Burned System is flawed

Dear WaniKani-Team!

First of all I love WaniKani! But the system with the burned items should be changed. Actually I have just read a post in which a user lamented that he successive forgets burned items. I mean even with reading there are some kanjis you won’t encounter enough.

In the community there are lot of users who would like to have at least an option that enables
burned items to pop up in e.g. 4 months! For this option I would even pay more and I would stay with WaniKani for the rest of my life!

I want to learn all the Kanjis and WaniKani is the key to achieve this goal. Please let me and other people learn more effectively, thank you!


@plantron Yeah I know this script, but I want to learn with SPS ^^

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I understand why some people might want this. However, large amounts of listening and reading exposure will etch these items into your mind more than even WK can. SRS systems are good and all that but the most effective way to learn new vocab is in the context of content that you find interesting.


I agree with this and I also completely see why people would like further reviews after the burn stage.

I like the 8 month interval that anki provides but in all honesty, If you don’t see that word in the wild for more than 8 months or say, a year, do you really need to know it? I guess you are asking for another 4 month interval though so I don’t even know who I’m arguing with anymore. Good morning, just woke up :merman:


I think the problem lies in seeing WK as a kanji learning tool, but not necessarily taking the entire system (including the recommendations) into account, but only the visible and more flashy part of it.

The Guide for using WK

So, yeah, in the beginnig probably reading won’t be much of an option, mainly because of vocab (so work on that alongside WK); then eventually work on grammar too (you can choose level 10 or before to start), as by the time you reach level 20 you can find yourself in an OK possition to start reading native (yet basic) content. But hey, you can start graded readers before, if you want to (the grammar and vocab requirement are MUCH less than native content).

Honestly. SRS apps take a lot of time, if more intervals were added… less time would be available to immerse yourself in the language.

I kind of like the burned concept… so it’s up to me do the rest of the work, as basically it’s weaning you off this tool so you can go chase those kanjis into the wild :wink:


Exactly! You’re not learning kanji just for the sake of knowing all of them devoid of context. It’s through exposure to native material that you will truly “Burn” any kanji or vocabulary and even then if you come across a character that you don’t understand then you simply get out the dictionary and search it up. At some stage there is a need to graduate from wanikani and get out of one’s comfort zone and explore the wild unknown.


What I’d like to see is a burn review game! iKnow.jp has this awesome bird game which gives you a few seconds to decide after seeing a word and 2 possible translations whether to press up or down. Get it correct, the bird flies, incorrect and it crashes to the ground. So good :slight_smile:

Good morning :sunny:

I do agree with this in the general sense but couldn’t you argue that if in 8 MONTHS you didn’t see an item in the wild that is formed from one of the 2000 most common kanji that perhaps you aren’t reading enough?

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Someone else suggested using WK long term and this was Koichi’s reply:


Absolutely! I didn’t make it clear at all but my morning brain post was based under the premise that you are reading and receiving a fair amount of information in your target language. For example, I feel like I will probably forget things like 中尉、少尉 even though I read and listen to Japanese every day. It just depends on where you interest lies and what sort of material you immerse yourself in.

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Did you even read the script? How is unburning items not learning with SRS?


I‘m assuming what they are missing is an option to review only items that you burned x months ago? Otherwise you might be reviewing items that you just burned, so there would be no spaced repetition. Unless there already is an option to do that and I missed it too.

(That being said, I like the current approach for the reasons that everyone mentioned; the final reason for doing WaniKani should be eventually not needing WaniKani anymore, imo)

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I mean it is SPS, but it resets the items to the beginning and that is too much. The burned items are perfectly in my memory (for now), but my concern is, if I will be able to recall the items perfectly in a year or so. That’s why I would appreciate a check mechanism, so that the burned items pops up in n-months or so.

But okay guys! Thank you for all your replies! I will definitely begin to read as much as I can when I reach Lv 30! :slight_smile:


I’m personally thankful for the burned system. Once, I get to level 60 (long journey off - but when i do) i plan to use the review script to review Kanji. Hopefully most be will maintained and reinforced on sources beyond WK (maybe except some vocab - that is not really used). If i do find they kanji im a bit wobbly on than i can focus on it a little bit more.

I wished Memrise had a burn system in place, or even vacation mode. I go away leave it and many many reviews build up go to review and they stiff have stuff like 一 in there and its just sigh… You can ignore items, but i seem too lazy to do this. Burning is automatic.


:+1:t4::+1:t4::+1:t4: You can do it! 頑張って!

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I found it helpful to use Self-Study Quiz to cycle through each level on a rotating schedule, with decreasing frequency over time.


So @koichi has essentially said what I was going to… just to reinforce it,

What are people expecting to get out of WaniKani? Just the abstract knowledge of a couple thousand characters and a few more thousand vocabulary words?

What good is that unless you’re using it? Your brain will erase what you don’t use - that’s how it works. Once you hit level 45+, you really need to start reading anything you can get your hands on. That’s what will truly reinforce the kanji and vocab: using/reading the word in context.

I know there’ll always be the one kanji (the few) that you can’t remember after it’s burnt, but you can just resurrect that.

TL;DR: no matter how many times you burn and/or re-burn an item, if you’re not reading and using it your brain will discard it.


I’d argue that at a certain point, an item would truly be burned into your brain with sufficient exposure. I’m never going to forget 山 or 所, for example, because I’ve known them and seen them for many years.

But having said that, an SRS like WaniKani isn’t the place to achieve that level of burning, so in the main, I agree with everything you said. ETA: actually I just realized that that’s pretty much what you said at the end anyway about SRS vs. reading and using, so rather than an argument, consider this a furthering of your point.


I recently started over from level 60 about a month ago so I can give you a different perspective on this. Are you going to forget some kanji and vocab after burning them? Yes you will and it is annoying, but I have also experienced being able to read a random kanji or word even though I felt like it was the first time I had seen it, only to later remember it is on WaniKani.

The one problem I see with burned items continuously being reviewed is that number of reviews will continue to go up instead of going down. When you burn items you remove them from the queue of items to be reviewed which allows you to keep a consistent number of reviews each day as you progress through WaniKani. If you keep burned items around it will make WaniKani take much longer because of the sheer number of reviews.