Losing momentum - what's your advice?

Hey guys,

I’ve kept a strict routine with Wanikani for the past 5 months, smashing through the first 16 or so levels. Now I’m hitting month 6 and I’m losing momentum. It feels like it’s getting harder to remember the last level of kanji, and I feel constantly like I’m desperately trying to catch up. As a result, my routine is falling apart. It’s taken me twice as long to get through the last couple of levels and I’m dreading my reviews each morning.

What did you do when you had such moments in your journey? What helped get you back on track? How did you keep the momentum going all the way up to level 60?

Looking for your kind advice.

皆、いつもありがとう。

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Slow down. but don’t stop. Keep going until you find something that drives you to go full speed and then when that runs out slow down but don’t stop.

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Are you doing anything else apart WK for learning Japanese? What do you want to learn Japanese for?
At level 18 you already know a lot of kanji, so maybe do something you like in Japanese and your thirst for wanting to know even more kanjis might come back.
I started myself reading books with the book club at level 18, slowed down the time spent on WK though kept it in the daily routine, and started using more time on reading. (I also went through Genki 1 and 2 around that time)

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Think first of what to do in immersion style, rather than study style. Maybe something easier. Avoid strict routines, but also avoid stopping altogether.

What gets me back on track are WaniKani Community and slow manga translation, and then Discord.

Kanji studying isn’t the end of day. Still, about the SRS, maybe some leech management. If all else fails, but somehow what to continue with SRS, I would say, learn more about memory techniques and rely less on SRS.

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Thanks for your input! Ooo big question. I finished Genki one and two many years ago. These days, I have extremely limited time, but I spend it watching anime or shows with Japanese subs. For me, that’s been the best way to combine the sounds with the kanji. However, I’ve stopped doing that recently because my wife is here and she doesn’t speak a word of Japanese.

Interesting that you slowed down around the same time. Why would you say that was?

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Level 18 is a really respectable level. I recommend slowing down. I can’t do more than 10 with out getting too many reviews, once burn reviews start coming. I try to do 20 a day and always get overwhelmed. You don’t want wanikani to start becoming so laborious that it start over taking everything else.

I recommend reading like N5 or N4 reading this helped my confidence grow my leaps and bounds. I had a tutor and two convo partners to keep me going too.

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Because my main goal is to learn Japanese and not to reach level 60 of Wanikani, and at some point I realized that it’s two different things :laughing:
So I’m doing around 10 lessons a day in WK which levels me up every two weeks (I always pass the kanji and radical until they are Guru’ed to not be slowed down, I fail them and vocab as many time as necessary afterwards).
That’s enough progress for me and gives me enough time to work on grammar, listening, and doing some reading to get more exposed to real sentences and vocab. I use the Natively levels to choose what I read next from the previous book club picks, whole list there: https://community.wanikani.com/t/master-list-of-book-clubs/

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If I can’t handle WaniKani somehow, and no progression, I would seriously put on Vacation Mode and unsubscribe. Try to progress with the language other ways. No wasting time with a single resource just to go around in circle. Also WK isn’t exactly immersion (consuming / using).

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I think I did a lot of research beforehand. Like what is the number of reviews people did going at my speed? That really helps to prepare mentally.
I’m at around 350-400 reviews per day atm, and this is still something I expected. ( also why I knew from the beginning that there is not way I could do the 3.5 days per level starting with lvl 42, it goes up to 550 reviews for many people).

I guess take a step back and think about your plans in general. My thought process is that learning Japanese is a COLOSSAL sacrifice, and it’s best to make peace with it: while you’re learning it, there are many many things you will no longer be able to do.

EDIT: also: it gets much worst in my experience as you keep going : P Compared to where I am now lvl 18 was vacations. But I guess it depends on your speed as well.

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Heyo, I would recommend taking a break from new lessons until you feel your review count each morning start to drop.
If you are struggling with various kanji where you can get them to Guru but no further, you can sometimes end up in a cycle where you get mountains of new lessons since you technically know them, but everything is floating around Guru / Apprentice.

So yeah maybe pause for a bit until you’re at 100 - 150 reviews a day? Can be more or less depending on your Wani appetite.

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I have taken a few breaks using vacation mode. I’m on one now. I tend to do this when the kanji all start to blend together, and I need my vocabulary and grammar to catch up a little bit. When I come off vacation mode, there is a short painful period where I am only hitting about 20% correct - but it all kicks in again soon and I am back up to my more usual 80-90%. I am on a very SLOW schedule though - I am coming up on the end of my second year studying and just finishing Genki 1. I have a completely separate plan for learning to write Kanji - I see WK as more helpful for the first pass and general recognition/passive use than to really consider that I have learned the kanji.

I also have to say that the recent addition of all of the katakana words really threw me off my game - and I was stuck for a very long time at my current level.

how is your apprentice level? I always keep mine below 100, so I usually just do 5 lessons per day, otherwise my retention is really bad.

Hi. What are leeches?

Things you just cant remember to save your life.

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Ah yes! THAT’S what they’re called !