Just a Brit, whose Japanese is... Less than satisfactory! (Study log)

Update before work!

Still keeping up with the lesson/review format. My progress has slowed a little, as I struggled a bit remembering all of the last batch of kanji. I was confusing 来, 麦, 米 and 光. One of the reasons is because of the similarity (except for 麦) but also with 麦 because I knew the reading already, I was confusing the sound and reading むぎ (as in wheat) the sound らい (as in rye), and the meaning of べい (as in rice). Too many grains going on!

Grains GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I now feel pretty confident with them though. I changed the mnemonic for 光, as this seemed to be the worst offender. My new mnemonic is;

You look up into the sky, and instead of the sun, you see a triceratops, just like in the land before time! Sunlight shoots down from its face. You get a cold (kou) shiver down your spine when he tells you “…find the great valley…”.

The past week has been super-duper busy though! I have struggled to fit in extra learning. My colleague has leant me a book! It is in furigana. It’s titled 獣の奏者. I haven’t started it yet, but I have it at the ready once I find some time! The same goes for Persona 4, which I really want to continue with.

Other than that, I have seen some learned kanji in the wild! I now notice 会 everywhere at work! Of course, Japanese workplaces have a lot of meetings! In the classes they were learning the English word for 日の出! So I was happy to see that, as well as 多!

Anyway, onwards and upwards! Once I hit level 6, I am going to test run my kanji learning capacity. I will do all available kanji and radicals when they appear, but if I get under 85% (someone in the forums said they did this, but I can’t remember who! It sounded like a good idea though, so thanks to that person!) in the reviews, then I’m going to cut next levels number of new kanji lessons to 3/4 of what I did last time, and see how it goes. Usually though, I get around 75-85ish in my first review at lunchtime, and then I get upwards of 85% in my evening review. Which is not bad, I guess!

Anyway, work time!


Made it to level 6! Woo!

I was immediately greeted with this:


I think I will hold off on the new lessons tonight, because I’m a bit drained!

The past couple of weeks have been a little hectic, but should lighten up after Saturday (I hope!).
One of the things I’ve been trying to sort out, is getting rid of my old car, and getting a new (used) one. My car has its 車検 (しゃけん) coming up very soon, and I think I will need to pay a lot to keep it on the road. Things are wearing out, such at the alternator. Anyway, the process in Japan for getting rid of, or getting new cars isn’t always simple! :sweat_smile:

Extra studying has been minimal, but I’ve kept up with my normal kanji rhythm, and absorbing Japanese around me. I’ve encountered a lot of my kanji reviews at work! It’s good to review them in the wild!

I also made a few new mnemonics, as I had trouble with a few vocab items. One of them was 足りる! I don’t know why, but it wouldn’t stick. I sometimes find that the vocabulary/kanji items that reuse keywords in the mnemonic (such as taco, or Genji) don’t stick for me. I need something very unique to help make them stay.

Anyway, I tried to reinforce it.

You have a room full of tacos (た) and after you tally (た)り the tacos, you decide there to be enough.

Nothing special, but the link to tally really helps me recall it now!

That’s about it this update!

This was one of my longest levels so far on my current run! Also, it’s the farthest I’ve got on WK, so yay me!
pats self on back


Welcome to WaniKani :wink:

Also, did you do all your lessons from the previous levels? I never got more than 150 new lessons so far when leveling up :thinking:

Btw, you live in Japan, right? How is it in Japan? :slight_smile:



I only do under 15 vocab lessons a day, so yeah I have a little bit of a build up. Plus I got 23 new kanji lessons and 20 new radical lessons when I levelled up.

Yeah, it’s good! I’ve been here for 5 years now. The only downside is that I’ve basically spent most of my time here through the pandemic. :sweat_smile:

And yes, I should be fluent by now, but no I’m nowhere near fluency!

As with every country, there are goods and bads - Japan is no exception! I still love it here though! :slight_smile:


Today I did 14 kanji lessons, as I had completed enough of my previous set of kanji to unlock the last lot for this level. :slight_smile:

The past week has been a bit up and down though. I averaged about 85% accuracy with my reviews, so I’m thinking I will do an isolated review of all kanji later today, perhaps writing them all out individually. I’m also wondering if this level is perhaps a little tricker than past ones? I’ve noticed a few different kanji with the same, or similar meanings, such as 死 - 亡 and 来 - 次. I already know that し can mean death, such as with 死神(しにがみ) which I learned from Death Note :sweat_smile: or I have heard people say しんで in relation to death. I haven’t heard ぼう used though, so I guess some of these kanji with the same meaning are only used under specific circumstances? Or perhaps only in writing?

