Things are starting to get mixed up in my head

So I just reached level 10 yesterday and I’ve noticed over the last couple of levels that I’m starting to mix up more and more kanji and vocab. Considering taking a break on lessons (but still doing reviews) after level 10, but then I realized I wouldn’t know all N5 Kanji until after level 16 so debating pushing on through until after that.

I’ve already reset my KaniWani back to the beginning so that I can practice working on my Kanji writing/memory skills along with my review and I’m getting ready to unlock level 4 over there as it takes me a lot longer now as I have to find time where I can sit down with a pencil and paper whereas I can do WaniKani on the go anywhere.

I’m also working through the Kanji From Zero & Japanese From Zero book 1s (almost done with JFZ 1 and will start the 2nd one probably next week) and have a few other Kanji books I’m going to see about working on after that. So… leaning towards shoving on through until I get done with all N5 Kanji and then not starting any lessons until I can get my head wrapped around all the knowledge I’ve gained a bit better.

Just wondered what other people have done when they got in a situation like this. I just feel like some of the stuff I’m missing I shouldn’t be missing and then I mix up two Kanji or Vocab words that I should definitely know. Arrrggh!


Thanks for letting me vent a bit! :slight_smile:


i was lvl 22 before i reset. Problem was, my reading and kanji recognition skills were not good enough. I mostly hurried in lessons.
SRS is fine but if you skip lesson part and do not came up with good memorization practices, SRS cannot help much.


I do really well with Kanji recognition in most cases unless some are visually similar. I struggle more with what the reading is. I specifically get mixed up with weird instances and also mix up the on/kun readings at times. This is another reason I’m also working through some Kanji workbooks as I figure it might help make things a little more clear. I do find that learning the vocab helps me remember some of the Kanji a bit better. I know some people skip the vocab all together but I find it helpful in so many ways for myself.


Also, I’m not planning to reset my WaniKani any time soon. I was just considering stopping on new lessons for a bit until I get some of the previous lessons sorted in my head better. :slight_smile:

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I’m also interested in the responses to this question because I’m in a similar situation right now!

Starting to see kanji with the same or similar meanings now, and I’m starting to mix up their readings… I do agree the vocab is super useful for internalizing them though (but they can only help when they’re unlocked…)


Its only natural to mix some kanji up, it happens to everyone so dont fret.
Luckily the system is designed to keep em coming untill you can distinguish them.

The usual lesson limit strategy is to set a maximum number of apprentice items allowed. Commonly this would be 100, which is my personal approach, but any number that works for you is best.
Another popular one is to only do x amount of lessons every day (10 for example) to limit the new item influx.

The alternative is to specifically target those items as selfstudy and dont change your general approach, but this requires a bigger commitment and more time spend.
Ive personally started using the leech trainer to deal with those pesky ones, as it seems like a quick and easy solution. (I still need some more time to evaluate whether this works for me)


This is an opportunity to figure out what works for you. For instance, if I notice I start mixing two similar kanji up, I found that writing both out side by side and then circling the differences between them really helps when that next review inevitably comes up. Even if I just do this mentally in my head it makes a huge difference.


For me personally, I found KaniWani to be a huge timesuck with little return on my investment. Granted, if you’re using it for practicing writing kanji maybe it’s worthwhile, but I think it’s worth asking if you’re tackling so much that you’re overloading yourself a little.

Are you including grammar in that regime? It seems that you’re focusing a lot on kanji - but maybe Japanese from Zero has grammar? (I’ve never checked those out). Being level 10, I wouldn’t worry too much just yet about getting things mixed up, but I’m glad to see your approach would be to ease off on lessons while keeping doing reviews - that last part is very important. May I ask what your average accuracy during review sessions is? If it’s still relatively high I’d press on, but if it’s on the low side, maybe taking a break from lessons could be a good idea - it all depends on what pace you think you’re able for. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed workload-wise, I definitely stop with lessons and just keep doing reviews to drive down my daily review pile and apprentice count.

Do you use scripts? There’s an extremely good script called ConfusionGuesser that you can install that can help you identify what kanji, vocab or radicals you’re getting confused with when you get an item wrong. Using it you can start to really understand what you’re getting confused (commonly just a one radical difference between kanji.) Excellent for quashing leeches.


My gammar is coming from Japanese from Zero for now. I’m also reading through English Grammar for Students of Japanese which teaches the difference in the two languages grammar points. I have some other textbooks I will look at later.

As for my accuracy, WKStats shows it still fairly high:

Accuracy: 82.83% (reading) 92.00% (meaning) 87.47% (total)

Radicals:—90.95% (meaning)

Kanji: 83.19% (reading) 92.97% (meaning) 87.81% (total)

Vocabulary: 82.71% (reading) 91.85% (meaning) 87.04% (total)

However… the last few reviews on non-brand new stuff have been more like 70-75% (some of the brand new stuff has been more like 50% at times)

As for scripts, no I haven’t used them… mainly because I don’t do much of my WK on a computer. I’m usually working on my iPad or iPhone unless I’m sitting at work and then I might use the PC but I don’t want to install scripts on my work PC.

