Trial Period Graduation

Howdy again, y’all~

SO, I’ll be graduating Level 3 tomorrow. I joined about three months ago, so the average rate I’ve been able to digest these courses is one level per month (including all vocab). I feel like my pacing may be a little slow. I know some of you guys are averaging a level a week, so I don’t feel so great about that, but, honestly, I’m doing what time allows, which is about 5 new lessons a day. I -do- feel good about coming in and making time to check my reviews about three times a day. It’s not as daunting as I would have thought, but then again I’m not doing as much as you are collectively.

Just wanted some feedback from you guys before continuing (and if this needs to be moved to a better sub-forum, let me know). What did you guys do moving forward from your initial investment?

  1. What membership type do you have and why? Monthly, yearly, or lifetime?

  2. What did you do during your various phases? By this I mean how the WK Guide suggests supplementing various other supplements during levels 1-10, 11-20, etc. For example, personally, I want to move towards a basic textbook understanding of grammar. So at this time I’m interested in picking up the first series of Genki tests to supplement my learning of the overall language. Grammar was one of the things recommended for this level anyways, but maybe you guys got penpals (via iTalki), watch Japanese YouTubers, or even the meta WK bookclub. I’m interested in your journeys.

  3. What do you use to keep your pronunciation in check? I find myself consistently correcting my pronunciation. I’ll say it out loud before hitting the submit button on my vocab, and then I’ll correct this after I hear it from the site, saying it out loud again. Having emphASSis / syllABle issues.

Here’s what I’ve been looking at. Maybe you guys could weigh in on whether I should/shouldn’t pursue specific items.

A) Grammar - The aforementioned Genki I books, I’d like both the textbook and workbook with frills. I think they’re on the 2nd edition now. I’ve been looking around and it seems they’re pretty pricey even used! I’m able to find a basic, fundamental, yet highly recommended Practice Makes Perfect workbook for my Spanish studies in new condition around $10.

B) Bi-Dual-Multi-Directional Translation? - I have no idea what the proper term is for being able to translate by looking at either language. I started KaniWani, over the past couple of days though, because I like the idea of being able to recognize English words and transform them into their Japanese counterpart, rather than strictly doing the reverse and hardwiring my brain to only translate into English. I like KW so far, because it’s easy to adopt after being on WK.

C) Listening/Absorbtion - I’d like to either pick up and reading or listening to some more beginner accessible materials, perhaps through movies/books where interests lie via YesAsia/ You may know other, better sources.

As it is now, I don’t feel like I’m going to be able to bite off more than I am now in terms of kanji lessons. So, with the statistics these first few months show I’ll be finished with the WK program in 5 years! It seems so far away that it almost makes me sad. However, I have had a good time with this program. I do like the interface. It’s nice and clean, and I like the Ultimate Toolbar add-on I’ve been using, so I’m going to move forward with it. Just not 100% sure how yet.


I’m also new so I can’t answer your questions, however I was wondering how you could level up to lvl 3 tomorrow when your profile shows you are level 4?

hello mate.
I am still new as you are.
I choose to subscribe for montly plan for now to test master-enlightened phrases of the SRS.
Maybe 2-3 months later, i will move to a yearly plan. I do not plan to stick to wanikani till the end.

I do have a grammar book in my native language as Turkish is very similar to Japanese.
With enough vocab, i will try to dive to the wilds.

this is my plan :slight_smile:

Good luck.

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I started with yearly (cheaper than monthly, in the long run), and then upgraded to lifetime during one of the end of the year sales. Figure I’d stay around to burn everything, plus it’s a good resource to look things up when I forget. As a mostly unrelated tip, you can tell who the lifers are because their level is pink in the forum (Can’t tell for level 60s tho).

Personally, I did almost nothing other than WK until I hit level 60. In my early levels I did some stuff with Genki or Tae Kim, but otherwise didn’t do anything. Now that I’m 60 I’m hitting the grammar and listening/speaking a lot harder.

