Should I use anki to help me memorize?

Hi there, I am Hideki and I am a complete noob here, so if I post this at the wrong place, I am so sorry, pls let me know and I will correct it, it is my first time and I am not really sure how it works lol.
So, I would like to know if y’all use anky to help with memorization? I know WaniKani supposedly calculates when your next review is going to be in order for you to memorize it as fast as possible, but I wonder if I could also use anky to help me review a few things throughout the day, or would this mess up the app’s system?
Also - since you are already here - how much lessons do you do every day? When I levelled up to lv 2 I got about 57 lessons at once, which is not that much, but there is no way I can binge through it all and still remember every single one of them on the next day

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WaniKani works only with kanji, so unfortunately some of the vocab items are quite obscure, even at the beginning.

The best use of your time outside of WaniKani would absolutely not be to work MORE on the Wanikani vocab.

There are 3000 words that are more useful that WaniKani won’t teach you because they are not Kanji related. If you were going to use Anki I would put them in Anki instead.

I would recommend picking up a beginner grammar textbook and work through that, enter any vocab you want to memorize into Anki.

As efficiently as possible. That’s the point of SRS in general, not just WaniKani. Anki also uses SRS, so using them at the same time for the same content doesn’t really make sense.

Check this out from the WaniKani knowledge base:


Are you talking about stuff like “this” and “that”? It’s super frustrating to me that, as these aren’t kanji words, they don’t get covered, because they’re super important

Is there some reason you expect WaniKani, as a kanji learning application, to teach you other aspects of Japanese? WaniKani also doesn’t teach grammar or give you speaking practice.


\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}
@ Hidekiz

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you, like:
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!
The New And Improved List Of API and Third Party Apps

I hope your Japanese learning journey goes well and that you enjoy your time with us on the forums.

Edited in response to feedback
There is plenty of theory behind how SRSs work and part of the beauty of spaced repetition is that the reviews come in just as your brain is starting to forget and so they snap you back into memory mode. If you’re reviewing in between, you won’t get that effect. This doesn’t mean that you’re less likely to retain the information, and it may aid recollection a little, but it’s not the most efficient way to go about memorising the information. There is a thread here from may that discusses the current science behind it ^-^

There is no need to rush reviews. The minimum possible time between levels is 6d 20hrs, so you can take those 57 reviews and split them across those 6 days, doing just 10 a day, if you like. Most people recommend 20 lessons to be a reasonable amount. I covered this on another post, so I’ll quote it here instead:

For levels 1 + 2 those periods of time are shorter, so it probably feels like you have less time now, but you’ll be having more time between levels from here on out :slight_smile:


yes and…

もう, already
まだ, still/yet
まで, until
どんどん, progressively
Verbてから, once I verb I will…

to name 5 of thousands

Getting mad that WaniKani doesn’t cover grammar or hiragana words misunderstands it’s purpose. The creators of WaniKani saw that while Japanese grammar was being thought, by textbooks, and other training programs, there was no well structured Kanji training program to get people reliably reading Kanji. They created WaniKani to fix that singular problem. It’s like getting mad at an ice cream shop for not having cake. Reasonable, everyone loves cake, but not useful.

Again I’d recommended a text book like Genki, and a grammar SRS like bunpro to teach you grammar, and ひらがな only words.


This is disputed. There is scientific literature that shows that additional study helps. See here, someone has researched the effect of additional study on SRS.


That’s interesting to know, thanks for sharing amends initial post

Granted, the last time I looked into this was a thread from about a year ago that I now can’t find, where the outcome was as I stated. I’m perfectly happy to be proved wrong, because I sometimes worry about doing extra study for that reason :slight_smile:

So the outcome, from the thread, seems to be this:

That it doesn’t hurt, and studying more will probably equate to better memorisation, but in terms of efficiency, SRS is preferable since it requires the least amount of study for retention.

It remains that if you have no grammar or other basic knowledge, studying the wanikani vocab MORE is not going to teach you Japanese.

Using WaniKani and putting WaniKani vocab in an Anki is not a useful Japanese learning strategy.


SRS is the most efficient in terms of effort put in, but if you add in additional study on top of it you certainly aren’t going to become any worse (and will likely see some improvement), it is just less bang for your buck than SRS in terms of pure time spent.


Yeah, @prouleau just pointed out your post and I thank you for putting in the time to write it. As I said in reply to them, when I last looked into the phenomenon (about a year ago), community opinion seemed to boil down to ‘at best, it won’t help, at worst, it might hurt’ - I am thrilled to know that research shows this not to be the case ^-^


FYI. I do 20 a day.

I’ve made a guide about this but essentially doing 50 a day is fine when you’re at the beginning but as the program builds you want be limiting. If you do 50 now it’s fine, but when it comes back to burning time, you will end up with hundreds of reviews a day. Slow(ish) and steady is really the easiest fastest way to level. 20 a day, as you would see in two weeks, creates a speedy but manageable learning speed.

I wanna clarify that I’m making no comment about adding WK stuff in anki being a good venture without putting real emphasis on grammar, just that one shouldn’t be afraid of looking at words and kanji found in WK in fears they may “break” SRS.


I have found that there are two circumstances where extra studying improves SRS.

  • New lessons. Doing extra studying after learning a lesson speeds up the process over failing Apprentices to see items more often.
  • Leeches These are items that gives troubles in reviews. Extra studying these items also speeds up the process of learning compared to plain SRS.

At least this is how it works for me.


I’ve often felt that revising my kanji notes after lessons and between reviews is cheating; it seems I’ve been much too hard on myself, hehe.

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Oh yeah, I always study the kanji 2 hours after the lesson, because otherwise I would flunk the 4 hour review. Leeches are something I probably should review but never do.


Hi and welcome, Hidekiz. I use the Self-Study Quiz add-on in between reviews. You can set it to just your Apprentice Items (or All Learned Items or All Burned Items or All Resurrected Items, whatever those are–I’m only Level 11, so haven’t seen those yet). It can feed you Japanese to English, English to Japanese, an Audio-only quiz, or all three of these things. I like it a lot and I’ll let others debate whether or not I’m messing with the SRS. I just know I enjoy it and I use it often. Since using it, my times spent on a level went from 12-13 days down to about 9-10 days. Cheers and good luck! Best, Jerry

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@Hidekiz anki is spells with an i not a y. Could you correct the typo in the title please? I usually don’t bother about typos but a typo in the title makes the threads hard to find by people who use the search function. You are asking a valid question and others may benefit from the answer. It would be a shame they would miss your thread because the forum search engine can’t work around a typo.

If you don’t know how to correct a title I can do it for you but I won’t unless you give me permission to do so.


This might be a slight tangent to the topic at hand, but personally, I found that learning vocabulary written in kana through a textbook system was very helpful. The textbook I picked also taught grammar and let me practice it all with writing and speaking exercises. I started WaniKani on the first day of my Japanese learning journey, and I’ve been learning for about three months in total now.

In the first few stages of WaniKani I found myself frustrated that I could not remember the readings of the kanji, or differentiate it from the vocabulary words. After learning about 1,000 words in kana (with the ability to recognize a handful of them in kanji form too) I came back to WaniKani. Now when I come across a kanji reading I go “Oh, that’s like this word that I know,” thus, the reading sticks much easier. In my case, more is more. The more I use a word, the more I’ll remember it. This spaced repetition system is fine and all, but I don’t use it as my primary source for vocabulary. For me, WaniKani’s best feature is the way each new kanji builds upon the previous ones and the radicals, so I mainly use it for review and to help me organize the things I know.