Really kicking myself right now

So I kind of neglected reading or really any kind of studies for like a year or 2 after reaching level 60 and several months back I’m still feeling the after-effects from it. Grammar was pretty easy to re-learn, and kanji wasn’t so bad to re-familiarize myself with either. In fact because of WaniKani I can look at kanji much clearer, and I also sort of see kanji as simply parts of words and it’s fairly easy to pick up new ones/ones I had previously forgotten. The thing that has gotten me most is vocab. I’m trying to go through my first light novel now and I’m struggling so much. There are so many words that I don’t know and am having to look up, and the worst part is that at least where I am so far about half of those I didn’t know were on Wanikani. This would be so much easier if I hadn’t ignored my studies for so long…


頑張って If you keep working you will recover.


Feel free to come talk about what you are reading in the 多読 thread too!


If it’s any comfort, I’m a Chinese speaker (more precisely, I started as a toddler and I’m basically a native speaker if you discount the fact that my main language was English), and even with all my kanji knowledge and the similarities between how Chinese and Japanese form compound verbs, I still had tons of trouble when I first tried to read a light novel. Even after improving enough for, say, the first sentences of Konosuba Vol 1 to become manageable, trying to get through the free preview of Shield Hero Vol 18 was on another level altogether. Novels, even just light novels, are whole different beast from typical vocabulary study, particularly since descriptive words are often words that you don’t see very often in other contexts, and how challenging you find light novels really depends on what you’re reading exactly.

It’s pretty amazing that WK contained up to half of the words you’re having trouble with, and it’s unfortunate that you no longer remember all of them, but forgetting happens to the best of us. Even if you had seriously studied, say, news articles right after finishing WK, I think there’s a good chance you would have forgotten WK vocabulary that’s useful for reading LNs, because each type of writing has its own lexicon. Don’t be too hard on yourself: I’m sure it’ll all come back, and you can always tell yourself that at least this time, you’ll have some really meaningful context with which to remember those words. :slight_smile:


I feel like any novel, light or not, is always a struggle in the first few chapters. No matter how many common words you know, each piece of literature will have their own set of frequent words. But the deeper you go in the book, the more you get used to the author’s style and vocabulary. You’ll look up less and less as you go.

Case in point: I’m not even halfway through WK, and for fun I started reading Kokoro, which is more than a century years old, just because I was interested after reading an excerpt. Chapter 1 was a giant pill, chapter 2 was manageable, chapter 3 I was able to comprehend on the fly, mostly. My vocab right now is full of archaic words that I’d gotten used to :sweat_smile:

So anyway, go easy on yourself. I feel like I/we are always going to be learners no matter what level. :relaxed:


Don’t be too hard on yourself. Life happens. Just do your best now. You can do it! ^^



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