Feedback: Death by Leeches and Dynamic SRS or adjustable/more Intevals

So I’ve complained about this before…but it’s really out of hand and yes I’m just dumb and lame and have CRS. But first…yes I know about scripts, yes I know how to use them, yes I have tried and used them all…no please don’t waste time suggesting them…I’m just lame and stupid and nothing works…not looking for suggestions…posting something hoping our crabigator and fearless leaders are listening…

Personally it’s nice that people want to make interface updates, but generally I could care less and would prefer better SRS functionality! WK please some dynamic SRS for those of us that aren’t 20 years old and can remember stuff easily. And while dynamic SRS is a tall order, as a consideration, a toggle switch that gives us a slower option with more reviews with different spacing…could prove equally worthwhile.

I’m already going slow compared to the speed demons and I have about 500 leeches because mostly of guru2 and enlightened intervals being particularly bad for my memory personally. I’ve missed items that have been enlightened 2x and maybe even 3x now…also still have non burned L1 items…ugh…it’s beyond discouraging not being able to retain this stuff.

A slower option that we could turn on where maybe the intervals are more frequent

Appr 1, 2, 3, 4 and Guru1 unchanged
Guru 1.5 = 1.5 weeks
Guru 2 = 2 weeks (this is one of the worst for me personally)
Guru 3 maybe = 3 weeks
Guru 4/Master 1 maybe = 4 weeks
Master 2 = 6 weeks
Master 3 = 2 months
Enlightened 1 3-4 months
Enlightened 2 5-6 months (burn)

I don’t know if this is ideal or not but it would be more reviews and yes it would take longer but ugh…I’m so sick of missing burns because I just can’t remember them after 4 months and they go around and around and just clog all the reviews and then SRS helps you learn them “WRONG” which is just worse reinforcing the wrong readings…I’ve missed stuff 20+times…you’d think I’d finally learn it but no…I’m dumb… so be it…I accept I’m lame with memory and language…but these SRS intervals are just reinforcing the mistakes and killing my motivation. 55 of my 63 apprentice items are leeches / 231 of my 418 guru items are leeches / 93 of 368 master are leeches…at what point do you just say screw it and stop learning kanji…

Really wanna learn and do well but just so frustrated with bad srs invervals …I know I cannot be completely alone with these bad intervals…but this platform is so great would be nice WK itself actually did something to fix leeches…other than recycle them over and over again…at least anki pulls them out of the deck so you don’t learn them wrong…which is probably part of why I feel doomed and stupid.

Please crabigator consider something for those of us that aren’t as young as we used to be and/or want a slower pathway with more frequent intervals, even if it takes longer. At this point so many of my reviews are taking a year anyway what difference does it make.

Oh crabigator are you listening? amen or blessed be or latom…or whatever our great overlord wants to hear…


Have you heard about scripts? You may want to check them out :crazy_face:


That would have come in handy back when Koichi got set on fire…


You automatically get shorter SRS intervals when you get items wrong, it’s an adaptive system. It seems the leeches are your short term problem, I don’t really get how this will improve by changing the mid term.

Did you try to analyze your leeches, see if there is a pattern (two items you always confuse, similar kanji, …)? You could try different learning strategies for your leeches instead of just having the SRS show them to you all the time.


Going through leeches regularly is exhausting and it rarely stuck for me so I stopped bothering. So I empathize with @shuly’s situation.

I think a large part of the problem is that WaniKani has no suspend system. I think most people would be better off suspending a few hundred items than getting bogged down by them.


If you wanna see what I’ve done for the past year search the forums…this is not why I posted this…it’s feedback requesting some SRS Fixes… SRS ONLY WORKS IF THE INTERVALS ARE CORRECT! These general intervals are not spaced right for me personally and claiming SRS automatically fixes the problem is NOT the solution… it ONLY works if the INTERVALS ARE CORRECT for the INDIVIDUAL.

I fully admit I’m dumb and can’t remember anything…the fix is to change the intervals so that they are when I am just about to forget them not long after I have forgotten them…that’s the point of SRS. Dynamic SRS would be ideal, but if that’s not a possibility then having a toggle switch with a slow track would be preferable. That’s my feedback/request to our great crabigator.


Wow! If only WK has suspend feature, that would be dreamy! I want this feature (long term) on WK.


while it’s a nice to have…dynamic srs would still be ideal… then no need for pause (or dynamic srs + pause)… super ideal!

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Shuly, I really agree with what you’re saying here. I think the way WK deals with leeches is counterproductive. Eventually your brain will just tune out when it knows nothing’s at stake.

I like WK and using an SRS, but I think the way WK’s intervals are set up is bad. Early reviews are too crammed together and the later ones too spaced out. What’s more important to long-term retention: a consistent routine, or the SRS telling you it’s time to remember something at 3 AM? We’re not machines. But the SRS is a machine, and while it makes some parts of learning easier, it turns others into factory work. Human beings learn organically when something is at stake; sleep cements things into memory. The SRS says get up, it’s time to type!

