My GOD this is a slog for me, what can i do?

I do Genki vocabulary on Anki; otherwise I would never learn the relevant vocabulary lists. And it will probably be a while before I learn 国際関係 other wise!

(Note: I just learned 国際 on this level, so I guess I can throw the Genki deck out now :P)

Well with WK i struggled because i couldn’t do it for 6 months due to work. but with Anki, i only have words i pulled from song lyrics, so it’s easy to keep up because i just have to listen to the songs i like to listen to anyways, do a round or two on lingq as a refresher, then knock it out. Anki is more for fun and finally learning these songs i’ve been listening to for years than hardcore studying. Fair question though. I can usually get the cards i have even at it’s worst knocked out in an hour or so if i’m really getting after it

I think that’s what i’m going to do, I got my apprentices down to 95 (woot woot), but after i did that i got hit with 129 new lessons. So I think i’m going to clear out my apprentices completely and maybe even my gurus (556) and maybe taking my critical items and making a deck of flashcards to help me with that, then i’ll do 10 lessons at a time and make my own sentences with each lesson word. That should give me enough breathing room so i don’t get hit with a ton of reviews, and help me get to know the words better initially by spending more time with each lesson so they won’t stay apprentices long. That should solve my problem and hopefully establish positive activities to help me get through the next 45 levels more efficiently, and actually learn the words instead of just trying to cram them into my head. Thanks for the advice, it’s worked like gangbusters so far.

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Just a little update, paired with a question. I got my apprentices down to 38, my goal is to just get them down to zero before doing any of the pending lessons (135), is it possible to get it down to 0 or is it a dumb goal since i’ll always have words that get knocked back to apprentice if i haven’t seen them in a while and forget (i just did that with 然 of all characters…grr).

am i being a little overzealous? or it is better to have the 2200 words i’ve gone through so far pretty much mastered before opening up a can of another 135?

Ideally what ever you are comfortable with. Doing all those lessons will get you back to ~150 apprentice items which is doable but some people prefer to keep it slightly lower at around 100.

If you’re struggling with knowing vocabulary can I recommend KaniWani if you don’t use it already? When I started grammar about a week ago I realised I was having trouble recalling how to say words I should in theory know in Japanese without the Kaji in front of me. KaniWani syncs with WaniKani to helps reinforce meaning and recall by giving you English words to translate into Japanese (synced over from your current WaniKani level). It’s been really helpful with my reviews! I have no where near as much vocabulary bouncing between apprentice and guru anymore, which has allowed me to progress quite smoothly without having to worry about those apprentice items building up!


I’m not sure there’s much advantage in waiting to do your lessons—unless you just want to. As you say, you will always have some cards bouncing back into apprentice. What level of apprentice do you feel comfortable with? I do 100, and that works for me. Sometimes it gets higher than that, if I have a lot of words that I miss at about the same time, and in those cases I just don’t do any new words. When my apprentice queue drops below 97, I add enough new cards to get back up to 100.

That means that sometimes I don’t add any cards for a while. A few days ago I added about 25—but over the last couple of days, every card I’ve guru’d has been replaced by a card I’ve missed.

And a while back my apprentice items got well above 100, because just after I added a number of new cards I failed a bunch of old ones. But I worked it out over a few days.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the size of your lesson queue (as long as you’re not using a re-ordering script to skip the vocabulary!). If I were you I’d choose a target level for your apprentice queue, then add new lessons (at a reasonable speed!) until I reached it, and not even worry about the size of the lesson queue (ever!).

Or take @tel003a’s advice: wait until you’re bored with Wanikani, and then add new lessons at a controlled pace. I’d still choose a target number for my apprentice items if it were me, though.

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I do use wanikani, but it’s a little intimidating since it just blasts you with all 2000+ words at once if you let it. I unlocked the level i’m currently on, once i get them to guru than i’ll unlock the previous levels words (about 150 i think), and so on, and so forth. I just got done with a massive backlog, i don’t want to duplicate that with kaniwani to start.

good advice, and thanks. I just need to find that “magic number”, it was going to be 50, but i hit that a few days ago, then failed a bunch of old cards and it climbed as high as 100. Now i’ve got it back down to 38, and i’m wondering if i should do lessons or just take the next couple of days to hammer down the apprentice as much as possible.

I just don’t want to get hit with 1-200 reviews a day like it was hitting me with when my apprentice was in the 300s

There will always be some items that don’t stick. It’s better to take lessons again once you’re comfortable with your current workload. Or perhaps wait one or two more weeks after everything has settled down to make sure a bunch doesn’t drop down to Apprentice again.

I also recommend getting into a routine (e.g. 10 new items a day), and experiment with the routine until you find a number that works for you.


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