Cleaning up leeches/items and I'm frustrated that its taking so long

I don’t know if someone has given this advice yet, but in my experience the best way to conquer leeches is more exposure to native Japanese.

One I see a word or kanji in context, it usually stops being a leech. Sometimes I even Google or go on YouTube to look for videos with words I’ve had a hard time with as that way I’m guaranteed to see real people using them.

At level 14, almost all of the words and kanji you’re learning are very common, so you’ll probably run into them in context at any level of immersion material. Also, each time you see content in context, that’s like a bonus review.


I had learned about 300 or so kanji before WaniKani so I blew through the first 10-20 levels. Once I started encountering new and unfamiliar words and kanji I slowed way down, keeping my apprentice items between 75-100 and only doing 10-15 lessons a day. I’ve accepted that there are always going to be leeches and an 85% or more accuracy rating is pretty good for one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn.

I’ve also found that kanji are easier to recognize in the context of a word, and words are easier to recognize in the context of a sentence.

It’s a userscript that helps you with leeches. It’ll give you a quiz with your leeches and mix in similar items to trip you up. It has a few customizable options and I’ve found it incredibly helpful, especially because it mixes in the similar items.


Yes, the screenshot in the original post is from WaniKani directly.

And thanks for all the likes! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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That is why I wanted to see how much kanji and vocab are in the 4th apprentice stage. When I see that most of them are about to go to Guru I will do more lessons since I know that with the next reviews the total apprentice stage is going to clear up again.

I did go overboard in the first levels, but you quickly get a tsunami of reviews then. I’m aiming to keep Apprentice between 100 and 150 now and so far that seems to work fine.

I use this extension to get the stage breakdown: [Userscript] WaniKani Dashboard SRS and Leech Breakdown

Here’s the link for Shin Leech Trainer. It adds a button to the top of your dashboard that says leeches it then allows you to practice several leeches at a time. I like it! [Userscript] Leech training

I’ve been trying to read things more lately to help with this, it hasn’t been enough time yet to start squashing the leeches!

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I was able to catch up again today. Did all my reviews. I really can’t miss a day or it messes me up bad. My routine lately has just been jumbled which has been annoying. My percent correct today was … Niceeeeee… (but I wish it was higher.) I’ll just keep plugging away. One day My apprentice will be zero.


Burned 2 things today. Not bad. Hopefully things keep progressing decently. At this pace I will have gone up only one level in the past year ahaha! All well.


Keep on keepin’ on, @Jorlp! Any progress is wonderful on this long and jumbly road.

Life got on top of me about 2 months ago and I haven’t touched any WK lessons in that time, and probably went a good month without really doing reviews either :sweat_smile:

I’ve also recently decided to start learning Hindi and thus the Devanagari script which has a huge syllabary and my brain can only learn so many new squiggles at a time, so I think I have subconsciously decided that Japanese is taking a backseat right now…

Personal tangents aside, I commend your perseverance and commitment to learning Japanese, it really is a big language to learn and yet you/we ARE getting there :smiley: just keep taking those steps, no matter how small! They all add up! :footprints: