Concerned to forget words until I can start to read some books

I like to think that if I get 90% and over correct in reviews, that means I’m not being challenged enough and need to go faster. My goal is to have about 80-89% accuracy rate, no more and no less.

(To add to what everybody said, if you go too slowly you do risk forgetting things. The faster you go the more things are fresh in your memory, but you have to be careful not to overload too much.)


Thank you, it’s not mean for me to say that I’m relieved not to be the only person with these feelings, but I guess it is the same for some people. I think i will look into these sites or apps that you mentioned. So thank you for this.

Oh some other site that I will definitely check out, thank you^^
The grammar is not that much of a problem, I learn it with a book that I think is very helpful, so im not concerned about that. But I o guess it couldn’t hurt to take a look at this sites-

Thats is some interesting mindset. I think it would help me too if I think like this, so thank you for this advice.

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You should check Bunpo (not bunpro) on android app too, it’s very good and free . it’s classed jlpt level grammar , it’s as good a paying app maybe more…

I know how you feel with the fear of forgetting. When I first started WK, I was so terrified of forgetting things that I took every word from WK and put them into an anki deck, set the intervals as low as possible, and ended up reviewing everything every few days. Eventually it became too much and I stopped studying WK words outside of WK. Now I review WK vocab at WK’s intervals, and that’s it. I noticed that my retention has hardly dropped at all. So I was doing 500+ additional reviews daily when I absolutely didn’t have to. I wasted so much time trying to be a perfectionist that I could’ve spent on other things. And sometimes I do forget things, but either the SRS takes care of it, or I see it in reading material.

You won’t really have to worry about forgetting things until you burn them, when they won’t show up in the SRS anymore. Unless you decide to go quite slowly, you won’t likely be burning things until you are passed level 11 and reading will help solidify those kanji after that point. You can also always add burned words or leeches to an anki deck (that’s what I do, still a bit afraid of forgetting, I suppose) and review them indefinitely.

I went on a bit of a tangent, but basically, it’s okay to forget things, and the extra work you put into doing everything perfectly is probably unnecessary. SRS works great when you let it, you don’t have to worry. I wouldn’t bother getting vocab to guru before progressing, you don’t have to do that, and it will probably slow you down considerably.

As far as leveling speed, the first two levels can be done in about 4 days, and every level after that can be done in about 7 days at max speed. Average leveling speed seems to be around 10 days.

For reading, I don’t think you need to wait until level 11 or any specific level. Grammar will hold you back far more than kanji, since kanji are easy to search, especially if you’re reading stuff online. You should start out with easy material like Tadoku Graded Readers or NHK Easier. With NHK Easier (a version of NHK Easy with extensions, basically), you can hover over words and see the the definition and pronunciation of any kanji or word. Even if you were at level 11+, I still recommend practicing reading from these or similar resources before diving into books. Reading definitely takes some getting used to, and I think it’s good to work your way up in difficulty, even if just to give you the confidence boost of “hey, I can read something!”


Unfortunately, a large portion of BunpO is paid now. About half of each JLPT level is paid, it seems, so even if you start at N5, you will only be able to access around half its content. It’s still a good resource, but if you were to pay for a grammar app, I’d say get bunpRo instead.

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thank for the head up , i was behind the paywall so i didnt noticed it =)

Thank you very much for your advice and for sharing your personal experience with me. It gave me a lot of confidence.
To put burned items into Anki Flashcard is a good idea, I think I will do it when the time comes.
I will take a look at these sites, I`m really looking forward to start reading, so thank you for the recommendation.

But there is one question that appeared after I thought about all those advices.
When you read a book and you look up all the kanji and vocabulary you didn’t understand, what did you do with these words? Did you write all down or do you make flashcards with them? Or something else?

I usually only look words up once, and only put them in Anki or so maybe if i see it more often.
If you put absolutely every word you didn’t know while reading into Anki, you’ll soon fill it up to the thousands, and you’ll never get through the reviews. Plus, many of those words you won’t encounter again during reading for a long time.
So i’d recommend making flashcards only for words that seem very useful to you, if at all.

Probably, way more important for you in the beginning will be learning your Kanji, grammar, and just doing a lot of reading practice without looking everything up and putting everything into an SRS.

You probably know Yomichan or a similar browser extension where you can just hold the shift key and hover over a word to look it up instantly. That’s what i do. Of course, it doesn’t work for graphics, though there’s also a program for that (KanjiTomo).


Ah I see. That makes sense, but I already know this will be really difficult for me to limit myself to not put every word into Anki, but I definitely will try it.
I don’t know about Yomichan, but I guess its worth to try it out.
Thank you very much for your answer, with all this I think I can start my reading practice.

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I had this same exact question when I first started reading. I actually asked a similar question on the forums a while back, about what to do if you find vocab unknown kanji in your textbook. When I come across an unknown word, there are three possibilities:

  1. If it uses kanji that I have learned, I will add the word to an anki deck, as long as it isn’t a really obscure word or a very technical term.

  2. If it uses kanji that I haven’t learned yet, but will eventually learn on WK at higher levels, I don’t bother adding the word to a deck. I just look up the definition and keep reading. If it is common, it will keep coming up, I’ll keep looking it up, and eventually remember it that way. Or if it pops up a few times and I’m not reading online, I’ll write it down in a notebook or something for reference. By the time I learn the kanji in WK, it will be much easier to remember since I’ve already seen words using that kanji.

  3. If it uses a kanji that WK doesn’t teach, I usually don’t bother adding it either. However, if the kanji seems common, or is used in a lot of common words (you can see this on Jisho), I may add the word to a deck with the kanji, and learn the word together with the kanji.


I see, I think that’s a good strategy, thank you for sharing it with me.
I guess with this knowledge I’m feeling ready to start my reading attempts.

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Seconding the KanjiTomo rec - I read books on the pc kindle app, and use KanjiTomo on every word I don’t recognize (there are many). I don’t save them to an SRS application either, I just keep on reading, as repeat words tend to stick eventually.

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You can also check here: Picture Book Challenge 2020!

Even if you don’t join the challenge, you can sign up for the ehonnavi site and read 1500-some books for kids for free. You can sort them by level so you know what you’re getting into before you click on a book.


Thank you, that looks promising, I will also check it out later.

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