Started WaniKani - experience

Trying WankiKani out. Please ignore this dumb comment from me… I’m not posting this to complain, I just think it’s kind of funny or ironic. Just now, I have to wait another 3 hours after finally being able to do a review – which, consisted of only one radical (the only radical I got wrong from the entire first Lesson). Because I typed “yama” instead of “mountain”. And it wasn’t because it was one of the first ones in the Lesson either. I was just tired.



No worries, this lack of reviews is on purpose. It’s an opportunity for users to get used to the system before they get loaded with lots of reviews/lessons :relaxed: Once you level up to lvl 2 or 3, you’ll start noticing a difference. By level 5, you’ll start to realize how WK will be part of your daily life for the next years :relaxed:


Thanks, I can see that!

Also not a complaint, just a comment: I thought that posting this would check my “Say hello in the Community Chat” checkbox on the on the New User Checklist, but it hasn’t… :thinking:

1 Like

The forums aren’t linked to the checklist anymore, so it’ll go away once you reach level 2 ^^

And also,

Hope you enjoy your stay with us! :crabigator::sparkles:


Haha, thanks! 分かりました


No worries about complaining. If it’s in a respectul way (like it should be with anything), you’re fine :stuck_out_tongue:

Haha, I got the 馬鹿らしい mountain review again… I guess it’s going to haunt me!


1 Like

Oh boy oh boy. Just wait until you reach near-max momentum at around the level 20s where you can potentially get bombarded with 200+ reviews per day if you don’t space them out properly and get them done on time.

1 Like

Welcome to WaniKani! And really cool that you want to be part of the community :slight_smile:

I see that you have some previous knowledge. Nice! What did you do earlier? (Just curious)

By the way: There are many ways to modify your very own WaniKani. These nice little tools are called userscripts (just search for userscripts in the forum). You CAN use them to cheat, so some people are afraid to use them. For me these nice little tools make WaniKani from a 8/10 to a 10/10!
So for this little mistakes (I often say the correct Japanese word loud, but type somthing completely different) there would be the very useful script Double Check.

And guys: please don’t scare @dpuza away. The effort of WK is very managable and you can decide on your own how fast you want to progress. IF you want to rush through WK, you CAN do 1 Level in one Week. But you abolutely don’t have to! Many people do 1 Level in 10 or 12 days and they are abolutely fine!

~T :lion:

yes! i don’t know who made that pic but i saved it long ago i guess from somewhere in the forums:


In German there is a nice saying:
“Grad mach ichs Maul zu…”

In English somethig like: I Just closed my yap

~T :lion:



[re: “I don’t know who made that pic”]

Someone else made the graph, and I added the “you are here”. The graph is not technically correct, but it conveys the point well. In that graph, “workload” is the total number of items in various stages of learning, rather than your actual daily workload (where Apprentice items take up 80% of your time). But it sure conveys the new user’s coming doom much better :grin:


… I hate to cite myself…


Hahahahaha… I love the graph @shikaji! And don’t worry, I’m not scared :grin:

Thanks for the warm welcome. Really digging the community here so far :grinning: :+1:

Basically anything I can get my hands on @Tjorven

Uh oh, I feel a rambling story coming on.

I was at a critical point in my life where I was laid off from my job at the end of 2016 and trying to think seriously about constructive ways to use my time. Japanese was one of the things I decided to pursue, and it’s stuck with me since then.

I’m a gamer, I had noticed “Learn Japanese to Survive” (Hiragana) on Steam. Searched out reviews and after reading a reddit thread, actually ended up passing on that game. But in that thread found some resources and learned Hiragana and Katakana from Memrise on Android.

(I did recently end up Kickstarting and beta testing to completion “Learn Japanese to Survive - Kanji Combat”, which was fun, and I did learn from, and I can happily recommend.)

Facing a pretty long ass commute, I decided that my time could be better utilized than the rap song or Katy Perry or whatever I happened to be listening to (no offence). I started listing to JapanesePod101.

