Zipping along to 60


Long time lurker, first time poster; figured I’d put something down seeing as I’ve made it here.

I started learning Japanese with what seem like your typical interests: anime, games, and a vague feeling that it might be neat to visit/work there someday. I took classes for about three years in college and did reasonably well… and then proceeded to barely use it at all for the next seven years, heh. A bit over a year ago, I finally had the thought, “Hmm, maybe I should see if I can still remember anything. It’d be a shame if I had spent all that time studying just to forget it” when I noticed that a few games that I had just been playing in English also had Japanese language settings. I tried reading and found that I actually remembered a lot of the grammar I had learned reasonably well, certainly enough to understand what was going on, but the kanji and vocab were another matter. I’d take a minute to look up a kanji word and try to internalize the reading and meaning, only to come across it again ten minutes later and have totally forgotten. Needless to say, it was very frustrating, especially when I’d need to look up two or three words each sentence :sweat_smile:.

In the middle of my… many… Jisho searches, I saw that there were a bunch of entries that had something called Wanikani levels labeled under then. I clicked through and checked out the site, but decided to struggle on for about another week until I decided that I finally had enough and signed up. And now, a bit over a year later, here I am.


Things I did that I think helped me maintain a good accuracy

-I made sure to do extra study on the items I had just learned about an hour or two before the first real review. Four hours between the lesson and the first apprentice review was too long in my experience for good retention, so the extra sessions really helped. I also used recent mistakes to try and nail down the kanji I got wrong on the first review pass.
-I used Kamesame to practice English to Japanese on vocab items only; realistically speaking, I don’t see many circumstances that I’d need to think about translating an English meaning to an isolated kanji unless it’s a vocab word itself.
-I also tried to be as consistent as I could about doing reviews. Being on an mostly remote assignment over the past year helped, but I tried keeping up with it as best as I could even on days that I had to commute to the office, or the past month as I’ve been moving to a new city.

As for what I’m doing from here, I’ve amassed a bit of a backlog of games that I’m going to attempt to play through in full Japanese. I didn’t have much time to consume content between working full time, taking masters classes part time, and Also working on Wanikani, but I noticed that as I was progressing I was recognizing a lot more vocab and kanji in the times that I was able to sit down and do a bit of playing; being able to guess at readings in an IME is a whole lot quicker than trying to write out kanji by hand or searching by radicals too. I’ll probably stick around another couple of months until I’ve gotten most things to Master/Enlightened, but beyond that I’m looking forward to reading at a much faster clip than I was able to previously. Thanks to the Wanikani team for putting the site together and keeping it running!