Level 10 - Yay! First Post


#1

Pretty much a complete newbie here. Glad to finally be at level 10, although I wish it had come faster (taking a week off for a family trip didn’t help!).

I’ve very much appreciated this amazing tool for learning Japanese, and this community as well. Thank you!

A few questions/notes:
I’ve noticed that the vocab lessons can really stack up, even while keeping my apprentice queue at about 100. When I hit 10, my vocab alone before doing any kanji or radicals was at over 150 lessons. I really want to learn all of the vocab I can, so I decided to pause on the level progression until I can get caught up on my vocab lessons.

  1. How many items do you have to keep in your apprentice level to keep up with vocab lessons? Does this keep getting worse? I always do all of my reviews at least 2 times each day. It’s not the fastest, but with how crazy my life is, it’s what works for me. I’ve come to peace with the fact that I won’t finish as fast as possible, but hopefully still under the 2 year mark.

  2. I understand that WK is going to keep getting harder, which is OK with me. If I keep my apprentice queue at about 100, always doing reviews, radicals, and kanji as soon as they pop up (at least 2x daily), will I be able to maintain my current pace, or will other factors slow me down (more lessons/level, higher difficulty, etc)

  3. Outside of speaking, what are the best resources that have helped you practice your Japanese at low levels? I am regularly working through grammar using books and the web, but most manga etc that I’ve found are still very slow going. I just started learning this year, it’s not going as fast as I’d like, but I can get by OK in conversation. I’m hoping to pass the N5 JLPT in December, but I don’t think it’s looking good at this point :sweat_smile:

Thanks for the assistance.


#2

I don’t know, 83 days is plenty long, although not in the scope of how long you’ll spend studying Japanese. But welcome to the WaniKani forums! :slight_smile:

  1. It depends on your accuracy and your pace. Anyway, no, it generally doesn’t get worse, since for most of the levels the amount of vocab is the same, as far as I can tell. If I’m wrong, someone please correct me orz.

Good idea on stopping to do your lessons. I recommend slowing your levelling pace to keep up with vocab in general, as the vocab lessons will reinforce your knowledge of readings, teach you new readings, and most importantly are things you need to know for reading the Japanese language. They are meant to be done together. Additionally, if you always have to do your vocab in big bursts, they’ll keep coming to haunt you in huge spikes for your Master, Enlightened, and Burn reviews.

  1. Burn reviews will increase your workload to the final maximum in the exact same way Enlightened and Master reviews did, and any mistakes will move those down into the lower piles, but that’s about it. Some of the much later levels are faster in a way I don’t fully understand, so I can’t account for those. Sorry D: I do all my vocab lessons as I level and always have 0 lessons before I level. However, there are a number of days I do 30 lessons. So my queue is 100 +/- like 40.

  2. I think challenging yourself with interesting manga etc. is important, but so is reading things at your level and just improving your reading speed. Try reading NHK News Easy articles, or graded readers, or short stories and folktales. I use all of these and find them very helpful, as it’s more efficient than studying through reading manga, but I find the harder texts more interesting and memorable in their own way so I try to do those too. The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!

There are reading groups on the forum you could join too. The beginner club is voting right now (they will probably pick a book), and there’s also a lower level beginner club forming to read a grade school level text at a page a day. The advantage is doing it in a group for motivation and to be able to get help with things you don’t understand.

You might find this an interesting tool: https://castux.github.io/wanikani-stats/ Plug in your API key and how many lessons you do a day (or want to do a day, you can just keep tweaking it), and it’ll give you an estimate of your apprentice queue and how much work you’ve got to do in reviews to maintain it based off your accuracy (and some other assumptions, see: Choosing the right pace for your lessons (thanks to queueing theory)). So it’s an approximation but still interesting.


#3

Thanks for the awesome response!


#4

I don’t think WK gets much harder that it is at lvl 10. You might get burned out a little bit at certain times, but actually I think that you get better at learing kanji and vocab as you go along so actually WK gets (subjectively) easier.

Going through a grammar books is important. I would recommend to listen to as much as you can (and watch tv). Listening comprehension is hard and takes alot of time. It is a skill a lot of ppl neglect and it comes back to bite them. Natural spoken japanese is much different (in syntax and semantic structure) than english and importantly is also different from what is in most textbooks. It takes substantial exposure and study to get comfortable.


#5

Well, that is actually a relief! I feel like I can maintain my current pace indefninitely, and haven’t been feeling overloaded.

Listening is actually my primary concern. I knew there were major differences, but I’m just starting to realize just how big they are. Thanks for the advice!


#6

I’ve written a Guide for WK as a way to explain everything I wished I knew from Day 1 on WK :slight_smile: Since you’re worried about how your progress might go from now on WK, it might be worth reading it.


#7

Oh, you finally finished it? :wink: Yay, I was looking forward to reading it. Thanks!


#8

Yeah, my bad :rofl:


#9

:joy::rofl: Sorry, I couldn’t help poking fun! I saw your post about it a while back and was tickled because I’m the same way. Glad you finished it. These types of posts are a huge help, especially considering how intimidating WK can be to get into.


#10

What really moved me forward in Japanese when I was still starting was beginning to read from an early point. It doesn’t matter what it is or for how long, just try to read something in Japanese every day.