I'm going to take a "break" from Wanikani

I always planned to take a break sometime around level 30, but I just hit level 28 this morning, and I think its time. I put break in quotes because I’ll still come back every day to do reviews, I just wont do any new radical/kanji lessons (I’m going to do the ~50 vocab lessons I have available right now though)

Why the break? Well, according to WKstats, I know about 80% of JLPT N3 kanji, but my grammar looks like this:

My listening skills are also abysmal, and I’d like to get better at recall too.

The (rough) plan:
Grammar: finish at least 80% of N3 on Bunpro. I have Quartet 1 and A Dictionary of Basic + Intermediate Japanese Grammar to help with this.
Listening: my listening ability sucks right now, but its improving quickly. I started watching Toradora, and on the first episode I could pick out a few words here and there. Now I’m on episode 12 and I can understand full sentences, and probably 10-15% of an entire episode. I think I’ll aim for at least an hour a day.
Recall: being able to recognize a word, but not recall it when writing, is a pretty frustrating feeling. I’ll start spending more time on Kamesame, but other than that, I just need to write A LOT. Every day. Maybe keep a diary. Quartet has some fun writing exercises.

It’s looking like it should take 1-2 months. Plus, I think doing the above mentioned will make WK easier, since I’ll be able to see new vocabulary in context.

Hopefully it will also renew my enthusiasm for Wanikani. In the first few levels, I was so excited to see new kanji and learn new words, now it feels like a chore. I want to feel that excitement again.

(If you read this far here’s a cookie for you ->🍪)


I don’t know if you already do reading practice or are planning to add it to your schedule, and obviously it’s important not to overwhelm yourself (burn-out is a threat to us all), but I’ve found that reading can really help me ping that “Oh! I know this! I just learned it!” button in my brain quite nicely, for a bit of encouragement that Yes, Your Studying Is Doing Something.

Now, to be fair, I can’t read anything very hard yet – personally I’m working my way through the Final Fantasy XIV “Eorzea Academy” manga and Detective Conan, and to be honest there’s still a good bit that goes over my head. But I come across enough recently-learned kanji and grammar that it’s good for reinforcement/seeing the new stuff in context, and it sometimes gives me an idea of things that I’ll need to study in the future. (For example, I kept seeing “わけ” in the Conan manga, and it was driving me CRAZY. Now I learned three different uses of わけ on bunpro earlier this week, so when I go back to Conan I’m ready to put that studying to work :smiling_imp:) And for wanikani specifically, the furigana (which many manga include) are a great way to see how kanji readings pair up in other words!

Also I’m really impressed by how quickly your listening is improving! Listening is probably my weakest skill, so I’m a little jealous of how much progress you’re making with it. Keep it up!!

As thanks for the cookie, here’s some cocoa to go with: :coffee:


I do read a little bit, and so far it’s been the most effective way to solidify new words. 具合 was a leech until I read it one time in context. So was the reading for 人間 until I heard it 50 times in an anime episode. Just a few days ago I learned a word on WK, and then read it in a story later that day. And even if you only understand 50% of the sentence, it’s still nice to practice what you do know.

For listening I think my brain is finally realizing “…wait a minute, we know this!” whereas it would just tune things out before. Seems like listening is everyones weakest skill, but its worth it when you can finally understand things. 頑張って!

Thank you for the cocoa, it’s very tasty :coffee::yum:

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Another example for the pile: literally just now I did a new batch of lessons, and got 罪 as the vocabulary for sin! And my brain immediately went “Hey, I wonder if this is the kanji they use for Seven Deadly Sins!”

And wouldn’t you know it…
(I could even put together the readings without looking at the hepburn, because WK has already taught me the ざい reading previously :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:)

This is always a super satisfying feeling, whether it’s on paper or for listening. We just gotta keep at it!! 頑張ろう!
Guess that means it’s time for me to go pull up the FFXV Let’s Play I’ve been using for listening practice…

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when you are watching toradora are you just listening with no stopping for words all that often or are you making new cards for sentence mining as you go?

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Excellent idea. I slowed down like that several times on the road to level 60. Focus on other things and still do your reviews. Round out your Japanese in other areas.

There’s nothing like coming back to taking new lessons on WaniKani and getting an item that you’ve already discovered elsewhere in your travels.

Provided you’re a lifetime member, I think the best way to go through Wani Kani is at a pace that is in line with your grammar/speaking/listening levels. In other words, you don’t want your Japanese proficiency to be lopsided. I’ve erred on getting too far ahead with my kanji/vocab and found that it didn’t stick. You want to learn the kanji/vocab via WK or other SRS somewhat near to the time you’ll be encountering it in your other studies or in the wild. For me, the best way for an item of grammar or vocabulary to stick is when I come across it several times in different contexts. For example, if I learn a new vocabulary item, then see it in a novel I’m reading, and then hear it in a podcast it becomes hard not to have it stick.

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I don’t stop the episode at all. I don’t have the patience to stop a video and make a card every five seconds.

If its something I’ve seen a thousand times, I might make cards while the episode is still playing though.

That’s precisely why I’m taking this break! Recent vocab words haven’t been sticking, because I haven’t been able to see them in context.

Once I’m caught up on grammar and listening, I’ll resume WK at a slower pace, probably 3-4 weeks per level.