Plateau in Japanese Learning

Hey everybody!

I’m at that phase in my studies where my Japanese learning just isn’t as vigorous as it used to be. I still WANT to learn, but I can’t help but feel discouraged, like I’ll NEVER get it and there’s no hope in ever being proficient, much less fluent. So I zone out during WK reviews, resulting in lower scores :disappointed_relieved:

Any tips on working through this discouragement? How did you get past it? How are you working through it? Anyone else in a similar boat?

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The best thing in my eyes is focusing on another aspect of the language when you feel stuck. Language learning is such a beautifully multi-faceted thing that focusing too long on certain aspects can make it feel like you aren’t improving. It’s a puzzle where all pieces connect, aid and re-inforce each other. You could spend some more time reading (if you feel native material is too hard, grader readers are amazing! Sites like satori reader with available translations and explanations can also be a boon, and definetly try one of the many book clubs here on the forums!), or try watching a series (one you already know is best if you feel like it’s too hard), talk to someone through skype or similar, get some tutoring on italki, get into tweeting (reading or posting, either is fine), …

Just have fun with the language! You will probably notice in a short amount of time that you want to continue deep-diving, and will get your focus back with your wanikani studies, but even if you don’t, just focus on reviewing and not levelling up until your work load is better, and then pick it up at a slower pace, or whatever works. No one approach suits everybody, and there is a whole world of content out there for you to explore! Go out and live the language, have fun and when / if you feel like it, buckle down some more and study :smile_cat:


you’re on a plateau, right? that means at the very least you’re not on the bottom of the valley anymore. so even if there’s still quite a mountain to climb maybe rest a bit and enjoy the view you’ve earned yourself so far. that’s the way i try to look at it and it doesn’t make me nervous to not progress every day or week or even month really, depending on how much in a rush you are.

stagnation is good in a sense, because it means you’re not getting worse and that’s only the case if you keep at it.


I’ve learned to accept it, and live with it. :man_shrugging:


I recommend finding something fun you can do in Japanese, like playing a video game or reading a manga. If you’re still new it might be good to pick something where you’re already familiar with the story. Basically think less about the goal of being fluent and focus on having fun in Japanese and enjoying the journey.


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