I guess I am here for the long haul

I finished the first three levels and decided to keep going on this for at least a year (and hopefully to 60).

The SRS is very helpful (though I am still forgetting items) and some of the mnemonics are helpful (others are less so). That being said, I was wondering if it gets more difficult (I know it will be more time consuming) as the sheer volume of items to keep straight is a lot or if it starts getting easier as you are able to recognize patterns?

I will start Genki I soon (hopefully I won’t have to spend a ton of time looking up vocab/kanji), so hopefully this goes well.


In terms of difficulty its a mixed experience.
One one hand, as you hit a couple months and burns start coming in you get a lot more reviews and such. As well as this kanji and vocab becomes more obscure and I personally find it harder to remember.

On the other hand, your brain adjusts and is able to take in stuff much more easily. You also get used to the routine.
Good luck!


For me both of these were the case. It took about 5 levels to get used to WaniKani/SRS/Japanese sounds/etc after which it got easier for a while. The volume is not necessarily what made it more difficult over time, I think for me the similarity between items and lack of practice outside WK is what made it harder. Starting Genki I and then reading practice when you feel you can (or maybe even a little earlier!) are good ways to keep the difficulty under control!


Thanks. Do the readings get more straightforward at least (生 looks to be a prime offender here as does 日)?

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Thanks! My Genki I book should be coming late March, so hopefully that will help. Just starting level 4, I dont know enough to really read too much yet, but it is nice to be able to recognize kanji and vocab when you see it (even though I dont know the kanji/vocab around it), which makes it seem like I am making progress.

As far as reading goes, I probably should try to make it closer to level 10 to not have to look up a ton of items every sentence.

When you pair Wanikani with other Japanese studying resources (Genki, BunPro, Tae Kim’s guide to Japanese grammar, etc. etc.) everything will build together and help you recognize many different things over time.

I will warn you, at least with my copy of Genki (from years ago), they don’t always give you the Kanji for vocabulary in the beginning, but slowly integrate it into further chapters in the book. So at the beginning, you’ll use a lot of Romaji and hiragana/katakana (which helps with wanikani readings at least) A lot of beginning vocabulary in this book also pertains to school life because that is usually when people start using it, but I would still say it’s a very good book to start out with. The listening and writing exercises are especially good practice, and if you like Kanji you can get the Kanji workbook that goes along with it for more example sentences (it’s yellow).

Enjoy the journey! :slight_smile:


Definitely. It’s generally only the really common kanji that have more than 2 or 3 readings.

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Thanks and that is good to hear. I have noticed that WK primarily focuses on on’yomi readings, while a lot of the first readings you see in vocab are the kun’yomi readings. Does that change soon?

I am reading some of the beginner stuff for Tae Kim and Cure Dolly, and plan on using Genki along with it. Out of curiosity, does anyone use が to denote the subject of a sentence.

I’m not amazing at grammar but が is mentioned as a subject marker in the Basic Dictionary of Japanese Grammar that I have and generally changes to は after you (and the listener) are aware of the subject (from my understanding…o.o)

Don’t quote me on any of that though! haha…

If you are referencing speaking, I don’t always hear all the particles as I’m usually trying to understand the conversation topic or subject generally XD

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You should be able to do so, but to make it much easier for yourself, I do recommend installing some of the userscripts you can find in the API and 3rd party app section in the forum. For example the

That will make it much easier to recognize the patterns for on’yomi.

Good luck with your studies! ^^

Thank you very much.

Yes, by level 42nd I was being hit with 300 reviews a day… :frowning:

I am guessing that it is even with keeping the apprentice items <100? I will say there are times I definitely wish I didn’t have to do all of my reviews at once (break them into chunks of 25 or so), since I know when I get up in the morning I usually have a pile of reviews with my name on them.

Now that I think about it, there’s also a rendaku-script that explains if something gets rendaku’d or not. I installed it so late, that by then I was pretty good at guessing it anyway. But, yeah, that also helps during lessons. :slight_smile:

Welcome! You can do it :slight_smile:

I’m not that far ahead of you but I’m on my third attempt so I’ve been doing this on and off for 5 years :grinning: Some quick pointers from me:

  • Do pay attention to the mnemonics - Ive met people before trying to memorise Kanji without it and it sounds like a nightmare
  • Try to also pay attention to the little details within a kanji. I’m guilty of rushing them myself but then I’ve heard that after a while there are a lot that look very similar so its easy to mix them up if you don’t know them well
  • Don’t rush to level 60 (unless you have a lot of time available!) I limit my apprentice items to 90-100 at any time, meaning I’ll have a steady number of reviews every day going forwards. Remember that until you start burning (6 months in), your workload will just get bigger over time!

By this point, I’m finding that I almost enjoy the Vocab on each level. Learning the kanji is the hard bit for me - then the vocab is just joining them together and guessing the reading based on experience of whether it should be kunyomi/onyomi.

Good luck!


Glad to hear you’re sticking with it! There’s bits that get harder and bits that get easier over time, but overall I found that both my speed and accuracy improved significantly as I was further down the line. I think adjusting to the range of possible readings, and expanding my visual database for radicals, really helped–before I started WaniKani I could only distinguish between the most obvious kanji. I could tell differences between the others, but more complex ones seemed too complicated to be able to categorize at a glance. Being able to do that really helped, as did getting a feel for the alternate readings, getting used to which reading applies when, etc. Basically, you’ve already learned a lot and that just keeps going!

No, in order to move faster I’d limit my apprentice items to <140 or 146.

you totally can break up your reviews into smaller chunks. that’s what the “wrap up” button is for.

when you hit wrap up, you’ll get about 10 more questions. these will include all the ones which you’ve answered wrong, and the ones for which you only answered one of the sides (only meaning, or only reading).

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  • Some of the mnemonics are working, some are working and getting me the wrong answer (内 is one I have spelled out as おち due to the mnemonic) and about half aren’t sticking at all. The ones that are working best for me are ones that I can connect to other words I know or have heard of (e.g. 広 I have no problem remembering due to 広島).
  • Oh yeah, have I messed this up a bunch(六 and 立 for some reason have confused me).
  • I am not rushing at this point (aiming for a level up every 7-8 days), but will slow down if things get too rough. I, ideally would like to take the N4 exam in December, but that only necessitates that I get through level 27 which should be more than attainable at my rate.
  • I am having more trouble with the vocab for now but I think that will change once the kanji becomes more complex and I get used to those readings.
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