Do you write flashcards down on paper?

I’m just wondering if this idea is a good form of approach to memorise the on’yomi for Kanji

Would you consider it bad form to write down the hiragana on paper next to the kanji so I can refer to this during my next review or would you think it is best I don’t write anything down and try to retain everything through memory?

There are some kanji readings that are just not sticking in my mind.

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I’d say you shouldn’t ‘cheat’ by referring to the reading on paper when you’re testing yourself. It’s important to make an effort to recall these things.

However, there’s nothing wrong with writing readings down during practice or self-study (say, when learning the reading for the first time, or after you fail to give the correct reading during a WK self-test review), and I believe studies have shown that in general, writing while revising something improves retention. I do it myself, and anecdotally speaking, there’s another member on the forum to whom I suggested this approach when she was having trouble with readings. She found it was much easier to recall them once she’d written them out a few times while saying them aloud. Based on my experience, the more you engage your senses when doing something, and the more invested you are in it, the better you remember it.


Thanks for the feedback @Jonapedia. Ah yes that is very good advice, while I am learning I may start to write them down and sit there and study them while I wait for my next review, by then I am hoping some of the kanji readings will have stuck in my head.

I will let you know how I get on with my next set of reviews :slightly_smiling_face:

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I think that it’s normal for things to not stick at the first attempt. You’re just at lv 1 so it’s kind of hard to gauge what’s normal or not when it comes to retention and IF you actually struggle somehow.

I’d say, just do your lessons at any pace that you prefer. Then do the SRS with no other studying done on the side for the next couple of levels. This is to see for yourself where and how you might struggle. Most likely, some items just needed more reviewing than others and that perfectly fine.

Because, the nice thing with an SRS is that you don’t have to study on your own - you just have to do reviews at increasing time-intervals to move items from short-term memory into long-term memory.*

But, like I said, it’s normal for some items to not stick at first. They just need more repetitions/review times than the rest. So don’t be alarmed at struggling with some items. :slight_smile:

*while WK doesn’t require you to study kanji/vocab outside of the SRS intervals given, you absolutely can if you feel like putting that time and effort into it. SRS is both about studying method AND time management - least time used to retain the most.

The only time when you should not be self-studying an item, is when they’ve gotten up to Master and Enlightened. Then you loose part of the effect of the reviews once they come up after weeks and months, because they’re meant to test long-term memorization (and obviously if you review in-between, the tested long-term time, becomes short term only)


You’re absolutely right, the kanji I was struggling on I just kept going on and on at it and eventually these kanji words have now stuck in my head :slightly_smiling_face:

I am glad that I am familiar with hiragana, katakana and basic sentence structure. If I started Wanikani without that knowledge this journey would have been even longer :joy:

I’ve never engaged in a SRS before and was always skeptical on if these would work for me, I opted for the textbook approach with Japanese From Zero and Genki, whilst these are still great methods for me to learn I found that Tofugu’s Hiragana and Katakana pages allowed me to memorise the characters much quicker than being gradually introduced to hiragana and katakana throughout the duration of a book.

Anyways, thanks for your reply :slightly_smiling_face:

I never used an SRS before WK either. But, I relied heavily on it just repeating the items that I didn’t catch the first time. And from time to time, I worked more intensely with items that I had failed multiple times (for example gotten them to guru or master, but then failed and having to redo them, and fail…- so leech training).

On my profile card you’ll find a link to my study log of fighting leeches, which you might want to have a look at as you get to around level 10< or something like that. Once you have enough items that gets stuck in apprentice and guru.

But starting out, the most important thing is probably to just learn how to make the most of WK. Finding a good pace of learning. How many lessons to do each day? What other type of studies you might have time for or not? Etc. so a trial period really.

After that, I think it’s time to start tweaking things to make it even better. Look for scripts to assist you with your specific needs. There’s a ton of help out here in the forums to help you on your way. :slight_smile:

Good luck!

I haven’t written anything, nor do I like looking at what I learned until it’s time for my reviews. I feel like if I look at something before the review comes up, then I defeat the purpose of the timed system by refreshing my memory.

Also don’t worry, you will do 5 lessons, and the short quiz they give you after it you’ll probably forget what you just learnt a minute ago from time to time. Just look at the answer again after you get it wrong and wait for your reviews. The mnemonic should stick within a day or two, after that it’s smooth sailing to Guru. Or if it’s an especially easy Kanji for you, you just won’t get it wrong at all.

I write my lessons down. I also write down items that I get wrong during reviews. Helps me to spend more time learning the item and I retain the information better.
During reviews I don’t look at my notes.

Writing will slow you down. Worth it for me but not for others.

Thanks for all your feedback and thoughts guys. It’s been really helpful for me to breeze through to level 2 :slightly_smiling_face:

My approach is to take the WK vocab/kanji and make Anki sentence cards out of them, with native audio. You can just search for any kanji or word in and choose a sentence to make a card out of.

Once downloaded, the audio file shows up at the bottom of my browser and I just drag and drop it onto the flashcard I’m making.

To me this seems like a more worthwhile approach since I’m learning useful sentences while also reinforcing the words I learn in WK (learning them “in context,” so to speak). I’m also trying to make a point of choosing sentences with the grammatical structures I’m learning as well. It’s nice when you find sentences that have multiple words you’re learning as well as the grammar, and good audio.

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