Reaching lvl 30 soon, but I need WaniKani advice on how to move forward

I’m way in favor of stopping lessons and going into review-only mode for now. The first half of kanji are much more important than the second half, and going review-only will mean you won’t have a big backlog once you do want to learn more kanji. If you decrease your WK time per day but don’t stop doing lessons, you’ll have more and more pressure and backlog over time. It will also greatly decrease the pressure you may be feeling regarding mistakes.

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Yep yep like @timfreilly said, you’ve already learned ~75% of commonly used Kanji in books/manga, and can use websites like Jisho to fill in the blanks when you encounter a new one. Slowing down and reading is a good idea I think. Encountering words you know will also reinforce for when you come back to do reviews on WK.

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Thank you, yes this seems like a good approach, every time I level up there is higher time investment due to the following cycle:

  • Learning the new unlocked vocabulary (a pain, over 40 lessons in a row)
  • Learning the radicals (easy)
  • Learning the Kanji (I like these as I feel I’m learning the actual CORE thing)

How would you recommend to proceed, number wise?

For example, I just leveled up to lvl 28 today, this opened up 130 lessons (70 that I had pending because i was thinking of making this thread + around 50 unlocked by leveling up). With my “around 15 days per level up” more relaxed approach, how would you takle these reviews?

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Thank you, this is making more and more sense every time, I may want to try a “middle ground” approach, maybe the 15 day per level is still to aggressive…

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If you’re willing to use scripts, check out [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson Filter. Using this, I always did all radical lessons on day 1 of a new level, plus 3 kanji and 9 vocab lessons every day. For me this created a nice balance and removed the tedium of doing the same type of lessons all in a row, while still ensuring that I completed all lessons. With this approach I leveled up in around 14-16 days on average. You could tweak the numbers to level up faster or slower, but make sure you do 2-3 times as many vocab as kanji every day so you don’t get behind on vocab.

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Well even if you didn’t do any lessons, if you’re spending 2-3 hours a day with WK, review-only will still be an hour a day for the next month or so (until most of your Apprentice/Guru get up into Master). So I would just do those reviews for a few weeks until you get to your desired time consumption. Then you can slowly reintroduce lessons and see if you are still staying in your time budget.

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I have been very anti-scripts so far, but, this…would be optimal. At least it would alleviate the “level up dread” I currently feel where I need to focus on 30 lessons on a row to get to the new radicals.

Quick questions: I can definitely install this on my home computer, but how about my work laptop, what are the requirements?

Also: I use Tsurukame when I’m “on the go”, is there a way to emulate this in the app or would I be bound to the computer in order to get these scripts?

Thank you once again for all the recommendations.

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You need the browser extension Tampermonkey (or similar). If you can’t install that at work you’re out of luck there.

All scripts are browser-based, so special functionality only exists in that app if the creator specifically added it. You’d have to ask them if they have something like this.


I would just try to do your lessons on your home computer at a set time every day, and do reviews as needed on the other devices.

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Thank you @seanblue, @timfreilly, @ThePopestar and everybody else. You have given me far more insight and recommendations than initially foreseen.

I will proceed (for the time being) with a mix of your recommendations and my second scenario:

  • I will slow down the lessons frequency. I will focus in improving the quality of daily reviews so that I have more time each day. I will probably aim for a 15-20 days level cycle.

  • I will proceed with the reorder script recommendation (lessons only), to alleviate the “new level” dread. I will also follow the suggestion of mixing Kanji and Vocabulary on a daily basis to not lag behind on neither of them.

@seanblue would using different devices, like: reviewing via Tsurukame or via another computer (sans scripts) cause a conflict in the overall review cycle or order? Would something de-synchronize or is it pretty safe?

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I’m trying to bring down the “level up hype” of WK, ignore level indicator and measure my progress thru the system as percentage of lessons completed. Because let’s face, once you did the lesson, in 3-4 days you will guru the item, meaning you will level up. So I limit my daily lessons very strictly (using lesson filter and reorder to complete previous level-1 vocab before starting level+1 content) to keep time spent on WK SRS under one hour. It’s easy to see how many days it will take you to finish the rest of the lessons. I even have number of locked lessons added to dashboard with the script.

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Do you have a more detailed representation of your approach?

For example, if you had a “15 day per level” soft limit, how many Kanji and Vocab lessons per day would you take?

How do you currently configure your filters (lessons filters) and reorder?

1 hour per day, level up in 14 days - HOW?!?!
Seriously, I had tons of time recently but couldnt move faster than 20 days per level and spent on it at least 2 hrs per day.

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I don’t know if its feasible yet, I basically have been averaging 8-9 days per level with the 2-3 hour effort so if I increase the amount of days, 1 hour should make sense.

