Why can people here be so mean? (Update I was wrong)

I’m kind of on Vanilla’s side here because all of the discipline talk makes this sound like some sort of ordeal we’re doing on the promise that our life will be better on the other side. I mean I know some parts of the learning process are less fun; I’m not in love with SRS time. But I remember Vanilla talking elsewhere about pretty quickly getting to the stage where you enjoy doing it and… yeah. I mean I look up a lot of words, but I’m reading things. It’s fun. I don’t need discipline to pick up a book. In the early days that might be more true, but back then I managed to be pretty enamored with just getting closer, at least temporarily.

I do think a big part of being helpful, if giving someone advice on learning Japanese, is trying to help them get to the more fun stage as soon as possible. Because yeah, very basic grammar instruction isn’t many people’s idea of a good time.


I think both discipline and willpower is needed. Since you’re 60, you’re doing something right for you.

The problem with willpower however is that it’s fleeting, and relying on it will not get you that far since you’d simply go in short bursts of learning. I believe you have both, (discipline and willpower) since you’re 60.

I mean I do feel like a masochist sometimes. :upside_down_face:


Yeah fair enough lol, kinda at a dead end when we can’t really prove any of this.

Yeah, wanting to learn is far more important than wanting to be fluent imo. And if learning is fun, then its only natural you’ll wanna learn, right? Getting to the fun stage can be tough though for some people I think. I think its just in some peoples personalities to find more discouragement than enjoyment in looking up a buncha words in what they’re reading. Having content you actually wanna consume is a big factor in how much you’ll want to engage in that process, and sadly some people just don’t have a whole lot they wanna consume yknow.

Lol I appreciate the compliment, but idk about having willpower and discipline. I’m just having a good time, y’feel.


Perhaps I’m diving too far down this tangent, but I do think you and I differ on one point here. I was explaining this elsewhere recently in response to someone, but I’m not so sure I’d categorize it as loving learning, as much as loving the results. Like, my fun still scales with amount successfully comprehended, so it’s more goal oriented in that way. Perhaps it helps that the goal isn’t “be fluent” so much as “find out what this sentence of this VN says,” heh. If I had the choice I’d rather not be looking up words, but if I can get there after looking up the words, it’s nowhere near enough of a drag to take away from the fun, and for now, I’ve still accomplished enough as long as I can get to comprehension at all.

Either way, 100%, having content you want to consume is key. I’m drowning in it; I’ll never be close to done.

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I think not everyone finds the same things fun, though. I definitely find grammar much more interesting than most other people. OTOH, deciphering a text I barely understand by looking up every second word is not super fun for me.

You have to enjoy some parts of it, but everyone has parts they don’t enjoy and you just have to find some way of either finding a way to do them or finding alternative things that will also help you in some way.


Unless I’m mistaken, aren’t the results learning in this case? I enjoyed solving little sentences like that and that was my enjoyment, but I qualify that as learning personally. But yeah I mean, I can’t say how much my fun scaled relative to you. Like obviously I enjoy reading and knowing everything, but I also enjoy understanding new sentences and learning. As I got better, the former became a bigger portion of my total enjoyment and the latter shrunk.

And yeah, I mean I think for the longest time I was the same way. If provided with the option, I would have rather never had to look up words. But idk, once I got to the point where maybe…I was only getting like 30 new words from some of my books, it kinda flipped. When I wasn’t able to get my 20 new words for the day from what I read, it was just like 足りない lol and I was like damn I wanna learn more. And THEN it got to the point where I intentionally avoided some books that I knew wouldn’t have like any new words in it lol. So its kinda been a gradual shift towards loving learning more for me.

Regardless, maybe I should rephrase it to “how much you want to engage in the process of learning is most important”.


OT: but today I learned who Donald Keene was … by way of a pretty comical internet meme … by way of that thread. So thanks! <laugh>


Ignore them, lol.

To quote a really old song which I have forgotten who it was by or the name of it “The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself”.

I’ve got to a high-ish level but it’s taken many years and been a bit of a fraught journey, I’ve been stalling on this level for over 2 months now, lol, not really doing many reviews lately because I’ve just been focusing on other things in life like trying to buff up a bit and playing games in Japanese to increase my overall exposure.


