Starting wanikani as an advanced speaker -- should I continue?

well, after you’ve done the first 3 levels of WK, then considering looking through a similar amount (~90) in the book Kodansha kanji learner’s course (also has matched graded readers) and just do what you like better.

KKLC has great mnemonics, and you can just read through all the ones you already know without needing to review and just slow down when you get to entries you don’t know yet.

Another book I see advanced speakers recommend (but I haven’t used personally) is Kanji in Context. good luck!

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Honestly? I got much more varied responses than what I was hoping for here.
I asked because I see value in WK and wanted to see if I could get a last push (e.g. ease through the pain points I forsaw), not necessarily to get harsh criticism, but the community has been nice enough to actually point to drawbacks as well and it’s great.
I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to reply! Plenty of external resources to check before (if) I commit here

Yes, I’ll definitely take a few weeks to check around all the links I was given as time permits (not necessarily waiting for level 3 to be done). I’ll check this book out as well, thanks!


I’d say that very much depends on how many kanji and vocabulary you already truly know. Otherwise you’re just talking about eight reviews of each item spread over six months or so. I love seeing words I already know during my reviews!

My spoken vocabulary was fairly large before starting here, and I thought I “knew” a few hundred characters. The first six months or so to level 17 felt pretty easy, but I was proven wrong fairly frequently about items I thought I already “knew”. Since then it’s been a much higher percentage of unfamiliar characters, but I still valued those first 17 levels.

Honestly, WK felt tailor made for me — it’s been almost magical. I prefer having to prove I know the meaning and reading with WK vs. clicking easy or hard with Anki.

I’d look at the list of kanji for the first 20 levels or so. If you already well and truly know, and can instantly recall meaning and reading for more than say 50% or so, then you might find your own decks with Anki better.

For people like me that could speak but not really read, though, WK has been a godsend.


I’m not suggesting it’s impossible for any individual person to point out drawbacks of WK… but it’s still a sample of people for whom any drawbacks were minor enough that they continued.

There are occasionally people who hang around after quitting, but they tend to leave eventually.

I was just agreeing with Chocobits that these kinds of threads tend to be foregone conclusions for a variety of reasons.


The plus side of sticking around long enough is that @Leebo may actually end up agreeing with you on something. I feel like I should get a badge just for that :smiley:


Fair. But I’d be hard pressed to find anyplace on the internet for that! :smile:

At least you are likely to get a response here from people that actually use or have used the service rather than “experts” who gave it a day at best or base their opinions solely on what they think they’ve heard from others.

I’d argue if you’re gonna ask questions about WK, the WK forums is probably a good place to start. But you can also try asking the Smash Bros forums for more impartial responses I suppose.


If you do decide to stick with WK and want to go faster, but not max speed (do ALL lessons the day they show up), I’d recommend using the WaniKani Lesson Filter to do the newly unlocked radicals and kanji ahead of the vocab from the last level (I also like to use that script to alternate kanji and vocab lessons, as the vocab really reinforces the kanji for me).

So I usually do, say, 5 new kanji, then 10 vocab one day, then depending on if I’m doing well or not on those and how big my backlog of reviews is (which I gauge by the upcoming forecast), I’ll either add more lessons the next day or skip a day and do more lessons the day after.

Again, I’m taking WK at a pretty slow pace because of trying to balance it with work, other hobbies and other Japanese study / reading practice. You can definitely do it much faster than this and still have it be manageable!

That’s a good point, words you already know, will not really bother you since they’ll be progressed quickly. Sometimes I see a word I learned through reading or whatnot and it’s nice to just easily breeze through that lesson and corresponding reviews

True. It’s a shame there aren’t any general purpose sites for talking about studying Japanese/languages with a wide range of people who have tried and use many different resources.

A good idea for anyone who wants to start something up.

P.S. I’m sure everyone knows I love WK and defend it plenty. This isn’t an anti-WK sentiment.


Yeah, it actually is a shame. As a community tribalism abounds and general purpose places like r/Japanese either devolve quickly or there’s no unifying factor to keep people there and it becomes so generalized as to be almost useless.


you can get through these in like, a month if you already know everything and never miss any reviews/get anything wrong

I don’t think WK makes too much sense for you, but don’t let that point worry you. It goes by fast if you already know it all

Like /r/Japanese?

I would argue that WK is a pretty good gathering place for civil, informative and somewhat unbiased discussion about Japanese resources, WK itself notwithstanding.

reddit is HEAVILY problematic and I advise anyone to stay away from it as much as possible

I think all they were saying was if you’re looking for an unbiased response, it’s not the right place. This is a good place for questions about using WK, yes, but when it comes to “Should I use WK”, this is probably the most biased place on the internet objectively speaking.

I’m probably the most anti-WK person on here and even I suggest some people still use it.

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What about r/learnjapanese? I don’t usually go there, but the only criticisms I hear about it are people being bad and giving advice above their paygrade. In terms of resource discussion, I don’t think I have heard anything bad. I know they are generally more pro wanikani, but theres still advocation for other resources I imagine.


You seem to have made up your mind, not trying to change it, but wanted to point out that you can indeed do this in Anki as well, including automatic feedback.

There are plenty of people out there that say you shouldn’t be using WaniKani at all, with imo good arguments, but you generally won’t be finding them in here. This is a bubble of people that mostly like some facet of WaniKani and as soon as someone mentions some bad aspects there is an army of people defending WK with vigor, even when not always reasonable.
Adding my vote to handing out the ‘Possibly the most biased place to ask about whether or not to use WaniKani’-reward :b

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My personal opinion of WK is, it got my foot in the door. It was the gateway drug I needed to get into more hardcore things, like MNN and BunPro and Anki. BunPro itself also a contentious site.

I honestly think the one thing that makes WK great is its community. I have learned as much from the various discussions here as I have with my nose in a book.


Yeah, there is that, but I suppose to me it’s like if WK Community mixed the POLL thread in with all the other threads randomly. It gets a bit chaotic. And a lot of that is just Reddit itself and the concept of upvoting that emphasizes “the new” and some really good discussions can get relegated to obscurity quite easily.

True, but it can also be a firehose of suggestions or no upvotes and your post never gets seen. Just too random for me.

I like Reddit for things like the subreddits for the games I play (r/SatisfactoryGame/) and general discussion. But, yeah, I’ve never liked using it for language learning. I may just join r/Japanese again to see if things have changed.

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I know what they’re saying and I’m not arguing that. People who use WK will probably recommend others to use it, too. It’s the conclusion - this being the wrong place for questions like that - that I just can’t get myself to agree with.

The person is asking for the merits of using WK as an advanced learner. Who else to ask other than people who have experience using this platform and know how it works? A couple of biased responses don’t matter if you find that one response providing you with food for thought and information you didn’t know. There is no other place you’re more likely to find that person.

Then you’re just one more good reason for why this absolutely is the right place for these types of questions.