Is there a way to avoid burning items ~like so~¿?

Is there a way to know when an item that pops up is a candidate for burning (enlightened, I guess), allowing you to enter nonsense input on your first answer so that it doesn’t get burned? This would be a lot more seamless, IMO, than other means of continuing long-term review, as it would let me make a decision on the spot about what items to actually burn for good, as they come.

Have you looked at/tried the Burned Items in the Extra Study section?

Not exactly sure what your end goal is, so do not know if would be of any use to you or not.

I just want to make sure I keep getting prompted well-known words on an infrequent schedule while selectively clearing some out for good. It looks like there are a few good options here for continuing reviews long-term: scripts to mass resurrect burned items, importing to Anki… There’s just a bit of a project involved in getting those going, when it’s time. If you could see enlightened status at the time of review, you could make these 0.5 second decisions individually over time instead of in bulk and at the end of it, already have a filtered set of things you want to keep up reviews on. If there isn’t a script like this already, I can’t imagine it being too hard to make: just pull the card status and display it as “ready to burn?” if it returns status:enlightened, yeah? So if there isn’t one already, maybe someone will be inspired…

If I understand the WK system correctly, failing an enlightened->burned review will mean you’ll have to review it again at least 3 times in the next 6 months (it goes down to guru 2, so you’ll have to do the guru 2 to master and master to enlightened reviews and then the next go at enlightened to burned. If you did that for all 9000+ items in WK you would thus have a daily review of over 150 items purely to keep up with these existing items, which doesn’t leave much space for learning new words or doing other kinds of Japanese study. So you definitely want to be very selective with doing this.

Basically I think the difficulty here is that you don’t really want to be reviewing burned items more often than once a year at most, but “fail the burn review on purpose” gives you reviews six times more frequently than that. So it’s not really a great tool for the job.


Be aware that doing so will greatly increase your reviews workload.

There is an option in smoldering durtles app that will tell you what rank each word is as you do it. Most likely an addon to do this for the browser.

I know that doesn’t answer your question and is completely unsolicited advice, so feel free to ignore:

You usually don’t need to review burned items if you use the language (i.e. read, watch, listen, talk), which might be a better use of your time instead of continuing to review them. Even if you forget one or two for a while, they’ll probably come back easily when you encounter them a few times. And if you never encounter them in real life there’s no point in remembering them anyway.

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You make a great point, I didn’t know the system worked that way. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to think there is that much of a safeguard against burning items too easily!

This would have been perfect if pm hadn’t explained what he just did!

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You’re definitely right. I recently did a deep dive on studies of SRS and came to the conclusion that it’s powerful, but no specific spacing pattern is necessary, and the less you actually use it the more powerful it is. The forgetting curve that resets with each recall as long as you recall before the delicate memory fades is a myth: failing a recall doesn’t even mean something is being cemented less effectively in long-term memory; attempting recall over longer gaps is just more powerful for long-term memory than shorter gaps are, regardless of context. And reading does space for you, as long as you’re making the effort to recall when you encounter words. Anki has an add-on called FSRS that lets you specify your target retention, and if you lower it to 70% you end up using it for the minimum time possible. That’s my advice for people who want to use it now

My things are a). I’m planning to read untranslated literature in multiple second languages so I’d like to keep some of the literary vocab in several languages somewhat fresh even if I take breaks. b). I can SRS at times I don’t have the mental bandwidth to read or do other things, like 5mins after waking and brushing my teeth. c). Sometimes when I read I want to be lazy and just tap “translate” without attempting recall or to piece things together from context, and then outsource the memory practice to another time when I feel like focusing. But you don’t get the same “srs-like” benefits reading lazily like this!

So essentially, IMO SRS is an inferior way of engaging with a language, but if it can increase your total engagement with the language, that’s still highly valuable anyway


There is a workaround using the Double Check script. This involve first burning the item and changing your mind on the answer to fail the item on purpose afterward.

When you burn an item you don’t want to burn you click on backspace. The will let you reenter the item and you can fail it on purpose.