New People Questions! ~~~<3 [Lost?! Confused?! We're here to help!]

The answer is definitely memorize hiragana before you get too far into WaniKani, and katakana would be a good idea too. There are many resources to do that.

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It’s called hiragana. The other Japanese phonetic “alphabet” is called katakana. You should really learn both before continuing your lessons here on WaniKani - as you will have to type that way to answer 1/2 of your questions.

I recommend you spend a minimum of 1 week learning hiragana, writing the chart over and over, and saying the sounds… and then another 4 days to a week learning katakana too (it doesn’t get used as much here, but you still need to be able to recognize it, and many words in real Japanese in real life will be in katakana, it’s the writing system that gets used for foreign words… like チョコ for chocolate, or コーヒー for coffee. (Pronounced “choco” and “co-hi-” (with long vowels) respectively.)

Here is a chart to help you get started: [Edit: Click on it to see it full-size.]

Start with the basic sounds on the left… then teach yourself the compound sounds (and dakuten and han-dakuten) on the right. When you know the sounds of all of them, and the looks of everything under “basic” 100%, then move to katakana, which combines the same way (so you can just learn the “basic” column of katakana).

Also, you’ll want to look at Koichi’s How to type in IME article/forum post that I’ve linked to near the bottom of the top post of this thread., if you can get a free trial, has a great katakana (and I’m assuming similarly great hiragana) course that you can use to test yourself to make sure you know these characters. They are absolutely important if you wish to further your Japanese studies here for reading (and grammar).

Best of luck!

[EDIT: Added a link to iKnow’s trial sign-up. Might not be as worth it at “5 sessions” as it was when I had the 3 month free coupon. If they mean what I think they mean, that would be only 5 reviews which would be eaten up in 2 or max 3 days…]


If found the Tofugu hiragana/katakana articles really helpful for learning. I picked it up an a couple days (katakana is still iffy since it isn’t used nearly as often).


Hi I am new here

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Hello! Welcome!

Did you know there’s an introduction thread? I’ve linked it in the OP.

Anything we can help you with? : )

Thanks, now I know how to post

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Hello everyone! I’m having a great time using WaniKani. I’m still trying to figure out the best approach to study. Right now I’m only doing 5 max 10 new lessons each day since I’m making sure I put reviews first. When I feel confident enough with reviews I slowly introduce new lessons so that I don’t overload. How did u arrange your study plan when you were a beginner? At the same time I’m studying grammar on Genki, I really recommend it. See you around on the forum!

When I started I intentionally used Human Japanese as the first volume is kana only, making it easier to focus on learning grammar without having to look up kanji terms. I’ve since gone through Genki, Japanese the Manga Way, and I’m currently tackling

As for the other aspects of my study plan I eventually integrated kanji writing practice and conjugation practice in a composition notebook. I don’t really do it for the sake of writing, just to help improve recognition and help learn the kanji more thoroughly.

Leebo uses the iverson method which is a pretty solid learning tool as well. In the end I’d recommend trying different things until you find what works best for your situation. In the meantime check out the additional resources thread for more tools and helpful advice.

PS: At 10 items a day you’ll finish the main levels in just over two years, which is about average.

Good job! : D

If you’re interested talking about your progress with Genki with others, I have this thread here: Genki Study Buddies. It hasn’t been very active lately (and that may be my fault, I seem to have fallen off the wagon again), but in the top I link to Jomteon’s old thread which contained some great lesson summaries.

Also, I support your “going it slow” approach. Just keep at it, and do your best. ^ _^

Not really a “new people question” but I am lost and confused so I thought I’d ask here.
Is lvl 26 a fast level? I just got only 3 radicals unlocked and I don’t remember there being any fast levels until lvl 40. Is this a new thing after the recent update or am I missing some radicals due to a bug?

There is 1 fast level before the 45/46+ levels. I think 26 is it.

I haven’t gotten there myself yet, as you can see, but I do definitely recall there being one fast level much earlier. And 26 sounds familiar. ^^

EDIT: Yes, @gzovak I just checked the Level 26 page, and there are only 3 Radicals. You’ve hit the one fast level in the middle of nowhere. Good luck.

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Yeah, it was a side effect of this update in June. Gl;hf!


Argh… moving targets. Gotta update the stats site… again!

Welp, there goes my sleep.

You could intentionally split up your kanji lessons a wee bit to intentionally slow down, you know…

Just sayin’…

Yeah, I’m a little irritated they made that one short after I was already past it…

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I’m trying to optimize my Wanikani learning/study methods. What’s the best way to keep apprentice items low (like 100-125 range) while still leveling up at consistent speed? I figure I could just stop doing lessons for a bit if my apprentice items get much higher than that, but I thought there was a better method some of y’all used.

Is it just using reorder script to learn radicals as soon as they are available and then doing 10-15 lessons kanji/vocab a day? I’m not super concerned with leveling up fast or anything, I don’t think I’m naturally equipped to do that, just wondering what the best way to have maintain steady stream of lessons without having apprentice get large.

Yeah you’re on the right track!

If you limit your new lessons (including radicals) to between 10 and 30 a day, and have a good accuracy, you will still level quickly and consistently. 20 a day gives you levels in about 11-12 days with only 80% accuracy. I’ve seen some people work out that with 90+% it can still basically remain as 8-9 day levels. I dropped mine further than that to keep my Apprentice between 60 and 80 (10-15 lessons a day) and I’ve been levelling way slower (on purpose).

It will take 1-2 weeks before you start to notice a difference in your review loads. @crbeckendorf

What @AnimeCanuck said is really important to remember: cutting back on lessons will not drastically decrease the amount of reviews you do in the next 1-2 weeks. Items returning for the other SRS levels will return to haunt you eventually. If you do all your lessons at once in the lower levels, you might very well regret it 6 months later when they return for burning.

The only thing required for consistent levelling speed is pretty much consistently doing lessons, whether it’s 10 or 15 or 20 or whatever. Personally after resetting I only do 15 a day, because I know the load will increase drastically in future months, especially once I run out of kanji and vocab I’m familiar with and once life returns to being very hectic.

I think it’s only possible to really understand the workload you’re setting yourself up for is once you start burning, but unfortunately that means you might be setting yourself up for a burnout if you go too fast before then.

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