Review timers

(A slight variation on an already suggested idea)

Basically, since in actual usage you don’t have forever to recall a word, impose a time limit in reviews for better training. The first 2 seconds let’s say is a regular correct answer, and the penalty increases after that until the timer runs out at let’s say 30 seconds, at which point it is treated like a wrong answer. For higher level words (Guru>Apprentice etc), either the timer would get shorter or the penalty would be increased. Or both.
This would of course be optional, with the alternative being the original untimed review mode. The timer/penalty severity should be adjustable too, since we couldn’t possibly all be comfortable with the default.
I don’t know if WK in it’s current state can be changed to support this kind of thing.
It might also not be a good idea. My intuition says the training should match reality as close as possible, but I’m by no means an expert, and SRS is quite different from what I’ve seen elsewhere, so perhaps it works best as is.

Not a bad idea. However, some people don’t have very reliable internet connections. If somebody starts a review session and then his connection dies, what happens to his reviews?

I think a timer would just add unwanted pressure on people.


I didn’t read the whole OP, however… I do believe a userscript or two in this area already exists…

Just take a look at the pinned list of userscripts in the API section.

@AnimeCanuck is correct. Here it is.

@plantron, technically, this is a manageable scenario.
I think the bigger concern stems from:

as right now we have a way solid measure to really know where we stand. Implementing a scoring scale would entail either tagging it on to the current system (and not necessarily knowing what it means since it would be a result of all your reviews and an abstraction), or it would entail revamping the entire system. Making this optional would only confuse matters.

I am completely against the idea of it being compulsory though as I would quit WK immediately. Time pressure is not appreciated when it is forced upon me. I imagine there are a few others like myself.

Fortunately for us, when we learn, we are not in a real setting, this is a “safe zone”, so to speak, where we solidify our knowledge, and not, in my opinion, the equivalent of a stress test on our memories (and blood pressure). Personally, I already get annoyed enough when I miss something on a review I should know the answer to (even though I shouldn’t be upset, I know). With time pressure, I would be mad at both myself and WK and would likely end up with a hole the size of my fist in my screen.
I can’t afford a new laptop, it would bankrupt me. You wouldn’t want to bankrupt me @EPICI, would you? :anguished:


Yeah, I’m not a fan of timed reviews. Sometimes I start a review session and then do something else in the middle. This would penalize me for taking a couple minute break.

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When a feature is truly optional, it’s hard to object to it - I could just not enable it of course. So from that perspective I don’t think I’d have a problem with this.

If for some reason it had to be one way or the other I’d definitely prefer reviews not be timed. That’s based on how I’m personally using Wanikani: to learn to read stuff for fun. There’s no time limit on working through a speech bubble in a manga after all. It’s on me to decide when to give up and skip it, or go look it up, or whatever.

But none of this is a reason to say no, and something potentially being a lot of work isn’t a reason to not request it. Just not sure I would ever use it personally, though I can see how someone who expects to be reading under time pressure might like the idea.

From a business and technical perspective, there are plenty of reasons to not include optional features. For example, optional features could make it harder to change and enhance the application later by complicating the code, increases the chances of bugs for the same reason, and can confuse users if there are too many options.


I don’t like this idea. I often do reviews at work. I leave my browser open and when I have a minute or two of downtime I do a few reviews. This works pretty well, but I often get called away from the screen at a moment’s notice.

Also, I’m not sure it would actually do anything to improve the learning experience or help you learn the kanji or words any better. You’re already in a stressful unnatural testing environment. Adding extra pressure to that doesn’t make it any more like reality since you’re not actually reading kanji in context, just individual words. Often you’ll have a lot more context around the words to give you clues to the meaning of the words, and possibly even reading if you know some set phrases, etc. Also when reading, you do actually have as much time as you want to go look up a word if you don’t remember how to pronounce it or what it means, and WK is primarily a tool to teach reading.

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Right, but I was speaking from a user’s perspective. I am leaving it up to the WK devs to weigh the development and maintenance costs.

I liked this and used it a lot when I had a ton of reviews. Now I don’t use it anymore, but I definitely found it helpful when I did.

To OP: I think I read somewhere that there had been no real indication that the time you take to answer correlate to how well you remember though, so I think a simple pass/fail is probably better than having multiple steps with increasing penalties.

Personally, I would hate this as time limits freak me out and make my mind go blank. Also, I would be REALLY annoyed if my husband suddenly asked me something (or the doorbell went, I got a call, the cat jumped on me etc) and I had to be rude and ignore him (or ignore the other examples) or else get the answer wrong. If this was to be instated, I would be very annoyed and wouldn’t want to use the service, lifetime member or not. But, I can see other types of learners enjoy this which means I like the current format where those people can use a script to create a time limit. Best of both worlds.

Other thing, when reading, it isn’t like speaking, most of the time you have time to let your brain process, it doesn’t have to be as instantaneous (although speed comes in time). Also, not remembering straight away does not make you wrong. By allowing you time to recall what that forgotten word is, you are building a stronger memory of that word than if you just had the prompt. I find this when teaching, is my kid doesn’t know 8x7 and I give them time to work it out, they are more likely to remember it next time than if I had just told them.

I actually find I often memorise an item better in the long run if it takes some time for me to remember during a review. My recall time will improve later when I start seeing the item in actual Japanese texts.

I used to use Memrise, but had the timer disabled. Didn’t help learning at all.

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You could imagine having a time limit for “burn” reviews only – if you can’t recall it quickly at that point, you still have more work to do. And if you answer correctly after the time limit, it still counts as a correct answer, just not a “burn”.

Well, they can request all they like but competing requests have to be evaluated.

A truly optional feature is far more objectionable than a mandatory feature, especially if hardly anyone uses it. Why spend a week putting in a feature that only a few people want? They could use the same effort to provide something that benefits everyone.

Wanikani developers have limited time and resources.

As I said somewhere else, increasing the conplexity of the system makes future maintenance harder. It does matter that more work is involved because wanikani developers don’t work for free.


I’m aware that software development work takes time and resources, as someone who works in that field. But working in that field also means that I know that users have to be able to provide feedback. And the point of the lines you quoted was to reassure OP that by saying I wouldn’t use it, I wasn’t intending to totally shut down their idea (which is how “nah I don’t want this” comments can often come off) given that they weren’t suggesting forcing it on anyone. It was a message to OP, not a directive to the WK development team.

WK devs don’t need you or any of us back-seat project managing them. They know what they’re doing and they’ll make the call.based on the original request, other users’ feedback on that request, and their own thoughts and goals.

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