Is Reordering Reviews Detrimental?

I use Tsurukame on iOS since I pretty much always have my phone around me and can get notified when reviews are up, as well as do them on the spot. However, all my scripts are here on my laptop. So I’d like to transition to doing a bulk of my reviews on here, too.

On Tsurukame, I like to order them in back to back order, reading first meaning second. I have read that this messes up the interleaving method WK has put in place. Others say it shouldn’t be a big deal. So I’m wondering if I should install a script on my laptop that allows me to keep doing them back to back, or if I should drop it entirely.

I noticed it has really helped me speed up my reviews and I personally haven’t noticed a huge dip in accuracy. But again, If its going to be harmful in the long run, I’ll retire it.
Thanks for any insight!

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It shouldn’t matter, the bottom line is that you know both the reading and the meaning. on the webapp I have meaning set to first and then reading, sorted by levels since I want the most recent things to be at the end. As long as you know both it isn’t “cheating” - its learning one way or the other.


It’s hard to say with certainty one way or the other, but the argument is that if you can recall the reading and the meaning independent of each other it’s a stronger demonstration of your mastery of the vocabulary. If you are only ever producing the reading and the meaning in context to each other it’s hard to know if you truly “know” it, or if you are just recognizing it within a reading-meaning pattern. But I’m sure some could make the case that it makes no difference.

I personally say keep them separate. You’re flexing your brain a little harder, and I gotta believe that’s at least a little beneficial in the long run.


In natural language use, the reading (i.e. pronunciation) and meaning are always paired, so I personally see no benefit in trying to recall them separately.

For example…
When you see the word ‘cat’, do you gain anything by being able to pronounced it without thinking about what it means? Or are you better off being able to recall both simultaneously?

Just my $0.02…


This is what I’ve been thinking as well.

I used the Self-Study Quiz paired back to back before finding the settings to change it, and I honestly thought it was a bit too easy compared to my normal reviews on WK. So, yeah, randomizing reading and meaning makes me “flex my brain” a bit more.

Keeping meaning and reading apart also means I get two repetitions of trying to recall each item during the review session - so more training to recall each item overall.

I think this makes more sense. Though, I don’t know the science behind it.

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Well I’m certainly no expert and I definitely get what you are saying. I guess the way I’ve been thinking is that there might be a small danger in training your brain to associate the reading with the meaning too strongly so that you find yourself in situations where you can’t recall a meaning without saying the reading out loud or something like that. Sorta like how the ABC song is so ingrained that often times people can’t recite the alphabet without singing it as a song.

It’s really probably not a huge deal, just that it MIGHT be one more scaffolding you have to dismantle later.


I automatically recall reading and meaning when doing reviews anyway, so doing them separate always felt like doing double the work. That might of course lead to better recall down the line, but the time saved during reviews was definitely worth it for me :+1:t3:
(Also the fact that you don’t have to think about/check whether WK wants the reading or meaning)


Thank you everyone for your responses!
It’s true that for me personally I tend to think of the reading and meaning together when I answer a question, especially in low apprentice items where I have to think of the mnemonics too, anyway.

This is definitely a concern of mine, hence creating this topic. But honestly, I haven’t felt that I’ve become too attached to needing one to help me out with the other.

I guess at the end of the day its hard to say what is the “correct” way to do things. I suppose as long as you don’t abuse things like override scripts and let the SRS do it’s job, using reorder shouldn’t be an offender for causing long term harm. At least I hope!

I did it as an experiment for a few levels and I found that it was a bit easier up to Guru but that my recall was much worse for those Kanji after that.

I think what happened was that I would spend less overall time on them since I always try to recall meaning and reading on every review regardless of what’s being asked for. When they were back to back, I would do this once. When they weren’t I would do it twice at different times, and I think that helped better with long term recall.

That was probably around the early 30’s and I’ve stuck to random order ever since.

Obviously my experience isn’t going to be universal, so you’ll have to try it out and see for yourself.

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A few years ago, AnimeCanuck suggested: rather than using reorder to pair the reading and meaning, just do the normal randomized reviews, but always recite reading-then-meaning regardless of whether you are doing a reading review or meaning review. That way, you’re getting the best of both methods: (1) The strong association of reading and meaning, and (2) double exposure to items, since you are doing it once for reading and once for meaning.

Personally, I supplemented my study with Self-Study Quiz, so using reorder with the reading and meaning paired was sufficient.


Yeah that’s pretty much the way I’ve been doing it. What’s also been helpful is that on the first review, I’ll know instantly which one stuck and which one I may need to spend a bit more time on.

I’ve never used that so that may be why it was better for me to use the method above.

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I also use Tsurukame with readings first and meaning second, mainly because if I’m in the middle of something I don’t lose part of the review if I have to end it early. Also, I occasionally alternate which is first in the order–that might be advisable if your situation is like mine.

In my case, I can recall the reading and I can think of the meaning in my head but not always translate it back into English right away or with the exact word the program is calling for. I don’t see this as a problem, though, because if fluency is my goal, I ought not to translate every thing in and out of my native language. Unfortunately translating is the only way a computer program can recognize that I know it and help me keep track of its learning status.

Also, definitions are not 1:1. If you can find the synonym in the dictionary and use it appropriately in a sentence with the meaning you typed, add that synonym!


I have them paired when I use WK on my phone, since i often only have time for 3-5 reviews. I have them the regular way on my PC.

I had them back to back on all my devices for a couple of moths, and I found that i did not matter for my on most of my reviews, but my leeches multiplied during that period. I think it is because you always got the second try right, so I didn’t focus that hard when I missed an item. :sweat_smile:


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