What level were you when you achieved your first burn?

Just out of curiosity - some people seem to burn at low levels, but I cannot see how that could be done. I swear I read somewhere on here that someone had 50 burns at level 5. Is that even possible, and if so how? Am I missing something? I’ve only got apprentice, guru and master items at level 6 - should I be seeing something different?

Thanks in advance :blush:

It depends on how long you spend on a level without doing new lessons. Someone who is stuck on the same level for 20 days and reviews Kanji regularly during that time will tier up Kanji more. It’s not faster; it’s actually slower than other people.

Someone could have used WaniKani for 6 months and be on level 8, and by the same token, someone could have used WaniKani for 3 months and been on level 15. The person on level 8 will have more burns if they get correct answers.


If you’re going at a good pace, it should be somewhere around level 20


I reached level 25 about an hour before my first burn, 174 days after starting. I don’t recommend doing that, I just haven’t learned as well as I would have liked. I’ve decided level 29 is the level where I’m going to slow my pace finally.


I got it at level 19


Burning at a low level means you’re going super slow, not fast. Imagine somone burned stuff at level one… It means they’ve been on WK for 6 months and haven’t guru’d those early kanji yet, but they could still burn some radicals.


I think 15 for me.
I was stuck on levels 12, 13 and 14 for nearly two months combined. I started running into a lot more unfamiliar kanji and my pace slowed down. Since then, I’ve made a big effort to do my reviews as often as possible, and if I see the kanji several times per day I start to remember them. My pace has improved a lot since then and level 15 took 10 and 1/2 days and level 16 took 9 and 1/4.

I wonder if that will be better for long term retention but so far it seems fine. I am making a huge effort to immerse myself by setting my computer and phone to Japanese, reading manga in Japanese, following youtubers that do videos in Japanese and other sources like NHK easy news.

I have a long way to go but with Wanikani’s help I’ve progressed to the point where I can almost always at least get the gist of things, and some of the finer details. I translated an article on NHK easy news once which was fun and informative, so I’ll probably keep doing that.


LVL 23


Level 4 here.

But there were nearly three whole months between finishing my last lesson for level 3 and subscribing… So it was still January when I had my first burns after having joined in August. It still takes the same amount of time - just depends how slow you level up/pay to go past level 3.

That’s some dedication right there

It’s automated :crabigator: :robot:

Even better!

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credits go here: WaniKani API + Google Docs Awesomeness :slight_smile:

That makes sense! I always do new lessons as soon as they pop up, so earlier things don’t come up as often. It makes sense that if you don’t do lessons, your reviews will just feature the stuff you’ve already learnt. That didn’t even occur to me! Ha. Thanks :blush:

What learning resources do you use for grammar? Since starting WK my vocab and kanji have come in leaps and bounds, but grammar doesn’t seem to be doing very much, and only advances as quickly as the night class I take once a week advances (which is slooooooow)… :blush:

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Can I cut in here?

I’m actually having the opposite problem. Grammar is what made me give up Japanese two years ago and again a year ago (though I was admittedly much dumber then), while vocabulary and kanji was very easy to learn. Now, instead, I find vocabulary and kanji so boring despite not even having an N5 vocabulary. However, I have been exposed to a lot of grammar in a short period of time because of all the reading about it I’ve done. It’s fresh in my mind, because I only really started studying grammar two or three weeks ago.

The thing to keep in mind is that grammar is only hard when you’re just starting, because Japanese is full of some pretty alien grammar. Just read about grammar every day - it doesn’t matter how much you do - and eventually you’ll get a foothold on it and you’ll want to learn more, I’ll bet. I’ve found it very interesting.

Free Resources

I always read one of Tae Kim’s lessons from his grammar guide (not his complete guide) every day and now I’m up to special expressions. It’s been great in getting me exposed to new and common grammar structures and whatnot. I quite like it: Introduction – Learn Japanese

I’ve read through all of the 100 grammar points here, just so I can be exposed to it (the explanations aren’t so great, beware, though comments may have answers for you): Japanese Grammar Lessons - Learn Basic Japanese Grammar

I also read a little of Imabi, but I’m leaving it until I finish Tae Kim’s Special Expressions because it’s a little too much content. I want to get a foothold on the grammar points first and then get more comfortable with them with Imabi’s more comprehensive (and potentially more accurate) explanations. Imabi is very comprehensive, and covers a VERY large amount of grammar, so it’s a great reference guide or supplement (maybe even a main textbook at later stages) for pretty much any level beyond absolute beginner: http://www.imabi.net

