I've got 30 minutes/day to do Wanikani, Mon-Thursday. Should I give up?

Just go slow. There are times where I can only spend that long on WK… I just keep my apprentice really low and just do a lesson or two at a time. I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made so far.


An interesting question…lots people have already given you great answers…and ultimately it’s up to you…however…devil’s advocate here… (forgetting everything else for a moment - crabigator look away)…

If you said to yourself I only have 30 min a day 4 days a week to study Kanji, would you still do it?

If NO, then heck yeah quit…why torture yourself…Japanese is a super easy language to learn isn’t it :wink: Reevaluate your long term goals and decide what’s right for you.

If YES, then consider would you be ok with it taking several years to learn all the kanji? You’re call…(for me I have to go slow, studying grammar and other things and then leeches etc…only can go so fast)…but if you are ok with that and then yeah don’t quit. (I didn’t say use WK yet…)

Now you have to decide if WK is the method you want to use … if you want to learn them quicker there are other ways of learning that might be faster, not gonna derail…you could even use an anki deck and grind…PAINFUL! but certainly doable. If you want something that you can learn, that’s turnkey, then WK will provide one possible solution for you.

Another consideration…you say now you only have 30 min a day, 4 days a week to do WK…what does a year from now look like…and are there times you are neglecting where you might be able to squeeze in a few minutes in the evening…with the android/iphone apps you can adjust your lesson/review counts to be a max number, i.e…you can set it to 1 lesson or 1 review if you really wanted to.

There are lot’s of ways to manage it just takes a while to figure it out… learning this language will take a long time…if you aren’t ready to commit heck yeah quit for now and come back…if you aren’t sure stick it out for a few weeks and see if you can recommit…but don’t torture yourself…try to make it as fun as possible (yeah there will still be torture…but don’t forget to look back on how far you have come as well).

One last recommendation, try not to compare yourself with others (I’m horrible at this…so not one to talk)…but it can be frustrating feeling like you are moving slow when whatever speed you settled into WK or noWK…feels slower than ‘everyone’ else.



If you only have 30 minutes 4 days a week, is your time so limited that it would be better spent NOT studying Japanese? If not, I’d say continue. I ended up taking around 6 years to reach level 60, part of that included significant periods of time not unlike yours. Even doing it only 50% of the week wasn’t that bad. You WILL have to actively manage your apprentice/guru levels though and that just means letting lessons be at times.


This is an absolutely valid question. I really like that you’ve brought it up.

@nickburner san: technically, 30 minutes / per day on WK (even only half of the week) could work. Couple of days during the week I only can do one session a day I try to limit to 15 minutes or ~50 review items. But with your proposed schedule you will need to accept to take several years to finish WK in case that is you goal.

On the other hand you may can approach learning Japanese with (a little bit of WK) from a different angle. Therefore I’d like to recommend two study logs for you:

Both durtles are on an incredible journey and incorporate a lot of immersion into their Japanese language studies. @magsl san started reading kokoro when they were on WK level 12, I think. And when it comes to @QuartzCrow senpai they can give you the whole spectrum… books, games, song lyrics. @nickburner san please feel free to ask them as well when it comes to speed or commitment :slight_smile:


While 90% of my reviews are at a desk, The Flaming Durtle app has made a big difference with my ability to catch up when I get behind. Especially after I found the option to limit each review session to 10 items. Before that, less so, because the sessions seemed unbounded.

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block tendou haikyu


A year of 30 minutes a day, four days a week is still better than none. The key is to not overdo lessons. Maximize what you can do in those 30 minutes. Hopefully you can increase it later when you have more time.

All the best.
:nerd_face: :steam_locomotive: :upside_down_face:
keep chugging along!


Hi! Yes I did read kokoro at level 12~13, just the first 3 chapters. A bit of a masochistic move, but it really caught my interest at the time! I hope to continue it in the future with more grammar points/vocab under my belt.

@nickburner - I probably spend about the same time a day total on WK, not all at once, but I go on every day. It’s pretty doable and you’ll still see progress after a year. The only problem I can see is the missing 3 days the rest of that week - reviews will accumulate and you’ll start forgetting, leading to failed items. Sometimes if I’m even 2 hours off the SRS schedule I have a hard time, especially if they were fairly new items.

I hope you find a way to clock in some time on those 3 days, even if it’s just reviews and no lessons. Good luck! :blush:


I’ve seen lots of progress with wanikani.
Casual wanikani is definitely a possibility.
I use the vacation mode if I know I will miss a day.
Not the fast route but it’s something. I do want to learn the kanji.


