Is there really a big jump every 10 levels?

Well, that depends on how fast you go on the last levels


You’ll still encounter these kanji in vocab words in later levels but you’ll know that it’s one of those fuzzy ones from experience by that point.

Just reached level 19 and really eeling like I should maybe change my study method now. For now I have been getting by with glancing over the mnemonics and spending very little time on lessons, but there are couple new kanji that just don’t seem to stick, reading and/or meaningwise.

I did give myself sometime between levels to get my apprentice pile down to under 10 items, and I have been trying to pace my lesson intake. For some reason I didn’t do that on level 19 though.

Burn items falling back down to guru level does happen to me. I havebeen getting burn items up to level 7 come in, and embarassingly a number have been dumped back into guru. Lately 大会 has been giving me trouble. (Is it pronounced たいかい or だいかい? Inevitably chose the wrong one)

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You’ll only have 「てんてん」readings inside compounds. at the beginning of words, nothing like that ever happens. You’ll have ひび、ひとびと、ものがたり、まきずぎらい and others, and they all have this same pattern in common.

Sure, except 大事[だいじ]、大丈夫[だいじょうぶ]、大体[だいたい]、I could go on. Don’t you hate it when you think you have a simple rule, and it turns out not to work? Also だい reading is actually an alternate on’yomi, not rendaku at all, in these cases.

Also I had just learned 大失敗, so I think that messed me up too.


だい is kind of an exception, those are everywhere. You’ll get used to them :slight_smile: I’m more bothered by if something’s だい or おお

I remember someone posted some time ago of おお when the other word was a word on its own, and たい / だい when true compound word. So far it has worked for most of vocab.

My real struggle is 僧 and similar semantic-phonetic compounds… when its そう or ぞう always beats me :man_shrugging:

ps: specially because with 大, exposure will fix things… but そう vs. ぞう I can’t really tell, as they can sound very alike

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I’d highly recommend this script to help in these situations:

憎 - ぞう - Hate
噌 - そう - Boisterous
層 - そう - Layer
増 - ぞう - Increase
僧 - そう - Priest
贈 - ぞう - Presents

They are all そう except for “Hate,” “Increase,” and “Presents.” The pattern I see here is that the negative/greedy/materialistic ones get ゛added to them. 忄 is actually 心 for the “hate” connotation, the 土 is for “worldly/materialistic,” and 貝 is easy to link with 買う.

Also, 亻 actually means “person” so it’s easy to remember that one means “priest” here :wink:


In terms of kanji yea they have a bunch of similar concepts, but I’m finding lately at lvl 40 that I’m just getting swamped with reviews constantly. On a typical day it seems I get around 200-300 reviews on average. I can already tell the fast levels are going to really suck. It’s not quite exactly smooth sailing from lvl 20 onwards.

thanks! I really like the script as well, it’s helping me tremendously too.
I’ll put your advice to practice next reviews.

By the way 貝 originaly means money too… or at least historically, as shells were the trade coin, before metal coins, or so it says in RTK. That’s why so money related kanjis have that radical :yum: .

ps: … tricky monks :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: … they did it again… 小僧 (こぞう) . The rest of the monks seem to be behaving appropriately … :wink: (I should stop reading monk related folk tales … :joy: )

I didn’t mean to say it gets easy, but somehow I feel that you have overcome the major challenges (that WK puts at the start). You have an increased volume, but you are getting used to learning kanji and chewing through some reviews.

In WK levels 1–10 you have tons of irregular readings and counters so the “beginning euphoria” has to carry you through [probably wondering what the hell is wrong with Japanese people], in level 10–20 the vocab gets a bit tricky, but around level 20 you have seen most troubles. Not that there are no troubles afterwards, but somehow you have learned to learn them.

The fast levels really suck, but … you don’t have to do it fast. It’s a pride problem :slight_smile: I took one or two days extra per level and still went too fast, with tons of additional reviews afterwards for a few weeks to get the kanji I didn’t learn properly straight away. My advice is to continue doing your usual thing, does it really matter if you can read shamisen song, tomb and mausoleum, and a ton of plants a few weeks earlier?

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I’m curious about this bit here. I’ve definitely found the kanji in this range of levels aggravating . . . do you mean to say that it gets better or simply that we get better at dealing with it?

Some things you just have to remember, these sound shifts just show that languages evolve, with the additional challenge that both Japanese and Chinese evolved, and Japanese absorbed both.

I try to add some more information into the reading mnemonic to remember which one is used. So maybe for ぞう there is an elephant involved. For ぼう something is done in a “fat way”, for ほう in a “skinny way” (or maybe “windy way”?). Japanese uses sound symbolisms as well, you just have to come up with one binary thing that you use for everything (also there are pairs like もう, ぼう that are not obvious).

Protip: the component 曽 signified “to pile up”. So you pile up layers 層, pile up earth 増 to increase your earth pile, pile up money 贈, pile up feelings 憎. It actually fits quite well.

Hmmm maybe both, but I think it gets better. Levels 50–60 have some ugly scorn/resent/despise/yearn for parts, though. WK also puts the most widely used things to the front, I had the most trouble with kanji that show up in 50 words, with either multiple meanings in one kanji, or two kanji with a similar meaning. I don’t really remember that this happens again in the same massive scale as it does in the beginning :slight_smile:


Oh yeah!! That fits perfectly.

That, and @jbradleyc tip on reading will take care of the そう - ぞう conundrum for the most part.


Thanks, everyone! Some great advice and inspiration here.

I also think there are some surprises in the later levels ie fairly simple kanji with simple meaning and mnemonics from words you probably already know and therefore they are very easy to remember. There are of course times when there are ten or so kanji in a row with none of these characteristics.

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