Besides, the fact that so many scripts exist means the SRS doesn’t quite work like it should.

TLDR; being worn out by an SRS is not being bad at language. You’re not dumb, the SRS is dumb.


WK please call off the crab that’s been harrassing people! The first time that creep dragged me out of the bed I actually soiled my pants and it took me a while ti understand what his mute stare meant. I tried to resist but he knew no mercy pushing me towards the keyboard…

Eventually I knew it: “It’s 3am… it’s time to type.” This has been happening almost every night. I started falling asleep in transport. And even got slapped for leaning on a lady’s lap…

I can’t do it any more. Pleaelse help!

P.S. sorry for any typos I didn’t get enough sleap


Tpoys are OK in your Elinsgh rspoesnes, but not in your Japanese ones.


Another step between current Enlighten and Burn? Yes, please.

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a tip IMO: if you find a leech just won’t go away (i.e. it bounces between guru/master area), it can sometimes help to revert it to apprentice-1, basically learn it from scratch, give yourself “another chance” as opposed to constantly trying to shore up something you don’t fully know. you can do this by just intentionally getting it wrong repeatedly in the same review.

a good sign you might want to do this is if the word comes up and your first thought isn’t a possible answer, but rather “oh no, not this one again”. this means you’ve more heavily associated “oh gods, not this word” with the word than an answer itself, so it might be best to start over.


I’m only level 13 but I already empathize with the OP - I have stuff constantly bouncing around the guru/master level because the intervals there don’t fit nicely with my memory. I need more intervals…even if that means getting to enlightened would take longer.

I think what @Q-P said above really hits the mark - the need for scripts that adjust the way the SRS works and generally make stuff manageable looks like a sign of it not being quite right for a decent number of people in the current state… If the system had a few options to customise the SRS experience (even just preconfigured ones), maybe we wouldn’t need to rely on scripts so much.

P.S. I’d be curious how many people managed to get to level 60 without scripts that adjust ordering or allow custom study…


i suggest to work on memorization technique.
For me, i gave up at lvl22 because there were too many problematic items and to be honest, i was like solving puzzles instead of memorizing words or kanjis.
i realized that sound based mnemonics are working fine. also custom scenarios are ok. Sometimes ideas sparkle and stick.
Please re-work on problematic items and SRS no longer will be a problem, at least for now.

Good luck.

Like, i also have lvl 1 unburned items, but i dont really give a shit about it.
I think your main problem is really your attitude towards this whole thing. Stop worrying, it will stick when it does, and most items arent likely to stick even after burned anyway. It will stick when youve used it enough in context.

Dont think about how many leeches you have, you wrote you have 63 apprentice items (believe me thats much better than 200), which means youre doing absolutely fine, its not a competition, its not about being fast.
WK isnt perfect and its not trying to be, its a standard solution for people that dont want to spend time setting up anki and the likes.

The SRS system isnt the problem, your attitude and expectations are to blame for feeling as you do.
Just chill out and enjoy the ride. Keep doing your wk at a managed workload and tackle other areas of learning japanese at the same time.


I realize this doesn’t offer much reassurance, especially when you have many, but a failed review isn’t the end of the world. It’s you telling the system “I don’t yet know this item well, I need to review it more often”. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn. Don’t just gloss over it, look at the lesson text again, try to imagine the mnemonic as vividly if you can. If the mnemonic isn’t working for you, think of another. That’s the important thing about leeches. You have to acknowledge you have a problem with them and spend extra time getting them down, tackle them head on.

Honestly I’d love to have the option of tweaking the SRS intervals myself, but it’s so unlikely the team will ever add such a functionality (it’s even more unlikely this can be implemented in a script, since the SRS interval logic code is server-side), it’s a more productive endeavor to focus on what you can do yourself.


And by “review[ing] it more often” it should also mean using other resources than WK. When your exposure to Japanese is only through WK, then you will get very limited context (especially because WK only provides 1 to 3 example sentences).

Go ahead and try other resources, or Torii or or NHK Easy or Delvin or even …shudder… Duolingo.


OP: “not looking for suggestions…”

[time passes]

“Did you try to analyze your leeches… You could try different learning strategies…”

“a tip IMO”

“i suggest to work on memorization technique.”

“I think your main problem is really your attitude…”

“a failed review isn’t the end of the world… Embrace it as an opportunity to learn.”

“Go ahead and try other resources…”



Agreed. Since I started adding my leeches to 10k on kitsun (or anki, or whatever you want), I noticed that they just vanish. Plus 10k has example sentences which helped sooo much with seeing the word in the context. But nothing can substitute seeing the word in real life reading/watching something and suddenly realising what that is, if it was a leech.

So try to read more, watch more, see the leeches on other resources more /o/