Always doing the vocab before new kanji

Just curious about other people’s habits and tricks.

Basically I love leveling up but its always followed by 2 or so days of vocab learning but conversly I view it like eating your vegtables before getting back to the meat again.

Basically I work like this:

Get kanji done and level up

Then finish vocab for previous level (usually working at 15 a day)

then on to new new radicals and kanji (15 a day or keeping apprentice under 100)

I find that the vocab is essential to really cement in the learned radicals so Ive avoided using any reordweing apps.

But its also like every time I level up its wounderful but also demotivating like Ive go so much vocab to do.

Just curious how ither handle vocab and number of apprentice and leaening new kanji. As well as peoples experience with reorder apps and long term retention.


You should at least do the radicals too, so you can unlock the last few kanji of the new level so you can work on the entire pool.

At least, that’s what I’ve been doing so far, but lately it feels really boring. Pure vocab days are extremely boring and I feel like I’m wasting a type of learning room that vocabulary doesn’t really spend. I’m probably going to start mixing in kanji in the future.

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Using a reordering script doesn’t necessarily mean skipping vocab… I’ve found I struggle learning more than 5 kanji in a day, so I use reorder omega to limit that and add some vocab and radicals to it, totaling 16 items per day.


I think if leveling up radicals/kanji to guru took the same amount of time at later levels as it did on level 1 and 2 then I would prioritize getting vocab out of the way, otherwise you would be burning through the kanji faster than you could the vocabulary then be overwhelmed. But because sometimes you’re waiting a day or two days to hit the last apprentice level or guru on kanji, that leaves a lot of open time to do lessons. That’s why I tend to prioritize radical/kanji lessons. In the 3, nearly 4 days while reviewing them all the way up to guru, you get plenty of vocab time while not having to extend the amount of time you’re stuck on a level since vocabulary doesn’t contribute to leveling. I usually chunk out my vocab into 10-20 lessons per day, sometimes more if I’m feeling spicy. It’s been real easy to stay on top of lessons like this.

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It took me a lof of trial and error to figure out what works for me and this approach might change again once my routine changes, as it sometimes does in life. I normally do my radical lessons in the morning after leveling up. Then I add about 10-15 vocab lessons on top of that in the same lesson. The next and all the following days, I do 8 Kanji lessons and 15 vocab lessons per day, until I finished all the Kanji lessons and only have vocab lessons left, then I just do about 20-25 of those a day. When I get busier again, I might do a little less, but since I’ve got time atm, this works for me.

I didnt realize that. I think Im going to try rhat out for a bit since it would make things less monotonous.

This is exaclty why I wanted to see what others were doing and i think this is something that would improve my experience.

Thanks for sharing.

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For another perspective:

I never bothered with reordering. I just did a LOT fewer lessons (0 or at most 5/day) when I was getting all new kanji lessons. I found vocabulary easier as it was at least somewhat familiar, so I’d often do 10, 20, or even 30 lessons/day when it was all vocabulary.

But I still throttled lessons if my SRS queue had too many early stage items. Apprentice < 100 is the most common metric, but I liked (appr + guru/10) < 150.

(Guru items also have a high likelihood of appearing in your reviews on any given day.)

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Is the goal to memorize kanji, or to learn to read Japanese? It seems to me expanding your vocabulary is really the entire point of the exercise.


Level up to Guru takes the same amount of time for every item. I’m not sure what you mean here

I’m referring to WK level, not Apprentice level. i.e. level 1 and 2 item review time goes 2 hours → 4 hours → 8 hours → 1 day to get an item from Apprentice 1 to Guru. Whereas level 3 and above item review times are bumped up to 4 hours → 8 hours → 1 day → 2 days to get from Apprentice 1 to Guru.
If all levels had the same review time as WK Level 1 & 2 items I would probably prioritize vocabulary more so as not to burn through Kanji so fast that my vocab pile is overflowing.

Sorry for any confusion there.

My approach for the last year or so has been to use the lesson filter script to do lessons like this every morning:

All available radicals
3 kanji
9 vocabulary

I’ve found that this gives ~14 day level ups and spreads things out nicely. I tend to use my apprentice count as a reference of how well the past chunk of reviews has been going. >110? Not doing too well. <90? Things are sticking nicely.

The last update did break the lesson filter script though, so I’ve just been doing ~15 lessons every day since then.


interesting - basically I try to keep my apprentice queue around 100 - when I unlock a level, as I get close to the radicals, though, I’ll do them all at once - easy mnemonics and no pronunciation to remember, so I’ll creep up to the 120’s by then

I do end up doing a few days of vocab at the end of the kanji before getting to them but I feel like by then I have the kanji down so well that the vocab 90% of the time isn’t a problem for me. I have generally learned the two readings and the last vocab comes easy

of course I’m just level 7 after 3 months - LOL

With the lesson reorder/filter (that I no longer have access due to the wonderful update from WaniKani :slight_smile: ) I got in the hang of doing no more than 10 lessons every day. If there were any available radicals, I would do all of them at once. If there were any available kanji, I would do no more than 3 per lesson. The rest of the 10 items would be vocabulary. For the most part of my level, it was usually 3 kanji + 7 vocab. I regret not following this method for the entirety of my WK journey — admittedly, I used to level up much quicker, but now things had been going so smoothly. Of course… now with the update, not as smoothly anymore.

Prior, I used to follow no lesson reorder, and I ended up following WK’s vanilla (not so good, imo) way of doing all vocabulary from previous level and then get 30 kanji in a row to learn before I could learn new vocabulary…

so, in my case, it was kinda the opposite. I got demotivated having to learn so many kanji at once before I could apply them into real words.


My first time round I did all the vocab - but i completely agree that it can be demotivating.

I agree that vocab items are really important to solidifying the readings of kanji in different contexts, however at times they seem overly burdensome to me.

Some (maybe most) of the vocab isn’t totally useful to a beginner, and can be very hard to make stick - especially if the meaning is not intuitive, or is abstract.

This time through I WAS using scripts to skip all the vocab from level 14 (although it was surprising how many I had actually retained without usage up to that point). But it seems that script has broken since the update :frowning: So I will pause for a while as I can no longer handle large apprentice piles !!!

I’ve been using Reorder Omega as a replacement while lesson filter is out of action, and it’s working pretty well so far! Here’s how to do it:

Thank you!!

Yes, I came across Reorder Omega, and I tried it out. As a person who is somewhat noob when it comes to tech like this, I found it a bit convoluted and not as straightforward/intuitive as it could be, like how with Lesson Filter I could just start a lesson and simply sort my items the way I wanted (just my two cents and personal preference. I very much admire and respect Kumirei’s hard work).

I got around to using it but having to go to WK’s app settings multiple times to choose batch size so I wouldn’t do all items of one sort at once. Apparently there’s a way of doing it with the userscript, I am just dumb lol :sweat_smile: I’ll check it out better next time.

I settled on something very similar, but a slightly slower pace (I think it was around 3-5 kanji and 10-12 vocab per day). I found that new kanji and new vocab use a very different part of my brain and it was way easier to mix them than to do blocks of one than the other.

Also, getting the timing so the new vocab would be in frequent reviews while the kanji were getting through guru was soooo helpful to reinforce the meanings and readings with extra context.


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