In my case, I had to reorder a lot of things so that I could make this happen every single day. It has taken massive dedication but I need to expand and study much more, read more books, etc.

Some stats, these times will increase starting today though:

|Level: |28|
|Typical Level-up: |8 days, 23 hours, 42 minutes|
|Level-up In: |8 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes|
|Start Date: |2019-07-17 (246 days ago)|
|Items Learned (Guru+): |369部首 914漢字 2879単語|

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Not too long ago (ok, longer than I thought) I realized that while WK was great for understanding kanji and building vocabulary, I wasn’t learning how to speak Japanese. I found I did not have time to study grammar and WK, so I stopped doing lessons altogether and just kept up on reviews. (lifetime membership anyone?)

About 6 months later and I’m still working through the grammar study (I have had very little time for extracurriculars lately) but the WK review volume is so low that I have started doing lessons again.

I’m not terribly far along in WK, but I can say I found it much easier studying grammar with a kanji foundation, and am much happier with my overall Japanese progress having taken some time to balance things out.

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It’s this guy:

Doesn’t include Absolute Beginner Club picks, but still helpful, hopefully.

I’ll add my vote to the slow down camp. It feels really horrifying when you’re gunning along at the beginning to consider the prospect that it might take you a few years to finish WK :scream: but actually, after a year’s break and taking it a bit slower now, I feel fine about taking ~3 years to reach level 60.

Reading along with the book clubs here has consolidated my kanji knowledge in a way that wouldn’t have happened if I’d focused solely on WaniKani, and going through levels 40+ I know a pretty good chunk of the kanji / words in each level already thanks to reading, so the whole experience is just much more pleasant. I get to use my knowledge, I’m doing a fun activity and feeling like I know some Japanese, and WaniKani is a bit easier! What’s not to love?

OP, I think you’re underestimating how easy it is to judge the difficulty of a particular book, especially by WaniKani level and JLPT level. One book is not going to neatly align itself with N3 grammar without ever using N2 or N1 grammar, nor do most readers have an encyclopedic knowledge of which levels these grammar points correspond to. The exact same principle applies to WaniKani level (and, if the book has furigana, WaniKani level really is a little irrelevant, except in terms of perhaps indicating you’ll need to look up less vocabulary).

The best we can do is give our general impressions of difficulty, but what makes a book difficult for me might not be the same for you.

I would point out that, you know, the Doggy Detectives book club starts on the 6th… :wink:

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Oh I was looking for this thread the other day! I came across it a few weeks ago, decided on Flying Witch as my next pick after reading the thread, and then the whole thread seemed to disappear into my imagination :sweat_smile:

Is it linked from book club pages somewhere? I like the idea of having an objective order of difficulty, as well as recommendations on how to transition to the intermediate club (one day I’ll get there! :dancer:)

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What if you tried changing the way you see lessons? My assumptions might be wrong, but it looks like you’ve put vocabulary at the bottom of the priority list, seeing it as something that gets in the way of leveling. But kanji in a vacuum isn’t useful, they’re building blocks for words :blush: And if you’re ok to slow down to enjoy using and improving your language skills, WK leveling in itself is no longer the goal…

If you reframe vocab lessons as a higher priority goal, maybe it would alleviate your “level up dread” without changing much in the way you progress through lessons, and without necessarily needing to reorder stuff.
If you do 10-15 lessons per day, or limit your apprentice items to another magic number, I guess you’d still be on track for leveling up every couple of weeks on average (depending on your accuracy)…
Someone please correct me if I’m wrong! :sweat_smile:

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It’s linked from the Resources thread, under the Book Clubs section. I felt a bit weird about linking to it from the actual book club threads, as it’s just my and Nath’s opinions - definitely not objective! But I guess it’s helpful information for people looking through our past picks, so maybe it should be linked underneath that list.

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You could link it near the past picks list, as “subjective opinions about difficulty” :sweat_smile: It’s definitely a helpful post!

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To be honest your current level would easily cover the vast majority of kanji used in genki 1&2(or both Minna No Nihongo’s) and even a decent bit of tobira. You sound like a busy person, so I wonder if it might not be worth considering a third option, leveling even slower than 14 days (eg every 20-30 days). This would give you time to catch grammar studies up to a level where you can use those learned kanji, and while doing so, slowly learning more kanji to cover further studies.
I made the mistake a few years ago of focusing more on my kanji studies than grammar. And, by the time I finally started catching my grammar up, I’d actually forgotten (and had to relearn) a decent chunk of ‘burned’ kanji due to not being far along enough in my studies to see them in the wild.
Anyways, just thought I’d share my experience, different strokes for different folks so may or may not be helpful. All the best with your studies, and good luck in trying to strike that balance!

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