K's study log 🙂


I thought it was time I started one of these, since I plan on being here a long time. I enjoy reading others’ logs and following along with their journey, picking up tips along the way, so hopefully this helps both me and someone else who may stumble upon it and find something of some use…


I first started Japanese in high school, though only as extra-curricular in preparation for a short exchange trip. Along with fellow classmates I went to Tokyo for a few weeks and stayed with a family, attending the local high school.

I then studied Japanese during undergrad over ten years ago now. Looking back, the progress I made in that class was pretty slow, I was only speaking Japanese with other beginner learners, and I much prefer self-study!

Past uni I didn’t continue study in Japanese, but did travel there again during university break to take a short, 2 month internship at Hitachi.

I don’t know what caused me to re-engage with Japanese this year. I didn’t pick it up as a hobby during our two Covid lockdowns due to being busy finishing a paper and a thesis at uni. However, Covid did completely rob me of any sensible schedule, and WK with it’s SRS has given me back that structure and motivation.


After reading the guide by @jprspereira, I implemented as close a schedule as I could for 7 day cycles. I don’t care so much about committing to level 60 in a set timeframe (because life can get in the way) but I DO care about my reviews being predictable and being able to do lessons and big chunks of reviews on a particular day and time, so that it fits around other activities and I can maintain a regular schedule.

Today was the first day I finished a full cycle sticking my 7 day timeframe, sticking to only using WK at 6am, 10am, 6pm and 10pm (I’ve described the current level activities, previous level reviews just get done as they are due):

Sunday - 6pm, all new radical lessons, 10pm review.
Mon - 6am radical reviews, Available new kanji (6am, 10am, 6pm)
Tues - 6am radical review, 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm), 6pm Kanji review.
Weds - 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm).
Thurs - 6am radical review. New kanji lesson (6am, 10am, 6pm). First set of kanji gurued at 6pm.
Fri - 6pm kanji review. 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm)
Sat - 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm)
Sun - 6pm kanji review, start new radicals, 10pm review.

If at any point this gets a bit much, I’ll cut back on some vocab lessons. Mostly I aim to finish the previous levels vocab before moving on levels (so do level 3 vocab while on level 4 and finished before level 5, always 1 step behind).

This will only work as long as I keep my % up! At the moment I ensure I’m focused during lessons, and really visualise mnemonics, adding my own if I come up with something more personalised.


I restricted myself to just WK until level 4.

Bunpro - have started at level 5 JLPT track. Intend to do lessons on an adhoc basis, not as fast as WK, and do reviews as they arrive.

Genki - I’m reading casually through Genki 1, which is mostly revision for me, and then hope to move onto Genki 2 in a weeks’ time. I’m not focussing on Genki too much, because Bunpro is so much easier to do on my phone.

CureDolly - casually watching the CureDolly youtube series. I’ve decided I like this and will stick with it and get more serious about making notes.

[retired] TaeKim - I remember TaeKim being all the rage several years ago, it was recommended everywhere. I downloaded the app but I’m not enjoying it so much, also Bunpro has SRS so I’ll stick with Bunpro and stop TaeKim (or just read TaeKim casually).

Immersion - Shirokuma Cafe! This show is the best, I especially love the puns. I’d like to study some of the subs from this as context-based vocab, but don’t want to integrate another app just yet. Maybe in a month or so.

Listening - I found a really great native kids bedtime stories on Spotify, I’ll post it here soon.

Reading - I will start reading once I reach level 10!


My goals are that I can:

  1. read some Japanese literature

  2. create some recordings for my friends in Japan

  3. enjoy the learning journey and the challenge!

  4. I would also like to be able to read some zen texts in the original Japanese (stretch goal).

  5. And eventually be able to read an academic paper in Japanese (super stretch goal).


Oh and I forgot to mention that I joined the team challenge to complete level 60 by December 2021. I find challenges like this really motivating and it keeps me accountable for keeping at it :slight_smile:

I reached level 5. Started the radical lesson at 6pm, and will review again at 10pm before bed, and again when I wake up at 6am. WK is really good for getting me out of bed! :laughing:


If you haven’t already, you should (if you want to) add your study log to the master list of study logs :blush:


Tuesday, 20 October

I cannot for the life of me remember 名字。I keep on typing めいじ。It’s not a leech yet but it’s heading that way if I can’t find a way to remember it.

Exceptions in particular are just very hard… for some reason I have no issue with things like 外れる, maybe because there’s other instances of that in the same lesson which helps reinforce it?

So far today I have done all my reviews, plus 10 vocab this morning. I couldn’t fit 20 in before 7, so I will pick up 10 more at 6pm instead.

Tomorrow will be my 4 week anniversary of starting WK! I’m happy to say I have shown up every single day. Now if only I can carry that trait over to more important things… :sweat_smile:


I’ve been getting this one wrong since February. Of 2019. In fact, I got it wrong just the other day, too…

I feel like I should say something encouraging here, but I’ve got nothing =(


:sweat_smile: yeah that’s one of my leeches. I’ve got it at guru now, but it’s not the first time it’s gotten there and It’ll probably not be the last.


As I read your post and came across that word, I said out loud, “Ah, meiji. I know that one,” only to read a bit further, and… :clown_face:

So, I’m adding to the 名字 solidarity, haha.


