How are you guys using Anki alongside WaniKani?

Hey guys! I’m still working through the ranks on WaniKani, but I was looking to sort of “start fresh” using Anki at the same time, using the same list and order as WK. I haven’t used Anki for anything yet though, so I was wondering how you all used it, and what you recommended. Do you use Anki + WK? If so, how? Thanks!

I just recently decided to use the large WK deck, suspend all cards, then unsuspend all of my leeches so I could work on them consistently with smaller intervals.

Assess once a week and locate all the new leeches. And so on.

Leeches are killing me. No more!

I use WaniKani a bit differently than most. When learning new kanji, instead of learning just the one reading, I teach myself all the common readings (the ones listed on wanikani at least). To do this, I copy and paste all the kanji I learn in WK into anki, with all the readings, and practice them with WK intervals. I don’t recommend this method for everyone, as it makes learning kanji much more difficult, but it makes learning vocab very easy.

Apart from that, I also have been working on building more decks. I don’t like pre-made decks, although they are probably more efficient and better-designed, I like having full control over everything, and only putting things into my decks that are useful for me. The following decks are what I use, I am not suggesting doing things exactly like me, as what I do fits my specific learning style, but it may hopefully give you some ideas.

  • Katakana deck: This was my first additional deck I started building. Basically, I started by googling some lists of common katakana words and put them into anki. After that, every time I ran into a katakana word when immersing or reading Genki, I’d plug it into the deck. I set the SRS intervals farther apart for this deck because, as a native English speaker, most katakana words are easy for me. I’m at about katakana 250 words right now.

  • Hiragana only deck: for this deck, I put all of the hiragana-only words I come across into this deck. This includes words that have kanji, but usually use their kana readings. I mostly get these from immersion and from Genki, and I’m currently at about 120 of these.

  • JLPT5 deck: In this deck, I put all of the JLPT5 words that have kanji which isn’t used on the test. I enter these in hiragana, since that’s how they’d appear on the JLPT5 test. Once I learn the kanji for them in wanikani, I delete the card and move it over to my next deck.

  • Core words deck: this isn’t really a “core” deck, but it’s my core deck that I use for words, so I’m calling it that. This deck has been a lot of work since I’ve been doing everything manually, but it’s working well so far. So I use this deck for all the words that aren’t included on wanikani, but whose kanji I’ve learned so far. So what I’ll do is I’ll go through each kanji I know in the tango app (it connects to jisho, which works just as well) and add every word that uses that kanji, as long as it’s marked JLPT5 through JLPT1, and as long as I know every kanji used in the word. I won’t lie, this takes a long time, I can add about 100 words an hour this way if I’m going fast, but I have a very specific system set up so I don’t want to just use someone else’s cards.

  • Sentences: Finally I have sentence cards, and these I think are helping me understand grammar better than anything else. As I work through Genki, I will add every sentence I come across into Anki, E-J. The English sentence appears, thenI have to read it and speak out loud the Japanese translation. It’s helped ensure I really know the grammar since I have to actually produce it. It also has helped me get very familiar with conjugations and sentence patterns, to the point where some sentence patterns almost becomes natural and I don’t even have to think about it. Once I understand a grammar point, I will also create my own sentences, or ask a question in japanese that I will have to answer in Japanese using that grammar point.

So yeah that’s how I use my decks. You mentioned you want to start fresh using WK’s order. I think there are probably decks to do that, are you looking for a refresher, or are you looking to learn the kanji all over again?


You seem to want to do both, which is perfectly fine. However, I would only say to only do both if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands. If not, your time would be better spent on listening and reading for content that you enjoy. You’ll get exposure to new words and sounds which actively brings you closer to acquiring Japanese as a whole, rather than simply vocabulary. Even if you have time, I would still recommend spending a majority of it on immersion. Unless you particularly enjoy constantly being on an SRS system, exposure to the language can do you so much more. Just my thoughts, hope it helps. If you’re interested in this method, there’s many videos by polyglots on YouTube such as Steve Kaufman and Luca Lampariello on the topic. I especially recommend Luca’s most recent video on learning languages through YouTube.

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