます!
:cake: :birthday: :cupcake: :tada: :partying_face:

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Thank you! And thank you for your constant companionship in the book clubs! :grin:

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おめでとう!

dinhdaica132-high-five

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Congrats!

Man, I love that so much. Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs gave one hell of a speech on that topic a few years ago at Stanford (quite literally the only commencement speech I’ve wanted to hear again).

I started a few months before you (another Covid baby) but I’m going quite a bit slower. I expect to get to 60 around December, but the real question is how long it will take to burn everything (I’m almost halfway there).

I hope you’ll still plan to hang around the community site!

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ありがとうございます!

I wonder if that commencement speech is available online somewhere. I may have to track it down and give it a listen! :grin:

Not so much on this topic, but a commencement speech I’ve listened to numerous times is David Foster Wallace’s speech, “This Is Water”. I love the message it contains!

I’m curious how long it will take to burn everything as well. As I write this, I’m sitting at 5,175 burns, so I don’t think I’m doing too badly, but I know that there are a few words that have been some awful leeches for me. Now that I’m not going to have a consistent stream of new lessons to focus on, I’m hoping that I can do a better job at figuring out what exactly those leeches are (the only one I know off the top of my head is 用意, which has been my friend since August of 2020, and that’s just because it came up in a conversation the other day, haha!)

I do still plan on hanging around the community site. There are so many wonderful people to converse with and so many fantastic resources. If anything, I’ll likely be here a little bit more, since I’ll be spending some of my now freed-up time in the book clubs! :smile:

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2005!! Man time flies. I’m looking forward to listening to the Wallace speech.

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Wonderful, thank you for the link!

I’ve not been able to find an actual video of the speech, just it spoken over stills, but this the one I usually listen to!

This Is Water - Full version-David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech - YouTube

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Awesome. 2005 must have been a great year to graduate!

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It surely must have been! That speech was wonderful, thank you for sharing it with me.

2005… It’s crazy how it sounds so recent, and yet, at that point, I was only 10 years old, so it must have been quite some time ago. I imagine that time’s only going to get quicker from here on, eh? :wink:

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Quick question - what would you attribute your 6 Days spent per level to? What does your average day’s study look like (WaniKani specific, I’m not quite to the point where I feel good enough to be understanding much of my input yet, until I get to lvl 10 at least :smiley: and crank out my bunpro grammar studies as well)?

Also, what do you think your worst days’ study would look like?

again, thank you, and congrats :slight_smile:

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Well, just to be very clear, the 6 days spent per level are the definite outliers, and result from those levels themselves being particularly fast, not through any special effort on my part, so I wouldn’t focus on those low numbers, just as I wouldn’t focus heavily on the opposite extreme, where I had some levels that went for 28 days or so thanks to some major life events making it so that I stopped doing lessons and just focused on reviews for those periods of time.

Disclaimer aside, my average day of WaniKani worked around the rest of my day. I wake up in the morning for work around 04:30. There is roughly an hour before I have to go into work, so I prepare breakfast, then sit down to do the reviews I that I have in the morning while I eat. For the past few levels, this has been roughly 30-40 reviews during that time period, which takes me about 10 minutes at the absolute longest (keeping in mind that I’m eating while doing this, so that slows me down a bit).

I go to work. During work, I have two 10-minute breaks (09:00 and 14:30) and and a 30-minute lunch at 12:00. I do reviews during the 10-minute breaks if any are available, which there usually are, and generally in small enough amounts that I can complete the reviews easily within that time. If it’s a slow day, and I’m just tooling around in the office, I will do occasional reviews throughout the day, but that’s not very often. At lunch, I do whatever reviews are available at that point (average tends to be no more than 60, though that can vary), and do 10 lessons. This is perfectly timed for the 4-hour interval, since I’m off work at 16:30, so I can hit the first interval on time every time.

After work, I do those reviews (plus whatever else rolled in on top of the new lessons), then do another 10 lessons. Those reviews get done just before I turn in for the night, and then the cycle starts anew the following morning.

tl;dr:

04:30: Wake up, do reviews (usually no more than 30-40)
09:00: Take a break from work, do reviews
12:00: Lunch, do reviews (usually no more than 60), 10 lessons
14:30: Take a break, do reviews
16:30-17:00: Off of work, do reviews, 10 lessons
08:00-09:00: Do reviews before turning in for bed

As for worst days’ study:

Not counting early on, when I missed some days here and there before I found what my proper rhythm was for workload, my worst days were the days that I couldn’t muster up the wherewithal to do my lessons, or my studies outside of WaniKani. After I had found the rhythm that I mentioned above (or a similar one, at least. Before deciding to break up the lessons a bit, I tended to do 20 in one swoop during the lunch break, but that’s when my accuracy started to take a hit and I readjusted accordingly), my “worst day’s study” was to do no new lessons, no studying outside of WaniKani, and to just do my reviews. That’s because I had built the habit up so much by that point, that to not do the reviews would have just felt wrong and would have made the bad day even worse. It’s become such a ritual.

