I finally reached level 60! I can’t believe that the time since August 2020 when I signed up on WK at a whim until now flew by so fast. I’m not the fastest one to get to level 60, however I’m pretty satisfied with my pace. Despite all the ups and downs that come with learning Japanese and managing my time as a med school student, I’m pretty relieved that I could get to this point with any major delays or setbacks.
My Wanikani Learning Journey Until Now
I’ve been really into Japanese media from my elementary school days, growing up with watching anime on my small tv after school to taking manga off the shelf and reading chapters of it in the bookstore. I also like Japanese culture and to the point where I wanted to experience it first-hand by travelling to Japan (which is still on my bucket list).
I probably started learning Japanese from 2017 but at that point I just knew hiragana and katakana which I learned from the tofugu guide and then I left it at that until Mid 2020, which is really the time when I started learning Japanese for real. Something about 2020 made it so I had a lot of free time during the transition period from high school to college so I started learning hiragana and katakana again, from the tofugu guide.
On August 2020, I discovered WaniKani, a service people recommended a lot to study Kanji. So I decided to give it a go. By level 10, I was addicted to WaniKani. I’d make it a habit to do my lessons on 6 am (6-8 am on holidays) and clear all my reviews before going to bed. When boring lectures came up I’d just distract myself by clearing up my reviews (my classes were all online so I could afford to do this). I even put my name into the Luminaries leaderboard to keep some daily motivation.
The mid level 40’s was where my fervor for the church of Crabigatorism started to wane a bit, and level 50-60 was where the burnout started to creep in. The perfect storm of harder, more obscure kanji with abstract meanings, the increased review workload (almost reaching 200 per day during the final levels) and having to rush to complete WK before the transition to offline classes on February this year made it feel like a slog to work through. However, I countered this with my habits I’ve cultivated for more than a year to keep doing lessons at constant times and get the reviews to zero and my drive to get to the end (which increased with each level-up email I got and each level 60 post that I read).
In the end, I finally was able to reach level 60! It feels satisfying that my constant workload can finally decrease for the first time ever. I was able to hit the milestone before my classes start too! I’ll keep doing my reviews here until my yearly subscription ends, and then I’m going to move on to Bunpro and Anki full time.
Scripts I Use
Advanced Context Sentence
Do You Even Kana?
Hide Review Accuracy
Keisei Phonetic-Semantic Composition
Lesson Hover Details
Level Duration 2
Resources I Use
Where To Go From Here
- Transition to Anki
- Take the N3 this year
- Finish my first book/novel (any suggestions?)
- Finish Takagi-san S2 in Japanese (with subs2srs for the flashcards)
- Use double-check wisely. Definitely use it on typos, near definitions, and attention lapses. Don’t abuse it though, getting a card wrong will only help you solidify the card in your head even more.
- Use lesson filter wisely. I believe that WaniKani’s strength lies in it’s customization, letting it’s users tweak it to suit their needs. Learn how you want, however in my opinion skipping vocab is a big waste. It helps solidify the kanji learned much more. I even look forward to learning new vocab than new kanji. I only really used the lesson filter at level 50+ so I could clear levels more optimally before my self-imposed deadline. I never used it to skip vocab, I just reordered it so that kanji was the first thing I learned once I leveled up.
- Do something related to Japanese language learning every day. Keep the streak alive, even if it means just doing a couple of reviews if you don’t feel like learning. Discipline always beats motivation!
- Make your own mnemonics if you need to and imagine it in your head. Really helped me on the more abstract kanji concepts
- Don’t stress too much on the details, just keep moving forward!
off the top of my head
@jprspereira for making the guide we know and love
@Killua099 for helping me to decide to transition to anki when my subscription ends.
@jonmoxley for introducing me to ASAO which helped me with output a lot (although I’m currently on hiatus with it lol)!
@everyone who made the scripts and gave language learning and wanikani advice on the forums.
The CAKE Reveal