My way to level 60 - progress notes

Today I have finished level 2. I thought I will document my way to level (hopefully) 60 from a point of view of absolute beginner (I spent month of learning japanese before, now: not able to read hiragana fluently, don’t know lot of katakana characters). Maybe it will help other people who start and it will help to motivate me on my journey for sure.

So here we go:
Completion level 1 (I think 06-17-2019):
I was absolutely fascinated by wanikani, the way it uses mnemotechnics, meaningful learning way, great community. I suppose because of this WOW effect I was able to complete almost all excercises without problems.

Completion level 2 (06-22-2019):
Because I have vacation I could focus on wanikani more, so I have have been checking wanikani sometimes like 10 times a day. Sometimes I had to develop my own mnemotechnic-notes (btw it is great, that I can write it right into WaniKani away from translation of english words I don’t understand from original mnemotechnic-notes). With vocabulary it is a little harder than I thought originally - like for one symbol there are sometimes quite a few readings, but so far so good. Still really excited and planning to achieve level 6 until 7th of July.

Completion level 3 (07-02-2019):
I have the feeling that at the start of new level there is quite a large amount of additional vocabulary to learn. Then, the second half of level is much more calm. So I could focus myself on additional sources. I have chosen Human Japanese App for grammar which I have found here.
Level 3 took like 11 days and I suppose next levels will take even more time, so maybe I will finish one level each 11-20 days, it is much more realistic then my estimation from “Completion level 2” I think.
It is harder than previous 2 levels but still a lot of fun and effectivity is quite high: with first repetition I have maybe 60% of vocabulary right but with next repetitions its often like 90%, so I am really satisfied.

Completion level 4 (07-17-2019):
There is a wonderful world, which is starting to form itself, almost better than any game, there are bamboo shrubs with lollipop, mean Mrs. Choo, wonderful journey to Tokyo to show the world I am the best swordmaster and many mamy more adventures.
Like Alice in Wonderland, and yeah, there is one pleasant side effect too - learing Japaneese on the way.
Famous czech teacher John Amos Comenius has written “School by Play” 400 years ago and I think he had just this style of education in mind :slight_smile:
Anyway, I am still not able to read most of examples but hopefully it will change with time.
And I am quite comfortable right now with my pace - like 2 lessons each month.

Completion level 5 (07-29-2019)
I have been thinking about reading of japaneese texts - it will be so much fun because of all those mnemotechnic notes. And also with all those symbols - much better then abcde, it is kind of monotonous :slight_smile: Does have japaneese people more fun by reading with all those Kanji? I suppose so!
I can’t wait to read japaneese books, each symbol has its character, its own story, it will be such a pleasure to read japaneese books I think, like adventure within adventure.
It is really important for me to study grammar too, to see those words which I learn in praxis - for example I can perfectly recognize some verb inside of wanikani platform but when I see it all of the sudden in the sentence when I am concentrating myself at some grammar concept and not on the verbs itself it is bigger challenge. And I think the more situations I will see those words occuring, the better.
I am using 4 grammar sources now (german Japanisch Schritt fuer Schritt, Genki Japanese, Easy Japanese and Human Japanese) it is really helpful, and it will also be helpful for that I could at last read those examples at wakinaki (now learning grammar like 1 hour each week).
And in Mail I have got the info that now more useful words are comming! Hurray! Can’t wait, I have to do at least a bunch or review before going to sleep :slight_smile:

Completion level 6 (08-20-2019)
At the start of the level I have make all new items (± 100) at the start of the level and it was a big mistake. I went to holiday later and although I have made like 100 reviews per day I have still like 300 of items to be reviewed for more than one week because of high percentage of errors (sometime only 50% of items were correct). I have thought that wanikani just don’t work right but after feedback from the community I have seen that the problem was on my side. Thank you all!

Completion level 7 (09-09-2019)
First time I have used the script for sorting items, so that I could obtain radicals first. I have thought about it and I think that I will use it only for learning radicals at the start of the level and then I will turn it off completely so that I interfere with the way I am supposed to learn as little as possible.
Sometimes I have like one or two days pauses between sessions and the following sessions are then much less accurate and I need also much more time for each item. But on the other hand is it also a good thing is some way because when I spend more time with thinking about vocab then I will create more paths in my brain and in the end I can remember it maybe more easily in the next review.
Sometimes number of reviews is little daunting but then I will look at the number of items which I had done through this far (over 1000 items! wow) and I am motivated to learn more.
Recently I have neglected a grammar a little bit so I hope I will find more time for it in the future.

