So. Hi. I think I posted once here and that was when I reached level 30.
I did not reach level 60 today, but I just did my final Kanji lesson. There is still some vocab to go, but since this is mostly about Kanji, I thought this was a good point in time. Making this post when I just reached 60 felt somehow wrong to me.
How did it go? What happened? Do I speak Japanese now?
To answer the last question - no. I should have read more, a lot more, and I always meant to, but I never got around to do it. Now there are a bunch of burned Kanji I probably forgot at this point.
The middle stretch (the last third, probably) was honestly no fun. Every day I did reviews, and using an iOS app I sometimes… cheated. Said “good enough” when I guessed the vague direction of the meaning. It was a useful tool, because losing a Kanji streak because of a typo would have kicked my motivation to the ground, but a number of Kanji slipped through and then I finally saw the burn message without being sure I actually know those.
Nearing the end, there were a few levels where I had absolutely no motivation to do the lessons. I still did my reviews, keeping my streak alive was of utmost importance, but the lessons dragged on and on. Finally a level up - aaaand you have 120 lessons sitting on your plate. You could of course do them all at once, but then you’d have 120 reviews piling up every few hours. There were two levels near the end where it took me almost two months to get through them.
Was it all in vain then? Was Wanikani a waste of time? No, absolutely not. I’ll continue to do the vocab and stay here till I burned everything, and in the meantime I will actually get to reading things. I know a substantial amount of Kanji (even though they are still in “vocab” mode and my brain needs some practice to recognise them in a text, as a verb form, and immediately jump at the right reading), and there are grooves in my brain. I can guess the Onyomi of many Kanji by their radicals now, and even though it feels like I barely know anything, when I actually look at a text it’s not as bad. Sure, I still look up readings every so often, or mix stuff up, but that’s where the practice comes in. I should have started that much earlier, but, sadly enough, I had too much other stuff to do.
I started in April of 2020, and now it’s 22. I was not the fastest person on here, but whatever.
Completely off topic, but I managed to get a master’s degree in that time, and I will start my PhD position tomorrow. Oddly fitting that I did my final Kanji lesson today.
I hope this motivates some of you to push through. There will be Kanji you miss. There will be stupid little symbols you can’t remember. You can try and try and they slip out of your memory again until you want to give up, but - you know the others. You know context. Keep going. And even if it’s a drag, even if the lessons drag on like hell, keep going. Also, don’t cheat. And start reading early.