Is WK enough for Kanji?

Ok, thanks for the insight. I’m far from that point right now so I’ll probably concern myself with that when I get there.

There have been at least a couple user-created levels above 60 that you could look into:

but as said earlier, generally by the time you hit level 60, you know more than enough kanji for your japanese level - and I find that I learn the few kanji that I don’t already know a lot easier just in context…


Yeah, thanks. To be honest, I’ll probably be far behind in grammar like I am now and it may just be easier to pick up remaining kanji when I come across them while I practice reading. Two birds with one stone that way, although I’ll probably check out the community level mods too.

I tried picking up Genki from the beginning, but it was much easier to get into after getting a few levels into WK. There is a sizable amount of words I already know and nearly all of the kanji as well.

While I do feel slightly behind in grammar, I’ve been keeping pace well enough. I feel that where I should be is finishing Genki I by the end of level 10. I’m only about 75% of the way through it, but I already skimmed over the rest of the lessons and don’t think it should take too long to do.

The biggest challenge for me has been learning how to learn and study. I reset from level 10 and I’ve jumped around textbooks until I’ve settled into a pattern I like. Before I was making very little grammar progress and hitting WK levels once every 3 weeks. Now I hit a Genki lesson each week and so far have hit WK 1-9 in 7 day levels. Yes, I have improved my skills in Japanese, but learning how to study consistently has been the much bigger improvement for me.


Haha! No, I signed up last year when I started learning Japanese, but I only started to use it properly since the start of this year.


Do you think you’re learning too slow? I’m asking this because even if you started in the end of February, you would be in a higher level than lvl 3 by now. I’m in no ways trying to disrespect you. I’m just trying to understand if the problem is that you think you can’t go faster because it would be overwhelming for you.

Maybe read this and see if any part of my text answers any of your possible doubts:

There’s no need to wait until you get to a really high level before you start studying grammar. I recommend you start about 3-6 months before the date you wanna start reading by. Most people start with Genki and then go to Tae Kim’s grammar guide and finally Kanzen Master. Although there are other options as well.

1 Like

Do I think I’m going too slow? Yes, but not in a “why isn’t WK faster” way, more like a “I must be doing something wrong so I am making super slow progress” kind of way.

I started in first or 2nd week of Jan this year (I forget) level1 took me a month, level2 same, level 3 I am only 30% through the kanji so far.

The thing is I am reluctant to do more lessons if I keep getting the kanji wrong.

I only took a brief look at these, but in one list I couldn’t find 淋しい, something I don’t think is particularly that rare, and 匁 was listed as “Remaining Joyo Kanji”, which was removed from the list in 2010. Nothing huge on its own, but it definitely hints at “quality control” issues.

I think the best way to do this is to simply read and note the Kanji you read. I didn’t study Kanji like 嫉妬 and 蘇る, I just learned them in the wild.


Also, thanks for the thread, I had no idea about the timing - it seemed very arbitrary to me and based on whether I got something wrong or not.


How many lessons do you do at a time?

I get the feeling that, for fear of not remembering the kanji, you restrict the number of lessons a lot. Typically it’s a good idea to control how many lessons one does at a time, but there is a point where it’s really too few.

1 Like

Most people are able to reach lvl 3 in around 10 days, maybe less. But don’t feel bad! You can do better :slight_smile:

I’d say to spend more time on the lessons and make sure to only proceed to the Lessons’ Quiz after you’re able to recite the meaning(s) and reading(s). You can also change the number of items you see per session of lessons at once in your settings, if that helps. The standard is 5, but some people reduce it to feel less overwhelming.

How many new lessons/day are you doing?

1 Like

Common kanji don’t just disappear after you’ve completed them, even if they’re burned. They’ll keep coming back later in compound words, so there’s some benefit to pushing through a bit faster than the point where you can achieve 100% immediate recognition, as long as your review accuracy doesn’t start to drop significantly: you’ll find your mind associates increasingly familiar shapes and sounds with more words, creating a feedback loop that helps to make future learning easier.

If you go too slowly or take long breaks, some of this benefit will be lost because the loop’s not tight enough. You’ll still learn, but absorbing new words might not feel as fluid and you might stumble more, though that itself is an important part of the learning process.


It also really depends on what you’re reading. If you read more of the typical day-day stuff you won’t encounter as many new kanji as you would in fantasy material for example. Here’s one I encountered in a manga recently, 魑魅魍魎, according to jisho it means the evil spirits of rivers and mountains​. Only one of those kanji was actually taught by WaniKani.

@stevenhowe, you’re not studying Japanese at Soko Gakuen, are you?

I would answer that Wani Kani is enough to cover the kanji part of your study, but not enough to cover “written Japanese” since there is much more to written Japanese than just kanji, hiragana, and katakana. Specifically, there are a lot of grammar constructs and…vocabulary.

You see, just because you know three kanji, you won’t automatically know what a word built by stringing those kanji together means. In some cases you will be able to determine how to pronounce the word and what is means the first time you see it, just because you’ve learned its constituent kanji. But in many, even most, cases you will not.

I would recommend learning to use Anki or another similar Wani Kani like flashcard system for vocabulary. Start slowly creating your own list, and add vocabulary you learn in your Japanese class for starters. Once you reach level 20 or so of Wani Kani, you can start trying to read native material, but it will be like deciphering hieroglyphics while intoxicated. Not a quick process. But if you are armed with a Japanese dictionary and add words to your vocabulary flashcards as you learn them, you will slowly improve.

Then there is grammar, but you are covering this with your class. I think the final components to focus on are speaking and listening, each according to your interest.


Ah, I started with Tae Kim’s guide but I have Genki books on my desk which I could start doing instead. I started doing Tae Kim’s guide first because I didn’t have a Genki book yet but now I do I should probably put Kim on hold and complete Genki I first.

It depends. If I do a review and feel confident (ie over 80% correct) then I’ll do a lesson.

Maybe I’m going too slow? How many lessons should I be doing?

That actually sounds like a very 漫画っぽい word, it’s something that is routinely on the list of “difficult Kanji / words”, and thus those kinda words are sometimes used in Manga as a cheap way of making things seem more fancy / smart / what-have-you, like an overwrought sentence in YA fiction.

魅 (AKA, the one character taught in WK), is the only character in that group used in any other words.

1 Like

It really depends on what you’re comfortable with. If the speed you’re going at now is the fastest you can deal with without being overwhelmed then keep going. I think typical users usually do something around 10-20 lessons per day at least. For me I make sure to always do at least 20 per day, sometimes more. Although with what I’m doing I usually level up between around 7-9 days so you might want to make sure you could actually deal with that.

Yea I’ve been doing more so manga for my reading practice since it’s a bit easier to get an idea of what’s going on through the pictures if I don’t completely understand something when reading it. The manga that I’ve been reading has quite a lot of uncommon words/kanji which I’m aware of, just figured I’d also tell OP that the kanji they’ll be learning really depends on what they’re reading.

Is that 10-20 items or 10-20 lessons x 5 items = 50-100 items??