Yes, I signed up on New Year’s eve last year. I thought I’d try something new. Advantageously, I have been studying (or been exposed to) Japanese for many years, at least to the degree that I have a lot of familiarity if not quite fluency with the language. That has helped a lot. Having said that, my kanji level was still barely at N5 level at the beginning of this year, so from that point of view, my previous exposure wasn’t that much of an advantage.
Other than WK, my main Japanese activity is a weekly class I attend which is two hours and quite intensive, with lots of conversation, and only two other students. And there is associated homework with that. Currently I’ve been focussed on the idea of trying to write the N3 exam in December, so my studies have pushed in that direction.
I absolutely think I should be spending more time reading Japanese, because I think in general, reading is my weakest point. I can read, but much more slowly than I’d like, and it’s not unusual for me to miss the point of sentences if they’re at all complex.
During the month of August, my class is on hiatus, so I’ll try to spend the extra time reading and studying my Soumatome N3 prep books.
Lastly, my wife is Japanese and helpfully points out how useless WaniKani is and how 催告 is not a word used by anyone except lawyers. So I try to engage her in Japanese conversation when I can, but her English is so much better than my Japanese… Still, having her as a linguistic resource is a huge help and also, she’s my main motivation for learning Japanese.
Actually, I’ve noticed over and over in my Japanese class especially how useful WaniKani has been in teaching me new vocabulary, such as when my teacher recently said something about 差別 and I understood the word before she could translate it.
I haven’t experienced burn-out yet, though that kind of thing is unpredictable. I feel like I’ve been so starved for kanji and advanced vocabulary knowledge for so long that I’m still eager to suck it in, and WaniKani has made it possible to do that relatively quickly. We’re also planning a trip to Japan in November, and I want to continue on my current pace till then if I can, hopefully get to level 42…
I feel like I might be more likely to burn out at a slower pace because the end point being farther away and uncertain would be discouraging for me. With a fixed endpoint, I don’t mind racing. On the other hand, I won’t pretend it’s exactly easy to keep up this pace. It does require me to keep to a certain schedule, which isn’t normally how I prefer to live my life. I just keep telling myself that my brain can handle the constant input, and so far it can. I don’t get all my burn items right, and that’s frustrating, but I have to tell myself that it’s all part of the process and there’s no shame in it.
Lastly, I’m way past my twenties, so don’t let anyone tell you that learning a language or anything else is impossible past your youth. This degree of Japanese acquisition is in fact something I was unable to achieve while I was in my twenties, though I did try then. The WK method seems more akin to Neo in the Matrix getting plugged into a computer and then after ten minutes saying: