I’m in a similar situation, my city does not have any proper Japanese classes which are near my house, or have convenient timings, or aren’t 4 year long courses because I won’t even be in this city anymore after 2 years. Also since I’m a university student, I get busy with academics, internships, volunteering and all sorts of things which makes it hard for me to spend time learning Japanese properly, or getting immersed :c
I’m just telling myself to do what I can, however much is possible in my situation - even slow progress is progress, I’ll still be doing better than I was a month ago
Yaaaaaay! I finally reached the first observation deck!
When I started WK and the climb (September) it looked like it was very very far away and impossible to reach.
This is a quick post to talk about my progress. I see a lot of people talking about level 60 achievements, but not as much about mid WK changes.
What has changed so far in these months?
When I am reading simple manga, like Dragon Ball SD, I only see 1 or 2 Kanji maximum per chapter that I don’t recognize or don’t know the reading. Months ago it was very tiring to read a chapter.
When I am reading more complex books, like the ones in the Intermediate book club (e.g: Convenience Store Woman, Your name). I see several Kanji that I don’t know per chapter. But I can still recognize about 80-90% of the Kanji in a chapter. Even though I don’t know lots of vocabulary when I am reading those books, looking up words in the dictionary became much easier, since I at least recognize the majority of the Kanji and I know at least one reading, so I can kind of guess what to look for in the dictionary. So, reading these books became substantially easier (although, not completely easy yet).
For now, I plan to continue WK at the current pace, since I am still seeing lots of Kanji that I recognize from spotting them “in the wild”. For example at level 35, I recognized 26 out of the 33 Kanji, so I know I should learn all of them. Though in some of the previous levels I may have recognized maybe 20-30%. So, it is still varying a lot.
the observation decks are great milestones for us skytree climbers, and i really appreciate your progress report! i’ve been doing quite a bit of reading, but it’s hard! 2 hours for a 30-page chapter of an easy manga. but you show us that it’s going to get much easier, so i’m really looking forward to the rest of my climb!
levelled up to 19, in another smooth 7-day level ^^ i didn’t encounter any difficulties, if anything my accuracy has increased. only 2 more levels to death, and a third of the way up.
i’ve been thinking a bit about my speed. when i was new on WK i read the level 60 posts by the speedrunners, and i was in awe. such discipline, such precision, such a feat of memory. i’ve got a good brain (buried in a treasure chest, under the grass, on the moon… ). and i quickly understood the srs system. but i didn’t have the precision (i’d fail items for typos etc.) to do 7 day levels, and definitely not the kind of discipline and regularity in my life to maintain something like this for a year and more.
i did want to go fast, the first userscript i installed was a lesson reorder script. but when i joined the skytree climb at level 4 a back-of-the-envelope calculation showed that i could take about 2 days per level longer than the speedrunners. and i thought that would be pushing it.
and now i’m here looking at my stats, and the last 6 levels i’ve averaged 7 days 6 hours. i’ve become a speedrunner, and i’m revelling in it. i don’t see any reason to slow down just yet either. workload has been steady at just over 200 reviews per day. i have plenty of free time. i spend time reading and listening and even doing grammar. people say the workload increases once you start burning items, but that’s still a month in the future. i think level 60 in a year is out of reach, but a sub-400 might be possible. (if i do the fast levels fast… …that’s a scary thought).
i don’t think it’s realistic… i have occasional (mental) breakdowns, which can incapacitate me for weeks at a time. but it’s possible…
besides those perhaps overly broody thoughts, learning japanese remains a lot of fun! the other day a girl in an anime sang a song; it was a bit sentimental, so she sang slowly. and a little childish, with easier words. but i understood the whole song without subtitles! reading continues to get easier and faster, and i’m consuming and enjoying ever more native material without translations. it really feels great!
for the first time i actually feel like fluency is a fully attainable goal. and we can all get there together!
I’m up to Level 42 now. I missed L41 update, so this is the first update upon reaching paradise and “The Answer” level. It took me 123 andd 12 days respectively which is my planned speed.
