More Anxious than Enlightened

Okay, so I’m level 11. Have been going steadily for about a year. My enlightened pile is 9 away from 600. And I’m actually really scared that I won’t know the majority of them when they come up! I likely haven’t seen so many of them for so long, I feel I’ll likely draw a blank.

Anyone else have enlightened related anxiety??


This is the draw-back of going very slow. If you take a longer break, it means you’re less likely to know all items that are in Enlightened, that’s just how the mind works. 2 months is one thing, 1 year is another.

I took a major break myself last year, only to renew my sub this summer (9 months later). I look at my burn-reviews as my new lessons queue, as most of them will fall down the SRS to either Guru or Apprentice (in fact, I try to intentionally fail items 3 times to get them down to Apprentice rather than Guru for this reason)
Try to not be too harsh on yourself. You’re just human and it’s human to forget. Good thing is that learning the same items a second time is much smoother going and should be fairly easy. You’ll soon get stuff back up to Enlightened and then burn them for good.

Just don’t give up!


I definitely feel this, I mean heck i’ve been trying to burn all my items from level 1 for so long and i only have ONE left !!! I want it SO BADLY !!


But the thing is: even when items are burned, it’s not like the story ends there! A lot of the time we end up forgetting burned items again. Later down the road i know i’ll likely unburn a lot of them to relearn again. So don’t feel like this is your only shot; learning never stops :hearts: It helps reminding yourself the goal isn’t to “beat wanikani” but to genuinely learn the words :> so even if you get those enlightened ones wrong, it’s okay! you’ll get them eventually :sunflower: :sunny: :sunflower:


I don’t think it’s necessary to unburn as people say. You’ve already proven you can recall the words after 4 months. Those are already in your long term memory.

I would simply do the practice run fast enough and if I can’t recall one promptly, I would just look at the reading. I don’t think there’s any harm in that but in my opinion is way better than going through the long process of wk again. Reviewing the words by just looking up the meaning if you forget is just like seeing them in the wild (I wouldn’t do this for others other than burn items though).

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i only just a few weeks ago burned my last item from level 1 (after some 18 months). that’s okay. :smiley:

you will make mistakes on your burns, that’s just how it goes. it’s not a bad thing, it just means that you haven’t quite learned that item yet. so you get to practice it a few more times. all good ^^

and never unburn stuff. instead, do your grammar work. and if you’ve got enough grammar, start reading. you’ll encounter everything you’re learning on WK in the wild, and that’ll not only help fix things in your memory, it’s also what we’re doing this here for :smiley:


And that’s ok :slight_smile: if you get it wrong, you learn it again. I got several supposedly burned items I’ve already forgotten, and getting exposed to them in a better-suited environment (in context, while reading or listening) is a great way to relearn them. So don’t worry! :slight_smile: The words will find their way.


No. You either remember them or you don’t, in any case they will pop up until you do. It’s not that much of a problem tbh. And when they do pop up you’d be surprised at the amount you remember. You will get plenty of “how do I even know this?”. But you just know it, and will type it and will be surprised at the amount you know.

The only stage to fear is 9 (burned). You won’t see burned items again in your normal reviews (but you can use extra study for them).

Enlightened items are on the brink, but are no different than any other items except that you haven’t seen them for at least four months. If you answer incorrectly, you’ll see the item again in a few weeks (or less if you answer incorrectly multiple times in the same session).

To my mind, the worst case is when you aren’t confident in your answers and basically guess but still answer correctly. Burning an item you aren’t confident you’ve learned means you lose the opportunity to learn it with more reviews.

One suggestion:

Leeches that bounce around between stages 6-8 are the worst because you only get infrequent reviews. You want your leeches in the lowest stages so that you can get more frequent reviews.

For this reason, I sometimes intentionally provide several wrong answers in a row for items I feel I’ve completely forgotten. Especially if I haven’t seen the item in a long time.

Counterintuitively, this often lets you burn an enlightened item more quickly than if you answer incorrectly, see the correct answer, answer correctly, and only move the item back to stage six.

“Extra” reviews never hurt anyone that wants to actually learn the items. Learning Japanese words is useful in the real world. Burning the same words is meaningless.

Easiest thing is to check if you remember all of the 593 items you’ve already burnt and if not, what % of them do you remember.

From a broader perspective, if you’re going at that pace, are you doing anything with Japanese outside of WaniKani? If you are, burning or not burning items on WaniKani shouldn’t really matter.

I actually once used a script to show SRS level when an item came up for review and it led to that. I turned it off shortly after. I think it’s better that way.

The ones you get wrong will come around for review again so just let the SRS do it’s thing. In the grand scheme of things, though, it’s not something to worry about.

If I take a look back at my burns from the first 10 levels, I’m sure there will be a number of them that I don’t remember. I may not have seen them for 3 years. But practically, the familiarity is there. When I come across them while reading, I’ll be able to look it up once and move on.

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Yeah. I used to be obsessed about not messing up an enlightened word. Now I don’t care because even if it comes back to guru it would not be a burden.

I don’t have to go through the whole process of memorizing everything again. It’s just a matter of seconds.

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Definitely this. And it’s readily apparent when reading because a word that contains a kanji you already know or a new reading for a known kanji is also quicker to learn. And then you hit completely new words and it’s noticeably harder.

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