:durtle_hello: Let's Durtle the Scenic Route 🐢

I would just keep in mind the fact that the lessons you do today are going to all come back roughly six months from now, so make sure that you’re factoring that into your speedy start. Even if the reviews are easy, higher review counts can add more pressure. But if you’re fine with that and aren’t worried about that for the items you feel you know very well, I think rushing at the start is fine; just make sure you ease up a little once you’re out of the very easy stuff, or you might cause problems for yourself down the line.

As far as transitioning to a more steady pace goes, I’m seconding wct’s advice about choosing a pace you can maintain through your entire WK journey. I’m a pretty strong believer in the “do a set number of lessons every single day” strategy. I went from 13 to 12 to 11 and now 10 daily lessons, as the number of items I have in circulation has gradually increased, and the number of vocab items per level has decreased.

What this translates to is that I level up about every two weeks, which is perfectly fine for me. I’m set to reach level 60 around March or April next year. I’m also set to be graduating out of the beginner stage a month or two before then, and will be starting my intermediate studies just as I finish up with WK. I’ve stuck to my turtle pace for a very solid year and a half now :turtle:, and I’ve already outpaced several rabbits I’ve seen around the forum in that time :rabbit2: :sweat_smile:, so I can confirm that if you stick to it, the slow and steady method does work.

How many daily lessons do you think you can handle? Think about what you’d be capable of doing on a day when it would be very hard to study, like if you’re sick or depressed or on vacation or getting married or whatever. That’s the pace you should be aiming for, not what you’re capable of doing on a good day.


I know I haven’t leveled up in like 2 months, but I didn’t expect to level up today. >< I didn’t even think I had started the necessary kanji…But I guess, come to think of it, I had been working on the vocab a bit too…

I have leveled up 6 times this year and I think most of them I wasn’t intending to. >>
I just thought oh shoot, I forgot to do my reviews and then the homepage is like 'gratz. xD:
Oh well, I am happy, don’t get me wrong. xD


Level 47!

Another fourteen day level! My drawing challenge and the conversational Spanish class are both going well, and I managed to finish my longest translation! I wrote a bit more about that in this post. I also had my biggest victory yet with listening comprehension in Spanish! I talked about that here.

Other than that, things haven’t been too exciting. I finished lesson 42 of Minna no Nihongo and am I believe about 2/3rds of the way through MNN2, so that’s neat! I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo next month, which is a little scary to think about… :sweat_smile:

Because of that, I’m doing a bit of an Anki freeze. I’m going to keep up with my reviews every day, and I will add textbook vocab as needed, but I’m not adding any new cards from my immersion until December.


Thanks for the response. Things coming back 6 months from now is a good reminder. The other thing for me was “as I start to miss items” I start getting decent feedback that I’m accumulating a stack of things in the “not fully learned” category and it’s giving me the early feedback to begin slowing down.


Although I’ve discovered this topic for a while now, I finally joined and added myself to the list just today! Hello fellow durtles! There were so many emojis to choose from, it was hard to pick just one. :caught_durtling: and :durtle_cat: were also among my top choices.

My stats so far:

Level 11 with 177 burned items so far. I try to keep it scenic and relaxed by only doing 10 - 15 lessons per day and keeping my apprentice items below 100 every day.

May likely be taking an even more scenic route in the next few days with someone visiting and staying at my place for a month. I hope I can keep to my study habits with my temporary boarder around, but we’ll see :turtle:


The fun thing about the icons is that you can always change it whenever you feel like.
I switch every now an then :durtle_noice:


Welcome welcome! Happy to have you join us durtles :durtle_hello:


Level 48!

An almost 15-day level. It has honestly been a terrible past couple weeks for me, but weirdly enough, I’m coming out of it more committed than ever to studying Japanese. I ended up not getting a job that I’d been heavily counting on, and the whole experience is causing me to rethink a lot of things about my career, and I guess reevaluate what I’m doing with my life :sweat_smile:.

Long story short, I think I might be giving up on libraries? If I’m just going to fail at my backup career, I might as well fail at the career I actually want, which is writing. I’m planning on spending the next year or so working very diligently on my writing and on Japanese. I’d like to publish my own books, but I’m increasingly open to getting into translation professionally, too.

Despite being very depressed about job stuff, I did manage to finish my October drawing challenge and am keeping up with National Novel Writing Month! I also haven’t missed a day yet in the read every day challenge, and have stayed caught up with my translations. So things haven’t been all bad.


Sorry to hear about the job stuff, but glad to know it’s given you a chance to reflect and reevaluate. Getting that kind of clarity of purpose can be so affirming in the end.

Great job on keeping up with all those commitments! Hope they’ve been a fun outlet for you during all this.


Found this section of WaniKani from a recent post that someone had mentioned about feeling burnout. Came at the right time! I had started to feel myself not wanting to do the reviews anymore and they were starting to pile up and when I almost reached 200 reviews the other morning. I wanted to cry.

I had initially wanted to get through WaniKani quickly so that I could match it with the level I feel like I should have already been having started my Japanese studies 6 years ago at uni as a minor. But, due to varying reasons, I never progressed further than high beginner (grammar is the bane of my existence). Having not officially studied for the last 2-3 odd years it’s such a slog starting from almost the beginning again, so I look forward to joining to slower pace group! Thank you for listening to my TED talk. haha


I’ve been there too! And usually on those review rounds my accuracy also tanked bc. I just got more and more frustrated with every mistake I made… Not fun times…

Anyways: Welcome! :smiley:


Sorry to hear about the job, but glad to know it’s made you more committed to learning Japanese and to pursue your true passion! As they say, every cloud has a silver lining and it seems that you’ve found yours!

