One year of WaniKani and enjoying the journey of studying this language

I have just recently passed my one year anniversary of being on Wanikani! I am only level 26, which feels very low compared to all of the “level 60 in one year” posts, but i am allowing myself to celebrate a bit. I have wanted to learn Japanese for about 10 years, but always gave up when I needed kanji to proceed. Wanikani has changed all of that, and made kanji (at least reading) one of my favourite parts of Japanese… and a part I am actually good at!

Today I am celebrating sticking with this language for over a year. Over this year, I have studied at least a bit every day. I have changed my goals from wanting to learn a certain amount by a given date, to simply doing something every day. This has made me stick with it, and not get too down if I have some months where I don’t have time to do much, or am lacking some motivation.

I still have a long long way to go, but the journey is a lot more enjoyable now. And I can read some things (e.g. Yotsubato) that I never thought I’d be able to.

Have you had a moment that made you begin to enjoy the journey of Japanese learning, rather than being overwhelmed with how much you don’t know? What is your goal for the next year?

My next goal is to get to level 30 in the next 6 weeks… as well as finish learning all of the Genki 1 and 2 vocab. And this time next year, I want to be able to say that I have studied, at least a bit, every day for two years.



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Way to go @OctopusEvening! Glad that you have found a pace that allows you to continue without burning out. Don’t get too down on yourself because you did not reach 60 in a year. Different users have different circumstances so the smart play is to stick with it while others zoom ahead. We will all get to 60 as long as we put out our best.
keep chugging along!


I’ve always had a good time learning Japanese


My goal in learning Japanese has always been self-enrichment and intellectual challenge, and it’s done its job so far!

Right now I’m aiming for N1 in December.


頑張って!I was aiming for lowly N5 this year but COVID-19 has delayed that goal… new goal is N4 in December.

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Hi everyone, a total newbie here. I joined just yesterday, and feeling held back in Level 1 (what a surprise). I thought of exploring the community and finding fellow WaniKanians!

In terms of goals, I have no idea since I am yet to discover the workload of future levels. Also, I am unsure as of now whether or not to go ahead with a premium subscription. I will also need to figure out how to balance learning kanji with other aspects of learning the language. I was brought here by Tofugu’s guide, which I intend to continue with…

Whatever happens, I hope to progress in the language and I look forward to growing with you all here :smiley:

@OctopusEvening Congratulations on one year! And good luck with the next!


The slowness doesn’t last long! For me, if being able to read Kanji is one of your goals, then WK is definitely worth it. Try out the free levels first and see what you think.

For me, it has been a game changer. I am a lot more advanced at reading kanji than other (non-WK users) Japanese learners around my level. It opens up a lot more options to learn - reading manga, watching anime with Japanese subtitles, etc. Also, it gets you used to having to do at least something every day. Even if you only have time for 10 minutes of reviews some days. It gets you in the habit of learning, and WK has been a big factor in finally making the journey click for me.



Yes, it definitely seems so from what I can tell! I am hoping to get some more clarity by the end of Level 3. And yes, making it into a habit is something I am definitely looking forward to.

On an unrelated note, where do you usually find anime with Japanese subs? I’ve been into anime for ~6 years, and I can’t really say I’ve come across Japanese subs (although, I haven’t tried looking for it either).

I just finished learning hiragana, but when I tried reading a sample page which was all in hiragana, the reading was painfully slow. Do you have any recommendations for stuff I can try reading regularly to improve hiragana speed (i.e., with no kanji and katakana)?


My advice would be to ensure you are just able to read kana, no matter how slowly first, then get into WK. once you get to level 10-15 or so, just start reading as much as you can. NHK Easy News, graded readers, etc. There is a good article on Tofugu somewhere about the benefit of quantity over quality with learning. Even if you don’t understand everything, just practising with some real material is what made it a lot quicker for me. That’s worked for me so far anyway. I am still not lightning fast but getting quicker every day…

I just watch whatever anime I can on Netflix, and I use a browser add-on called sub-a-dub, which allows me to copy any words I don’t know. Seem to all have Japanese subtitles so far.


Like OctopusEvening mentioned, Netflix often has Japanese subtitles to go with the Japanese content. There is also Animelon, which has a limited library, but you can watch it with different subtitles at the same time.


Yes, makes sense. Thanks for sharing, I’ll make sure to check them out!

@Saida Animelon looks cool! I don’t have Netflix so I will resort to this, thanks!


I think your pace is fine. I’m similar, I’ve been doing Wanikani since April 2019, and am on level 35. I sort of want to get to level 60 in 2 years. These days, it takes me about 17-18 days to do a level. I was faster earlier, but realized I was overusing the override script, and not really learning things well. Once I stopped that, I initially got way more reviews wrong, but recently (in the last few levels), things are getting easier and easier, as I really know many of the kanji, and can often figure out how to pronounce vocab words while doing the meaning part of the lesson, before getting to the reading.

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