Well I mean, I guess I wanted to mention it partly cause I wasn’t sure where we were dividing the “learning” line, but besides some satisfaction at having been able to do it, I’m not so much about solving the sentence as knowing what it says. Which I think is a meaningful distinction here? I’m sure for some people the very process of learning is a lot better than it is for me, where I primarily would say I don’t mind needing to do it, and that [having learned] is more than worth going through [needing to learn], and more importantly that even with that mindset it’s possible to reach the point of knowing enough to have some sort of fun surprisingly qiuckly. But if anyone wants to give me magical full fluency, go for it, haha. Having to spend time solving the sentence is time away from reading/listening to all of the media I want to work through, so if I could speed up and know more, that’s always preferable.

But yeah I mean with your rephrasing and other elaboration, I’m probably ultimately splitting hairs. Was just checking on that. You know, often you look back and realize you didn’t know just how much you liked doing something while it happened, so I may develop the same wistfulness when it’s too late.


Thanks to all the wonderful wanikani users
I no longer use wanikani to learn kanji but I feel very welcomed to still be a part of the community and ask questions.

Run on sentence sorry.


All I know is… nothing.

The Crabigator eats my brains daily… and then craps it back in my skull.

I then have a limited time before I’m attacked again ruthlessly by this monstrosity.

It’s lust… it’s desire… to see me burn its children into charred pieces of turtle!

Sick… it’s just… sick!

I don’t wish this upon my worse enemies… get out while you can friend… save yourself before you’re sucked into it’s vortex!

I agree. i see this sentiment over and over. I feel there is far more hating for team i wanna get this done as soon as possible.
There’s nothing wrong with going slow…but there is also nothing wrong with going “fast”…which isn’t even really “fast” it’s just the pace of wanikani if you do all your lessons at once. It’s not like anyone switched on turbo or anything. I don’t see how anyone could get toxic out of choosing to do all your lessons at the same time. That’s just a personal choice.
Does one really think that people spend hours a day here and hundreds of dollars just to make others feel bad? To think that someone would put in that much energy and money in for anyone other than themselves and.their own self improvement is a bit much to swallow. Plus as someone mentioned there are so many variables that people just don’t know…why selectively stomp on the people with good memories? All are welcome…etc…except all you %%^$&$ers with good memories…you go away.
Thank god for trunklayer and cute animal threads.

I’m not sure I understand exactly what this is referring to…but i’m been having this same thought all night.

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I do tend to encourage people to go slower, but the main reason why is because I personally know multiple people (on and off of the forum) who started around the same time I did who tried to go full speed, made it roughly 25 levels in, then burned out massively and struggled to get back into studying Japanese. I ultimately ended up overtaking them despite going half their speed. So most of my advice is geared around trying to prevent more cautionary tales like those from happening. Plus, the majority of level 60 posts that I see posted here also tend to be people on the faster end, and many of them neglected other aspects of study in order to speedrun level 60. That isn’t everyone, of course! But I think it is enough people that it is worth cautioning newcomers about.

I think people can make their own decisions about their study habits and pace, but I also think that the vast majority of people who are new to WK don’t fully understand what they’re signing up for when they commit to doing this. I know I certainly didn’t! SRS is something that needs to be learned in itself, and WK’s SRS is particularly punishing in a way that Anki’s isn’t, so it’s quite easy for people to get in over their head, especially if someone starts out trying to balance WK, KaniWani/KameSame, Kitsun/Anki, and Bunpro all at once. With SRS, the beginning is the easy part, because you have less reviews in circulation, and you don’t really have the full picture of what your future workload will look like, until you have a little more experience with it and can see how things add up.

I think the best advice that is most widely applicable to everyone is to choose an SRS pace that you can keep up even on bad days. For some people, this means a lot less work than others! If someone works full time or is a student full time, or is raising children, or has chronic illness or another condition that makes studying difficult, that often means a much lower threshold of daily reviews. If someone is unemployed and fairly healthy, and doesn’t have children, they can probably handle a lot more work without reaching burnout. I think the latter case tends to be more uncommon, though, hence the caution.

WK itself advertises the fast route, despite occasionally advising against going too fast in the level up emails. The program bills itself as a method for teaching 2000+ kanji in just over a year. And while it’s true that you can do this, and some people can handle it just fine, many others can’t. Or at least, they can’t do it while also balancing other aspects of study: additional vocab, grammar, immersion, etc.

I just tend to assume that the majority of people posting on this forum are not able to learn Japanese in ideal circumstances (being able to essentially study the language as a full-time job), and tailor my advice accordingly. Especially if someone is posting about having substantially struggled with learning the language, or had trouble using WK or Anki or whatever. In that case, I think it’s far more useful to encourage people to work within their own limits and reassure them that even failed attempts weren’t entirely wasted. Language learning isn’t an all or nothing situation.

