Wanikani "hump"?

I was one of those level 5-7 scrubs…

It began in level 5, all of a sudden wanikani became HARD. 200+ reviews, trying to figure out which verb is transitive/intransitive, not knowing how to schedule items for my convenience, brain still not comfortable with seeing kanji. Making it past these levels was hard on both of my attempts, but after I crossed level 10, something in my brain snapped and all of a sudden it was easy(er).

Edit: Probably not a coincidence that I read this around level 10

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Things got VERY hard for me around level 40… but at that point I had too much of a time investment to quit. I took one year to get to 27, so my pace resulted in a reasonable workload. A slight amount of burnout started because I started to feel the effects of leeches around level 35 - this got a bit frustrating, but I pushed on through. Leeches will seriously slow your progress and the problems they create sneaks up on you VERY slowly. I think I took a 3 month break from lessons when I hit 50, which helped immensely.

The great thing is that by level 30 the amount of kanji you have is legitimately useful, so if you feel a pinch it is a good point to slow the learning pace. By 40 I was taking a month to do every level. No big deal.


…and even if it is productive, don’t marry the person and expect this to sustain.

Get a tutor or someone not related to you to hold you accountable. I wish I had the budget for it - in spite of having a high salary, teenage kids tend to suck the life blood out of any family budget.

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This is so similar to how my progression’s been going that it’s super-comforting to know you went through it and still reached 60.

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I feel like you might be focusing too much on an arbitrary detail of your physical person. If you make it not an issue for yourself, you’ll realise nobody else really cares either. Everybody is wrapped up in their own lives and issues to care too much about your quirks. I used to think everybody hated me for random reasons, such as my appearance / how i behaved/moved / what others had said about me behind my back etc… then when I realised people didn’t care about what I thought was important, it got a lot easier for me.

I think I can get over mistake-making. At least, I get over it ok in German. lol I think I’m over-nervous about having to respond to shock at the same time that I am trying to communicate in a language that I’m not comfortable with in the first place. And I’m a psychiatric nurse so it’s like 1. You CAN’T hide your fight or flight response from me and 2. I feel responsible for helping you manage that response, even if it means removing myself from your presence. And since I don’t have the communication skills to help you navigate that just yet, I default to simply removing myself.

As someone who is halfway through N3 grammar while probably not even knowing 1000 words, this makes me so excited to read.

Level 19 is my current “wall”. I’m keeping current with my reviews, however it is becoming more difficult to be motivated to add new material when I keep missing the same old material over and over again (‘which “kanshin” is this again for the umpteenth time?’, or ‘This kanji’s in my review queue but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it before…oh yeah, it’s that one again.’)

I think some of this might be happening too because as another user suggested, my Japanese isn’t advanced enough for some of the kanji I’m learning.

I don’t think it’s really arbitrary. I mean, short of locking myself in my apartment, I can count on someone commenting on my height any day of the week. Literally, people will stop in middle of the grocery store to ask me questions about it. Worst case was people stalking me around a store with one friend with a camera trying to get a picture of the other friend standing next to me. I KNOW people are going to notice and respond to my height. It’s something I expect and have had to live with pretty much since I was 9 years old.

I’m surprised by this, over on that other thread you said you were 6’? I’ve known quite a few girls that height or a bit taller, dated one once… It’s not terribly uncommon. Then again I’ve got long hair and a big bushy beard so get called Jesus a lot and get quite a few comments because my look isn’t as common in the UK as it is in Austria/Germany/Norway and other countries where metal music is more popular.
I guess the only thing you can do is own it, take pride in it, it shows good genetics to be tall. Everyone in this world is unique and different, it just so happens that part of you that is unique is easily seen. I know plenty of people in my workplace with unique features, such as a woman who has one eye who prefers an eye-patch to a glass eye, and a man who is over 7ft tall and very broad, and these features are only ever mentioned to let a newbie know who they are or often joked about by closer friends of theirs.
I know how it can feel though, to feel singled out, and I didn’t mean to make light of it by saying it was “arbitrary”, I understand some people will try and make a big deal out of it, usually because they have their own insecurities so they want to put a spotlight on yours.
A drunk girl with her friends tried to do this with me just the other day, mocking me for my messiah like appearance, she asked me if I washed my hair with holy water, and when i told her I used Herbal Essences and she asked me what flavour, I told her generally shampoos have scents, not flavours, but if she likes eating them I won’t stop her… Then her friends were laughing at her and not me.

Anyhows, I’m rambling, you seem like a cool person, even though I’ve not talked to you much, you be you and screw the haters, randoms don’t matter. :slight_smile:

Edit: P.s. I wonder if it’s due to culture too? Are you American, because in Britain we are more reserved and it would look weird to make a big deal out of someone’s size, whether it be height or width.