My big gateway was searching out and teaching myself how to enable and type the characters on my computer, phone, and tablet. Through Youtube, I found NHK News Web Easy, and looking up words using, Takoboto, and Google Translate are super addicting to me.

I want to pass the JLPT N5 in December. I’ve studied an Anki deck for that. I’ve enjoyed the Kanji Tree Android app for learning to write Kanji and as another vocabulary aid.

Kindle Fire tablets were on sale. It was a big help to get a cheap one and set it up as purely Japanese. Using my phone to take a picture of the tablet screen or whatever with Google Translate works for blocks of kanji that I’ve never seen before. The bummer is even though, after some frustration, I can use the Japanese Kindle store; I can’t use the app store or Amazon Video.

Reddit has been a great source of ideas, and hearing other people’s experience is encouraging. r/LearnJapanese is how I ended up here.

These days I’d say:
90% of music I choose to listen to is Japanese
90% of shows I choose to watch are Japanese with English subtitles
40% of games I choose to play are Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.

I’m trying some games (VERY slowly) with the full-on kanji text, looking them up and collecting the results in a Google Doc to study. (Japanese PSN store)

Manga - I’ve tried working my way through the Yotsuba series (bought on eBay). I’m on book 5. Dang it was hard at first, as it was one of the first things I tried. Super hit or miss when I was just using Google translate. And the little girl main character is just a weirdo lol. When I found Takoboto I’ve had much better success looking up words. (As well as certain details about typing such as つ/っ, よ/ょ. Before realizing that, it was super frustrating!)

I bought a regular but nice paper notebook, and am working my way through a Japanese book, slowly looking up the kanji I don’t know by the radicals and writing them, along with their pronunciation and definition.

I just keep pushing myself. I don’t feel like I’m getting good, but I can notice myself sucking a little less.

I eat up any Japanese non-anime show I can on Netflix, they’ve kept enough on there for me so far, but they need to keep it up because I’m in danger of running out. I’m actually not that into anime, but love Agrretsuko and Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

Someone’s tip of searching for the title of a show + “eng sub” has been super helpful (with ad-block) for finding good, legally questionable streaming sources for other shows.

I track down any media or pop culture reference and at least keep a note for later of anything that I hear somebody reference.

Youtube and their recommendations are helpful for music, people’s experiences, inspiration, and tips. I’ve found a lot of new and interesting music after finding and subscribing to the “avex” channel (music publisher?). is good for finding new music. I look up and study the lyrics to the music I find, and try to sing along for pronunciation and as a mnemonic. I print lyrics and keep a binder.

Googling in Japanese can be helpful in finding new and different things. (Tip: 歌詞 or “かし/kashi” means “lyrics”… full-on kanji lyrics :wink:)

I probably heard all of these ideas first from other people on Reddit or Youtube.

So yeah. Every little bit keeps me interested and keeps me going and helps in some way. People have said it before, find the things you enjoy and keep doing them.


Oh I really shouldn’t forget - Music Speed Changer for Android. I use it to reduce the speed on mp3s enough to be able to absorb the words. Then gradually increase it as I am able (i.e. 50%-100%). Even speed it up a little faster than 100% once you can, making normal speed easier, in theory.

Google “youtube mp3” for converting stuff to mp3, heh.

I think Youtube can reduce the speed to 50% or 75% on the mobile app. Not sure if that was always possible. But this is a little more fine grained. And allows me to turn off the screen without their nag music subscription.

Additionally, speeding up Youtube videos is great for skimming faster for information when a video is just dragging on. “Please like and subscribe” (I’m looking at you Unity programming tutorial videos.)


Welcome! It will be slow at first, but after first few levels you will have pretty much reviews to do everyday. Just keep it steady.

