Why you should not

Of the top of my head the following:

  • inability to remember what people are talking about during meetings and difficulties with focusing on listening
  • general body-related fatigue (since gone)
  • lack of motivation (stopped paying attention :stuck_out_tongue: )
  • sudden loss of focus and forgetting what I was doing
  • time lapses (impaired time perception)
  • daydreaming

Those are the usual symptoms, I think.

I exercise everyday in the morning so I don’t have problems moving, but I’m pretty sure that if I gave up on exercising, I would eventually hit that too :frowning: .

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Is it bad if I give something a like after it’s been flagged? :thinking:


Doing reviews at night is just fine, but when it’s distrupting your sleep or daily life then I think that can be an issue. I totally thought this was going to be a r/nosleep type of story though lmao

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To bad you have to dig to find the reasonable recommendation. This is what’s on the no-login homepage.

I’ve commented on this repeatedly over the years. Their introductory marketing is all about doing it in a year. And frankly I think that sets people’s expectations up for failure. And in the longer term I think that’s bad.

Don’t get me wrong, I think WK has been transformative. Before WK I thought learning how to read was utterly and completely hopeless. Now my reading skill is better than my listening skill. I love WK. I recommend WK to ALL my friends. I just think their introductory marketing is a tad disingenuous.


Is that how you get the Angry Aya badge?


Maybe, I got it the first time I was flagged
Straight up asked for a badge, and mods gave me that one
I’ve only been flagged once so far though

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Not in a year, just over a year :wink:


Of course, 2020 didn’t actually end so I’m still on track

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Either way, that phrasing is misleading and kind of misses the bigger picture. If one were to speed-run through WaniKani, I’m not sure how much time that leaves to make grammar, listening and speaking skills keep up with that. Then again, pacing is something one has to develop and it’s not WaniKani’s responsibility :man_shrugging: .

But there is plenty of people around who open new threads (weekly, almost) about struggles with pacing, because they try to do too much and then are suddenly surprised by the review rebound, even though the review schedule shows when and how many items are available. So I think @Amimononohitsuji 's thread is perfectly on point.


People are setting alarm clocks to do reviews and interrupting their sleep, really? From what I understand about sleep, your memories are consolidated during sleep. If I don’t sleep well the previous night, I’ll do my reviews and stop. I won’t bother trying to learn because I know it’s incredibly difficult and annoying. Aren’t people learning for fun, because they enjoy Japanese? The way SRS systems are setup, you can’t really sprint your way to the finish line, it’s a marathon. You should enjoy it and take your time, hobbies are supposed to be fun! Ruining your health to cram in an extra review, man, that just sounds like turning a hobby into a chore!


I just want to point out that Wanikani itself gives you very little information about how to schedule and structure your reviews. The “9am, 1pm, 9pm” schedule does not come from WK, it comes from a user-written guide on the forums. What WK itself tells you is “do all the reviews as soon as you get them”. Like, if I hadn’t come to the forums and read a half dozen community-written guides on WK I probably wouldn’t have figured out how to use WK in a way that was sustainable for me.

I mean, I think Amimononohitsuji is going a little too far in this thread; I can’t think of any examples of people getting up in the middle of the night to do reviews other than the one person who speedran WK in 344 days (and that person is very clearly an outlier, not representative of how most people use WK). But I also think that the expectation that you can do it in “just over a year” and the lack of guidance on finding your own pace of lessons and reviews is a problem.

Does Wanikani say (or did they say in the past) “do all the reviews as soon as you get them”? (genuinely asking out of curiosity, not trying to be combative).

I was curious about their messaging beyond the “just over a year” and found “one to two years” in their description of the tool on Tofugu:

WaniKani is a Japanese-kanji-and-vocabulary-learning web app with a simple goal: teach you most of the 2,000 jōyō kanji (meanings AND readings) as well as 6,000 vocabulary words in one to two years.
By using spaced repetition, mnemonics, interleaving, and more, we’ve put together one of the fastest and simplest systems for people who want to learn how to read Japanese.

And in the newish FAQ area, they say this, and directly link to the user on the forum who recommends the self-timed review schedule:

How long does it take to finish WaniKani?
That depends on you.
If you do your reviews on time and get most of them correct, it’s possible to get through all 60 levels in just over a year, or 368 days for one WaniKani user. That’s breakneck speed, however.
Getting to level 60 in a year and a half or two years is a much more reasonable speed.
That said, go at your own speed. You can always reduce the number of lessons you do to slow down. Or, do them when they become available to go at top speed. Learning ~2,000 kanji is going to be a long path regardless, so go at the speed that will keep you in it all the way to the end. Compared to traditional methods, it’s going to be faster no matter what.

