Progressing too slowly?

Absolutely go at your own pace! It took me six months to get through the free levels…

At the moment, depending on work commitments, it usually takes me around a month to level up, and the last couple of years I’ve done no lessons at all September-December, just reviews. I try to keep my apprentice items to 60 and do no more than 5 kanji lessons, or 10 vocabulary items in a day.

That being said, I am doing a lot of other japanese study outside of WK (lessons with a tutor, reading, watching youtube etc), but I’m just trying to make sure my SRS commitments aren’t too onerous (I also do Torii and have my own flashcards). I’m in a position now where around 50% of the vocabulary that comes up on WK are words that I already know to some degree or other, and that’s making things considerably easier (and improving my accuracy).

However at the beginning, I was probably going too slowly and that meant that I wasn’t getting the proper reinforcement from WK’s vocabulary lessons to help me remember the kanji readings, as well as getting no reinforcement from outside WK because I wasn’t engaging with native content. A lot of those early ones got stuck as leeches for YEARS and I feel like I’m only properly dealing with them now.

So while I’m very much Team Go Slow, it really depends on what else you’re doing outside WK. If you’re just doing WK, there are benefits to picking up the speed a little during the early levels; or stay slow on WK and make sure you’re looking at japanese outside of WK to get that reinforcement.


I don’t think you should worry about speed of progression. It’s not a race and you’re not comparing yourself to anyone else.

Wanikani is simply a tool to learn and review. Just like everything you learn, repetition and continued exposure is the key.

Getting things wrong or struggling to recall is natural, we all deal with it, but try not to let it discourage you.

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After I do my Kanji lessons, I would always go to BISH BASH BOSH an hour or two later to really cement them into my memory before the SRS process kicks in.

I went really slow even though I wanted to go fast until ~ level 16 when I stumbled upon this awesome guide.

Basically, if you time your reviews right it’s pretty comfortable to level up every 7-8 days.

I really wish that I had found this guide earlier.


Don’t compare yourself to others, you progress at your own pace.

Also yes, that does happen to me, it’s just a matter of time and repetition until you get some of them.

Remember, you are here to learn, not to speed run like it’s some kind of game.

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Hello fellow slow one.
Please record your slowest time on the chart.
I’m just curious and I’m collecting slow records.

Things that are ahead are behind the object or point you’re talking about. If you say after 30 minutes, you mean at the point behind(after) the 30 minutes.

hmm…so like hereafter or igo is like “after this behind”?

dont worry this is the part of your journey where you try new methods and really learn your brains strengths and weaknesses. dont let getting answers wrong discourage you. I constantly get answers wrong and use it as an opportunity to either let my brain learn the word through sheer repetition (takes longer but less effort) or i stop for a minute and really study the word (write it down, review similar looking kanji, make a new mneumonic, etc). whatever you do just don’t give up. ganbatte!

your speed is a function of how much time you can and want to invest in WK. some people have a lot of time available, others don’t, that’s just how things are. i’m going near max speed, but i’m doing almost three hours of WK every day. others take a month per level, and finish WK in five years.

honestly, i’m more in awe of the people who take five years than of the speedrunners. i can imagine myself doing something like WK for a year, or a year and a half. i can’t imagine myself sticking to something like this for 5 years.

the right speed is the speed which keeps you coming back every day till it’s done ^^


They are abusing scripts or they are writing the kanji down and referencing that during reviews. No way you get to level 60 with an average level-up time of 8 days only using your memory.

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The one level a week are speed demons.
Going slow is just as normal, if not more so.
Find your own speed, don’t try to rush cause others do.
And yes, WaniKani works wonderful at this speed too!

I am planing to use 3 years, give or take.

You can join us here, to have others taking a slower approach to compare yourself with and find encouragement:

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That’s just not the case. Plenty of people have legitimate level-up times around 7 days. Saying that going that fast is naturally impossible is both wrong and deflating to anyone trying to push themselves to be better.

To OP, the absolute best way to do WaniKani is the way you feel comfortable doing it. If you really want to do 7 day levelups, it’s more than possible – if you schedule your day around it and dedicate over an hour to your daily lessons/reviews. It took me 30 lessons per day and averaging over 200 reviews per day to get to level 60 as fast as I did. I spent 256 hours doing reviews and 74 hours doing lessons in just over a year. I was a student doing online classes who could build my schedule as I saw fit. In other words, I had a really good situation to speedrun WK. And it was still stressful.

If that sounds like something you want to try, it will definitely help your speed. But what I’d recommend doing instead is deciding on a set amount of effort and accepting whatever speed that gets you. I’m a big fan of pushing oneself, so if you think you want to push yourself, I say go for it. But I think doing WK by deciding on effort and letting the levelup times be, rather than the opposite of deciding your levelup time and working however hard you have to to reach it, is the way to go.


thank you!

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I reorder lessons with scripts so I get radicals and kanji first, but I do all lessons (including vocabulary) every level, and I go down to 0/0 (Lessons/Reviews) multiple times per level. Am I “abusing scripts”?

WaniKani isn’t a contest to finish as “legitimately” as possible, and looking down on Quality of Life scripts as cheating or abuse is ridiculous. The goal is to learn Kanji and to learn Japanese, and it’s silly to badmouth people who spend multiple hours a day on getting through resources like WK at a fast pace, when the goal is to move on to get more time to immerse in native content after finishing WK.

100% agree


I don’t believe this and you cannot convince me otherwise.

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It’s all about keep pushing your limit and know where is your at. I’m not using any script and leveling up 7-8 days per level. (I’m the guy that playing skyrim without any mod lol) So it’s all up to you, wheter it’s too slow or too fast.

I’m still so far so good. I think I might hit my limit around level 35-40 when there are too many Kanji and vocab to memorize.

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i mean, if you’re convinced that we’re all liars and cheaters, that’s your thing, not mine… shrugs


I think he’s sarcastically joking.
Or I’m just being too naive lol.

I mean I sarcastically joking frequently in real life and get misunderstood quiet often lol.
So I could sense the same vibe from him, …probably…


I’d also remember that a lot of the speedrunners fall into one of these categories:

  1. Prior Japanese knowledge or coursework
  2. Multilingual (it’s easier to learn a 3rd or 4th+ language than to learn a foreign language for the first time)
  3. Dedicating 1-2+ hours per day to studying

Also keep in mind that only the most enthusiastic learners will venture into the forums to talk about their progress. Forum posters are probably in the top 10% for motivation.

If you are progressing slowly, don’t feel dumb. You might just be comparing yourself to people who are in different circumstances, and it’s not a fair comparison.