If you do reviews on your phone (at least with the Tsurukame app, I’m not sure about others) you can reorder your reviews so you do your current level reviews relatively on time. It’s not good to let previous level reviews and vocab to pile up for too long, so you need to clear out your stack completely at least once in a while, but doing that can keep your levels from taking too too long.

But I’d definitely suggest cutting back on lessons or taking breaks between levels to keep things from getting unmanageable. The worst thing you can do if you don’t have time is to just let reviews pile up for weeks on end. Not only does it become completely unmanageable and hard to approach, it also makes it easy to quit. Settle into a routine that works for you so you can do things slowly with low daily review counts. And if it’s not working out, there are other ways to study kanji. WaniKani’s kind of a way to fast track learning Kanji. It tends to be pretty labor intensive.

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I have a bit more time than you, but if I were doing 4 days a week 30 minutes a day- I’d spend the first day learning the kanji I would do for the week- then doing those reviews the next three days. That way I was getting the SRS repetition sort of done for the other three days, and if I forget over the break well it didn’t stick try again the next week. If I wanted to learn more Kanji, I’d only learn kanji for the first three days, so I was reviewing at least what I learned at least once before going three days without reviews. I find that I really don’t need a four-hour review provided the number of kanji I am learning is manageable (7 or so at a time). I’m never able to do the 4 hour review, so I just stick with a lower number of Kanji so mine don’t stay stuck forever and I’m not trying to remember the ones I failed plus the new ones I’m adding. I want to learn it right the first time around. Vocab I can load on relatively quickly- I add more vocab the other days if you can.

I think you’re going to have to find an apprentice level of items you’re comfortable with having open at one time and then just not go over that limit. It gets a little tricky because things will pop back up-but as long as you focus on the first day on getting the new kanji items you want in for the week, then you should be okay if it takes more than one session to burn all those reviews down.


Lots of responses here already, but personally, I would not use WaniKani if I could only study for 30 minutes per day, 4 days per week.

WaniKani takes a lot of time and works best if you can follow the 4, 8, 24 hour interval.

If your intervals are closer to 24, 24, 24 due to time constraints, it’s going to be hard to retain what you’ve learned, and your accuracy will drop, which in turn makes everything take longer. I know that I personally would get demotivated if I spent weeks on end trying to learn the same items.

If you want to learn kanji specifically, then I think you should look into something like Remembering the Kanji instead, as it’s way cheaper and you don’t have to wrestle with WaniKani’s SRS timings.

If I only had 2 hours per week to study, I would probably do nothing but study grammar and read. Maybe just go through Tae Kim’s grammar guide or Bunpro. You learn kanji and vocab on the side anyway while you’re studying grammar, and you’ll reach the point where you’re able to read things much faster.


Excellent suggestion, BrunoCaesar. Nickburner, I reckon Team Snails would be a good place to ask your question again!

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lots of good replies already, so i’ll keep it short:

first, do you want to learn japanese? assuming that is so, then don’t give up.

wanikani is not a bad option to get started, and it’s quite predictable, so you can line it up with your available time.

second, you will want to be strategic about when you do what on wk. the srs intervals matter, in particular that first 4-hour interval. if you can divide up those 30 minutes per day into 2 session, do lessons in the first session, and then 4 hours later reviews (or whenever you can do the second session, but at least 4 hours after the lessons, so you get the first review on the same day).
if you can’t divide up the time, do lessons earlier in the week, so that you don’t get multi-day periods between the lesson and first (and second) review.
as others said, if you have a review overload (say, by the end of the week you can’t get reviews down to 0), then work on reviews first. add only enough lessons so that you can get reviews down to 0 in each session, or at least by the last session of the week.

and keep on doing your best!


I agree with what @Aggelitus said. I think if you only have that amount of time to spend on Japanese I think you will get further in general understanding of the language by spending 30 minutes reading part of a textbook chapter and taking notes and then moving on to any book/ workbook exercises. (Or studying grammar in a way of your choosing)You would probably be able to do a chapter every few weeks. If you’re really this busy and are the type who needs to see results for motivation I think Wanikani may just end up adding more stress/ being frustrating especially since a 3 day break will mess with the SRS and could cause a lot of wrong answers which can be discouraging. I also have been trying out a platform called Nativshark it’s a bit more expensive than Wanikani, but you could do one lesson a day and whatever reviews they give you and it only takes like 10- 15 minutes they have a free trial so maybe give it a try and see if it might work better for your time constraints and goals?

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I second the idea of learning grammar. If you only have two hours a week, memorizing kanji isn’t really the best way to go. If you have a decent understanding of grammar you can just look up the kanji as you read, and add the most common ones to an SRS platform.


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