Completion level 8 (10-10-2019)
This level took more than one month to complete, but nevertheless I am quite happy with the progress. It doesn’t matter how fast or how slow I am progressing. The main thing is that I am enjoying that progress. In last month I have started to use Jitai script for different Japanese fonts and I think it will help me not to focus to much on one particular script and I have installed some recommended script which are really crazy… and I love them!!! Then I started to use couple of different japanese applications like Drops, LingoDeer, FluentU and Busuu - they are quite rewarding on the start but until now I didn’t find any good app to learn Kanji so effective as WaniKani. Thank you one more time for this great platform!


Good luck on your journey to 60! :muscle: Hope to see you go all the way!

One note about this: level 1 and 2 have increased level-up speeds. There are so few items in rotation at that point that beginners thought it was far too slow. So the SRS interval are shortened for the first two levels.

You should now be on the regular SRS intervals, which makes the fastest possible level-up 6 days and 20 hours - though keeping up that schedule means you sacrifice a lot of sleep. If you do lessons at same time every day, you can do 7 days flat, which is generally advised by most people.

Edit: let me amend that, because I don’t want to be unclear. I don’t mean to say general advise is to level every 7 days - everyone knows what their own right pace is. Just that it is usually more sustainable to consider 7 days the top speed, rather than the very demanding 6 days and 20 hours.

So don’t be distraught if you can’t get to 6 by the 7th of July, everything is working as it should. ^^


Ah, I didn’t know that, thank you for the info. In that case I suppose one level each 10 days or so for me.


I didn’t know that either - neither the top potential speed nor the 1-2 levels having a speed-up effect in place. Really interesting.

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Once every ten days or so would still be quite a fast pace, imo. The amount of vocab words you have to learn gets pretty huge pretty quick; I seem to remember it being lower at the start. If you manage a level every ten days consistently you’ll be doing great.

My only advice is don’t put yourself under too much pressure and burn out. You’re here for the long haul, so figure out a pace that works that you can keep up indefinitely ^^ None of that is meant to dissuade you if ten days / level is your goal. Best of luck!


Level 3 finished. Main post edited. I have finished it 5 days ago, but there were a lot of things to do, so I have posted it a little late.

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Level 4 finished am main post edited, it is still a lot of fun :slight_smile:


Reading your update made me smile. I start to tear up when I literally misspell an English word or use the wrong case trying to answer a definition, and it takes even longer to get terms I haven’t used yet. At this point kanji like 書 are easily recognizable because of how frustrating it was for me to hand write. I started about two weeks ago, I’ll try my best to keep up with you!

PS: Kamesame essentially lets u do reviews again and lets u reset progress to do them again with no limit. It’s a nice little tool, doesn’t check correct furigana spelling tho.

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I think I have felt just like you in the first 2 levels: impatiently waiting for the next review and then misspelling some words and waiting again for the next try. But don’t worry, with next levels there will be more and more stuff to do. And also: those misspelled words have teached me to write them right next time so it was kind of worth it :slight_smile:

Level 5 finished, main thread updated, and now new radicals are waiting, how I love them!

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I like your mnemonic stories, they’re enjoyable hah! I just started a “progress notes” blog myself and wondering how I should set it up. We’re both level 5 too so good luck and may we both reach 60!

Hey, I wish you lot of persistence on your way but most importantly a lot of fun :slight_smile:


The jump from like doing 80 reviews spread across a day to having 137 new lessons in level 5 and now like 150 reviews after a few hours felt a bit sudden ^^;

For grammar reference I really like “A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar,” though it sounds like you already have so many. Setting my phone to 日本語 also means I’m constantly exposed to compound words like 完了, instead of just 了,

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New level and new update of main thread, 53 levels to go!


New level, new update, new Vocabs!


New level, new kanjjis and vocabs learned and new challenges are waiting. Two more levels and then PAINFUL PATH will start, let’s see, I hope I will be ready :slight_smile:

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