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Run like the wind, cover your ears, and don’t look at what’s behind you: :running_man::running_woman::tiger2::leopard::eagle::t_rex::dragon:

Honestly, you have to:

  1. Really want to learn Japanese from the bottom of your heart (this will give you motivation).
  2. Pace yourself properly, based on your own schedule and needs (this will sustain you).
  3. Be incredibly disciplined and stick to a schedule (this will provide a rhythm to carry you forward).

Cherish every mistake, it will only serve to make you better. Challenge yourself by trying to read things even at a low level. Diversify your exposure to the language through grammar, listening, and games–silly apps, music, movies, etc.

Personally I feel the first ten levels are the hardest, because your mind is still learning to process this entirely new language, you’re still learning how to schedule and pace yourself (and maybe biting off more than you can chew), and you still don’t know quite enough to comfortably read and engage with Japanese “in the wild.”

The later levels can be challenging because you are continually packing in more and more information and stretching the limits of your memory. This is also when your reviews will grow, so you have to push harder and spend more time studying. Your commitment and discipline will be tested. However, the reward is higher: with each additional level, you will absolutely see your comprehension skyrocketing. Getting the gist of things is not uncommon. Eventually, you come to real understanding.

Overall, it just takes a lot of work, a lot of love, and absolutely no room for fear.

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Just a vote for #2… I started WK at the beginning of my Japanese studies (no previous knowledge). Now 10 months later and I’m approaching level 21 but I think I may need to “quit” WK for a while. My speaking, listening, and grammar skills have all been neglected due to spending too much time here. Time management is a struggle and learning Japanese requires a balanced approach over several areas of study. Reading kanji is but a single area of learning.

I’ll bet a lot of people who make it this far simply find other ways to continue their Japanese studies rather than continue to pay a monthly subscription.


It might be an American thing. I really can’t count for you how many times a week I need to account for my sporting history. :laughing: Another piece of it might be that I look even taller than 6’, probably because my legs are about 94cm long and I’m not nearly as broad as the average man, so I just look very vertical. My brother is 6’3” but looks shorter than me if we’re not standing side by side. I also look taller than my husband until we’re next to each other. :woman_shrugging:t3: It is whatever it is but definitely leaves me navigating a very wide range of responses.

I have a few friends who sport the Jesus look. Hahaha I have two in particular that hang out together and I call one Jesus and the other Moses. :laughing: I like to braid their hair. When stupid people try to give them crap I just point out that they’ve kept their hair in far better condition and tell them they’d be better off asking them for pointers. Noted: one uses Herbal Essences, the other uses Tresseme.

Also, sorry for slow replies. Crazy day.

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That could well be true. But for me, someone who now takes well over a month per level despite never missing a day on WK, level 30 is my ultimate aim. Level 30 is my Level 60. Once I’m there, I’ll consider it job done, and almost certainly hit the re-set button!

i just read an interesting article (maybe google “the dark side of srs”) about how the leeches remain and pile up and you’ll end up spending time with what you do NOT want to see. in systems like ANKI, you could just suspend the card. what does it matter in the grand scheme of things if you miss 1 kanji or 1 word? probably irrelevant. but in WK this doesn’t work.

what i plan to do to handle these problem cases is, i’ll make 1 deck for each of them. the kanji, and then every vocab item i can find. quizlet works for this, since it’s not srs, then these items only show up when i want em to. these decks will have 5-10 items i can review anywhere on the go. putting them in context is one way to tackle it, and removing the “punishment” aspect is another. just review.


Hey! My wife is taller than you and also has supper long legs (her hips are almost as high as some of her friends). She is happy with it, that’s what makes her special :slight_smile: it’s only an issue in airplanes :stuck_out_tongue:

Honestly, my husband would probably say the same thing about me. :laughing: It’s not like I go into hysterics every time someone brings it up or else I would be a hermit. Usually I just review my past involvement in sports, give a review of the weather up here, and move on with my life. But that’s a social situation I can navigate in English. It’s quite another to navigate it in a language I’m not familiar with with people who very well may have never in their lives seen a 6’ woman.

I know one who failed to realize this is a thing, never dumbed down his speech for Japanese learners and as a result became incomprehensible in Japanese to the formerly mentioned Japanese-learners lol.

Not sure whether this is a nice thing or just makes it more difficult to communicate

I know lots of girls who would kill to be 6’ or taller, especially the ones into live music. Nothing sucks more than being 5’5 or shorter at a festival or standing concert. Especially since a lot of places in the UK now will send security after a guy for letting a girl up on his shoulders.
Also I tried tresseme once and it made my hair way too floofy, took all the weight out of it and I resembled one of those trees from the Lorax.
Since Britain is always kind of windy, it wasn’t very practical.