I’m now on level 11 and I really do feel like WaniKani has suddenly gone from “pleasant” to “painful,” just as advertised. Do subsequent levelling ups between 20 and 21, 30 and 31 etc really get that much more like “death,” “hell,” etc? Or am I just reaching the limits of what I previously more or less knew?
I don’t think there’s any quantifiable difference except that it constantly gets harder to maintain the ever growing total.
I don’t think kanji or vocab really ever gets any harder. The kanji themselves get more complicated but you should already have the tools to deal with that.
Being in the same place as you, I feel it’s more likely the latter, that you’re reaching the limits of what you already knew. For me, Level 5 was the biggest jump in difficulty. I didn’t know that many kanji before WK so the sheer amount of new content at level 5 really slowed me down. Level 11 just feels more or less exactly like level 10 to me.
For me it feels like there is, but usually from 2’s to 3’s rather than 0’s to 1’s. Once the vocab for the kanji starts rolling in though, it usually shores up any issues. Not something I’d worry about though. You’ll hit rough levels, and then easier ones.
If you survive until level 20 you have the worst behind you. There are lots of “fuzzy concept” kanji like 成 (become), 意 (idea), 然 (nature), 情 (feeling), 感 (feeling) in that area, which are used everywhere but in seemingly random ways if you just consider the English meaning WK gives you.
is bolstered with even more determination
@OP: for me, it seems I’ve indeed reached the end of the little kanji knowledge I had. Less and less frequently can I gloss over a vocab word or kanji because I already know it. Hang in there!
I remember finding level 10 a bit of a difficulty spike too! I think it was the combination of fewer radicals and vocab starting to get more abstract, along with master-level reviews beginning to pour in, that served to make life difficult. As other people noted, the abstract kanji and somewhat esoteric vocab combinations keep pouring in, but the next big kicker for you (and me) is going to be when items start getting burned. If you maintain a 7-10ish day pace, that starts happening somewhere . . . in the early 20s? The burned items are coming for me, send help
Edit: I poked around my review timeline, and I now know the day of my death. I have two Fridays left until they get me. I’ll be level 21 and some change (why must the good die young?) averaging an 8-day pace.
Burning items doesn’t make things more difficult, kind of the opposite. If you stay at the same pace and the same accuracy, then burning items just means that your daily review count shouldn’t really increase … much.
Obviously I can’t speak from experience, but it does seem like the sort of thing that can really build up over time. I have about a 95% overall accuracy thus far; presumably burned items will be a bit lower than that, but using that number as a conservative estimate, I can expect to add about 1.3 back to Guru every day which is, for me, relatively small. However, every month that’s, conservatively, 36 back onto the pile, which does accumulate, and that’s on top of the 24-30 extra daily reviews that comes with opening the Burn floodgates. Having done that estimate I do see that it’s not going to be the end of the world that I was fearing it would be but it’s not negligible either unless I’m overlooking something somewhere.
Here is a graph that’ll show you roughly what’ll happen, this is for 100% accuracy but it’s good enough.
You’ll notice reviews stay reasonably constant for quite a lot of levels, before you get a big jump in the upper levels. The jump is most likely thanks to 3 day levels, which you can also see a sudden temporary jump at about level 26 (the first 3 day level).
I just started getting burns now and I do about 10-20 lessons a day so you must be doing a lot more than that…
I’m curious about this difficulty spike though as I’m expecting my new radicals for 11 to start any day now. I’ll let you know because so far I’ve had a healthy mix of words that I’ve heard conversationally through my youthful obsession with anime and words that I’m unfamiliar with but largely make sense with compound kanji, and the odd one where I’ve really needed mnemonics to help me. My accuracy is pretty good so I’ll let you know in a week’s time haha.
You can also see a “jump” at day 180 (where the burning starts) from ~150 average daily reviews to ~175, and it gets more volatile with 250 daily reviews coming up frequently. But approaching half of WK you can take it Level 26 is really ugly, though.
I got stuck at level 11 for a while, feeling demotivated. Level 10 was my short term objective and I put a lot of energy reaching it, then it was kind of hard to keep going on. Now, I have set my mind on level 20 and I am back on track.
I just got my first burns coming in and I definitely notice my review count going up. I was such an overachiever in the beginning so now I have extra reviews every single day
Looking at my own stats, I seemed to get really weighed down around the 30s, and again in the 50s - in the latter case I actually reset my level back from 56 or 57 down to 50 as I’d allowed my reviews to pile up far too much. This might partly be down to my personal circumstances at the times I reached those levels, but I do think there is a certain fatigue that can set in around these times.
You’ll also notice a steep rise in your reviews once all the Burn items start coming in, but this will depend on your pace rather than what level you’re at specifically.
As for whether the Kanji and vocab themselves get harder? Not really, it’s all the same approach. There are maybe a few that are hard to learn simply because they don’t appear that often - learning words that use Kanji is a big help for remembering the Kanji themselves. As ever, the advice to take note of is that you should read stuff outside of WK so you’re actually using what you learn, that way it will stick.
How does it get worse? Don’t burnt cards get removed permanently?
If stats are anything to go by since hitting level 13 and over my accuracy has soared, so if anything I’m finding it easier as the more complicated kanji have more to them, making them more distinct and IMO easier to remember.
I would say painful refers the sheer number of items versus the difficulty of each one. Level 20 may be a different story but I don’t feel things will change all that much.
The point is when items up for burning get added to the review stack it adds however many items a day onto the pile on top of your normal review schedule. Eg today I had my normal review amount but I also had 15 level 1 kanji on top of that. If I got any of those wrong they go back to I think guru? And so they appear more regularly again on top of the new items to be burned and all your other stuff. I imagine if you did a lot of lessons in bulk on early levels, or are susceptible to errors this, could pile up very quickly.
Oh, gotcha. Thanks I hope I won’t lose any that easily. Seeing them every day, but that might not prevent it.