Why do people think week 1 is slow

I’m just level 2 now, and I hear so many people saying that the start is slow and so on.
However, as soon as I finished with the last few kanji level 1, I was hit with 60 new lessons. That is around 30 new radicals, 12 new kanji and 18 new words.

All of these seem so complicated to learn at once, and since I’ve been doing my reviews once/day rather than the hourly, it seems that reviews gonna keep piling up.
I also use kaniwani for reverse practice cause I think it’s pretty important so thats a bit more workload too.

Am I doing something wrong or am I just supposed to get used to this?


When I started using WaniKani, the first three levels were painfully slow. This was because I already knew all the low-level material. I was “learning” what I already knew, and was putting all my review time into what I already knew.

Since I was seeing more immediate results with learning vocabulary with iKnow, I (unfortunately) ended up not sticking with WaniKani. Not that the two strongly overlap, but I had decided to focus on vocabulary over kanji. I don’t regret the decision, but I am glad I came back to WaniKani a couple years later (at the start of this year), and have stuck with it since.

Regarding the lessons, the main advice I would give is that if you find your reviews are becoming too many to do in one day, ease up on the lessons a bit. You don’t need to zero our your lessons right away. Find a pace that works for you. I’m keen on the recommendation to not have more than 100 apprentice items at a time, as that helps keep the amount of new material being reviewed from getting out of hand. (But I’m also averaging only one level-up per month, which is a pace that suits me fine.)


People think it’s slow simply because you can go faster


My advice is not to worry about what other people think is slow or fast. This is not a sprint, it’s a multi-year marathon. Take it at a speed you can handle and don’t overwhelm yourself. I recommend ignoring the number of Lessons available and find a steady pace that works for you. Personally I found that 15 lessons a day (20 if they are particularly easy vocabulary) is the right amount for me. This usually keeps my Apprentice count below the 100 item threshold and keeps the reviews from getting out of hand. If you find you just can’t handle the number of reviews you’re getting, slow down or stop doing new lessons for a day or two. The important thing is keep doing reviews as soon as you can so they don’t build up and become overwhelming.


Yeah, for me, who was born in Japan, its not fast or slow, its just normal.
I moved to Brazil when i was 12 eyers old… so.WaniKani`s methods is pretty easy, and I still spend 8 month to reach lvl 3. hehehe


Welcome, @alurpawan.

These first few levels are there to get the swing of things. If you arrive with zero previous knowledge of kanji and if you want to make sure that you actually remember things then every level is a challenge. Take each kanji as it comes. Each week, you will know more kanji and words than you did before. Each week you will get more efficient at learning. 頑張ってください!


I think the beginning was slow in the past but not anymore. WaniKani has changed the first levels so it goes faster than the other levels. Now the workload is now a bit closer to the higher levels.

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I think a lot of people get started and treat it like a video game. They want to be “play” for as long as they want, whenever they want. Like DuoLingo. They don’t like being told, “there is absolutely nothing to do for at least 4 hours, or 8 hours. Go read a book.”


because many people have already started learning Kanji before they start Wanikani, so it’s all rehashed and they have to trudge through it.

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Maybe it’s been said, maybe it hasn’t, but also waaaay back in Beta, the first 3 levels took twice as long as they do now - with an extra day to get to Guru/Guru 2 to boot. (What is now 2/3 days was once 3/4 days.) So if you were searching, you may have been reading posts from yesteryear…

Oh look, there’s an old-timer escaped from his thread! Quick, get the net!

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Can’t catch me!
I’m just as elusive as those old mnemonics…


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I think many felt it was slow with the first level because they were reviewing more so than learning (at least was the case for many of us coming from RTK land) or they have a lot of time on their hands and want to just hit the gate doing 1000 lessons kind of mentality. I like the WK has a limit to the speed as it establishes the good habit of truth: Steady wins the race.

I think the pace is going to feel relative to your ability to absorb things, time which you have available to learn/review at any given time, how dedicated you are to the process, and if the items are completely new or known.

Wasn’t that changed in 2016?


Perhaps they shortened them even more then? I’m positive straight out of Beta it happened, because it was right after/shortly after I finished level 3 myself (when I was in the long dark wait of a subscription). I also recall at one time only the waiting periods for the radicals was shorter; later it became the whole level. :thinking:

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