Thoughts upon reaching level 60

Hi there,

So, now that I’ve reached level 60, I thought I’d write down my thoughts. (Actually, the level-up happened on Thursday already, but I didn’t really get around to do this until today, so here we go.)

Cake

Sorry to disappoint you, but I couldn’t bake to save my life. However, no level 60 post should be entirely cakeless, so here’s James Hoffmann’s coffee cake recipe:

A Coffee Cake (That Tastes of Coffee) - YouTube

Stats

Started on level 1: Dec 18, 2020
Reached level 60: Dec 16, 2021
So that took a total of 363 days, barely under a year. Learning all that stuff in less than a year - as Tofugu claims - is therefore entirely possible, although taxing. More on that later.

Current SRS state:


This screenshot was taken today after having gurued all but one of the level 60 kanji and after having done the vocabulary and final kanji lesson. There’ll be only two more lessons left after I guru that. As you can see, my work is not quite over yet.

Wkstats:



As you see, I did take the fast route. Would I do it again? See below.

Thoughts on pacing

As you saw in the stat screenshots above, I went through this at quite some speed, and with a not-too-bad accuracy (though it drops a bit after the master level, as is normal I guess). Contrary to the general recommendation to not take too many lessons at once, I always did all the lessons when they became available. This led to some very rough schedules after level 49 when there’s only fast levels, sometimes ~1300 reviews per week, but I went through with them anyway. Did it become tiring after a while? It sure did, but doing big batches instead of smaller ones seems to have worked for me - remembering useless knowledge had always been a strength of mine, so I thought, maybe it works for useful knowledge too?

That said, if I were to do it all over again, I probably would take the fast levels a bit slower, though maybe not slow-level slow. Would I recommend my quick approach? Most people wouldn’t, and neither would I. It worked for me, but it’s not for everyone.

Looking back at my introductory post and what I still need to do

Here it is.
Looking back at what my goals were, have I reached any of them?

  • Playing Final Fantasy in Japanese: Didn’t happen. As for why, see further down below.
  • Read about Japanese music: Same thing.
  • Travel to Japan and be able to read stuff, order food etc.: Obviously, there wasn’t much travelling to be done in the past year, and probably not too much of it to be done in the near future, but even if so, I’d probably still have to resort to English for any but the most simple sentences.

Now, why is that? Simple thing: While I did get Genki I and II to start working on grammar, listening and reading, time constraints forced me to abandon it quite soon. Lunch break and spare time before and after work are fine to do some WK reviews (because they’re essentially short, self-contained units), but too short to get out the workbooks and do any significant amount of studying, and the evenings after that were (and are for the next couple of weeks) occupied by another project that I shall not go into at this point. So, I essentially did WK only, allowing me to read and make some sense of kanji and some vocabulary, but not actually understanding anything that requires more than the most basic grammar.

Now, although this was certainly not the best way to go about learning Japanese, I made what I could with the time I had. The kanji I learned are not going away - well, some of them probably will, but when I get around to actually learn grammar and more vocabulary, I’ll have seen them all before and will be able to get them back into my brain easily, or so I hope. Also, I’ll be able to streamline my learning in so far as the kanji part is already done, allowing me to concentrate on grammar instead and also being able to read more fluently right from the bat.

I haven’t used Bunpro yet, but I’m going to give it a whirl (especially considering that they have a lifetime sale now) as the small grammar units should be something I could easily fit into my schedule here and there. I can always pick up Genki again later and probably will, for the exercises and listening at least.

Scripts and other stuff I used

I haven’t installed a whole lots of scripts, but some of them I wouldn’t want to be without:

  • Wanikani Open Framework by @rfindley - This is basically a requirement for many other user scripts.
  • Wanikani Heatmap by @Kumirei - This shows some interesting patterns about how the workload is distributed; it’s also interesting to see how the level-up days keep moving further down the week as time goes by. It also looks brilliant on your dashboard.
  • Wanikani Workload Graph by @rwesterhof - More distribution stats. You can never have enough stats.
  • Double Check by @rfindley - This made my life so much easier, and I would recommend installing this to anyone. You have to be careful though, as the temptation to correct that mistake you made is always there. I only used it to correct typos, or when I got the meaning right but didn’t get the exact English translation (English, as you may have noticed, is not my native language).
  • Stroke Order Diagram by @looki and @Kumirei - Does what it says on the tin. Although Wanikani is mainly about JP->EN, you may actually want to write a kanji at some point, and this comes in very handy.
  • Wanikani Rendaku Information by @nonymouse - This gave me valuable insights into why rendaku happen or not. Before I installed this, it seemed semi-random to me, so this definitely helped.

Also, apart from user scripts, I used this:
KameSame by @searls - This adds active memorization to the Wanikani experience. Some prefer Kaniwani, I couldn’t quite warm up to it though, so I tried KameSame, and I can’t recommend this highly enough. I did neglect it in recent days because the fast levels made the workload big enough as it is, but I’ll be getting back to it and whittle down that pile of reviews and lessons.

What else kept me going?

First, my ambition to prove to myself that I can do it and actually keep my Japanese journey going, unlike the first time (cf. my introductory post I linked above).

Something that also definitely helped was joining a level-up-journey thread. I chose Let’s climb Tokyo Skytree - level 60 in spring 2022 as that suited the pace I had in mind for this. Sure, I could have dropped out at any time, but would I have wanted to? No way. There’s faster and slower threads around, and if you need that extra kick to keep going, I recommend that you join one of them.

And finally...

This community. I shall go nowhere any time soon. I have some lesson and review work still to do, and this community is a huge pile of fun and knowledge that I would not want to miss. Also, greetings to my fellow スイス人 @Mrs_Diss, @slkrebs and @Fryie and all the others who make this place here what it is. And of course the lovely Tofugu people who made WK in the first place. Without it, I’d probably learn kanji using that old dictionary. Or not at all, more likely.

Now that’s enough for today. If you actually made it through this wall of text all the way to the bottom, reaching level 60 will be easy for you. :duck:

44 Likes

Congratulations! :smiley:

that is some amazing accuracy! i feel proud when i get like 95%!

…also, random, but now i’m half-way thinking スイス人-meetup maybe? :sweat_smile:

2 Likes

Congrats on making it so far. :slight_smile: I’m fairly new to WaniKani and I’m curious how you got access to those stats of yours? Is there a page to access those on?

2 Likes

This script is amazing, thank you for sharing.

2 Likes

you can get the stats on WK Stats. you’ll have to give it your API token.

also, welcome to WK ^^

2 Likes

Thank you so much! :heart: I’m really enjoying it so far. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Congratulations!!!

1 Like

おめでとうございます!
I wish you luck on your future studies

1 Like

Big congratulations and good luck in your future language endeavors! :partying_face::penguin:

1 Like

Congratulations
Reaching level 60 must feel good.

3 Likes

Felicitations et bien joué. It took me a almost two years to reach level 60 myself, which suited my other activities better. I wish you best of luck and endurance for the next steps - and that you keep your enthusiasm well stocked to reach whatever goal you’ve set yourself on that personal Japanese journey of yours. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Congrats on reaching lv 60! :partying_face:

3 Likes