Demotivated by errors



I think it’s the best advice in this particular situation.


Yes but what I said was “chill out” not “calm down” :blush:

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:roll_eyes: right, that makes a world of difference

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I think whatever item you see yourself failing more often than not should go under revision.
Do you remember those radicals? Do they strike you as memorable? As you will be presented with several mnemonics using those, you should spend the extra time to learn those well. Adjust the concept to something you can easily remember. Imagine whatever you must to make them stick… go funny, go naughty, whatever it takes.

Once your are at peace with the radical, what about the kanji itself, does the mnemonic presented strikes you as apealing? There’s a Kanji damage script to be able to see those mnemonics as well (sometimes those are more creative) . And if not, create your own.
For readings, try to adjust the presented story to a vivid image in your mind. If for whatever reason the mnemonic makes no sense or act as a false “phonetic” friend (as It happens to me more often than not, since english it’s not my mother language), create a good one, a better character that you can consistently keep coming back for the same reading. Hey, we are not all into CHarlie Sheen stories, are we?:sweat_smile:

WK provides the structure, but tweaking is a must. Also, after learning vocab outside of WK, many kanji will just match the actual word you already know and the entire process will be much faster.

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Sometimes the most meaningful advice is the simplest. One should perhaps strive to uncover the bigger truth conveyed by the few, seemingly idiotic, words.
It is most rewarding when one realizes by himself the meaning and beauty of such advice. Its ability to change the human condition, I must say, on a fundamental level, should not be underestimated by claiming ignorance and ill intent on the side of the person muttering the words.
Knowing full well the good-heartedness of those that came before (here, the author is referring to the older than him users), I had the utmost confidence I would not be depriving him of other more detailed advice, should mine fail, yet at the same time had the hope that it would be received with surprise destined to awake curiosity that would then cause deep introspection and perhaps, in the end, fix the issue.
Was it so? I cannot say.


Honestly, I used to be very frustrated by errors (especially typo), and then I read this advice from @Syphus.
It’s basically just telling yourself “bear with it”. It worked for me.
I kinda mean that as a reply to @anon6098980, since it goes in the same direction of “simple advices”, but it didn’t feel right to do it directly, soooo here’s an @ instead.

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I also tend to get quite a few errors, typically get 70-80% correct on long review sessions. 90%+ would be a rare exception for me. I also usually have a number of items getting kicked back down from Master each time a batch comes up for review. The SRS does seem to do it’s job over time - some of the items that I remember having constant trouble with during the early lessons have sailed through to Enlightened after enough repetitions that they were hammered in properly!

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It occurs to me that what Wanikani displays during and after reviews encourages a focus on errors and might increase discouragement in those who tend toward it.

Maybe someone could make an add-on? (Or maybe they already have?) They could remove the percentage score from the review screen, and on the results screen, have the correctly answered items listed at the top, rather than underneath, and list no percentage.

Percentages are great for those who find them motivating, but some people might want to escape from them.

EDITED TO ADD: The “incorrect” notification could also be modified a bit—it could say something like, Items that need work soon, or Items that will be reviewed sooner, or Trickier items, or Items that require more review, or Items to study further. I can’t figure out what would be a good wording for this, but it could be something that doesn’t just reference the failure to answer the question correctly.


Yes, it’s pretty good advice.

It’s also an unescapable fact that you are going to forget words all the time, or otherwise make stupid errors. In fact I look up words every once in awhile only to find out they’re on this site and I burned them two years ago.

The best thing to do is to just accept it as a fact of life.

I’m only motivated to stay above 60% in success rate. I’ve already committed to the fact I’ll be studying Japanese much longer than it takes to finish wanikani. I think the more you’re exposed to a kanji by answering them wrong the higher likeliness of remembering them after my time here.

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I can’t imagine having 60 levels of WaniKani Japanese to wade through in my head to come up with the right answers in reviews. Some are hard to conjure up down here at level 7. Haha.

I’ve had a few ~70% reviews in a row recently. It’s annoying, but as long as I’m getting more right than wrong each time, I’m happy.

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I don’t know how you feel about modding your WaniKani experience, but I would recommend looking into one of the various “Leach Trainer” apps available for WaniKani.

You can find an exhaustive list of apps here: The New And Improved List Of API and Third Party Apps

I have recently started using this one: [Unsupported] Leech training script

It adds another button next to Lessons and Reviews called “Leeches”. These are items that you have failed on repeatedly in the past so they keep hanging on (like a leech). Clicking on the button will bring up a small interface where you can review the radical/kanji/vocab items that you are struggling with, outside of WaniKani’s SRS system. It helps you to identify and give extra attention to the meanings and readings that are giving you the most trouble without worrying about being punished for your failed attempts. It helps you to recognize which items might need individual study to help you master them. I feel like it has really helped me to keep from repeating the same mistake over and over without realizing it.