Here’s a link that gives you a rough idea of Imabi’s equivalence to the JLPT levels that you might find helpful: https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/52e8oj/imabi_jlpt_level_equivalence/

A particularly fun one that I found randomly a week ago helped a lot in both understanding and staying interested in grammar. Studying grammar concepts in a vacuum can only be so fun, after all: Learn Japanese with Pokemon: LeafGreen #1 - Game Grammar - YouTube
Game Grammar has 19 videos of LeafGreen all the way up to the first gym, and with each part about 20 minutes long, the narrator explains every grammar concept as well as the words used. I’m only 4 episodes through, but the grammar concepts started to really click for me here. Give it a shot, perhaps after you’ve already tried studying from Tae Kim’s guide or whatever.

Renshuu is another option, though I personally didn’t use it very much because I didn’t discover it until a few days ago. Unfortunately, the free version covered most of the basic stuff I already knew. It might be a good way to drill those grammar points, though. It does cover a good deal of the N3-N5 grammar from what I hear, but more than half of it is locked behind the PRO screen. You can get 30 PRO days free, though, for each person that signs up because of your referral through a particular link, like so. It might be worth it, might not. I plan on buying a month for $4 soon anyway just to try it out. You can do some stuff with the free version too, of course.

Paid Resources

Textbooks are a great method of learning grammar, if expensive. I like An Introduction to Modern Japanese. The grammar explanations are fantastic, though it is expensive. You also have to buy the second book, which contains the exercises AND the vocab that’s used in book 1. It uses Kanji right off the bat. It’s meant as a 1-year intensive course in Japanese that will leave you with a firm grasp on the language after finishing it, as it says in its introduction. There are 52 lessons, presumably with the assumption that you absorb one lesson per week (not read one per week). I knew some of the content, so I went at a pace of 3 lessons a day. Though, I gave it a bit of a break until I finish Tae Kim, again. From what I’ve read of the first 10 lessons, it’s a fantastic book with concise grammar explanations and some content that I didn’t find anywhere else. I recommend it. The books are $60US each if you buy them, but if you rent them for about a year, it goes down to $50US each. Maybe you can rent them for like a week and see if you like them, then rent them for a longer period if you do.

Genki is usually the beginner’s textbook of choice. It’s slow and typically engaging enough, starting off with romaji over the hiragana in the first two lessons but culling it in the third lesson, I’ve heard it’s a great introduction to the language. Haven’t used much of it myself. It is the #1 best-selling book.

Minna no Nihongo starts you out reading Japanese explanations of Japanese grammar, which I thought was a rather clever idea because it gets you used to seeing Japanese in the beginning stages, which ultimately makes progression faster in the long run. It has a translation book, though, so don’t worry about not understanding it. Haven’t used it myself, but I believe it’s a series of textbooks that take you up to around N3? Then, Tobira is the (expensive) textbook of choice.

Of course, what would this list be without mentioning the Dictionary Of [Basic] [Intermediate] [Advanced] Japanese Grammar? These are widely considered to be some of the best reference books on Japanese grammar on the market because of their explanations, and they also cover a lot of content. I’ve heard the basic one covers so much that people hesitate to call it basic. But maybe that’s just the opinion of newbies. The entire series, I’ve heard, is about 70% of N1 grammar, and more than enough for confident conversation in Japan. Again, this is all hearsay, but it’s widely renowned.

I would link these last textbooks, but I have to go. Hope you find something there. The forums does have a post recommending a bunch of grammar resources as well, someone’ll probably link it. Laters.


I just got my first set of enlightened this morning :grin:


I’ve read a few books on the subject, including one called Japanese the Manga Way that I read a long time ago. It discusses a lot of grammar, and uses real comics as teaching tools. I’ve also read some of Tae Kim’s guide.

Overall, though, my grammar isn’t a strong point yet and I’ve been focusing more on vocabulary for now. Since I read a lot of manga and watch a lot of anime, there’s often on-screen context to help out with understanding conjugations. I’ve even learned a few points through those media.

I’m going to study grammar more seriously after I reach level 60 here. It’s something I certainly shouldn’t be neglecting, but I think I’ll be able to do more with understanding all of the vocabulary and being uncertain about some of the grammar context than I would be able to with a total understanding of all of the conjugations and particles but without knowing what the words mean. At least for the way that I intend to use the language, mostly for consuming media that I enjoy.

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Level 17, so just a few days ago :stuck_out_tongue:


Mine just popped up on the long-range scanners, so it looks like it’ll be L23. I won’t be able to level up again before then.
Red alert! Vwoorp Vwoorp