On the first day of the new year, I wrapped up the last few Kanji covered by WaniKani. My journey with WaniKani up until now has lasted at least 31 months, which is five months short of my third anniversary. In that time, I have been introduced to 2034 kanji and 6432 words.
In a little over seven months since my last write-up, I finished the last 25% of the WaniKani program. I think that without experiencing burnout, the WaniKani program can be completed in about 28 months by someone with full-time employment, and other responsibilities and interests. I do not remember taking a break from WaniKani, but I do remember how challenging levels 25 and 26 were for me. Maybe this was the time that many of the early items were being reviewed, and it was challenging to push through the levels because of the large amount of scheduled reviews for the earlier items and re-reviews of items missed.
My accuracy on the meaning and reading of kanji and words is around 85%. When working through the levels, I tried to keep close to 200 Apprentice items, but it had sometimes fluctuated to over 300 items when I made mistakes on Guru items. Mistakes on a spaced repetition system (SRS), such as WaniKani, are what drive the functionality and motivation of those systems. Items answered incorrectly are reviewed more frequently. Items answered correctly are reviewed less frequently after longer durations to reinforce recollection.
With 33 of 31 kanji needed to pass to the next level, the WaniKani dashboard shows that I would be on the 61st level, if such a level existed. There is still a good percentage of WaniKani content for me to review and Burn. One item that has stuck around since June 2021 is 名人, or “expert.” I have mistook the reading as みょうにん (“myounin”), みょうじん (“myoujin”), and めいにん (“meinin”). It is read めいじん (“meijin”). It is still a Guru item for me, so looking it up before my next review in two days is not cheating. ;)
I really appreciated the automated email messages that are sent out when a level is completed. They were like small celebrations of accomplishments. And, I looked forward to receiving them when I leveled up. I saved all of them, because they were encouraging and contained funny tidbits. I included the last of these emails to me below:
You just got to Level 60, Steve.
I don’t even have a gif deserving enough of your accomplishment.
Not many people get to this point, so what you did was really special.
I know this is an automatic email, but I’m seriously, actually really proud of what you’ve done.
I really hope it takes you places in life, work, or school. Knowledge truly is a powerful thing, and I hope you go out there and use it as much as you can. New doors are opening for you.
Speaking of which, it’s time to start thinking about leaving the WaniKani nest. You know how mother birds push their baby birds out of the tree to teach them how to fly, and sometimes they do but sometimes they don’t? That’s what needs to happen here. Although I’d love for you to use and pay for WaniKani forever, there’s a time where it’s better for you to go out into the real world, and that time is now. Feel free to finish this level and burn out previous items, but get out there and read Japanese! That’s why we’re doing this, after all.
Anyways, such a good job. You worked really hard. I know it’s tough. I’m really proud of what you’ve done, Steve.
Koichi & the WaniKani Team
I am really proud of completing this program without third-party tools, aside from wkstats.com. WaniKani has helped build a solid foundation for me to continue with intermediate-level language textbooks and native content. As suggested by the above email, I will leave the WaniKani nest and graduate away from using it as my primary learning resource.