Ive hd vocab in apprentice since level 2, why cant i learn it?

There some vocab thta i just cant memorise, everytime i get it to guru it’ll come straight back down and some ive had since level 1/2… will i ever learn it?

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I’m wondering the same thing lol


I think I reached level 60 with some level 4 items on Guru still. It happens. It doesn’t mean you’re doing terrible… because for each item that you don’t do well, there’s 100 that you do learn perfectly fine, right :wink:

My suggestion would be to relearn these harder items (aka leeches) on another SRS platform like Kitsun or Anki. It worked very well for my leeches.


My thinking when it comes to these leeches is to just worry about them as little as possible…

The way I see it is that in the time you’d spend learning one leech, you could probably have learned 10, if not 100 more readily memorable words.

Given that you’ll never know All The Japanese Words anyway, I think one of these options is clearly more cost-beneficial than the other…

(In Anki I just keep the default option of ignoring them after 8 misses)


Perhaps once you start consuming media (supposing you’re not already), it will be easier for you to remember those vocab words when you see them being used.


Have you tried making note of these words and using them actively, rather than just passive recognition? That and making your own mnemonic for it.


If it’s a really small handful of words, you could make little post-it notes or flashcards of them and put them somewhere you’ll see them a lot throughout the day (next to your computer screen, beside your bed, on the fridge etc). Or if you prefer things digital, you could have it as a post-it on your computer’s desktop or as a note on your phone.

I have a flashcard of one kanji from my last level (https://www.wanikani.com/kanji/存) right next to my laptop, where I’ve written out the kanji, meaning and reading, because it just WOULD NOT STICK otherwise, I was drawing a total blank every time I looked at it, so I knew that it would be a case of “brute force” memorisation (seeing it again and again and again) rather than relying on the gracefulness of mnemonic or SRS :wink:

I second trying to use them in conversation or writing. Also google them and see what kind of sentences and contexts pop up. Being more familiar with the word’s real world usage might aid in retention.


what media would you recommend for a novice reader like myself?

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I haven’t used them that much, but these seem good.

Other than that, perhaps the Absolute Beginner Book Club.

Other than that, I think anime/series are much more useful for learning vocab than reading, since you’ll be hearing some words repeated a lot even if you don’t understand all of them at first.

I’ve been watching anime since way before I started learning Japanese, but once I did, I already knew a lot of random vocab from that. And thanks to WaniKani, I also knew a lot of kanji (and some more vocab) before I started learning grammar, so I could focus on that. :stuck_out_tongue:

Something like that?

Seconding the “dont worry about it” approach. Additionally, if you ever have a vocab come up that youre like “im pretty sure i know the reading for this but i feel like i get this one wrong a lot”, dont type what you think the reading is, just type in jibberish and check the answer. That way you dont start associating the wrong reading with the word instead of the right one. Prior to this technique, i would get leeches for vocab that looked very similar to other vocab quite frequently cause id type in the reading for the other vocab, which would reinforce the mistake. Im still stuck on all the “mix” “get mixed” vocab because of this. xD Generally nowadays i only type a reading or meaning if im sure of it. I rather have a few extra tries to learn a word than mislearn it (cause thatll double your time learning it).


Great tip! You could try this too, if you know exactly what you keep getting wrong, by example: I kept getting 心底 wrong, because I kept forgetting whether it had rendaku or not (reinforcing the mistake, like you said). Since I’ve long since understood the meaning (and I’ve always found it a pain to type out, anyway), I added ‘no rendaku!’ as a custom synonym. Basically practicing the reading twice, and I haven’t gotten it wrong since.


I have some too. They’re all numbered related things, eight days, eight things, or days you get the idea. However, I figure I’ll either learn them eventually or when I’m in Japan we can only do things in one, two, five, or in a week. Just too hard.

My boyfriend and I joke, that will be standing there talking to somebody and they’ll be like I can’t do it in a week. And will be like, 6 days or nine days because neither of us can come up with eight days.

Some just fell through the cracks sometimes, you’ll get them, eventually.

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I normally dont ask questions like this but im legit curious – did you mean “we’ll” in your last paragraph instead of “will”?

Honestly could have gone either way. If I want it to remain will it needs a subject. We’ll would make more sense and probably what i should have said. Chances are high I used voice to talk and didn’t check it.

Ohhhhh that explains it. Ive never seen that corruption before and it was oddly disjointed from your otherwise impeccable prose; It makes sense since those two words are almost phonologically identical.

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