Welp, the 590 day streak is dead

After 590 consecutive days keeping the streak alive even if it killed me, the streak is now finally dead. Forgot to do even a single review after a busy day yesterday. To be perfectly honest, that number was the only thing keeping me going with trying to learn Japanese - my accuracy will go below 50% more often than not nowadays, and despite taking classes and trying to consume Japanese media, my skill has not changed since about a year ago.

Anyone else know the feeling?


Have you studied any grammar, or have you been just consuming content and hoping you’ll figure out the context?


Yeah I’ve been doing plenty of grammar in my university classes. It’s definitely slower than some other people burn through grammar textbooks, but it’s steady.

I definitely know the feeling, but it’s not always true, sometimes it really is just a feeling, and not a fact. For example, I can go read a tough novel and feel like I suck and that I shouldn’t have even started Japanese, if after all this time I can’t even read a book. But if I pick up a manga for example, I can be surprised at just how much I managed to learn.
Point is, you’re definitely better than you were a year ago.

Anyway, you should ask yourself what do you struggle with the most. Is it grammar, vocabulary or kanji? For me it’s vocabulary, does that mean the other 2, I’ve excelled at? No, but now I know what I lack in, and that’s what I need to bring up. You can make a plan of action after that. If you want to learn Japanese, you’ll get through this, a streak is meaningless if you don’t learn Japanese. Your 590 streak is longer than one that I’ve managed to have.

Matter of fact, I don’t even know my streak, I don’t really care either. We’re trying to learn Japanese here, so why did you start your journey? It might do you some good to reaffirm your goals to yourself. Try and avoid relying on a streak to keep you going because it is easy to BS it by just doing 1 review and calling it a day. However if you’re kept going by something else, then 1 review won’t be enough to satisfy it, would it?


I think you need to seriously re-evaluate why you’re learning Japanese. Streaks are a nice motivator on lazy days, but if you get to the point where you’re simply doing reviews for the sake of continuing your streak, you’re not really learning at that point, you’re giving yourself a chore.

I got to 1000 days on Duolingo and after all that, I had only really done about 200 days worth of studying. It completely burned me out and did more damage than good to my language learning.

You need to break the lazy habit because you can’t treat something like language learning as something you just do to maintain a streak. You need goals in your mind for what you want your studying to accomplish, and you need to assess whether what you’re doing is helping you to reach those goals. Kanji/vocab studying is important, but SRS only takes you so far and the way you’re describing it, it doesn’t seem like your daily reviews were helping too much anyway. Try focusing on other areas and try not to worry so much about streaks. Long term consistency can only be achieved through real motivation, not manufactured necessity.

I’m being blunt because this is exactly what happened to me, and it damaged my language learning for years. It killed basically all motivation I had for studying because the only thing I was thinking about was maintaining the streak. Don’t fall into that trap.


This is a very long commitment. Just relax, you won’t go anywhere fast. I kind of wish I could go back to day 590, so long ago, when I thought I could really do this quickly. 懐かしいなー


If you’re advancing levels on WK and still doing new lessons, it likely means that you are improving your overall vocabulary and kanji awareness but that maybe the amount of new content still feels overwhelming.

You might consider revisiting earlier chapters. I’ve done this with Genki and 皆さんの日本語 when I feel like I haven’t progressed much… but then I go look at chapters, exercises, and dialogues I studied a while back that once looked and sounded completely foreign to me but now are either easy to understand or easy to review and re-learn.

Anyways, it’s okay to slow down on WaniKani if you think it’s necessary. I’ve taken a few days off at times (ideally usually vacation mode), especially during busy/stressful periods of life. You’re a university student, so I’d imagine that finals are coming up, ね?

I agree with the others here. The focus shouldn’t be on your streak number it should be on learning Japanese. If the streak was the only thing that was keeping you going you need to find a better/stronger reason to study Japanese.

If your accuracy is below 50% perhaps temporarily only do reviews and stop studying new material for the time being. The point isn’t the streak or leveling up as fast as you can on WK. The point is are you fully absorbing the material and really taking the time to review. You want this information to go into your long term memory.

Everytime I got up a level on WK I can see the difference in my reading skill by just looking at graded readers, Crystal Hunters, manga, reading tweets in Japanese, etc. This small, but it’s there though. My accuracy is typically high 80s low 90s but that’s because after learning something new I really utilize the Extra Study section and study the recent lessons over and over. If I make a mistake I take the time to study recent mistakes.


Thanks for the advice everyone! I’ve decided that I’m going to take some time off thinking about learning Japanese at all (ie. vacation mode), and then re-evaluate my goals after that.


It can be so difficult to see our growth at times, like others have said before me. I can see you’re very busy in general and don’t feel like your limited time is able to produce noticeable gains. It’s difficult, it really is, to continue progressing when it feels like there are no gains.

I would argue that this is simply another wall, in perhaps a long line of walls some conquered some yet to be reached, that many face on their journey to language learning. Life changes, sometimes we have ample free time and sometimes we don’t. What must stay consistent is our effort. You will eventually prevail and climb this wall… and eventually reach the next haha!

Try to ignore the monkey mind chatting away. It’s not there to help you progress, if anything it’s trying to work against you. If it’s telling you to stop it’s because you’re using energy to improve, and it doesn’t like that energy expenditure. But you are the master, not it. Ignore it, continue forward and truly I wish you all the best!


Congrats on your 590 day streak @Jamebo san :clap:

You have developed the habit of doing reviews for that long, so kudos to you. Now you have a target to beat, aim for streak 591 days and more.

Whichever way makes you stick with Japanese, go for it.

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I really rushed WK the first time around and it consumed my every waking moment for about 490~ days. I think I got more hung up on how fast I could get to 60 and forgot the point of learning those kanji was. Moments like these remind us we might have been focusing on the wrong thing in our pursuits. So take the time to reevaluate what you want to do and why you’re doing it. :slight_smile:

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I think we all learn languages as adults at different rates. We aren’t all going to be Dogen.

My streak is almost twice as long as yours and I’m only churning through level 26 at present, but over the last year in particular I’ve felt that I have enough kanji and vocabulary in the queue, so to speak, that those items that want to cycle between Enlightened and Apprentice just provides me with opportunities to solidify them. And living in the states, having a mentally demanding job that doesn’t leave a lot of energy for consuming other native material, I feel that it’s a worthwhile expenditure of time. And given that I have lifetime, really a great purchase, it’s just my morning coffee routine to sit down and do reviews.

At this point in time, WK is my Alzheimer’s prevention routine. I imagine myself 20 years from now, churning somewhere in the hell levels thinking “they tell me this will help me remember other things, so why can’t I remember the 人生の真っ盛り?” :slight_smile:

And this is the most important thing. I can watch an episode of Terrace House and even though I don’t know all the vocabulary, and my listening skills are horrible, the amount of kanji I recognize is astonishing. And that only happened because I have coffee and Tofugu.


Dogen also started when he was 14. I started at 27. I expect to be well into my 40s if I am gonna sound like he does now. I think we’re the same age too.

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Grammar is important?

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