Anki - should I update cards or create new ones?

Sooo… The background for that question is that I started my own deck some time ago while progressing through Minna no Nihongo, for vocabulary, some expressions. I used kana.

Now my kanji knowledge starts growing and I am in conundrum: let’s say I’ve previously had a card for ‘たべます’, and I learned it and it’s far away in SRS queue. Now I want to learn ‘食べます’ - if I simply update card, I will not see it for some time because I already learned it. If I create new one - it seems redundant, I am not sure if I want to duplicate my deck with kanji version of existing cards.

What would be your approach?

I am totally with you regarding redundancy, I hate that as well! (Actually I’m currently slowly going through my Anki deck, removing all these redundancies because cards were created with inconsistent kanji usage).
So updating the existing card seems to be the only viable option, but that doesn’t have to be bad. What you can do is reschedule the updated card: You can either send it back to the review queue and learn it again, or you could shorten its review interval. To do that, go to the browser, select the card(s) in question and select Cards → Reschedule from the main menu.

3 Likes

If you’re really intent on reaching lv60 here, or hell, even 40, I would do this :

  • if you learn a kanji for a word you already know in kana, and that word is usually written in kanji, and that word isn’t taught by WK : update your core deck card, you want to improve your memory of how the word will appear in real life.
  • if you learn a kanji for a word you already know in kana, and that word is usually written in kanji, and that word is taught by WK : delete your core deck kana card, WK will hammer it enough.

Now there are duplicates, that is to say, when a WK lesson shows up and teaches you a word that you already had in your core deck. Here is how I would do it :

  • if you find a duplicate, WK uses Kanji and your core deck card is in Kana, and the word is more usually written in Kana : keep the kana card in your core deck, as is.
  • if you find a duplicate, WK uses Kanji and your core deck card is in Kana, and the word is more usually written in Kanji : delete the kana card from your core deck.
  • if you find a duplicate, both WK and your core deck card is in Kanji : delete the kanji card from your core deck.

WK will give you a lot of words, some useful, some not, but more importantly it will give you “kanji” words even if they’re usually written in Kana. Unless you tamper with scripts perhaps, you cannot really decide what WK will teach you, so the role of your core deck is to give you what WK won’t :

  • words that are usually written in kana instead of kanji,
  • words that you encounter during immersion that WK won’t teach you or hasn’t taught you yet.

WK vocabulary is just here for you to remember kanji. Nonetheless, it will give you some words, so might as well not put them in your core deck, that would be redundant. Remember that SRS should not be your main source of study timewise, as soon as you can hit any form of immersion of course.

And if you lose time on a review because you updated something, it’s not a big deal. If immersion doesn’t take care of it soon enough, maybe it wasn’t important for you to know that word so early in the first place. If I can give you my best advice about SRS : your decks should be shaped around what you need to know, and not decide what you should know. That’s why WK is fabulous for learning kanji but not optimal for learning vocab : you can’t shape it.

4 Likes

Wow, looks like you really thought it through. :smiley:

Yes, I decided I will go full WK, level 60 awaiting! So it makes sense, to remove WK items from core deck and update the rest. Some of the kanji I know now are on further levels of WK I did not reach yet, but that’s ok, I will deal with the duplicates when I reach them.

Thanks so much!

My immersion is rather low, that’s another thing I should work on.