Difficulty using Anki?

This is my first time posting here so I hope this is in the right category, but does anyone else find Anki really difficult to grasp? I’ve just started my journey of learning Japanese using Genki and Wanikani, and have downloaded Anki along with a deck that divides into vocabulary words by chapter. Unfortunately I keep on getting the answers wrong either because I’m confused about what I’m actually supposed to be typing or because the deck is glitched? Here is an example:

The answer written below mine seems exactly the same as what I gave them. Does my answer turning red mean it’s wrong? Because sometimes it’s green too? Is it because there is some sort of discrepancy between when it asks for a kana reading Vs a vocabulary reading? Because so far I haven’t been able to figure that out either :confused: and does anyone know what the little numbers in the top left are? I am so confused tbh…

Any help on how to figure out Anki would be greatly appreciated!

I’ve never used that deck so I can’t answer your questions regarding that, but I can answer about the numbers! Blue is your number of new cards, red is the number in the learning stage, and green is the number that are up for review (finished with the learning stage). Also here is some unsolicited advice: I’d do a smaller number of cards in a day than that (you can set how many cards a day you get in the deck settings)

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All advice is welcome! I didn’t even know I could change cards per day so that’s a good start :slight_smile: How many would you recommend/day for a beginner?
And the learning stage thing makes total sense now, cheers!

It depends on how long you want to spend doing Anki cards in a day. I’ve used this in the past to find my sweet spot, but feel free to experiment!

Personally, I tend to get impatient in the beginning and do like 20-30 cards a day (depending on how easy I think the material is) then lower it once things start to get uncomfortable (but definitely before it becomes too much). Anki can get pretty overwhelming really fast so don’t hesitate to lower the number of new cards or even make it zero and just do reviews for a bit if you gotta.


I don’t why it would show up red, but can you push one of thw buttons below (again, good, easy)? You have to self judge, right?

I’ve only tried out Anki once and gave up :sweat_smile:

this is brilliant info thank you!

I’ve found out that it doesn’t turn red randomly when I’m on pc instead of mobile? And I’ve just figured out the self-judging thing too! I almost gave up when I was trying to use my phone but it makes more sense now somehow :slight_smile:

Anki can be difficult to set up, but it really depends on the deck.
My advice is actually to make your own deck. These premade ones have no context and a lot of the content tends to be forgotten later on.
I actually replied to a post yesterday about it

My advice would be to make your own so it is more meaningful to and only put stuff in there that you learned somewhere else.
When I first started I was doing 3 different srs and to be honest, it was too much and didn’t help me in the long rung. I think slogging through a grammar book and then using native content afterwards.

My advice for your genki journey would be to make the cards yourself because it will help you to remember the words.
Alternatively, Kitsun has much better Genki decks than anki although it’s about $7USD a month I think.
They are similar to the WK layout so it will be more familiar to you than the anki equivalents


Thank you for the advice!

Do you mean to say that using grammar books then immersion is the best way to go? I’m definitely considering this when it comes to grammar specifically, because I’m not sure how useful practising the same sentences with an SRS will actually be to my ability to understand and produce my own sentences.

Cheers :blush:

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Yeah in my opinion that is the best way to go about things. I think a lot of people spend too much time with SRS when they could be transitioning into real Japanese materials. Tbh there is a lot of stuff that you will be able to understand even after finishing just Genki I. I think you need to see grammar in different situations to really be able to understand and use it properly

Again, everyone learns differently so maybe it will be super useful to you to do more SRS.

Not that you asked for it, but here are a few things that may help if you are interested

Here is a good channel that does video lessons for each Genki chapter

And this is the curedolly channel I mentioned

If I were to start over I would use these two channels to help me get through Genki, then transition into listening to podcasts (like Nihongoconteppei for beginners) and reading graded readers. Here are some good free sites that have different levels of content. Enough of this type of studying and you could be reading real manga and books in no time


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Thanks so much!! I was already really excited about starting to work through graded readers once I’m through Genki I, so these resources are very much appreciated, and with the second lockdown the UK is in right now, I’ll probably be there in no time :sweat_smile:

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Welcome to your wonderful Japanese study journey, Sam!

Anki, like WK is an SRS system at it’s core - what’s different about WK is that it judges for you whether you ‘know’ something or not. Anki is a ‘classic’ SRS in that you judge for yourself whether you know something or not.

Decks can be tailored very simply with ‘front and back’ cards or complex with lots of info - yours seems to be quite elaborate, but fundamentally if what you see on each card is something you ‘know’, as in you know what a word means/it’s reading etc. then go ahead and press the ‘Easy’ or ‘Good’ button - the ‘7d’ and ‘4h’ labels tell you that that card will be available again in either 7 days or 4 hours. If you don’t know the word then press the ‘Again’ button so that the card will be available again in 1 minute.

By doing this you are telling the deck what you know and don’t know and every time you use Anki, cards that you need to see will keep coming back as frequently as the SRS system thinks you do.

That’s it!

Enjoy :smiley:


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