It’s been an eventful couple of days. I took, and passed, the mock JLPT N1 test from Nihongonomori and I just reached level 60.
I went at a fairly steady pace, but didn’t rush it, taking 460 days to get here. I’m eager to finish level 60 and then see how many remaining items I can burn. But I’ll probably focus more of my time on reading and listening now.
When I started WaniKani, I wasn’t sure how effective it would be. Along the way, I had doubts. I was disappointed that writing Kanji (production) wasn’t part of the program (I realize there are things like KameSame etc. to take care of that, but I didn’t want to spend time doing both). I was perplexed by some of the example sentences. I was put off by having to memorize vocabulary words out of context. I didn’t like how WK glosses over differences in similar radicals and treats them as one (e.g. both the right side of 故 and the top part of 冬 are lumped together and called “Winter” even though the former has three strokes and the latter two strokes.)
But around level 40 or so, I started to realize that the pros far outweighed the cons. I realized that WK’s greatest strength, at least for me, is getting the user to be able to read real, adult-level Japanese in a relatively short period of time. It did that very well for me. I often got a rush when reading a book or article and came across a Kanji or vocab word that I had just learned in WK. This happened over and over again. I think it’s also the biggest reason why I was also able to pass the JLPT N1 mock exam. The reading portion of that exam was a breeze because I recognized a bunch of Kanji and words I had learned from WK.
I’ll continue to read books, and see how many items I can burn on WK, but I’m still deciding where to focus my Japanese learning beyond that. I’m thinking to either tackle another thousand Kanji in RTK3 (some of which are included in WK), or memorize how to write all the WK kanji. I also want to spend more time listening to Japanese.
I’m grateful to WK and to the this fantastic community. I love how people support and encourage each other here. Thanks for that!