Wow, that really sounds ambitious!
Thanks for all the tips, I will use some of them :slight_smile:

Omg, you will find many, MANY reasorces here in the forum! For example

Abot WK: Maybe you will feel at the beginning like “Oh man, I already know all these kanji… can’t I skip them?”–> No, you cant, sorry! BUT in my oppinion WK is (one of) the fastest way to learn Japanese kanji and vocab, even if you have prior knowledge. And it’s really great that you actually use your Japanese! This speeds the learning progress sooo much!

btw: Did you study Japanese grammar already? If not, I think Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese Grammar is a resource that fits very good to you. I really love his style of explaining things, because he gives you just enough information that you can deduct from that by yourself. But he does’t drain you in information (Imabi is a good resource if you want to know one specific topic, but otherwise you will be lost in a ocean of grammar)

Knowing the basic (and essential) grammar is really fun when you begin to understand some words. It really motivates if you not only understand single words, but you can put them together and be able to know what these words mean in context! And it helps you to learn vocab (especially the chapter Polite Form/Verb Stems helped me so much!).

~T :lion:

Can you advice me some games in (relatively easy?) Japanese, @dpuza?
I don’t even know where to look for such a game. Steam?! Amazon?!
But I definetly want to play those games! Learning English with games and series worked great for me!

~T :lion:

If you own a Nintendo Switch, you’ll be surprised to learn that many western release games support the Japanese version (sometimes in the game’s settings, and other times by changing the console’s language to Japanese). I really enjoy Level-5’s games, such as Youkai Watch or Ni No Kuni (especially if you want furigana for those kanjis you don’t know yet), but note that the Nintendo 3DS is region-locked and that the screen resolution makes it not that easy to read the furigana anyway.

For importing, one option is – just select “International Shipping Available” on the left part of the page to show only items that can be shipped outside Japan. For titles search, what I do is search on play-asia for the western name and on the game’s Japanese version page, copy the Japanese name to paste it in amazon’s search bar.

If you don’t want to opt for physical games, you can also create a Japanese account on nintendo’s site or on Sony’s site and access those accounts to get games digitally. It’s also a great way to access demos to try out before buying full games.

@Tjorven thank you for sharing the links, they look great!

Unfortunately I don’t have great advice for games. The majority so far have been Japanese voice with English subs. I’m just starting to (very slowly!) play through some with kanji text.

I know that on the right column of each game’s page on Steam there is a little box that shows the supported languages. It looks like it’s even possible to search by language:

On Steam I’m trying Final Fantasy X (since I played though in English already), and Disgaea. A lot of Visual Novels probably have Japanese.

I’ve got to recommend Yakuza 0 on Steam or Playstation, even with Japanese voice and English text. It’s like running around a Japanese city with Japanese signs everywhere. And it’s just a great game.

It’s possible to sign up for a Japanese account on Playstation Network, I forget if there’s any workarounds needed for that.

The regular emails I get from them in Japanese about deals, and trying to shop the store, are a nice challenge and help keep my 日本語 interest up.

I mostly look for cheaper, older games. For example:

Dragon Quest series
Harvest Moon
Arc The Lad
Wild Arms
Hatsune Miku

But I haven’t found an easy one. I’m doing it for fun and to challenge myself, so it’s really hard. And I haven’t gotten far.

I’ll share this document I started with you for an example. Basically transcribing EVERYTHING and looking up the pronunciation and definitions.

I got a dedicated Kindle Fire with the system language as Japanese. The sucky part is it won’t let you use the app store without a Japanese payment method. But through workarounds you can find online it is possible to get the Google Play store on there, and then you can use that to get Japanese games.

You can probably play Japanese versions of games you already play. For me, Clash Royale, Pokemon GO. Not that there’s much text. But you already know your way around them, and it’s fun. You may pick up a few things here or there.

You don’t even need a dedicated device. You can set just your system language to Japanese. But be careful, you might run into some trouble doing that! (delete stuff accidentally, lock yourself out, not know how to switch the settings back)