Now, I’m not sure that’s going to be the case for everyone, and I want to add that it’s perfectly acceptable, and normal even, to have days where you can only hop on and do a couple of reviews, and that’s it. That’s okay, too. My recommendation would just be, don’t have any days where you don’t do any reviews. Always try and do a little. While trying to build the habit, and dealing with some rough life events, I regretted the days I missed, because it made the following days harder. After the habit was in a better shape, I found that “Okay, I’ll do 10 and see what happens” basically turned into, “Wow, this wasn’t as bad as I was dreading, I can actually do all of them” every single time.

Edit to add an additional thought: Keep in mind that schedule I gave was a typical day, not necessarily every day. I absolutely had days where I was too slammed to be able to do the reviews and lessons on time, or I just had a silly forgetful moment because I was engrossed in something else (usually a game… :sweat_smile:), and so had to do reviews and lessons at atypical times.

Edit the second: One more thought as well, I always tried to keep my workload such that I had no more than 150 apprentice items at the absolute most at a time, and adjusted those 20 daily lessons accordingly, as well. (Forgetting to add basic things like this is exactly why one shouldn’t drink and post. :wink:)

Thank you for the congratulations, and sorry this turned out to be so wordy! If you have any more questions, or I was unclear (I can be a bit too long-winded), let me know and I’ll try to answer/clarify! :grin:

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Congrats!

You helped me quite a bit in the ABBC (sadly I dropped out, but I still learned some stuff) and also in the Japanese Sentence a Day thread, so happy for you!

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Thank you so much! :grin: I’m glad I could be of some help to you in the club. I totally understand dropping out, though. Sometimes it’s not the right pick, and sometimes it’s just not the right timing! We’ll definitely still see each other in the Japanese Sentence thread, though! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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With WK, several Anki decks and Genki, I just didn’t really have enough time and Genki is more of a priority for me atm. Also I wasn’t terribly excited about the story. :sweat_smile:

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This and other threads tonight touched on “speedrunners” vs. “slow lane”.

Obviously it’s a spectrum, and while you aren’t in the 1-year+hours category you still got to level 60 pretty quickly (by my standards, anyway!).

My hypothesis:

The people that finish in less than two years (like yourself) invariably perform reviews more than once per day.

Folks in the slow lane like myself are much more likely to only have one review session per day.

I’m currently experimenting with a hybrid where I do self-study quizzes of items in SRS stages 1-2 immediately prior to my regular review session. It’s made a fairly dramatic difference and not just with speed. It’s basically like extra lessons (I keep repeating the self-study quiz until I score 100%) rather than reviews.

It will be interesting to compare my speed through the next few levels to before starting this practice.

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Congrats! Well done!

This is such a thoughtful and encouraging post, I’m very happy to have you on this forum.

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Congrats on hitting level 60! It’s all downhill from here, finally (at least in WaniKani :stuck_out_tongue:). Today, I had 10 reviews total! By this point it’s mostly leeches, so my accuracy is at a level that would have shamed me back when I was still leveling. They’re pretty much my old friends at this point. Ah, good old 掲示. Good to see you again. How have you been?

It’s a pleasure being in the Takagi and Ayumu book clubs with you and everyone else. Thanks for running the Takagi club! Based on the comments I’ve seen on the latest chapter from those who have already read it, I’m extra looking forward to this week’s reading.

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While I would just be going off of what I’ve skimmed through on the forums, I think that hypothesis is likely on the mark. I can also say that early on, I tended to lump reviews into one set time during the day, and the stats certainly show that I was much slower in the beginning. I mean, heck, the “accelerated levels” took me longer than most of my later levels! Though, to be fair, Covid brain fog and still not having fully committed to the journey yet (just look how many days I missed in April!) is as much to blame as the way I scheduled it.

I would be very interested in what the results are for those next few levels of yours with this hybrid approach. Are you documenting this anywhere on the forums, out of curiosity?

Thank you so much for your kind words! I feel the same way about you being here! :grin:

I’m definitely looking forward to the reduction in WaniKani time. It’s been time well-spent, overall, but I definitely want to be spending it elsewhere now! Also, 掲示 is one that I’ve had some fights with as well. :laughing:

I’m happy to run it for as long as there are people interested! :grin: Me too! I will be getting to my reading tomorrow, as usual! I’ve done a brief skim of it when I was setting up the schedule, and I loved what I saw, so definitely excited to go in for the full read!

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