I had some news the other day too. It’s kind of good and bad. I currently work a 3 day contract in Japan, but my employer has asked that I work 5 days from April. It means I’ll be a lot busier, and won’t have as much time to spend with my family, or for game development, but I will be better off financially. They may also move me to another school, which is always hit and miss, as you never know how things run at a new school. I’m excited though! It shouldn’t have any negative effect on my Japanese/kanji study. It may improve things, as I’ll be surrounded by Japanese 5 days a week as opposed to 3! がんばります!


So this week, two great things happened! One of them; I reached level 7 today!!

I quite enjoyed the level 6 kanji, so I’m somewhat excited about level 7!

The other thing that happened, was I managed to roll 2,2,2,2,2,2 in the Roll 'Em thread! :joy: It was one of the missing sequences, and now there are only two sequences remaining!

This week has been a bit bad again in terms of further study. I’ve been trying to get through 15 lessons a day, but I find that after 15 lessons, 60 odd reviews, a full day of work and everything else, I’m too exhausted to use any more brainpower for further study! I may need to cut back, but I’m enjoying studying kanji, so gonna keep it up until it gets to become too much!

I did, however, buy the first volume of Slam Dunk! Many of my students like it, my son plays basketball, and I’ve heard that it’s a great series for WK users. I checked out the first page, and I was able to read and understand more than I expected!

Anyway, time to do my first lot of level 7 kanji and radicals!

Explore homer simpson GIFs


I haven’t made it to level 8 yet! However I thought I’d post an update.

I have been struggling with my accuracy on new items. I guess it’s to be expected! I’m thinking that I may need to split my lessons in half, and do things a little slower.

I love it when things are going well, but it becomes a chore if things are going bad, and I don’t have the time every day to add any further study, or do extra reviews. At my current pace, I end up spending about 2-3 hours a day going through lessons/reviews. I stopped doing vocab lessons recently, because it was too much!

One thing that was great today, was that I used my WK learned Japanese to ask the principal at the school I work at to make a change to my timetable. I needed to check up how to say one word that I hadn’t learned yet, but otherwise it went great! He understood what I was saying, and I was able to do what I needed to do! Usually I would fall back on my colleague to help out, as she is fluent, but I hate doing that! Obviously my Japanese was broken, but the principal understood without asking any follow up questions, so I was happy!

Anyway, I can’t think of anything else substantial to talk about!


Hello fellow Japanese-learning Brit! It’s great to see your enthusiasm and your progress :partying_face: :uk:

I’d like to share my approach to lessons with you in case you like the sounds of it, of course you can modify it or ignore me entirely :smiley: but I just wanted to throw it out there!

  • I keep my apprentice items roughly at or below 50.
  • I do all radical lessons at once, when they are available at the start of the level. I generally don’t do any other lessons that day, unless there’s only a smol handful of radicals and/or I feel like I have the time and capacity for more WK that day.
  • On other days, I do 3 kanji lessons and 9 vocab lessons. There are roughly 3 times as many vocab lessons as there are kanji on WK, so this stops the vocab from piling up too outrageously.
  • Some days I don’t do any lessons :upside_down_face:
  • My average level up time is 18 days.

If you want to go faster or slower then you can ofc change the parameters! Some people like to keep their apprentice items below 100, for example. The sweet spot for me is 50 because beyond that my accuracy dips and my motivation is verrrrrry closely tied to my accuracy.

Enjoy the journey and keep celebrating your wins, like the successful interaction with the principal at your school :blush: I wish you all the best with your studies!


Thank you! That’s a different way of doing things!

If there are roughly 3 vocabulary lessons to each kanji, then it’s going to be having a bad effect on my retention, because I’m missing out on all of the vocab lessons for the kanji I’m currently learning. I need to get through all of the vocabulary and catch up to where I’m currently at kanji-wise. I think I will double my vocab lessons to 18+ a day, and maybe hold off on new kanji untill I have caught up. Basically grind my way to get my vocabulary back on track.

After that, I’m going to try to keep my apprentice items below 50 as you’ve suggested, and go with 3 kanji a day to see how I find things, and then adjust accordingly!

I can always bump up the difficulty when I find that I have more time. I like the rhythm of morning, afternoon and evening lessons/reviews, but It’s just difficult to juggle work, kids and everyday things like cooking/shopping/cleaning etc, and then have time to fit in kanji/reading/listening/grammar and have any time left over for anything else!


So I did 25 vocabulary items yesterday, and it wasn’t so bad. I hit a problem with the vocabulary for 谷. When I learned the kanji, I remembered it with the reading of や. It was easy to remember due to Shibuya! So I needed a new mnemonic. My additional one is: Getting tanny in the valley.
Because, you know - it’s difficult to get a tan if you live in the valley! :grimacing:

Another was the vocab reading of 体, for which my mnemonic is; Colour the (からだ) body in paint. I don’t think the default mnemonic would have stuck with me. This one is working okay though!