A bit of discouraging rant follows, so read at your own risk
Unfortunately I do not feel in paradise or any specificaly 42-enlightened. While I’m super strict with keeping my WK progress ( I have plan to complete it by the end of the year, so I’m doing fixed number of lessons each and clear reviews dayly), in the past month I dropped almost all other activities - KameSame, bunpro, Genki, reading. I even used vacation mode few times, enabling it for a night to postpone review pile till next day. It kind of just happenned, without any serious reason. You allow your regime slip for one day, then it becomes a week, and then it is a month before you know.
My average number of WK reviews is 170, which should take me about an hour total. Somehow it became more and more of a chore recently.
I do not think I’m in any danger of dropping WK, since I like to complete things till the end, and WK has clear end to it. But the whole language learning is much bigger enterprise, truly unlimited, and I guess I’m doubting the bigger picture. Learning Japanese is truly of hobby of mine, the time that I have for myself, and I always treasure it as such, and I still have interest in the language and learning, and the culture and anime , so quitting makes no sence. But keeping motivation on high is hard.
I’m struggling with grammar, I’m missing vocabulary, which makes reading simple-ish texts super hard.
My bigger plan was to finish WK without slowing down, and then devote the freed time to grammar, vocab learning and reading. I’m not a in hurry, but I thought adding some of grammar and reading earlier makes sence. Because what’s the point of learning 2000 characters and not being able to understand if sentence is about “A is B” or" A is not B" because you do not know negative form of verb or adjective. But the time commitment of doing all components of learning at once is just too big for a hobby.
Oops, accidentally posted before polishing.
Knowing comminuty, I’ll probably get tons of encouragement. I guess that’s the point of my post.
Feeling a bit embarrased, but hey, nobody forced me to type all of this.
I downloaded a Japanese crossword game on my phone the other day and I finally got around to messing with it and I was astonished by how much I knew. I don’t know enough to complete an entire puzzle, but I could do about half. And that’s just at level 14!
Congraduation @whinette さん!
My “always above me” fellow, somehow from the beginning until the end I never did catch you . Now I’ve been parking here longer than I thought, but I’m still climbing tho. Hope I’ll reach top anytime in future ~
天国 is here - and with that I cleared exactly two thirds of the program.
Personally, I find this really motivating. It feels like I’m finally one of the big kids xD, an experienced WKer. With every level I take now I can see the finish line more clearly. Over the fast levels I won’t change my rythm, so I won’t go any faster or slower than before. Which means that in September I should be done.
You’re doing so well, Sansarret! No need to feel embarrassed, going through WK is a mammoth task with a large time commitment and it absolutely can feel like a chore.
This is the reason I have 2000 reviews in my pile right now, thinking about the law of diminishing returns… I devoted all my time to just kanji in 2020 and from my experience so far in 2021 since March when I hit 60 is that although I have forgotten many kanji already, I am seriously leveling up in all other areas and knowing a good chunk of kanji is definitely to thank for it (in just a few months it has surprised me).
Regardless of my experiences, we are all so different and we need to figure out what works well for us. There is nothing stopping you from saying “this isn’t working for me right now” and leaving Wanikani alone for a year while you beast out your other Japanese studies. Through those studies you may then encounter kanji that is in the higher levels of WK and become familiar with them, and when you return to WaniKani you smash them to pieces.
At every point of the journey, and in my humble opinion, we must throw away what is not working and embrace what is working for the moment. Our study schedules must remain fluid!
If I may use an analogy; in fighting games, when you repeatedly do a move the other player constantly fails to defend, you keep doing it until they figure out how to adapt. Once that happens, you then figure out a new strategy but if you keep trying the old strategy you will not penetrate that defense and the situation stagnates. IRL the other player is your Japanese level and the attacks are successful study methods that help grow that level higher.
I don’t know if that helps, and I don’t have the answers, but I do know that you will get to where you need to be in this journey as long as that fire burns in your stomach and I truly believe that.