My journey of 2315 days (dedicated to all slow-goers out there)

2300+ days… After about 6 years 3 months, I finally finished. Since I joined early on in the site’s lifetime (Aug 2012), I might currently hold the record for taking the longest amount of time to reach the end.

There are a lot of people out there that go FAST. Really fast (obvious shout out to @jprspereira
My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 ) ). But what I don’t see a lot of is people talking about going slow (besides just WK being “slow”…) due to life being extra busy for whatever reasons.

It can sometimes be discouraging to level slowly (15, 20, even 30+ day levels) while seeing everyone else around you going full speed. I mainly just wanted to say to the slow-goers out there, I’m proof that if you keep at it, you CAN make it eventually, at your own pace, as long as you just keep showing up.

You just have to find a pace that works for you and makes sense in your life, maybe just 5-10 lessons a day as you’re able. Maybe you have days where you do 0 lessons and just try to find time to keep up with reviews; that’s fine. And know that even if you think you might never recover from a long break or get past a certain level (605 days on level 43!), you really can come back if you work at it!

Here are my stats (the old stats site is a little confused about my 54-57):

I had a decent pace at the beginning. This was back when the site was young, the dark days before reorder scripts and other things existed to force radicals or kanji to the front of the lesson queue, etc. There were some slow levels for sure (like trip planning for Japan and subsequent recovery!), but I really got hammered around 40. I’m lucky to say that my “life getting in the way” was all good stuff: planning a wedding, buying a house, having a kid (that hated sleep for the first year of his life)…all that left me without much time to study for quite a while. I never gave up on Japanese completely, but my progress with WK in particular slowed to basically a stop.

At the start of 2018 (especially once my son decided he would sleep at night!), I decided to recommit to finishing WK by the end of the year, and I just barely made it. Guru’d my last kanji on Dec 25. Okay so I didn’t guru my last vocab until early this year, but I’m counting it :).

Anyway, it sure is nice being at 60 :). Feels a little strange not having new lessons to do, especially after 6 years, but I’m excited to move on to whatever’s next.


Congratulations! :partying_face::tada::tada::confetti_ball:
That is even more impressive than going full speed if you ask me!


Congratulations! Proof there’s hope for the rest of us snails!


おめでとうございます !! :star_struck::tada:

It’s always cool to see how people with different kinds of backgrounds, goals, and journeys end up making it to 60, and yours is a great testament to the idea that slow progress is progress nonetheless ^^

@quadban riding the wave of burned turtles to 60


Good luck in all that’s to come for you next, and enjoy all the cake! :cake::durtle_the_explorer:




Congratulations!!! I am trying not to go too fast or too slow, but it is nice to know both ends of the spectrum are capable of reaching the end goal. :grinning: Enjoy your cake!


Congratulations!!!:tada: That is some wicked perseverance! So so so so happy for you!


You’re a legend :100: :rofl:

I appreciate you for sticking around. Really do. Thank you for spreading the word about “going slow”. It’s important to have self-awareness and know how much one is willing to give to something. You knew your priorities, but you also knew that you wanted to stick around and challenge yourself with Japanese. Anddd you did.

Congratz once again :slight_smile:


Congrats!! Thanks for showing that it is possible to complete WK even at a slow pace. I’m in the same spot, I have so many commitments right now that make it hard to go full-speed, but I will never give up, and seeing your success story has motivated me even more.

Do you have any problems with retaining the kanji? Or do you still remember ones you burned years ago?


Thanks for saying that. You’re absolutely right about knowing priorities; it’s a very conscious and committed decision to keep coming back when life pulls in all different directions. Being a parent has made me acutely aware of how I choose spend the time that I have!

I’m thankful for the kind words from everyone here, and thankful that this site has such a supportive and encouraging community behind it!


Wow! This really shows your dedication! Especially with a baby- that is an awesome feat! Congrats!


Do you have any problems with retaining the kanji? Or do you still remember ones you burned years ago?

I did keep up with some reading and other exposure even during those busy times, and I do think I remembered quite a bit! But, I’ve definitely forgotten some stuff too. Even learning some vocab items this past year, I would swear that I had never seen one of the kanji before and the site must have made a mistake, only to click through and see that I burned it 3 years ago, lol. I would sometimes resurrect those items to study again. People with more free time probably might have reset back several levels, but if I had done that I don’t know that I would’ve had the willpower to finish.

But the way I look at it, learning a language isn’t about perfection. This process has been great for laying the kanji foundation. Learning new things really does get easier as you get to higher levels. You can re-learn stuff when you encounter it again in the wild. I’m sure my retention is a bit lower than others that didn’t take long breaks, but I’m not going to worry about that. Resetting my level wouldn’t have been fun for me, even if it technically would have led to higher retention. Gotta keep things fun and interesting.


Congratz on getting to level 60, though IMO you weren’t really slow, most of your level up times are between 8 and 15 days, which is fast to average. The problem was that you took 200 - 600 days off, those heavily inflated your times. IMO you did really well all things considered. :slight_smile:


Try out the new chart at
It should fix the zero levels.
(Be sure to use your APIv2 key)

(And it’s another datapoint for me to confirm that my new algorithm (at wkstats) works on older accounts.)


Thanks for this!

Sharing your journey provides encouragement to me and many others I’m sure.

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Thanks! I had seen that new site around but forgot to try it out.

Strangely, it fixes the 50s, but gets a new 0-day at 30…


And that’s why new datapoints are good :smile:
I’ll check it out (eventually).


This is so lovely and encouraging – especially since I feel like I may end up spending 605 days on level 42, haha!

Congratulations, and thanks so much for sharing! :tada: :congratulations: :raised_hands:t4:


Congratulations sir, I admire your endurance, your the proof that if you want to do achieve something it is always possible to accomplish it, no matter how long it takes!

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ahhhhhhh i’m so close too, but this month has been a drag probably at day 1000+ somewhere atm. These last few levels are dragging longer than I expected. Yay +1 for team snail!

Oh so it’s day 1157 for me.


Much respect for sticking to it, congratulations!!! I’m sure this post will indeed be an inspiration to many, so it’s definitely appreciated. I just posted earlier about being consistent, but there’s no perfect path to WK - the important thing in the end is seeing it through.