There are also a number of other useful apps available for streamlining or modifying your WaniKani experience, depending on your personal learning goals and preferences. For example, I’m using the WaniKani Ultimate Timeline which gives a better breakdown of when items will be up for review, allowing you to anticipate and properly plan for the arrival of large number of reviews. And WaniKani Fast Abridged Wrong/Multiple Answer … which has a crazy name, but basically it shows the right answer directly below your answer, if you submit the wrong answer or if the item has multiple right answers. It saves time/clicks, since you don’t have to open up a tab to see synonyms or figure out what you did wrong. I’m also using the WaniKani Level Celebrator … because I want to feel like a winner. :slight_smile:

I’ve had several words that I have missed when up for burning at least twice. It’s really satisfying when it shows up for the third or fourth time and you just now it by heart by now and wonder how you could ever struggle with this vocabulary.

My goal isn’t/wasn’t reaching level 60. My goal, when it comes to kanji, is to bo able to effortlessly recognize as many kanji as possible. Getting lots and lots of reviews wrong is an important part of that process, since my memory isn’t perfect, even with mnemonics.




On the grief cycle of dealing with WK errors, I’m closing in on Acceptance, I think. I’ve got to where I just try to stay calm, keep the emotion out of it, and remember that in the big picture of life, they’re not that big a deal.

It’s irritating because the errors can feel so trivial (entering To Send for the kanji 送, instead of just Send). You can’t help remembering some of the petty, dogmatic, arms-crossed, untalkable-to authority figures from your past who insist that their way is the only way, there’s nothing to discuss here. You know who I’m talking about. Hellooooo, instant resentment.

To be pro-active, I’ve started to log every error in Excel. That way I can hopefully avoid falling into the same traps repeatedly. Category is automatically color-coded as I seem to have particular resistance to accepting kanji and vocabulary as two different things.

(But really - Drawing, Painting, and Picture are OK when 絵 is Kanji, but only Drawing and Painting are OK when it’s Vocabulary?!?! )


Wrong way round, of course.
絵 as Vocabulary: Painting, drawing, picture
絵 as Kanji: Drawing, painting

Also don’t forget that while your apprentice pile maybe hovering around the same amount, it’s not necessarily the same items in there. It’s constant revolving door of new items and leeches trying to find a place in our memories. For leeches especially I try to let myself become a little frustrated in order to help remember it, and I’m on cloud nine when I finally burn it.

It also helps me to think about reviews as more like lessons in drill format, rather than tests.

Generally speaking the best use of SRS learning is to actually learn on time. So if you wait to do your vocab you will not only take more time but also do more errors. sadly, this is a downwards spiral, so your demotivation causes your demotivation.

What i suggest is the following: reset to level 6. this way you reduce your load a lot but dont lose all progress. get the following scripts if you do not have them yet:

  • leech trainer (will help you train vocab you struggle with)
  • ultimate timeline (know when the next review is)

Then maybe follow what i learned from using wanikani:

Personally, I do wanikani whenever i wake up (9am) for one hour. i get all reviews done. then i get rid of all leeches and then I learn new items. by doing all of them each time you will ensure that you review items you struggle with. if you dont do all reviews you will have items in there which made you struggle and now will make you struggle again because you waited to long and forget them again. its best to have this fixed time, where you always do wanikani, because it is overall going to be easier on you then as it because your habit and humans a creatures of habit.

So what to do when you get an item wrong? well that’s okay getting them wrong helps you learn them. so dont just go to the next item, but try to find out why you got it wrong:

  • is there another item you always confuse it with? open both in wanikani and compare.
  • problems with the readings? look at the mnemonic and play a bit with it in your head.
  • confuses a kanji in the word. look up both kanjis.
    after you now spend some time with the item you will remember it much better. soon leech trainer will also train this item on you until you get it right 4 times in a row without confusing it with any similar items. (yes it tests those which is great).

Now let’s talk about newly learned items. Do not miss the 4 and 8 hour reviews (for radicals and kanji) as those are absolutely crucial!!!
I personally find kanji the hardest, When i learn new vocab i already know the kanji and i am quite quick. new kanji, however, i will do wrong like 50% of the time until guru 2. Here i cheat. I know this always happens and as such, i will use Wanikani Override to requeue it. and then reorder it so that it doesnt show up directly afterwards. if it shows up to soon in my eyes i will requeue it again. i will not let go until i do it correctly. each time i do it wrong i will read BOTH mnemonics. However, I also do this for new radicals, kanji of the current level and vocab of the last 2 levels and only until i reach guru 1. afterwards i will be extremely strict and not cheat. this helps a lot actually because by reading the mnemonics I reinforce my memory well enough that most items are no problem anymore. this makes you progress faster and if you do it as strictly as I it also wont really hurt.


  • do your reviews on time. otherwise you only hurt yourself
  • train errors by spending time on the resources given and by using a leech trainer
  • sometimes cheating is okay

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