Learning Japanese


For the past 36 days, I’ve been trying to learn kanji using a web app called WaniKani and I’m currently at level 5. There are 60 levels in total, and according to their FAQs, you will have learned 2,000 kanji and 6,000 words by the time you complete all 60 levels, which could take you a year or so, depending on your pace.

I’ve been trying to learn Japanese since I was in my teens, but have never been successful at it ‘coz textbooks bored me and I never took any classes. I know very few words and kanji, which I picked up mostly from years of watching anime, reading manga, and listening to J-rock (and more recently, from being married to a Japanese man haha), but that’s about it. I also tried Duolingo, but apparently it’s not a very efficient tool for learning languages like Japanese.

Fortunately, I discovered other resources that have so far been effective not only in helping me learn, but also in keeping me motivated. WaniKani is just one of them. The other one I’ve been using is Bunpro, also an SRS (spaced repetition system) tool, and I’ve learned much more grammar points than I ever have from traditional textbooks. WaniKani also has a companion website called KaniWani, which helps with “trying to recall or reproduce words without the visual cue of seeing kanji.” Using the data from your WK API key, KW then quizzes you by showing English words, which you would then have to type in Japanese.

I really like SRS because it sort of gamifies the learning process. I’m still figuring out what else I could do to help me learn more efficiently, so I’m incorporating a bit of reading as well.

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