For pronunciation I’m currently taking this class:

Overall it’s pretty useful, but it just gives guidance on things to look out for (accent, intonation, etc)

For overall resources, I think you should check out this thread:

EDIT: As for your speed, everyone learns at different speeds - or can only devote a certain amount of time per day. The most important thing is to go at a speed where you won’t burn out. If you do plan to finish, at least financially, the best way would be to get annual until (hopefully) there will be another end of the year lifetime sale…


After one has met the requirements to move up to level 4, their profile will show them as being that level, even if they haven’t paid for a subscription yet that will allow them to actually begin learning level 4 material :slightly_smiling_face:

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The short answer is that whatever pace you can manage is fine. The slightly longer answer is that there is a benefit to going faster. The faster you go, the more similar looking kanji you’ll encounter (before previous kanji are burned). This will force you to really look at and remember the differences between those kanji. So I think one month per level is the absolute slowest you should go, if possible. For reference, I did about 8 days per level until around level 25, and since then I’ve been doing around 15 days per level.

If you ever want to do more than one batch of lessons a day, or want to easily get the right balance of lesson types, you can use the Lesson Filter script.

I did annual for a year and then switched to lifetime despite already being level 35 at the time. I did this because I wanted to slow down and focus on studying other aspects of Japanese.

At your pace you’d be best off getting the lifetime membership, if you can afford it and are confident you’ll continue using WaniKani. With that in mind, there is usually a $100 discount off the lifetime subscription at the end of each year. Additionally, unused subscription amounts will prorate additional membership purchases. So if you get annual now and then get the $200 lifetime this December, it’ll actually cost you less (about $260 instead of $300). Plus, this will give you 8 months to use WaniKani before the lifetime discount, which will give you plenty of time to decide if you want to continue with lifetime. This is all based on the assumption that there will be another discount this year, which is of course not guaranteed.

I don’t do as much as I should, but I am participating in the beginner’s bookclub. The book currently in the lead for our next selection has furigana above all kanji. So if it actually ends up winning, it should be reasonable for people with less kanji knowledge to read along.

An important aspect of pronunciation is pitch accent. I use this script and make sure I always pay attention to pitch accent when learning new words.


Hey there. I’ve been going since November, so here’s my half-year-in perspective.

  1. I have a yearly membership, but that’s due to a couple factors. At first I had a monthly membership, but a friend who hadn’t subscribed yet received a code for half off a yearly membership, so I used it as well. After a bit of estimation, I figured it’d be cheaper in the long run to use this and pay the rest of my time out to level 60 than to buy the half-price lifetime membership that was on offer at the time. (These sales seem to only happen around the new year, unfortunately.)

  2. I began using the genki books before I started wanikani, actually. If you’ve got the time, I recommend beginning learning grammar immediately. I’ve been progressing pretty slowly, prioritizing WK when things get hectic in my schedule, and have only reached level 9 in the past 5 or so months. I’m also taking a Japanese college course. It’s not very useful for Kanji and Grammar compared to self study, but indispensible for practicing speaking.

  3. I haven’t really worried about it. I think this is something that will be rectified by immersion learning later on, once you know all the grammar rules.

A) Absolutely get this in. Genki is the standard choice, and is my recommendation as well. If you’re truly thrifty, you could always prowl the dark corners of the web for a digital copy. That said, if you’re going to go with Genki, I’m firm in the opinion that you really want the textbook, the workbook, and the answer book. The workbook will fuel the bulk of your retention, and having the answer book will keep you from internalizing mistakes.

B) If you have the time for KaniWani, go for it. As you get further into wanikani though, the length of your daily reviews will balloon, and you may find you have to stop doing KW for time. I’m just now about to hit level 20, and I often need to spend more than an hour on reviews/lessons in a day. I can only imagine it gets worse as time goes on.

C) My recommendation for this is Pimsleur’s Speak Japanese Now audio lessons. If you have a commute, or a quiet room where you won’t feel embarassed attempting to speak japanese to a wall, it’s a great help for both speaking and comprehension. Each lesson takes about a half hour.

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You can see it on their Discourse profile, though.
(Not as direct as the badge color, but there aren’t that many level 60 posting on the forum anyway)

Or just hover the badge



Not on the phone (obviously).
Maybe I should visit more often on a computer though.

Turkish is very similar to Japanese? Wow I did not expect that!

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Yes it is.
Evet, öyle.


Yes it is a SOV (subject-object-verb) language just like Japanese and things like rendaku sound very natural to native Turkish speakers because we have similar structures.


Thanks for the replies and insights, everyone! Really cool to see everyone’s methods. And woah, I would not have guess Turkish and Japanese would have had those similarities, but then again, I know very little about either language.

