I’d just like to share some of my own (slightly despondent) feelings, and ask you how your experiences have been as well.
I joined WaniKani sometime around May-June this year, knowing that I had to get as far ahead with it as possible during my summer vacations, because after that I’d be busy again. I’m a university student (pre-med), and I always accepted the fact that a huge time commitment like learning Japanese was something that I would either not be able to stick to at all, or take much longer than the average dedicated learner to accomplish. Life is stressful and I take stress easily, so sticking to the kind of daily commitment that WK demands is something I knew I likely wouldn’t be able to achieve. Knowing that, I decided that I’d do my best with a monthly subscription at WK during the summers, and then pause until the annual WK sale in the winters, during which I would re-evaluate whether I could and whether I even wanted to continue with WK with a lifetime subscription.
And I did just that. I chugged through 6 levels over the first half of the summer (got busy again after that), dropped to level 3 with the expiration of my subscription, and returned just a couple days ago to about ~350 reviews (not too bad, but this doesn’t include levels 4-6 of course). At the moment I’m just trying to clear all the reviews, warm up my WK muscles, and then I probably will buy lifetime subscription at the end of it.
The experience of returning is kind of…happy and sad at the same time. I’ve genuinely missed learning Japanese, and specifically learning kanji, since I left a couple months ago. I recognized that WK actually did provide me with some reading skills that I could apply even with whatever limited amount of kanji I learned, and most amazingly, I actually still remembered it. My reviews aren’t going great these days and my percentage correctness is expectedly low (50-70%), but it’s so cool how I still remember a lot of kanji anyway. I typically either remember the meaning or the reading for a kanji, which is annoying, since you need to get both right to be able to bump it up. I even burned my first two turtles.
Essentially, I decided to write this post for two reasons: one is just to share both my pleasure for learning here as well as my disappointment over not being able to commit more consistently. My time away has allowed me to recognize that I truly DO want to learn, but life makes it unfairly difficult to make real progress. My second reason ties in with the first, in that I see most people here say it takes 2-3 years to get to level 60. I know that I won’t be able to finish it this quickly, and I know that others are in the same boat as me, but I haven’t hear from people who’ve stuck around for longer than the usual, regardless of whether they’re still on the journey or have finally completed it. So I wanted to ask: how are your experiences, fellow slow progressers? How long have you been learning, or how long did you take to get to level 60 (especially if more than 3 years)? What slowed you down? How was the journey? What brought you back again and again and again? I’d love to hear from you.
And finally, for those of who read through my whole soliloquy, thank you so much. I hope you manage to make your WaniKani/Japanese-learning dream come true <3