This is not a race

This is a very good learning platform for Japanese.


Sure but having realistic expectations is also important.


Animelon and other sites which gives you japanese subtitles is quite helpful. I tend to use both english and japanese at the same time, but mainly just read the japanese one, if I’m unsure I’ll glance at the english one and if a new word or expression comes up I just check that out. Ez.

IMHO, try not to think in terms of degree of fluency. What fluency might mean to you now is perhaps meaningless because you don’t yet know what you don’t know.

Focus on enjoying the process and try to be positive about where you are at any given moment. Commit to studying every day and value review just as much as “moving forward”. Your Japanese ability will be what it will be. Perhaps your goal should be to be able to communicate in Japanese sufficiently better than some random Japanese native speaker communicates in English. That way that person will find it easier to deal with you in Japanese than English. I think that then you will have a chance to become “fluent”.


Trying to minmax learning japanese isn’t all that fun to begin with, guess you wouldn’t want to mine sentences more or less all your awake time. I just don’t mind it, but on the other hand I don’t have friends or family either.

Probably better to keep it fun, while maintaining it for the vast majority.

Sure, but I’d rather take the former and actually enjoy most of the ride and using the language 8 years more during those ten years. I don’t think most people learn a language just to be fluent, but use it as and intermediary for something they want to do. For me for example, it’s mostly reading (and maybe working for a while in Japan, but that’s another thing).

Realistically, all that matters is time spent in the language, IMO. You will get better as long as you do something every day.

Overall, I don’t want to sound too negative, and agree that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others too much. Just that doing more in a shorter timespan has multiplicative benefits over spreading yourself out a lot. That said, 5 years to fluency, whatever that means, is a pretty good timeframe. Instead though, I think the real battle is already won when you enjoy doing stuff in your TL (reading, etc.) and incorporate that into your daily stuff. That’s the real goal rather than just being ‘fluent’.


absolutely this! I try to just think of language learning (all learning really) as something I do for myself so that wherever I am currently, I know that’s much, much more than I ever knew a year ago or a month ago.

How I agree with your point ! As long as you make progress it’s more than enough. Who cares if learning Japanese takes 1 year, 2 years, 5 years…? In the end you will still be able to speak and that is great, indeed. As long as you enjoy and keep going, you will get through it. How I wish I could know that 3 years before. I was in Japan with a group of foreign people and they made learning Japanese some kind of competition, mocking the ones who were not doing as good as them, criticizing others because their japanese was not as good as they thought. That was so toxic and it made me give up.
I started Japanese again when I came back from Japan and this is where I learned to like it again. I had my own pace, my own methods and I could see some progress. It became so much more enjoyable. Maybe I am slow, but now I don’t mind, I just do what I need to do and funnily… I have made much more progress !
So, thank you for sharing this. :slight_smile:

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you are really good with japanese, 35% fluency at wk lvl 15!

I wish I was like that. At lvl 39 now, some anime and news articles I can understand around 30 to 40%.

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Hi NewGuy! I like your attitude. I’m doing DuoLingo and WaniKani as my daily learning. In a few weeks, it will be my 3 year Japanese study-start anniversary. I’ve done 104 DuoLingo chapters to “Gold” (level 5), with 27 more until I finish the entire Duolingo Japanese from English course. (I’m almost up to The final Unit 6). I will have been doing WaniKani for a year and just began WaniKani level 30. I’m finally now getting the point where I can speak and listen/understand and read with less difficulty. Of course, I’m still not really conversationally fluent, but as I go back to try again with some native material, it gets easier than 6 months ago.

I LOL’d that you called DuoLingo “In the wild”, because that’s what I call it, too. :nerd_face:

Good luck with your studies! I think you’re doing it well

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Fluent can mean anything, so it is a pretty useless measure. You never stop learning. I still wouldn’t call myself “fluent”, but after two years reading books wasn’t an uphill battle anymore. Important thing is when you can do the things you enjoy in your TL. You don’t need to wait for complete “fluency” for that.

I think given a standard method everyone pretty much learns the same. Being committed and time spent is definitely the biggest factor.

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I remember when 5 years seemed like such a long time. :joy:

Now here I am 3 years in and wow does that seem fast.


Don’t worry, the number will keep getting lower. I too was 35% fluent at level 15 and now look at me! After several thousand hours I’m now 30% of the of the way to being fluent.


Well if someone wants to actually be able to start communicating with people and interacting with things that require the language, they’re going to feel more compelled to learn faster/put in more effort. Anyone can go as slow or fast as they please, but it would be nice to not become elderly by the time I am decent at it. It’s not a race but it’s not a turtle fest either, (more like a durtle fest), it’s whatever I want it to be. It sucks missing out on so much in-the-now culture and things that are on a time limit regarding relevancy or existing at all anymore.

to be fair, someone could be level 1 in kanji and understand anime, those are different skill sets :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think this might be a new one of my mottos.

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The more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know?


Thats how it be


There is only one human race


I’m 0% of the way to being able to use Japanese to discuss everything that could possibly be discussed, throughout the past and future of the infinite universe.

But that’s more about the state of the universe than my Japanese studies.