I don’t get it lmao. I just wanna learn more Kanji and this thing is limiting me. It’s been more than a day now and I’m still forced to type out the first X radicals. I wanna keep studying.
WaniKani works by teaching you radicals first, then building the kanji off those radicals (both as visual elements and as mnemonics). You’ll learn kanji when you’ve guru’d the radicals they’re made of.
Because you will probably be overwhelmed and quit anyway.
The workload looks like this:
Yes, it starts very gently, but don’t let it fool you, it gets intense.
WaniKani always feels slow at the first levels, but believe me, this would quickly pass. The limit is there to avoid getting overwhelmed and to make sure that the items you learn would get into the long-term memory.
Also, if you want to learn faster, you can always just look at the items themselves:
All WK items are accessible to view at any level. You don’t even need to have a paid subscription to do this.
Also, it might be a good idea to start studying grammar in parallel (if you are not doing it already).
This way, around level 20 you’d probably be able to read simple texts like
or graded readers at
Anyway, best of luck with your studies!
I had the same frustration when I started too, but it doesn’t take long before it gets better. Then suddenly you have 100+ reviews a day!
Also when I was bored waiting for my items to unlock, I used time here in the forums and found a lot of great tips on how to use Wanikani (look up User scripts) and what to use apart Wanikani (lookup Genki, Bunpro, etc)
I had the exact same thoughts when starting out (as did 90% of users probably). You’re motivated, you’re ready to get started - but you get walled off by the SRS system.
For me, levels 1-3 were the “worst” for motivation vs content to learn, I even set timers for the middle of the night so I’d get new content at the fastest possible speed.
Almost a year later and I’m really grateful to see rare 0/0 (zero new content and zero reviews). Trust me, trust the others, trust the process as it’s intended - you won’t regret sticking by it and waiting it out.
Also, welcome to the community!
Also, what I forgot to mention:
In the meantime, try browsing the community threads for useful info and getting grammar in. Personally I waited far too long with grammar and now regret it.
Useful websites for parallel studying include KaniWani and KameSame, and loads of other ones (that you can find in other threads)
The WaniKani knowledge base has an article that explicitly addresses this question. You also probably received (or will soon receive) an email that links to it. It’s a good idea to read through all the onboarding articles, since they explain how and why WK works the way it does.
All SRS’s have inertia. Wanikani’s style of SRS is like a car with decent enough acceleration and brakes where the best thing you can say about them is that they work. You’ve only just lead-footed the accelerator, as most beginners do and quite a few people keep doing past the first several levels. It’s gonna take more than a second to get up to 60 and beyond.
Did you not read how the website works first?
Ask yourself this. Are you ready to SRS two hours a day for over a year, every day, even on christmas? That is what it will take to go full speed for most people. Be careful about what you ask for. But yes, the first few levels are painfully slow.
Looking at the chart
Oh good, it won’t kill me any more. That’s very good.
I honestly think that the first 20 levels should get a small redistribution to lower the curve, giving a couple more items per level for the first 5 levels to curb the “I have nothing to do!” complaints, which would also normalize the number of reviews for awhile. /shrug
By all means, keep studying. It’s not like WK is the only Japanese learning resource in existence
I don’t think the first levels are too slow for people who are starting to learn kanji, so I am not sure about adding more items to them. But they are slow for people with more experience, so maybe they could speed them up based on accuracy?
I remember that feeling, but now that I’m drowning at Level 20, I think “oh my sweet summer child”
But I’m not really new. I’ve been studying Japanese for almost a year now, and I know ~300 kanjis that I picked up on along the way. I’m also far, far from new to language studying in general. I want to breeze thru these initial Kanjis which I know already.
It’s fine for the app to recommend a certain tempo - like say, Anki does - but if you’re telling me I’m forced to follow its rhythm instead of having my own pace, then I’m out; I’ll find something that doesn’t dictate things for me like that. Thanks for the help.
I think that should ultimately be my decision. I understand that some people - schoolchildren, mostly - need to have a certain rhythm dictated to them, otherwise they work inefficiently/inconsistently, but I study languages on my own terms, based on the free time I have and my own mental state.
Thanks for the help everyone, I’ll use a different app then.
More of the fact that, there are very few items to learn at the beginning, as well as almost no review. But then the number of items gradually increases, to eventually up to hundreds of reviews per day.
When that happens, indeed probably do as minimal lessons as necessary and try to complete reviews.
Then, when I understood what Wanikani really does, I tried to replicate the method in Anki.
Well, speaking from an experience of knowing of Wanikani, then didn’t use it for 3 years, before deciding to use the app…
I believe a big benefit of Wanikani is structured Kanji learning, that is, leveled based on radicals, so phonetic components and meanings. Then, reinforce with vocabularies, where readings based on Kanji components are just unreliable.
After a while, I decided to reset and redo Wanikani, despite some points I don’t really like.