Level 10, my thoughts

Hello everyone,

I’ll be wrapping up level 10 tomorrow, thought it’d be a good time to come and say hi to the community!

I took a semester of Japanese night class about a decade ago, but had to stop due to circumstances. Last year I started listening to Japanese music and my interest was re-piqued, so I decided to take it up again. It’s been great so far, despite switching from onsite to Zoom after just 4 weeks. I felt like we weren’t making a great deal of progress however, since classes are just 4 hours per week. We’re scheduled to learn about a dozen Kanji by the end of the semester. I have quite a lot of spare time on my hands, so I decided to pick up Wanikani to speed things up a bit.

What a ride it’s been so far! I don’t think I ever would’ve gotten to learn 350 Kanji through conventional means, much less in the span of 3.5 months! It’s great to slowly start picking up words in what used to be a sea of gibberish in music and Anime, and I find myself pausing and switching to Japanese subtitles a lot to check if I got it right or lookup some of the Kanji I don’t know yet. The vast array of extension scripts available really help with the experience as well.

Till there, the positive note. The biggest problem I have with Wanikani (and I suspect a lot of other people as well) is its very one-sided approach. The mnemonics are indispensable when it comes to remembering the pronunciation of Kanji and words if you can read them, but I find it gets a lot harder when just hearing them. While Kunyomi pronunciations are fine for the most part, I struggle a lot with Onyomi jukugo words. What I tend to do for the majority of them in my review queue at the moment is look at the word => remember the pronunciation of the individual Kanji => remember the meaning and reconstruct the reading. I’ll probably be able to get a good chunk of them to burned status this way, but I’ll never be able to recollect them myself or recognize them in a conversation. It really doesn’t help that when you first learn the word, you usually get the “you’ve learned the Kanji so you know how to read this” explanation.

In my original schedule I sought to get to level 60 by mid 2022. Just recently I’ve added three days per level to try and tackle this issue using Kaniwani and audio only self study quizzes. My new schedule reaches level 60 January 2023. It stings a little, but I hope it’ll greatly enhance my long term retention rates.

The other thing I plan on doing is hard-learning all the Kanji I’ve seen so far associated with a specific pronunciation. I extracted most of the data using the item inspector extension and poured it into Excel (I’m a spreadsheet nerd like that). I found out that the 5 most common Onyomi pronunciations occur in 40 to 60 different Kanji :neutral_face:

Anyway, if you’ve read this far, thank you very much for listening to my ramblings! Any comments or suggestions are very much appreciated. Barring life getting in the way, I’m adamant to make it to level 60. See you all around!

EDIT: Since the community seems to like GIFs :]



while reading i was actually thinking that a bit of kaniwani might be helpful for the problem you described. but you’ve already started that, so all i can offer is my encouragement to keep on keeping on ^^


I just wanted to say: when I started in January of 2014, I thought that the projected 2016 was sooo far away that it was meaningless. It made me drop out at some point. If I hadn’t worried and stuck to it, I would be “done” years ago already.

Now I’ve resetted everything and in a few months I caught up to where I was, but I do not want to know what my ‘end date’ will be. It about the journey and even that journey is not over at level 60 :slight_smile: better to watch the scenery and enjoy the ride.

But: congrats on this milestone and I wish you good moods to level 20 :tada: :partying_face:


Thank you! I might have to plan Kaniwani sessions more often though, and I hope to start Bunpro soon as well. I don’t understand how some people get all of this done in an already busy daily schedule, it’s probably because I get distracted easily haha.

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Thanks! Honestly it’s more about being able to maintain a certain routine than knowing “when I’ll be done” (despite me saying that having to postpone stung a little).
Another reason I added a couple of days is because I’m a little worried that the review load will start to get overwhelming, I’ve seen the graph and it seems I’m not even halfway to the maximum theoretical load yet. But yeah, there’s a good chance something will intervene during the road to 60, I do try to take into account!

I agree. The end date of “Level 60” is so far off in the mythological future that my mind isn’t even on it right now. In fact, as of now I think my plan is to get to level 30 and leave off there until a later date. I have a whole lifetime to learn after all, it doesn’t all have to be right now.


Yes, keep in mind that the reviews come in layers. If you look at the SRS Stages, you’ll know that a month after your first Master, you’ll encounter your first Enlightened. I assume you already have. But then, 4 months after that, your first Burn comes along (I assume you haven’t yet in level 10?) That is another layer of reviews that are added, and make the whole thing harder. I slowed down after getting them.

In fact, at this moment I’m completely ignoring the 90 lessons in my queue because I’m overwhelmed. I am first trying to get rid of some items that gone back Apprentice items and that I keep getting wrong. This all pushes my “end date” further, but I don’t care. I rather keep 90 lessons like this and have a week longer “long level 25”, than quitting all together and getting nowhere. :slight_smile:


i think the attitude of not setting a specific date to be “finished” is just right. What worked for me was to just stick to a specific schedule to do reviews, allowing myself to delay lessons when my accuracy started dropping. Consistency is far more important than trying to be fast, especially when it comes to language-learning.

What gave (or rather still gives) me the most motivation is to just keep consuming native content. I started with “よつばと!” at around lv 20-ish and even that was very hard for me at the beginning, to now reading the “reゼロから始める異世界生活” Lightnovel, one of the highest goals i set for myself originally. Every tiny milestone i noticed in between those 2 boosted my motivation anew, and im far from done :slight_smile:

Just giving my opinion here, different people will have different mindsets after all.

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No burns yet, first one coming up in two months :slight_smile:

This is how I’ve got my schedule set up at the moment:


That gives me about 25 new words to learn on vocabulary days, depending on the level. Weekends are excluded because I have very little time there to do anything but reviews. Two levels per month seems like a decent pace. I’m hoping that’ll eventually keep my daily reviews below 250, I’m getting about 120 at max at the moment.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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2023? I’m in!! See you there.


Haha, deal! :slight_smile:

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