Today will mark my level 8 birthday! :partying_face:

I’m actually a little sad, because I need to reduce my pace, but having looked at the kanji for level 8 it seems that I already know the reading for quite a few items! I’m really going to struggle to keep things at a slower pace, I think! :zipper_mouth_face:

I’m going to continue going through vocabulary until I have worked my way through the backlog. I may also do a couple of sneaky kanji on the side too. Just because…



So I levelled up yesterday, but I didn’t really have time to post anything. I don’t really have much time now, but I wanted to update!

I got to level 8, and I wanted to do all of the radicals, but I had already completed about 25 vocabulary yesterday, and had been busy from 5:30am-10pm, so just didn’t have the drive or energy! I did the radicals today though, and I did the remainder of my level 5 backlog vocabulary! So now just levels 6, 7 and 8 to get through! I’m trying to do about 25 a day, and holding off the kanji until I’m all caught up.

Here’s my level up progress so far. 7 was definitely the most difficult. Largely to do with my free time though!

Today during my lunch break, I thought I would see if Chat GPT could play a game. I told it to present level N5 kanji without hiragana readings, and give me points if I got them right, and bonus points if I was able to get a kanji correct after failing on my first try. It was pretty good! Not many kanji left in the N5 list for me to learn! I had a couple of new ones, such as food and drink. I’ll probably try doing that more often now though!

Later this evening, I will do another set of vocabulary items. This week is hella busy. :sweat_smile:


おめでとう!! Congratulations on your level up, especially impressive when life is busy :melting_face:


Thank you! I have to persevere! :muscle:


I have been keeping up with trying to learn new vocabulary each day. I haven’t yet today, but I will do after this post.

It makes for a happy review when the accuracy is over 90%, which I have been seeing a lot due to only doing vocabulary! I also encountered some at work yesterday!

My students were learning cultural, and I have been learning culture (文化). It was nice to see it come up! More and more I’m noticing kanji that I recognise, and I am able to take meaning from what I see! It is really having a profound impact on my daily life, and I’m only level 8! :joy:

Today I was looking for a music book for my daughter (she’s learning the drums), and I thought that 曲 was the kanji I needed to look for in the bookstore, but when I checked, I actually needed to search for 音 or 音楽 (which I haven’t learned yet but I know the reading from work)! I saw one section with 地図 and I was able to swiftly move on knowing that it was the section for maps! I actually wasted my time, because they didn’t have any music practice books, it was all band and idol books. I had to go to a music store instead. :sweat_smile:


I currently have 99 apprentice items… :sweat_smile: I need to finish the vocabulary though! I’m down to 90 level 6 vocabulary items! :sweat_smile: I just did 16 lessons, and some of them I already know the reading for! Such as 外国人 - pretty easy one there! Anyway, hopefully I can take on a few more lessons tomorrow!


Today, I just realised that I understand the title for the game Rhythm Tengoku! (リゼム天国) :rofl:

Also, managed to get through 20 level 6 vocabulary! Slowly does it!

My apprentice items are down to 84 though. I have been gradually getting all of my older items out of apprentice, so the number should drop to about 20ish in a week or so I guess! At my current rate, I should be back to doing new kanji lessons in about 2 weeks.


Wow! It’s been a week since my last update!

Last week was a bit of a bust. I managed to get about 3 lessons done (about 60 items), but I became a bit too overwhelmed with daily things and work, that I was unable to do my daily three reviews. Yesterday I wasn’t able to do any reviews! It’s the only time that I haven’t reviewed anything since I started in December! Today I was able to get through all 136 reviews and didn’t do too bad! For some reason I had forgotten the meaning and reading for 何 though! It was a big facepalm moment when I checked. I think today I was just tired.

I’ve been finding that I can understand more and more things around me every day! Even just communicating with people, I have been able to use my kanji/vocabulary knowledge to use and explain something, or translate something. It’s really rewarding and really puts into perspective where I could be by level 60! I’m really pleased with my progress! I can’t wait until I finish these vocabulary lessons and start learning new kanji again!

And as if I didn’t have more than enough to do, my daughter gave me two manga to read. :sweat_smile:

Onwards and upwards!



These are exactly the moments that motivate you to continue, and they feel awesome, don’t they? :slight_smile:


Exactly! Being able to utilise the vocabulary or kanji you’ve learned (in context) is one of the most important aspects of learning Japanese!


Down to just 116 level 7 vocabulary now.

I wasn’t able to do lessons every day this week, and it may be similar next week (need to file taxes amongst other things!)

Glad I have been able to keep up with things though! My reviews almost got out of hand, because of work, but at their worst I had 136 reviews, and managed to get through them.

Nearly back to new kanji!