I definitely agree that across the site they seem to be having a bit of trouble phrasing “you can go fast, and it’s faster than other methods, but also you might go slow, or fast might be too fast, and anyway it might take a little over a year or quite a bit longer than that it just depends” in a peppy way, and the knowledge site doesn’t seem like it’s linked outside of the “help” link in the corner once logged in, but following the post chain it sounds like the 368 days person didn’t get up in the middle of the night, at least.

It’s a messy area for sure, and advice to stay rested is definitely warranted, but everyone’s situation (and time zone) is different, and I’m not sure what limits (or even advice) could apply equally to say, a college student with no obligations on summer break and a single parent attending night school.

In talking about Wanikani’s messaging and selling itself - I notice there’s a lot of “chat with us” links everywhere - I wonder if those are informative? I’ve never tried it.

The most hardline WK messaging I could find is:

What is WaniKani?
If you try WaniKani, you’ll be able to complete the incredibly simple task of learning ~2,000 kanji (both meaning and reading) and 6,000+ Japanese vocabulary words. In order to do this, all you need to do is:

Do your available Lessons.
Do your reviews.
Do them every day, without fail. Probably even on Christmas.
“Simple” does not mean easy. The word “easy” is a word copywriters use to get you to buy their language learning product, be it textbook, audio program, or app. But, if you actually want to learn something, and learn it to real fluency… it’s going to be hard. No. Matter. What. If you want to feel like you’re learning without gaining substance you can go anywhere.

Okay, who’s still here?

Which does come across as more intense than some of the other messaging. But it seems to be trying to emphasize the rhythm of doing reviews regularly, rather than the exact number. But I could see improvements to that and the “just under a year” bit front and center, perhaps.


impressed here

I thought those memes in the thread about people waking up 2 am or staying up until 2 am was just a meme

but I see some people take seriously lmao

I am confortable with my 3 times a day review, regardless the time and my progress is quite nice so far.


Can’t help that it made me remember this clip:

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Someone else in the thread said “do your reviews as soon as you get them” but I don’t know if WK ever actually phrases it exactly like that.

I think a big problem is the “Do your Lessons” part of that. They don’t give any furher guidance so it comes across as “do all your lessons as soon as they’re available” which is how people end up with giant piles of hundreds of reviews and people coming to the forums around level 7-10 complaining that they’re overwhelmed. I wish WK would provide the guidance that your pace is set by the number of lessons you do and that you should pick a number of lessons per day to do. They could even add this feature to the app itself, personally I do 20 lessons per day so it’d be nice to tell WK “I want to do 20 lessons a day” and have it cut me off at that number. Sure this is something a userscript could do but it would have a much bigger impact if it were a default feature of the app itself.

Anyway, that’s getting a bit off the topic of this thread. I doubt there are many people who are setting alarms to wake up and do their reviews and I don’t think WK is actually encouraging people to do that. I do think they should get rid of the “just over a year” copy and be more realistic with how long it takes to finish–even the “1-2 years” mentioned elsewhere sounds too low; I don’t know what the actual average completion time is for level 60 but I would be amazed if it were less than 2 years.


There’s a lot of conversation in this thread about what is, and is not, WK’s responsibility.

As a game dev, I’d like to point out that user engagement and community management are within the product’s responsibility.

The most active and visible threads on the community, to new users, tend to promote speed. As do the user-created guides that are visible everywhere. Going slower is suggested as an alternative if you “can’t handle” going fast, implying that a slower pace is inferior.

All WK needs to do is make more explicit suggestions about pacing yourself. A simple, clear, highly visible statement would be enough to prevent many people’s suffering.

TLDR: as a developer, if you sell a gamified product, you have an ethical responsibility to encourage healthy engagement patterns.


There’s been a few flags from this thread and I just want to remind everyone again to take a few minutes to review the Community Guidelines before you post on this thread again:

I’m not saying we all need to agree with the OP, but if you disagree, you can leave it at that or contribute to the thread in a respectful tone.

@Amimononohitsuji Rachel’s on vacation and you can always tag ‘@ mods’ if you have questions. It’s definitely not WaniKani’s intention to make people stay up late or wake up at 3am to do reviews. We never recommend this on our Knowledge Guide or in our emails/chats if you ask for suggestions. There’s definitely room for improvement on clarifying to new users what we do suggest in terms of pacing, so thanks for bringing this topic up. Usually we get these questions from new users directly, but I understand there could be something a bit more obvious and visual so people don’t need to ask.


It’s only been lightly touched upon, but the “hours” of sleep are meaningless. AFAIK, the research points to the number of sleep cycles you get as being the important part. The older you are, the fewer sleep cycles you need. Generally, normal healthy adults need 4-5 sleep cycles. How you get these cycles doesn’t matter too much, beyond ideally not waking up in the middle of a cycle.

So doing something like sleeping 1 and a half hours 4 or 5 times a day would be perfectly healthy. It just happens to not line up well with contemporary societal expectations.


…You good man?


That’s pretty much just standard xplo.