Anyone here switched from Anki to WK?

Hello fellow Japanese learners,

I’d like to ask you for your opinion, maybe hear if anyone else was switching to WK at a similar point. I have been following one of the numerous guides to learn Japanese online and it consisted of:

  • Core 2.3k deck (178 cards remaining, about 150 reviews a day, retention on mature cards 73%, about 130 leeches that I moved out to a temporary deck)
  • Recognition RTK Kanji Deck (finished, just doing about 50 reviews a day, 77% retention rate on mature cards)
  • Recently started doing grammar exercises with Bunpro

I have been looking at WK at the beginning of putting the Anki decks together about 6 months ago. I have studies Japanese a couple years ago while I lived there and started again this year as I wanted to get back to the language and finally learn it properly.

However, with my current method I feel like I don’t really have a time/energy to spare on doing the immersion.

Taking into account a bit slower start of WK that would essentially have me doing everything over (which might not be a bad thing to relearn some of the things properly?), I was wondering if anyone went to using WK after having the decks I mentioned (or similar) pretty much completed and if it helped in any way.

My current thoughts are mostly to stick with what I do and hope for reducing the time load once the Core 2.3k deck is finished, then immerse more and mine. On the other hand, WKs larger vocab and Kanji database, paired with mnemonics and teaching all the readings and vocab associated with the Kanji right away is something that appeals to me.

I’ll be happy to hear any thoughts :slight_smile:

Many thanks!


I feel like if your problem is “I spend too much time doing SRS and not enough time on immersion” then “start using a different SRS” is not really going to help.

If you’ve already done 2000 vocab items then WK is going to be a mix of spending time getting items you already know to move up the levels, and learning a bunch of vocab you probably won’t encounter for a while. Plus the WK mnemonics won’t match up with the ones you’ve been using for your RTK deck. And all of that will be taking up time you could be spending on actually starting to use the language, which is what you need for it to cohere and not be an abstract flashcard exercise. (Which hopefully will help raise that accuracy stat above 75%…)

My suggestion is to stop doing new cards in that Core deck for the moment and focus on textbook/initial reading/etc. Those last 178 cards can wait a bit until you’ve got the review workload to be something that works for you. (Or wait forever, if you end up preferring to add vocab from what you’re reading rather than from an arbitrary frequency list.)


Makes sense. My logic was coming more from behind, if I move to something that merges my two efforts into one streamlined effort, it might help in managing its time load. But ramping up to where I stand in Anki now would take a couple of months here in WK :slight_smile:

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IMO lowering the amount of time spent on SRS and starting reading would be good. I doubt you need WK at this point. Reading would help you a lot with recognizing and cementing kanji.


Hey man, I also started with Anki and the 2k/6k deck. I was a few 100 words in.
The main reason I switched to Wanikani is because of the mnemonics and the UI. These things made learning more fun and got me to remember the words and kanji a lot better.
For me Anki didn’t work because I didn’t ‘learn’ the words; it’s just a flipcard, and that didn’t help me remember the words in the long run. I am sure it works for other people, but Wanikani is the way for me!

I would say start with Wanikani and immerse on the side :slight_smile:


To give an update after almost a month since I asked the question. About one-two weeks ago I started going through WK alongside repeating the vocab from Core 2.3k (finished now) and including the reading immersion from graded readers). What I found is that for me personally, a lot of basics were missing by going through Core 2.3k only and that some of the vocab is becoming much easier only with a couple of on’yomi/kun’yomi differences cemented in. Also, doing the meaning only RTK deck was helpful to start of, but not knowing the readings of Kanji is limiting the progress a bit.

I plan to continue with Core 2.3k recap + WK + Bunpro and do the immersion reading. I also downloaded the kanji phonetics deck (the toughest deck to remember of all the things I went through), but it’s a short one and I start to appreciate how it helps.

To summarize, I can recommend doing WK alongside Core 2.3k to make sure to get the foundations right, which speeds up the quality of immersion by recognizing more and more things (and readings).

While I’m not suggesting it for you since you’ve already started down the Core 2.3k path and it wouldn’t make sense to throw that progress away in my opinion, for anyone thinking of doing the same, I would recommend the JLPT Tango N5 vocabulary book (はじめてのほんのうりょくけん N5 たん 1000) + Anki deck over Core 2.3k because the Tango N5 book and deck predominantly use sentences with i+1. For those unfamiliar, i+1 means that each sentence only introduces one new unknown word. So, rather than trying to learn the words in isolation, you learn them in the context of full sentences where you understand everything except the word being learned and I’ve found that the additional context helps remember the vocabulary better. Not only that, if you’ve done some basic grammar study, it acts as a bit of a soft grammar review too.

There are various decks available, but I personally like the Migaku N5 deck to go with the book since it also uses kanji for the vocabulary instead of kana as the book it follows does and allows you to hover over the kanji to show furigana in order to quickly double check the readings. That makes it great to reinforce those sweet kanji readings you learned on WK. Unfortunately, since it’s not in the same order the kanji on WK is introduced, you’ll also come across a lot of unknown kanji at first, but I already recognize a ton of the kanji only being level 7 on WK at the present time.

EDIT: I should’ve also noted that you’d want the N4 book and deck as well to match the core 2.3k since the N5 book only has about 1000 words.

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+1 to that. I guess I’d have started with Tango N5 if I’d have done it once again. Core 2.3k can be brutal haha. I wasn’t learning Japanese from scratch so that helped a lot but when it comes to beginners, go with Tango decks :slight_smile:

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