Newbie here, give me your tips

So when I say tips I mostly mean ‘how to learn better and memorize better’ , not 'how do I cope with early waiting ’ because I already noticed that you’ll get a bunch of things to do later on. Do I write down all the kanji/mneumonics I learn? Do I visit other websites to learn the stroke orders? Heck I want you all to give me even your ‘weird things/tricks I use to better learn/memorize X’ .
Thanks for all your help in avance.


Neglect your reviews and play here in the community. :slight_smile:
(actually, be consistent. Do your reviews several times per day, on a schedule, and your retention skyrockets. )


Some say it helps with memorization to write down the kanji during lessons. I myself have never done this, but it might help with writing and recognition. Especially if you actively try to imprint the radicals and positioning as you go (maybe the mnemonics as well), and not just mindlessly do the strokes over and over. It does mean you’ll have to spend a lot more time on lessons.

I say, try different ways, brute force, writing down, write your own mnemonics, and see which way works best for your mind and schedule.



Honestly, just do WK normally and don’t look up your review items too much, or at least before reviews, so as to not screw with the SRS, and you already know that later on there will be lots to do, so, careful when you get a bunch of lessons.

But yeah, writing, stroke order can be a nice plus, but it’s in no way necessary, unless you plan going to live in Japan (And even then it’s not that important, maybe only if you go as a student instead of to work)

I guess the only extra thing is to make sure to not neglect the grammar part of japanese, kanji doesn’t do much on its own!

It’s simple, you only need to read my Guide for Wanikani. Not only will you catch them all, but you’ll become the very best.


I totally support giving a try to writing down the kanji. I have read many people saying it’s useless, but personally it has always helped me a lot. Not only it’s great for memorizing the kanji better, but it also helps telling similar kanji apart, and reading handwritten kanji way easier.

I have tried writing down the mnemonics but I haven’t noticed any difference, visualizing it as clear as possible and making things even more absurd in your mind usually helps more. However, when a wanikani mnemonic doesn’t work I try to write down my own. I have read before that coming up with mnemonics related to places, things, or people present in your personal life is the most effective, so far it works well enough for me.

Also, try to read as much as possible, and as soon as you can. Nothing is better for memorizing kanji and vocabulary than seeing them being used in context.

Good luck with your studies!


I do plan to live there one day hopefully, but as an engineer and not as a student though. Still, would be nice to be as literate in a language as one could be

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I think most people mean it in the, “when are you actually gonna write japanese” way and not that it doesn’t help the studying, then again some people might mean it like that too

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  • Don’t try to learn more than nine or ten kanji on any given day, it doesn’t make you level up any faster
  • Check the kanji’s page at WK for words you may already know by-the-by - if you already have a context for the meaning or reading it makes them way easier to remember. Even if it’s like the bu in kabuki
  • Add your own synonyms if WK’s don’t work!

Be consistent, but also use the SRS timing to your advantage!

  • After you do a lesson, the review is Apprentice (1) which means a 4 hour wait until it comes up again
  • After you pass that review to make it Apprentice (2), the next review is 8 hours away

That could be doing a review at breakfast, revisiting at lunch and again in the evening, or doing a review when you get home, re-reviewing just before bedtime, then reviewing again after you wake up.

  • After you pass the Apprentice (3) review, it’s 23 hours before it comes up again so it stays in the same part of the day (evening or morning)
  • After you pass the Apprentice (4) review, that’s 47 hours to the next review (two days minus an hour, again the same part of the day) where you can level it up to Guru and unlock More Stuff!

Definitely do this. :slight_smile:


If I’m learning kanji that day, I write them on a Post-It note along with their index number in the Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary - I look it up on Jisho (under dictionary indices); I stick the note to an actual copy of the KKLD and take all that to work so I can revise it over morning coffee! :slight_smile:

It’s fun to try to guess the readings and meanings of kanji and/or words you haven’t learnt yet before you review them - getting it right is encouraging, getting it a bit wrong is disappointing in an interesting way, and being completely off base is strangely entertaining :slight_smile:


Yeah, I get it, I don’t have any plans of living in Japan, but I’d still like to be able to write it by hand

If that’s the case, and you have the time (Cause overworking yourself isn’t gonna do you any good), then practice the writing, don’t know any tips for that though, it’s definitely a totally different skill haha
I know kana, but if you told me to write them, I’d probably only be able to write less than half, and they’d look horrible. Yet I can recognize all of them pretty easy by now

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Do the reviews 3 times a day, I do them right after i work out in the morning at around 5 am then one after work which is around 3 pm then one just before going to sleep at around 9 pm.
If I have to work on a project or I have to go on a business trip then I put vacation on, it hinders your speed progress but hey i have other stuff to do as well in life sometimes.

Another very important thing for me, I use the App Kaniwani, it basically gives you the word in English and you have to input the answer in Japanese, but besides this I write all the Kanji vocab with pencil on a notebook. Believe me you don’t wanna be the typical gaijin that claims to know japanese but can’t write for shit.