Thanks for your suggestions! :slight_smile:


I need to take the time to do this. I’ve had the thought to do so… just haven’t tackled doing it yet. One of the reasons that I took my KaniWani back in time is to practice the writing as I figured that might help a bit with making the differentiation between the ones that confuse me.

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I had my fair share of bad days with 30-50% accuracy as well. Sometimes your brains capacity for material comes and goes like a tide, even when your routine is good, sometimes it’ll be harder than normal. Your accuracy looks fantastic, so I don’t think you have cause to worry, but if you really feel it’s getting you down maybe it would be worth having a look at your routine as a whole. In terms of numbers though, those are :ok_hand:


I may have just overwhelmed my brain with too much at once the last lesson or two. I tend to burn through my lessons as soon as they come up instead of taking 10 or so at a time. I just get excited when all the new stuff pops up. :rofl:

Thanks for the vote of confidence! Think I’m going to at least plug through until I finish level 16 and then I may pause on lessons just so I can get my KaniWani back up closer to where I’m at on WaniKani. That will also give me more time to focus on grammar and such. I won’t stop doing my WK reviews though. I’m too addicted to WK. :wink:


Bearing in mind that I’m only on level 4, if I can help in any way…:

I don’t know if it’s doable for you, because it takes up A LOT of time, but I once tried using an app called Kanji Study alongside WaniKani. This app allows you to practice ‘drawing’ the kanji on touch screen. In my experience, writing the kanji by hand helps me fixate it much better. I got the list of all the kanji taught on WK on that statistics website, on the paid version of KS you just have to paste the characters and it creates the lists for you. I don’t remember how much I paid for the app (one time only purchase) but I remember I thought it was pretty fair.

Also, when I feel overwhelmed, I just take things easily. Redo exercises, review stuff, etc.


Well, my head is one big kanji puré so I’d say it’s normal and frustrating to get kanji/vocab mixed up (not that much now though).
But you’ll tell everything appart sooner or later because SRS always makes sure you do. So I don’t think it’s necessary to pause lessons if you don’t feel overwhelmed.
You should, however, find a way to work through them. What I do is if I get mixed up, I write down the two (or more) problematic kanji/vocab and find a way to easily tell them apart (for example if the only difference is a radical, I try to note that) and then come up with a mnemonic so I remember which is which (i.e. if it has fingers in it, then it’s x, no fingers it’s y).


Funny, my experience is the opposite of yours. The first 8 levels were difficult, Levels 9 and 10 have been as labeled: pleasant. I have been doing WK for about 2 years, so I am in the sloth category. I also don’t have great spatial skills, which is a bummer for learning kanji.

I think the change is a result of how I approach lessons, especially new kanji. If is an entirely new kanji (not known from anime or somewhere else) I now take more time on those lessons. I use the Midori app to read various compounds of the kanji, read extra sentences, see how the kanji is written, etc. My accuracy has gone way up as a result, but still not at your level.

I am also not confident enough with technology to put scripts on.


Another thing to be aware of is that some kanji will actually share an on’yomi reading with other kanji that have similar appearance. There was a script floating around that showed you the phonetic components of similar kanji right in the lesson and during reviews. While it isn’t always useful to know, it does help me remember the distinctions between similar kanji. For some reason, if I know what they have in common, my brain remembers the differences better.


For my part, I also tend to take it slow with Kanji lessons to make sure I REALLY remember them. I usually only learn 5 new Kanji per day (maybe 10, but never more than that.) That gives me the time to write my own mnemonic for each Kanji and really internalize the meanings and readings. By the time I get to new vocabulary, my grasp on the kanji is solid and I can breeze through vocab lessons more quickly, usually 20-25 per day. I really thinking limiting the number of new lessons I do per day is the #1 reason I haven’t gotten burned out and am able to recall most of what I’ve learned. But, ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you. :smile:


I gave that one a brief look but found another one just called “Kanji” that I have been using instead. Maybe I need to give Kanji Study another look.

I also started making a list last night of ones that are confusing me as I came across them. I think that will help me over time. Just gotta get the list compiled. :upside_down_face:

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I had not heard of the Midori app but just checked out the screenshots in the AppStore and then purchased it. Definitely interested in checking it out. Thanks and good luck with your studies! :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum and I’m glad that my thread was what got you to make your first post. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I tend to struggle more with vocab than I do Kanji. LOL! I tend to burn through my radical lessons in one leap, then the Kanji I go slightly slower on, but it’s the vocab that I get overwhelmed by. I don’t have any set number of how many things I do at a time. I just keep going until my brain feels full for that session.