Would you stop Wanikani at level 42

Hi everyone!

Long time lurker, full time wanikani procrastinator!

I should be hitting level 37 next week or so, and I’ve been asking myself more and more;
is it worth it to go to level 60?

Of course since I’ve never reached level 60 before (I’m not that kind of person unfortunately :stuck_out_tongue: ), I don’t really know, so I’m asking those of you who did:

If you had to do it again, would you go all the way up to 60?

(This assumes quite a bit, doing a lot of other japanese activities, lack of time for wanikani etc…)

Also 42 looks like a nice number, don’t know why :slight_smile:

11 Likes

I’ve heard some people have paused at 42 for quite a while

7 Likes

I just started level 60 lessons yesterday. It’s been 2 months since I was level 42 and every day I’ve been asking myself the same question…

I would ask you what your goals are and what keeps you motivated with learning.

For some reason, I’m eager to open my WK app everyday and do lessons/reviews. I use that momentum to give me motivation for the more difficult aspects of Japanese learning and fit those in whatever spare time I have left (reading/listening/grammar etc…).

If you find WK a slog, I think several people suggested 42 is a good place to stop (or slow way down).

12 Likes

I’d prolly keep going, but real slow. I feel like whatever stuff I learn last I’ll remember the least long term, so I’d rather get the stuff up through level 42 buried underneath more less important stuff in the later levels so that it’s deeper in my memory.

6 Likes

I’m minutes away from hitting level 44, and this level (43) has taken me the longest at just over 2 weeks, when my average is usually 10-11 days. It’s not much of a difference overall, and easily explained by the fact that I’m currently on vacation so I haven’t been doing reviews or lessons as frequently, but I definitely noticed a drop in motivation since hitting level 40.

In my case, I think its because I’ve been doing only kanji and not much grammar at all, so now I’m starting to realise what a massive gap I have in terms of understanding. I’m at the point now where my kanji comprehension is almost N3, but my grammar is still hovering at the very lowest N5 level.

My advice would be the same as @Spaceboy6- take a while to think about your goals and what you want to achieve. Try taking a break from kanji and doing something else, whether its grammar, listening or something else, and coming back to it later on.

Tl:dr: 40-42 is the perfect number in more ways than one, and definitely a good place to take a break if you need to.:slightly_smiling_face:

7 Likes

Occasionally I peak a look at which level the kanji from new words in manga I’m reading are taught on Wanikani. Needless to say, I’m 100% determined to hit 60 now.

You can probably manage after level 42 on your own, learning most of the kanji in the last 18 levels by simply reading and learning the words instead. Nonetheless, having seen so many of those kanji actually used, I’m convinced that there are still major benefits to sticking with WK until the very end. I used to often catch myself thinking about an early way out of WK as well, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

7 Likes

i got there and reset to 1… maybe 50 is a better place to stop from what i hear… but not quite as geeky :wink:

2 Likes

I wouldn’t.

actually I got even more into WK wanting to learn many more vocab than before.

When you realize the hard effort you take doing lessons everyday and I can now understand dialogues in japanese subtitles watching anime it is really comforting.

What I see is that many words for the last 5 levels I see them regularly in anime more frequent than those words I learned in early levels, I guess that’ss why I tend to learn more and more now.

2 Likes

I too plan to “pause” learning kanjis at level 35-36 so that I can refocus on everything else (grammar, vocab, listening etc.). Level 36 reaches >90% of (estimated) kanji coverage on the JLPT N2.
Is there a particular, non-meme reason for choosing 42?

I think I might have an idea why… :wink:

3 Likes

There are still plenty of useful kanji in the 40s and early 50s. And at that point, you might as well do the rest too :slightly_smiling_face:.

For what it’s worth, I encountered a level 60 vocab word (坑道) in a book on the same day I learned the word.

2 Likes

No. Keep going. You can.

4 Likes

It’s not about whether or not the kanji in some late levels are used like some users seem to think it is.

It’s the fact that you don’t need it and will improve notably faster by leaning words that are more useful.

If you care about speed, then I say stop. If you don’t and would rather prioritize finishing wanikani, go for it.

10 Likes

I always felt like I’d want to bail early, but I made an attempt at it once at 34 and just found that it wasn’t really working for me – I felt that I was retaining things I learned on Wanikani easier and decided to go back after a couple weeks. To be fair though, it was kind of a stressful time in my life in general, which is probably why I was looking for a shakeup, but the contribution of just feeling less secure may have been a lot greater than it would be if I tried at another time.

Point being, you have lifetime, so if you’re feeling drawn to it at all, I’d encourage you to experiment stopping lessons but continuing reviews, so it’s easy to come back if you want to. Make sure you have mining to anki or whatever it is you’re planning to do next ready though, as the goal would be to try to monitor how comfortable you are learning kanji on your own now.

3 Likes

Since I’m currently on level 42, I’ll chime in. I’ve reset to zero twice since I started five years ago (both because of ultra-long breaks that I came back from feeling like I didn’t remember anything), but on this third run I made it to level 40 in a year and now I’m determined to go to 60. I’m pretty careful about not going too fast, but I still do easily 200 reviews a day every day, and all this reviewing does take time away from probably more productive activities, like reading, listening, studying grammar. Not to mention I’ve seen a lot of posts that say practical knowledge kind of ends around level 40.

To each his own. For me, being a completist to begin with, I want to see everything on WK, and I motivate myself by thinking that in a few months time I’ll have only reviews, no new lessons. We’ll see around January or February if it worked.

5 Likes

with rote learning (i.e. WK) there is definitely a curve of diminishing returns. and as you use the language more and more (e.g. through reading) it’ll at some point become more efficient to learn through using the language.

where exactly that point is will vary a lot from person to person, and depending on their learning methods. but i can imagine that for someone doing e.g. lots of intensive reading, that point might well be in the 40ties…

but then, i’m still far from that point, so i don’t know

4 Likes

I’d honestly stop around the mid-40s if I were doing it again the first time. I think that’s where you get the most use out of it.

However, now that I’ve already reached 60, I may do another run through for review sometime and go all the way to 60 again with a focus on writing or something like that.

3 Likes

Well, I’m level 43 and I haven’t done any new lessons in 4 months.

I want to focus on getting my review counts way, way down, on completing Genki II (including its vocab) and maybe then on finishing my 2.3k anki deck before I even think about going back to WK, which doesn’t currently strike me as an effective use of my time.

And while I do plan to eventually go back to WK, I kind of have a plan of stopping after level 51.

2 Likes

Why quit something that obviously works for you? Sounds kind of dumb. Sure don’t need to go as fast once you get into the 40’s since I’m sure you have alot of other things to catch up with, but just quitting doesn’t make much sense to me.

3 Likes

What everyone should consider is the time you are spending outside of WK reading. I feel like if you aren’t doing any reading then you shouldn’t stop. But if you are comfortably reading real books, I think its okay to wean off or stop. I took a break from WK for about 2 years because I was reading so much manga and wanted to do it more than reviews. I am reading a lot now, but I have a lot of downtime and would like to fill in those gaps I keep having that I know WK can fill in my reading. If you feel like you got everything you can out of WK I don’t see the harm in quitting. I have said this in other posts but WK is just a supplement for your Kanji, it’s not like a textbook or a main resource you should probably see til the end. There is an end, but what you get out of finishing may or may not be worth it. That’s totally up to you though.

5 Likes