@rmizuno Thanks for the links. The Ultimate Resource just made my jaw drop and eyes light up. I know it’s stickied, but I haven’t perused the community much. The pronunciation course seems really interesting. Hopefully it comes around again soon, not sure I’ll be able to jump in right now, but it’s bookmarked!

@seanblue - I can understand that. I definitely don’t WANT to go slower, and I want to be able to distinguish between as many similar looking kanji as well, but wouldn’t something like Anki cards help should I absolutely get lost in a sea of similarly looking/meaning kanji? Interesting scripts, both of them. I’ll look into WK Pitch Info for sure. As for Lesson Filter, do you find it helps you to learn a mixture of radicals, kanji and vocab in each level rather than go through each one at a time?

@Sharpevil - Thanks for the recommendations. It’s a damn shame Genki doesn’t aid self-learners with the answer key in the back of the books. It just drove my cost up another third. Ugh. Not to mention any CDs, extras might be sold on the side as well. Still, it’s calling me. As of now I’m currently enjoying KW! It has some of the pitches illustrated there, which was a major concern of mine proceeding. I actually started a Pimsleur Spanish program before I moved. It was highly recommended, but I’d just barely scratched the surface before I had to move. It’s on my Google Play Music account now, and if I like the Spanish Program, I’ll look into a Japanese one.

Really wishing I’d have joined in the fall so I could have taken advantage of that sweet lifetime discount by the time the trial period was over, haha!

My point was more that you won’t have the opportunity to get lost (as often) if you don’t encounter the similar kanji together. Anki could be useful for when you do get really lost, sure, but you can’t really put the similar kanji into Anki if you never realized the kanji were similar because you never reviewed them together.

Personally, I like learning a mix of item types each day. I built the Lesson Filter script because I was tired of having to refresh many times to get the exact mix of items I wanted.

For what it’s worth, I do 3 kanji and up to 9 vocab a day. I do all radicals on the first day of a new level (there are a lot fewer radicals taught at higher levels). This approach lets me level up in about 15 days.


Lifetime member. Started about 18 months ago. Got to level 13 in a year, got fed up of too many reviews, had 3 months off and re-started from scratch, about 8 months ago. Back up to level 9, just. Sometimes I do no lessons for a few days, sometimes I go into vacation mode for a few days or even a week or two. You do get rusty though, if you take 2 weeks off. I do Bunpro every day, even if I have Wanikani on vacation. Bunpro is my priority. If you can’t come up with actual sentences you are wasting your time. If it wasn’t for Bunpro I would have probably given up. I don’t bother with the readings, I just have a look at the sentences, add it, and get it wrong a few times before I start getting it right. Wanikani is ok for pronunciation. The ‘r’ is hardest. Sometimes it sounds like an ‘l’ but clipped, sometimes it sounds like a ‘d’, sometimes like an ‘r’ but harder and clipped. Usually it sounds like a mix, or in-between. The Japanese don’t notice the difference. They think they say ‘l’ for what we write as ‘r’ in romaji. Romaji is to be avoided anyway. Keep saying la li lu le lo so it sounds almost like da di du etc, then try ra ri ru etc until they sound like da di du. Do it loud and proud, so everyone hears you. They won’t think you’re mad, honest.

Oh, I use modified Anki mode for Wanikani, speeds it up a lot.

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(GUILTY I JUST STARTED WANIKANI) and still contemplating about the membership. I’m trying it out.
But, I think that for grammar, if you want lessons, because studying from a textbook is (in my opinion) kind of like a motivation killer. Try Japanese ammo with Misa. Like if you literally search that up on youtube “japanese ammo with misa absolute beginner” You will get 50 + lessons. She explains them all so thoroughly and she incorporates vocabulary in. With Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana. So there will be kanji and furigana. It’s really great. You can learn how to speak like a native with formal and informal speech. But you’ll have to take notes, (you can choose not to, but it’s easier…). And then you are on your way. I did buy a textbook. But I found that it was just an accompaniment to her lessons, and it wasn’t easy to understand. Though it summarized some of my notes. It’s called Japanese Verbs and Essentials of Grammar.

P.S. the youtube comments acts like a forum for questions.

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Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll be sure to check it out.

=) good luck!

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