@ChristopherFritz made a great little video from its use in anime which helped me, you could check it out :slight_smile: ChristopherFritz's Study Log - #167 by ChristopherFritz

I’ve now got it correct two reviews in a go!

It might also be useful to know, apparently めい gets switched out for みよう in other words too, depending on what era the word imported from china.


Wednesday 21 October

By total surprise, I have started finding the supplied sentences on the vocab cards easier to read. Here were some of the easier ones for me (the first one I especially enjoy saying aloud):


What picture did the shop keeper show the woman?


I dont know how to look at this chart.


I’m planning on having a moon viewing party with my friends tonight.


I’m making rice dumplings for moon viewing.

Also, a fact of the day! Did you know that at it’s closest point Japan is less than 5km from Russian land? :astonished: I didn’t know this!! .

There are currently islands belonging to Russia which used to belong to Japan. Go figure!

All vocab reviews are done for the day, bar a review at 10pm. Tomorrow my radicals guru and I get new kanji! Yay!

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If you drive up to the northern part of Hokkaido (the part that’s less that 5km away) the signs even have Russian on them alongside the English! And you can see the disputed islands from the beaches there, which is an odd thing to see when you’re used to just seeing open ocean :joy:

And way to go with the vocab reviews, keep up the good work!

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Sounds like a bit of a road trip! I’d love to do that some day. I’ve only been as far north as Fukushima and as far south as Yokohama. One day… :grin:

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[insert obligatory promotion to visit Hokkaido here because it’s amazing] :+1:

If you happen to make it here in the next few years, hit me up and I can at least recommend some places to visit and/or things to do! I might still be around :joy:

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Thanks @BigEm I will bookmark your post and hold you to it! :wink:

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Thursday, 29 October

Ok just a quick update because I need to get on to work for this afternoon…

I’m midway through level 6 and I just had an OK kanji review session, but not as good as I previously have been. I think I did too many vocab in the few days previous, trying to front load the vocab from the previous level to get them out the way before doing the next lot of kanji. It doesn’t work for me and I won’t be trying it again. Slow and steady!

So here’s a few snapshots from the dashboard:

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 2.55.07 PM

It really put me off having two different kanji for death in the same lesson and I guess it means in future I need to be on the lookout for this. Otherwise, if I’m not paying attention, I end up thinking “What? I just did Death, this can’t also be Death can it?” Yes, yes it can :sweat_smile:


Check out who just got their first lot of Enlightened!! Such a nice surprise, I totally wasn’t expecting it :slight_smile:

Thanks to that person in a different thread who mentioned it would be ‘ground’ not ‘one’ and ‘enter’ not ‘tent’. Totally saved my bacon! :smiley:


Last two days I have woken up to 80-90 reviews for my morning session :pensive: めんどくさいね。

Previously I was doing just over 200 reviews a day no problem, but at the moment I feel like it is sneaking time away from other things I need to do. I might have to slow down a bit. いま、漢字を覚えるのは難しい。

コーヒーを買いに行きます。See if things are made better lol.

Edit: I did it. All reviews finished. I need to remember not to be intimidated by big numbers, because the truth was it was really easy to get through. A lot is just early level radicals coming around to be enlightened. Not at all intimating once I got to reviewing :slight_smile:


I really like the phrase 役に立つ for some reason.

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Almost there! While I never get the golden ‘zero lessons, zero reviews’ that some aim for, it is good to have made progress in whittling down the level 8 vocab lessons (about halfway done). I thought I was going to fall behind this week, but if I can manage the same thing tomorrow they’ll be all in ‘apprentice’ and I’ll feel fine to move on with a new level.

I’m thinking of adjusting the timing I do my reviews as of tomorrow. Instead of first thing in the morning, I’ll try for 10am and 2pm during my breaks. Starting out the day at 6am with 100 reviews was too much! This way at least I can get my regular day started without filling my brain with kanji first thing - will report back how it goes :slight_smile:

Almost level 10! About a day and a half away, fingers crossed :slight_smile:

And I have a job interview lined up for Wednesday, please wish me luck!!! :nerd_face:


Job interview was successful, I’m through to second round! :pray:

As for WK, I’m going to be slowing down for at least the next two weeks while I finish up my thesis. End if the year and it really is crunch time now. The 7 day cycle is pretty hard to maintain unless you have premium flexibility in life… but at least I can slow down, stick to 10am, 2pm, 10pm and get each level done in about 8 days hopefully.

I’ve been making my way through Genki 1 slowly, now at lesson 4, and doing the associated bunpro levels at about 3 grammar items per day.

For fun I’ve been watching Sarah Moon on youtube and I’ve started watching the original Sailor Moon series in Japanese. I’m almost done with Shirokuma Cafe, but I’ve been pretty casual about watching it, I’m planning to start from the start again and actually study the sentences. But that can wait for the next 2 weeks / month while I wrap up this years’ loose ends.

Might not update for a while, while I’m focused on other things :slight_smile:


I’m slowing right down for a while. I’m now at the stage where my current Guru and Master items alone give me about 60 review items each day. While I’m level 11, I still have most vocab from level 9 and 10 left to finish, so I’m going to chip away at that slowly for the next few weeks, and then from then on restart radical / kanji lessons for level 11.

In good news, I was hired (!) so I have a job to go to starting from Jan next year. :slight_smile: This was a job that I really wanted to get, at a great company, using most of the skills I’ve built up over the years, so I’m really looking forward to starting.

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