Also great job on keeping up with your other challenges! That’s really commendable considering what you’ve been through!



Hey! Mind if I join you guys? I’ve been durtling the really scenic route for a while, but I finally picked up some speed:

On the bright side, I kept up with reviews, so I’ve got 700+ burned. My main goal was to finish level 10 before I take the JLPT N5 in a month, and I’m seeing how much farther I can push before the test. I’ve also got Anki reviews and Genki practice to keep up, so we’ll see how it goes.


Welcome welcome! Best of luck on the N5 next month!


That sucks about the job. If you ever want to chat about writing backup careers, I’ve been down some of those roads. :sweat_smile: I steered away from library work after a friend warned me how badly it paid, but I wandered around to other things until settling down as a technical writer. I write software and AI guides for a living now, and I like it a lot better than I expected. I’ve had friends do other things like ghostwriting and marketing writing, too, and they’ve had a pretty good time with it.

Also, good luck with NaNoWriMo! Keeping up with that and having any kind of life is no joke.


Thank you!!

1 Like

Thank you! :heart:

What are some of the other writing careers you’ve dabbled in? I’m mostly a fiction (novels and short stories) writer, but I started to get into writing nonfiction essays on pro wrestling. I’m mostly interested in pursuing those avenues for a career, though I’m aware it’s tough to find stable work there :sweat_smile:.

With translation, the vast amount of what I’ve translated so far are spoken pro wrestling promos (which I’ve translated from a written transcript), haha, though I’ve also gotten into translating senryu poems here on this forum. And of course, I’m theoretically interested in translating novels and such

I’m also open to attempting to translate books and publications about Japanese papermaking (which I have experience with doing and reading about in English) once I reach a higher level, since I have connections to some pretty big names in that field, and I think there’s a lot of interest in that among papermakers and book conservators in America and other English-speaking countries. I dunno if there is money in it, though, haha. It would sure be one way to use my library degree from a completely sideways direction.

Oof, yeah, library work truly does not pay very well :grimacing:. That’s part of what’s making me consider just leaving the field entirely, because if everything had worked out with this current job, I’d be in pretty good shape, since I could keep living with my parents for a few years and not have to pay rent, which would allow me to save up a lot more money, but since I didn’t get it, I probably won’t get another opportunity like that again, and it’s just becoming less and less worth it to try so hard and struggle so long to get a career going in something that isn’t even my main passion. Like, writing doesn’t pay great, either, but at least I could be struggling and doing what I love instead of struggling with the second choice career I picked because I thought it would be a “safer bet” :sweat_smile:.

I’m glad that technical writing has worked out for you! How did you get started in that?

Thanks! Weirdly, it’s going waaaay more chill this year than I thought it would, going into it. It’s actually serving as a bit of an escape from my job stress, I think. Plus, the job stuff has kind of got me to recommit to studying Japanese and writing with even more enthusiasm.


Oddly enough, I kept trying to get away from writing as a day job and completely failing. :laughing: I s majored in creative writing (I write sf and fantasy stories), but I wanted to keep my day job different enough that I wouldn’t get burned out on writing… and that failed (or succeeded) miserably.

Job as a sales clerk? Awesome, I’m suddenly proofreading for our Marketing department. Office manager? Oh yeah, we need to write a new training manual. Software dev? Not many coding projects, but we could really use someone to write up all the processes in the building and cross-reference them with people’s software permissions.

I finally took the hint and realized that I liked the writing projects better than everything else, and I started night classes for a 2-year technical writing degree. Turns out nearly every company has stuff they need written up, and they’ll either grab the nearest English major to fill the vacuum, or they’ll hire a technical writer and pay them properly.

That’s awesome! I hope you’re able to keep going with that. Even if it’s hard, you’re building up a portfolio of work, and that’s useful for talking with publishers or doing freelance work. Your reasoning about doing what you always wanted to do makes tons of sense, too. Sometimes it’s better just to go for it, even if there’s not an obvious end point.

The translating stuff sounds fascinating, too, especially the papermaking. I have no idea if there’s money in it either, but that could be really cool.


Levelled up to level 13 in just 12 days!! Which I honestly didn’t mean to do… It was because I’ve been having to do my lessons on my phone or my non-personal laptop which have no scripts to filter all vocab first before proceeding with the radicals of the current level.

I think this pace is too quick for me though. :face_with_spiral_eyes: I also had to do more lessons than I usually would just to get 0 lessons and 0 reviews for this level which is a no-no cause I’m doing the 0/0 streak challenge. I’m now exceeding more than 100 apprentice items - also a no-no for me. I need to durtle some more…

How many lessons per day do fellow durtles usually do? And do you do all your reviews every day?


You still can do 0/0 and go slow. Get a reorderscript, do the vocab and radicals first, then get through the kanji. When vocab appears for the new kanji, do them before new kanji.

Not doing all the reviews is probably the most counterproductive thing you can do, will just make you forget more and have to do them more often. It’s like skipping a review today, to do two tomorrow instead.