Should I Keep using the Anki Mode Add-On?

I have been using Anki Mode to get over the practically 1000 reviews I had after coming back from a break. However, now I have gotten it down to about 130 reviews/day and levelled up twice since then I was wondering if I should start typing the answers out again. What are your thoughts on this?

I use it only for the meaning, to not type out the English, because sometimes the words are too long and sometimes I prefer the synonym I have for it in my head, and I don’t use it for the reading (in Japanese) since I feel like in that case there is only one right answer


ahh ic thanks so do you think i should do the same as you?

I read a lot and Anki mode frees me up to read more. Plus I find i learn the other meanings more easily.

Up to your use case. However, if your getting everything wrong and are just hitting pass to pass, I’d turn it off.

I think it depends on whether you trust yourself not to use it to fudge whether you got the answer right or not, especially for what might feel like small details like vowel length or whether you really said さ and not ざ. You probably know the answer to that by this point.

I don’t do wk but I do use other “just say if you got it right or not” SRS systems, and personally I like to say the word out loud before revealing the answer: it commits me more to actively deciding my answer.

1 Like

I would stop using WK if I didn’t have Anki Mode. I have seen no large positive impact on my retention when I input answers when compared to self-grading. And the time saved skews heavily in favor of using Anki Mode even if there is a small positive impact when typing out answers.
But, as said above, you need to not cheat.


personally i actually prefer writing because for me it is faster than anki mode.
the reason is it takes quite a lot of brain power to differentiate if you knew something or you just believe you knew it but did not really.

because of that for me writing is a lot more time efficient AND less brain exhausting than actually checking myself

if i have to use anki mode then i usually say the right answer out loud, and only accept if what i said matches with the correct answer but i find that to take more time than writing

i add these synonyms or short hands to fix that problem


I do the same with flaming durtles. I also prefer it because English is not my native language, so sometimes in order to type the correct word I need to “double translate” which is a bit silly. I also think that it encourages thinking about the meaning of japanese words instead of their translation. Sometimes I’ll see a japanese word and I’ll know what it means but the English translation will not immediately be clear in my mind, but if anything I think it’s a good thing, it means that I’m integrating the japanese without requiring an English crutch.

See, I think that’s just fine if you fudge it a bit. In my experience (from learning other languages, I’m still quite early in my Japanese journey) you’ll never really be able to understand the nuances of a word by memorizing translations out of context anyway.

To take an extreme example a word like 当たる can be used to mean so many things that memorizing a particular translation and insisting on getting it exactly right is, in my opinion, a waste of time. If you memorize a general meaning of “getting it right” or “hitting the target” that’s good enough, I think.

I just did a review where 時々 came up and the translation I got in my head was “from time to time” (due to the repetition of the “time” kanji) but WK only gives “sometimes” or “at times” as translations. I still counted it as right, I don’t think the nuance is that significant.

Or like 決定する which in my head is “to make a decision” while WK prefers “to decide”.

That’s also why I don’t use anki mode for readings because in this case there is usually a single correct answer and either you know it or you don’t.


this is completely correct. word-meanings are usually holistic concepts that at most partially overlap between different languages

regarding wanikanis purpose however: it is more there to get you to know kanji not vocab. and while you will not understand even a kanji’s meaning till much much later it is useful for the brain to have an associated shortcut. i.e. the brain cannot remember vague concepts only concrete ones

language automatisms are the only way to speak a language anyway. factual learning should at most comprise 50% of your time investment. the remaining majority of the time should be dedicated to speech production, listening and reading while speaking is by far the most important point and should get the largest chuck of time dedicated to it right from the beginning

my point here is that for anything anki-like aka factual learning keyboard input is far faster for me. i also accept cases like yours. there is a script that allows you to accept answers per keyboard shortcut but i dont use it instead in these cases i just delete my input and type again. why? sometimes i think that i got it right but when writing it again with what i now think is the accepted wanikani answer i write something else proving that my acceptance was mere a false illusion.

i can vow to you that self judgement is very very fallible in my experience and it is mentally exhausting. when typing i spend on average under 3 seconds per card. self judgement i get an average over 12 seconds per card. in both cases i work as fast as my mind allows and feel like i am using all my resources without wasting any time or energy. still i am so much more efficient when using the keyboard

1 Like

It’s true that I do find myself sometimes thinking for a little while about whether I should accept my “close but not quite” answer or not.

