WaniKani Level to Fluency equivalent

Hi there folks.

I am relatively new to studying Japanese, and just found out about WaniKani. I Find it very suitable for my learning style, so I decided that I will subscribe in order to get to level 60. Right now, level 1 reviews and lessons don’t come very often, so I figured I would ask this great community the question below in the meantime: (I would like to add that I already know some grammar, however, kanji and vocabulary is where I am struggling.)

The question would be: What is the wanikani level that I need to reach in order to be able to read some manga in Japanese and maybe watch some anime too?

I will stay until level 60, but I would love if I could understand some Japanese maybe at level 15 or 20?


See this chart here:

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Thanks a lot for your prompt reply. I am not american or from any other English speaking country. Are those JLPT kind of Japanese exams? sorry if my question is too silly, but my first language is Spanish and I have never been abroad so I don’t know much about other countries learning and testing systems.

It’s a Japanese proficiency exam, yeah. It’s actually offered in many different countries once or twice a year, including Spain and many South American countries.


So you know how to read the information, N5 is the easiest and N1 is the hardest.

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This has likely been discussed many times, but there are significant differences between proficiency and fluency. I’m sure you know this already since you know Spanish and English. JLPT and WaniKani is not a measure on your ability to communicate. I’ve met people who can write scientific publications but struggle on basic day-to-day conversation. Thought this was a fun read: The Difference between Proficiency and Fluency

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Thanks a lot mate. I just finished reading your suggested article and it is very reasonable. So I guess, what I wanted to know is whether I will know enough vocabulary to be able to read stuff in Japanese. About watching anime, I guess that depends on how much I build my listening skills. Thanks again, very illustrative.

I have high hopes on my listening skills, since all of the Japanese syllable sounds exist in my language, and I have had a good time with that so far. :smiley:

I’m around level 25 and I recognize the majority of kanji I come across, with the exception of proper nouns (names, places, etc). The hardest thing for me right now is knowing grammar. Many sentences are hard for me to parse without more grammar practice.

tbh, the main takeaway here is that wanikani is a great learning supplement.

it’s particularly good at helping you learn to read kanji. even learning vocabulary is a secondary goal, and you’ll be introduced to words which are not very common, especially in spoken language - and some common words you’ll never see even by level 60.

my recommendation is to first determine your goals in japanese, and build a plan around that. This will probably include some textbooks, lessons (you can find tutors online for $10-20 / hour), consumption of authentic materials, and of course wani kani :).


Not sure about comprehension differences but I’ve heard native Japanese say that native spanish speakers tend to develop good Japanese pronunciation. Good luck!

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