I actually have multiple friends who won’t even set foot in any Japanese language learning community, including this forum, because they’re constantly made to feel like they’re learning wrong for not perfectly optimizing their studying. Both of them have severe chronic illness that makes it difficult for them to do SRS every day because they’ll often lose entire days due to being in too much pain. I also have other friends who have an interest in learning Japanese, but have been unable to commit to even starting because they keep getting told that this or that method is slow or wrong.

I just don’t see how an emphasis on speed above all else is really helpful. For people who want to go fast and who want to keep optimizing their studying, the wider Japanese learning community online already heavily incentivizes and encourages that. WK itself already encourages it. No one is stopping you! But for someone who is struggling, or who is very new to this and maybe not quite ready to commit to a full year of putting all of their free time into this one hobby, a little bit of caution and support can go a long way.

I would never tell someone that they are bad or wrong for going fast, but I do try to encourage a new person to learn how the SRS works, and point them toward information that shows some of the most reliable strategies for successfully using it. I also suggest alternatives to going full-speed, and give some tips I’ve learned myself as well as from others for avoiding burnout. It’s up to the other person to decide if they take the advice or not, but everything that I share is stuff that has worked for me, and which has allowed me to avoid the same pitfalls that have befallen several of my friends.

Plus, every single person I know who is very proficient at Japanese took at least several years to get there. I don’t know a single person who reached a very high level of proficiency in just a year or two. It’s certainly doable for some, if you are sufficiently dedicated and have the free time to pull it off, but for most of us, that just isn’t an option.

I think the best thing is to try to acknowledge that there are multiple options and paths to success, and respect that other people have different priorities, which sometimes includes doing things “inefficiently” for a variety of reasons. But a big part of that is acknowledging slower paces, and sometimes letting people make their own mistakes. You can present advice and recommendations, but it’s up to the other person if they want to take them, and once you’ve said your piece, unless they specifically ask you for help, it’s out of your hands.


Hey, OP person here. Haven’t had time to read through all the replies as well there are a lot, but I do now looking back feel I overreacted, however I would like to note I wasn’t intending to directly refer to my previous thread, it was just a final straw kinda thing, even if that final straw was admittedly very minor. I had failed to take into consideration the language barrier aspects and to those on that post I apologise. I honestly didn’t expect anyone to see this post, as I said in the text it was more a way of letting it go by writing it down than anything else :frowning: i also want to note I was writing about my total learning experience, i just messed up my writing.

Hopefully this helps clear stuff up, I promise I didn’t intent to come across as a butt hurt loser or anything and i truly do appreciate all the support i have recieved from strangers until now. All i can do is try to speed up a bit when possible. I’m just a stressed uni student who let it build up, i really am sorry

Oki, thanks for hearing me out if you see this, good luck everyone :two_hearts:


For what it’s worth, nothing I said was meant to refer indirectly to you! I know you’re a pretty vocal proponent of “slow can be good,” but I feel like that really only comes out when you come across a new person or someone is looking for advice that it applies to, and I’ve got no real issues with how you go about it!

They do, but a lot of the types of people you are referring to also tend to assume that because they have found A method that works, it is THE method that works. While I’d consider myself someone trying to learn Japanese at a fast rate (I just wanna read things!), most of those communities are places I’d avoid because the mention of something like Wanikani would, itself, be met with derision.

@travissmith Oh you posted like right as I was, but, it’s all good friend. Best of luck with everything at the university. :heart:


Yeah, and you’re a pretty good example of someone who I wouldn’t offer this advice to, at this point (maybe I did when you first started, haha), because you’ve clearly found a pace that works for you, and haven’t struggled with the types of things that caused others I know to burn out! But you’re also pretty open about having fairly unusual circumstances in your life that allow you to go at a fast pace. For folks in a situation similar to yours, I think it’s much easier to reap the benefits of a fast pace without feeling the downsides as much.

Oh, this is very true, unfortunately. Even the WK forum itself is not fully immune to this :sweat_smile:


thank you my friend! <3


Travis, I admit I use the ‘ignore’ button on a few people whose comments I find repeatedly unconstructive, it’s in the ‘preferences’ section if you want to add a few names :slight_smile: Then I don’t wind myself up because I don’t even have to read them. Maybe they’re not even being annoying deliberately, but so what.

Good luck to you. Keep going. Enjoy your journey. There are always idiots in the world but most people here support you!!