Why is level 1 so slow?

Joke! :stuck_out_tongue:

I have to admit, though, I was wishing for a way to just fast forward it a bit. Can’t complain too much, though, since I re-inflicted it on myself.

Anyway, what my post really amounts to is “Hello, again!”

I reset myself from level 9 to level 1, because I ended up taking a long break from WaniKani due to work, etc. Now I am trying to ensure that I stay motivated, in spite of my other activities, and I am hoping that spending a little regular time on the forum will help.

Stay strong, my brothers-in-arms, stay strong!


Came back a few days ago after about half a year of doing nothing here myself. Showed how well WaniKani works for me, I remembered lots of meanings and readings thanks to the mnemonics. ^^

Anyway, welcome back then.

I remember a lot of stuff, and there is stuff I knew before ever doing WK, but I was staring blankly at enough of my (2000ish?) review items that it was just overwhelming, and I decided to bite the bullet and start over.

It doesn’t even let me learn the kanji yet even if I mastered the radicals

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Sounds like an error if you already got the radicals to master level :wink:

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What I find moderately ridiculous is that the devs insistently maintain that it has to start slow, because learning, and yet the second you get to level 2 they drop 42+ new lessons on you. Like, I had nothing to do for half a week but now you’ve innundated me with so much stuff that I’m forgetting every other reading. I get it if the “slow and steady, drip feed” approach was actually consistent, but going from ~10 new things to memorize a day to something like 30 or 40 is pretty strange.

You haven’t mastered the radicals though

They don’t force any pace on you when the new lessons arrive.

Yeah I know. I just feel bad leaving a bunch in the queue given that I was waiting around for the last few days for stuff to do (and they send me a passive aggressive email reminding me of my new lessons!). That said, I’ll probably end up leaving a bunch of lessons so I can study whenever I want (rather than having to wait for new stuff to arrive like I did earlier).

Still getting started on all this so there are some learning pains (especially coming from halfway through Heisig…).

Aye, if you are a completionist, and I am, it can feel like that @TheSyllogism, but actually, you don’t have to do any of the lessons till you want to. I actually do usually do them all, right away, but that’s me. And that does lead to large review queues, and fast progress.

Around level 5 (iirc) you should get to the point where you see how much of a workload WaniKani can be. Once things get into full swing, you won’t really feel like you’re waiting around.

I’ll say that I don’t think you need to do all of your lessons at once. I certainly don’t. That works for some people, while others spread them out over a few days. So don’t feel like you have to empty your lesson queue immediately, if that’s overwhelming you.

That said, I mentioned the workload increasing to point out that you probably shouldn’t leave lessons in your queue just to ensure you have lessons available. The lessons are only a small part of learning here. The bigger part is reviewing, and that’s what you’re going to spend most of your time doing. So do your lessons in a reasonable, but comfortable amount of time so you can start reviewing the items.

Though one more caveat about that. Many (most?) people here limit their Apprentice items to keep from being constantly bombarded with reviews, so you may want to consider that as well. Taking longer isn’t a bad thing if you retain the knowledge better and avoid burning out.

Got a bit rambly there. Sorry if it’s not very readable.


Thanks for the tips! Much appreciated! For me burning out isn’t really an issue, I’ll be starting work in Japan in September and I want to get as much done as possible before then. I’ve got a surplus of free time, so I’m really ok with a bunch of lessons (I’m just still a bit sore that WaniKani “wasted” my first three days or so - of course I was actually doing Memrise decks in the meantime so it’s not like I missed anything).

Anyway yeah, thanks again for the help!

Aye, there are no wasted days - there is only, “grammar time”. :wink:

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WaniKani frustrates the new user because they’ve finally made the commitment to sit down and try out the method. They’ve set aside some time to do it and then suddenly discover … they have to wait.

The best time to start WaniKani is when you think you don’t have time to start anything new. If I am trying to promote WaniKani, I would say “it’s good that you’re so busy because WaniKani is slow in the beginning”.

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Well, now that’s just the root of my original complaint then. WaniKani (in my very limited experience) seems to start easy. I set aside a load of time and then found… I didn’t need it. I could complete my WaniKani reviews and lessons in about 5 minutes twice a day, 10 minutes a day!

After the third day I started getting complacent, I began expecting the slow pace. Suddenly WaniKani welcomed me to level 2! Hooray, except now I have 42+ pending lessons?? As a completely new user, it suddenly feels like WaniKani is suggesting I up my pace. After all, they restricted the amount that I could learn at the start because they knew best. They cautioned me it’d be slow, but that was all a part of the plan.

Now, the natural progression from ~10 new kanji a day is 42 mixed kanji, vocabulary, and radicals!? Now, of course the kind people here have pointed out that I am not under any pressure to actually do all of those new lessons right away, and I’m going to take their advice, probably do them over two days. However, the question remains, is it really appropriate to ease people into things so gently that a fairly regular amount of work (~20 new terms a day) suddenly feels overwhelming?

There’s two kinds of pacing that are kind of being conflated here.

There’s the pace of when it’s appropriate to build on an item you’ve learned.

And then there’s the pace of how many items you’re reviewing concurrently.

WK’s emphasis on “slowness” is with regard to the first one, not necessarily the second one, even though they do gate you a bit.

I mean mastered as in I never get them wrong during review sessions (give or take a typo)

Aye, you just have to keep getting them right over the first few days, until you Guru them. It’s slow going if you really do already get it, I know I did the first time I did this, and I think level 1 lasted longer back then, too (but I might be wrong about when it was altered).

Alright, I am back up at level 9 and working to level 10. So, success!

I don’t regret the reset, as I did come across stuff that I completely blanked on, at every level after about level 6, and I definitely reinforced the earlier levels, too.

Well, you’re right about large review queues, but it’s no faster than if you spread it out strategically.