For the apps that people use that reorganize stuff and do this and that, I don’t use none but the one that changes the font to make it harder on me to recognize the kanji.
I believe the wanikani is working as intended and adding so many other third party apps sometimes beats the essence of it to learn kanji good but the hard way.

Another tip is to not give a shit about other’s peoples levels and how fast they progress, only focus on how you feel try to push yourself just a bit out if your comfort zone everyday.

The reason i say that is cause you will see people going on such a fast speed but using apps that for example let you only study all the kanji and level up without studying a single vocab word. I even think you can level to 60 without having studied a single vocab! But i could be wrong…

Lastly if your true purpose is to learn japanese language as a whole this app is not enough, you will need to supplement it with other materials for example:

For grammar use Genki 1, Genki 2, An integrated approach to intermediate japanese or Tobira and lastly the kanzen master series for N2, to supplement these books also buy the dictionaries of japanese grammar beginner, intermediate and advance for extra explanations and examples of grammar together with an SRS app like bunpro that lets you practice grammar daily.

For vocabulary get anki software and download some of the 10k sets or use memrise or iknow websites.

Listening, reading and speaking, consume native material daily like dramas and movies, read as much as you can even if you dont understand, the more you progress in wanikani the more you’ll recognize more and more words and kanji.
For speaking download the app hello talk and make some japanese friends try to speak to them as much as possible at least once a week speaking conversation, also play japanese mmos or other games that involve teaming up and talk to them on discord app.

Just dont give up, it doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.
Believe me i was going so hard on reviews at some point that i was starting to burn out and wanted to skip reviews or take breaks, so like I said just take your time and enjoy the ride.


I have a tip, read the comments above and below mine, they have some info


No I don’t!


I’m too lazy to read 12 comments, but try reviewing new items before the first review, I like to do it 1 hour/1h30 after doing the lesson, it helps a ton, obviously you can’t do it everytime, we sadly can’t stay every day every hour on WK, last time I didn’t get to do it with a 10 kanji batch, well I had bad circumstances anyway, I did lessons at 9h, had work at 13h, only got to the review at 18h, I failed all 10 and wanted death to come to me.

so definitly don’t learn kanji of all things when you can’t review them before a while, also, plan ahead that’s my god damn favorite thing to say and I’ve been saying it since the beginning, but don’t do things as they come like a bystander, use your brain and advantage yourself, sometimes you can do more than you think you can, it keeps you even more engaged, also you can sometimes see easy vocab that’s literally A + B = AB, and get rid of 5 lessons like that

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I do write down the kanji and all the meanings. It helps me remember them. Don’t skip reviews if you can help it. Use some other source for grammar, reading, and listening/speaking practice. I also have subscribed to TV Japan for the extra listening practice. It is so motivating to actually understand something you hear. They also have Japanese subtitles on most of the programs, so you get the extra reading practice. I’ve noticed that my reading speed has increased.

Writing down kanji will always help reinforce your learning more than just seeing and typing. Say the vocabulary as you’re writing it too and you add the sensory stimulation of saying and hearing it.

Learning any skill has to overcome neural pruning, and over-practice (continuing to refine a skill after you become capable) is how you do that. The more senses and techniques you use to learn something, the more robust those neural networks you build and the more mechanisms you have to remember that vocabulary later.

As others have said, I write down all the new kanji/vocab from lessons I do each day. I write down the kanji, reading, and the mnemonics if I need it. Then the next day, I rewrite all the lessons I did the previous day, and then do new lessons, and repeat. Though it takes a while to write it all down, it’s nice to write the kanji down a few times and be able to visualize it better.
I don’t really bother that much with stroke order, it doesn’t matter too much.
I spend probably an +/- 1 hour a day on WaniKani doing lessons and reviews.

1-I found jprspereira’s guide right after joining the community and it was the most helpful guide to wanikani!

2-Learning how to write the kana/kanji, which I understand is not a priority for a lot of people here, but I just enjoy it a lot. Recognition and recall are two different habilities, and learning how to write the kanji will also help you read those harder more cursive-like fonts.

3- Phonetic-Semantic composition! many kanji share the same readings because of this, and it will make your life a lot easier.

Well… Just let SRS work for you. I don’t use any scripts and just go through lessons and reveiws as is. I use other resources like apps and websites. I agree with the “don’t neglect grammar…” but give it some time because you need to know the words to know how to use em, right? For me anyway.

As for using WK… I will usually do about 5 lessons a day unless I’m feeling particularly good about how my last review went then I may do more. I always review my Critical Condition items before starting a review. If my first few review items completely stump me, I will hit the Wrap Up button and go do something else for a while and come back to it.

I have found that watching Japanese language shows on Netflix and Funimation have helped somewhat as I will hear certain Japanese words and be like, “Yeah, that’s one of my vocab…” Being able to tie it into the real world has helped me.

Well, this is just my way of doing things here. Good tip, bad tip? That’s up to you… but stay way from the Poll thread…