My approach for this is to be very lenient early on until about guru1, since at this point the word/kanji will come back really soon regardless. Once I get to master and above I get a lot more strict which means that I take more time to think about by answer and if I’m off I’ll just take the L.

Also I’m a fast typist so I think if I did my reviews on desktop it wouldn’t be too big of a deal but I tend to do my reviews on my phone and having to deal with autocorrect and typos is just annoying.

My personal problem with Anki cards is I start with a sort of broad fuzzy idea of the meaning – and if I see the answer too soon then it’s easy for me to go “oh yeah I knew that”. Typing it forces me to be more specific about what’s in my head.

For example: 休学 (school absence) my fuzzy definition is “you’re not in school and you’re resting.” So I’d type “school holiday,” get it wrong, and then go “Oh yeah holiday is 休日, this is being absent.” In Anki mode I’d never get to that point, I’d just see the answer and go “yeah that fits” and mark it right.

The real question is, are you actually learning the kanji or are you just getting the “right” answer and leveling up in the wanikani game? And only you can figure that one out.


You are learning kanji by remembering that きゅうがく is written as 休学, even if it actually means school absence and not rest from school or anything by the lines?

Because when you do encounter 休学 in reallife, you will understand the meaning from context and it makes more sense at that point.

I think correct reading is much more important than correct translation when learning kanji. Hence anki-mode on meanings only. Even if you just slam the correct button on each meaning, you still get exposed to the right meaning multiple times before burn and it’s really hard to completely learn the meaning incorrect so that it becomes impedence in real-life.


I agree for individual kanji (where ‘meaning’ is pretty vague anyway), but for words I think the meaning does matter more and letting yourself reinforce a wrong or significantly skewed meaning is probably not a good idea. For that matter, if you’re reading then you’ll have a much more fun time if you know the meaning of the words and forget the readings, than if you know all the readings but not the meanings…


Sure, but it is also much easier to search for a word you know the reading of than the meaning of.

1 Like

The answer would then be, don’t reinforce word’s meaning in isolation. Please read context sentences, or look up for context sentences.

Then, trusting answer checker, don’t show info, lightning mode, would be antithesis to this. It is better to use Anki mode or Double Check for meanings.

It’s of course OK to seek context outside during SRS too

1 Like

This is very interesting. I’ve often thought it would be great to have no English side. I mainly want the readings. I always end up having to relearn how to use it anyway if I don’t know the word unless it’s a simple physical noun. And often I will know a word and miss it cause I don’t pick WK exact answer.

Maybe i should look into this…

You cannot completely forget meaning of a compound kanji word if you have grasp on kanji meanings.

Eg. if you can read 警視庁 and 警察庁 readings correctly does it matter how you need to translate these correctly to National Police Agency and Metropolitan Police Department out of context? Because you can group these into being same thing and figuring out real meaning in context.

Kanji meanings help in easy cases and can nudge you to remember in less easy cases, but word meanings are often not transparent combinations of the meanings of their constituent kanji. Reading Japanese is reading words, not reading sequences of kanji.


Much easier in specific cases*

99%+ of my japanese reading took place in an environment where I could either copy paste a word to look it up or would just use yomichan. Both of those make knowing the reading irrelevant to lookup speed.

Just my personal experience, but I know a decent amount of people share it.


I might be biased as I learn lot of words from immersion and being non-native english speaker, I find it easier to attach a non-language “concept” of a word to reading directly, rather than english translation to native language translation of combination of kanjis that have certain reading.

1 Like