It Finally Sticks! My First Impressions

I hit Level 3 and took the dive into paying for the rest of the lessons. This is the first time I’ve ever felt truly confident about continuing on with a subscription language service. When I saw the other 57 levels open up… oof. It’s like leisurely driving to the foot of a mountain and realizing you have to hike to the summit, but for the first time in the dozen or so other language learning apps and sites I’ve used, Japanese or otherwise, I’m only more motivated.

I’ve been wanting to learn the basics of Japanese for about a year now. Kanji was always the most intimidating part for me. I took 2 semesters in college. At the end of the 2nd semester I was dismayed at how I still honestly couldn’t communicate at all. I was also completely lost as far as very basic reading, because my teachers wanted to ignore kanji until later on. (2 semesters is almost a year, how much later?!)

Those classes deserve some credit for giving me a good grasp on hiragana and katakana, as well as introducing me to the Genki books. Wanikani obviously isn’t 100% comprehensive on its own. But this site’s lessons and reviews, which I can crank out on lunch at work and while I’m having my coffee in the morning, have seriously reinvigorated my desire to learn Japanese.

My only actual critique is with mnemonics. This is highly subjective. I find a few of them to just be too far of a stretch, or to later confuse me when I’m trying to remember the kanji mnemonic, only to type in the radical or vocabulary mnemonic. It would be cool if we had the choice to substitute our own mnemonics here and there.

But this tool + community seem special. I’ve combined WK with my love of physical flash cards (colored pens to match the blue, pink, and purple of term categories) plus Genki for practical grammar.

I’m so stoked to join this community. The determination in me to hit level 60 is INTENSE.


Hello hello, welcome!

You can use the note sections to create meaning and / or reading mnemonics of your own. ^^ (They’ll still be displayed lower than the WK mnemonic, but writing and re-reading your own creations can be very useful at times.)

I hope you’ll enjoy your kanji journey here, and that you can get your Japanese where you want it to be. :smile: Welcome again!


Hello sojus! Welcome to WK :crabigator: Let’s climb level 60 mountain together. がんばろう!


Welcome :smile:


Hello! The mountain is indeed high, but just take one step at a time and you’ll get there eventually.

It was already said I, but I also recommend creating your own mnemonics. You can also add your own synonyms for the meanings, which might be useful since you’ve already been studying for a while. Good luck!


This is my “issue” with WaniKani (and I wrote that in quotes because I don’t think it’s an issue with WK). I’ve avoided coming up with mnemonics of my own because I thought, “What if my mnemonic has no bearing on the actual kanji using the radical?” But that’s really not an issue. Mnemonics for remembering radicals, pronunciations, and meanings of kanji are simply aides to help remember initially. In the long run, you learn the meaning and pronunciation without the need for the mnemonic. Lately I’m teetering back and forth on whether to pull out a notebook and start working out mnemonics of my own for pronunciations to start using.

While you have determination, be sure to use to push you to build up a daily study habit. Like, “at least 20 reviews first thing every morning” or “at leave five lessons every day unless my apprentice count is over 100”. That way if (when) your determination (and motivation) waver, you don’t risk falling into “I’ll skip today and watch up tomorrow.” “Maybe I’ll skip just one more day.” “I didn’t get to it yesterday or the day before, but I’m too busy for it today.” “Wait, how do I have 2,000 reviews pending???”

Although WaniKani isn’t going to help with being able to communicate (outside of teaching vocabulary to help teach and reinforce learning kanji), be sure to check out the book clubs. If you’ve finished Genki I and Genki II, but haven’t started reading native material, now might not be a bad time to give it a try. You may need to increase your vocabulary (depending on where you are currently) before you can read comfortably (without having to look up every five out of four words).

Welcome, and good luck!

1 Like

It must be rough having to look up a fifth word every time you read four. :joy:


I though so too at first but as long as you’re consistent you should be fine. For example, WK uses Gandhi as a mnemonic for がん but I prefer using Gandalf. So everytime it comes up I use the same mnemonic.

I feel exactly the same way! Discovering WaniKani was honestly a godsend and there are a lot of little things about it that make it truly special. Let’s reach level 60 together! :muscle::trophy::crabigator:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.