Starting to feel the burn!

Some good advice that I haven’t seen in this thread yet, is to keep your Apprentice pile under control. There’s a pretty well-established link between how many items are in your Apprentice pile and how busy you’re going to get. If you don’t mind going a bit slower, it is recommendable to set a maximum amount of Apprentice items for yourself and only do lessons when it dips below that point.

For example, if you set the limit to 100 (which is common), if you have 90 items in the apprentice pile rn, only do 10 lessons. When some more space comes up, do some more. If you exceed the limit, wait with doing lessons before getting the number back then.

If this method makes you begging for more reviews, increase your limit. If the amount of reviews is overwhelming, decrease the limit. You’ll find that you’ll have a better handle on things like this.

And also, don’t do all your lessons at once anyway. They will come back in huge waves and also make it harder to remember everything. I learned everything in one go during my entire track from 1 to 60, and am now stuck with about 650 leeches. :sweat_smile:


that’s some big leeches


I actually experienced much the same as you, at/after lvl 7. The daily workload felt overwhelming, and I stopped doing lessons for almost three months (that black bar). I don’t recommend stopping as I did, but know that you’re not alone :slight_smile: And if you feel the daily review amount climbing higher than you feel like you can handle, just lay off the lessons for some days. It helps! That way, you’ll be able to progress steadily but still keep the workload at a managable level. And take the time you need :slight_smile:
As you can see, my own progress has been full of breaks, and I still take them when I want the daily reviews to decrease a little :blush:


I wanted to take a picture of my leech list, but the screen capture broke :joy:

Here are my worst leeches

And here is the counter :sob:

I’m actually logging my leech progress as well

It’s not going well


Sorry, very dumb question, the answer to which I probably should have encountered by now: What actually is a leech? I keep seeing the phrase and haven’t bumped into it’s meaning yet.

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A leech is calculated according to a certain equation (depending on how many times you got it wrong and how often you got it right in one streak)


If the answer to that equation is higher than 1, it can be said with sort of certainty that you’re having trouble remembering that item. It’s a pretty good equation, though it doesn’t take into account when you finally get a good streak going and really start remembering the leech, but you had it wrong like 20 times before that because you didn’t think that item was really important at that time. So that’s why some of my leeches have “不可能” in their bar, as I can only get rid of them by burning them. About a third of my leeches are like that :frowning_face:

This script lists all of your difficult leeches:

I think the self-study script also has a way to give your leeches some extra attention, before they grow out of hand like for me :sob:


I’m calling you leech95 now




I see! Thank you for such an in-depth answer!

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What I do is I try to give answers relatively quickly during reviews (especially if it’s a word I haven’t seen in a while that I know is higher in the srs tier) and I also don’t do vocabulary lessons all at once. I try to do radicals all at once because they’re the building blocks that unlock kanji, and I try to do the kanji either all at once or in two days (technically you do not need to do them all at once… the way I understand it, learning the first wave early just gives you more room for error down the line because you have more chances to give answers for that first wave before the second wave of kanji are unlocked when you guru the radicals). I know it takes a few days to guru the radicals and the kanji so I see absolutely no need to rush the vocabulary sections. There are days where I do 20 vocab lessons, and some like today where I only did 10.

I level around ever 8-9 days or so, and although recently my reviews have pushed 160+ (basically two waves of 80 reviews one after the other), since I only spend a few seconds per character/word it really doesn’t take that long.

My tip is: don’t do reviews flippantly but also don’t be scared to make mistakes, even if it “slows” you down.


Are you sure you didn’t screenshot my leech list?


I just finished level 10 woo!

And I’m still not demotivated, I did find 9 and 10 a little more brainwork than the other levels before…

on to level 11 now :slight_smile: … over one sixth of the way there .____.


This is a smart thing to clarify… leeches will sneak up on you in packs and be your death if you are not careful! It’s best to recognize and deal with this early on or life will start to become very difficult around level 40. It can impact your workload very severely and cause the whole quest for level 60 to extend by many many months. Personal experience here…


I definitely need to be more careful about getting things wrong because of typos then :upside_down_face:
I’m a bit scared of the visual image of packs of leeches hunting me down now too hahah

ahhhhh yes. Level 8, the moment I too questioned if I was going too fast. You’re gonna have to forget this post. Just keep going and plowing on through.

In all seriousness though, I’m deviating from the “do all your lessons in the same day” approach, and opting for “doing what’s required of the level for the first day, then spread the new vocab across 3 days evenly.” This has been a much better way of doing it while maintaining the same pace I am/was of 7-8 days per level.

Just keep in mind that yes, you will have days with 140-150 reviews, but they only happen like once a month. I rarely have that many reviews, but I also am proactive doing reviews in the morning and at night. So don’t slack off and even if you feel like not doing it… push. Just keep pushing because your lack of motivation will pass. You’ll get to that glorious next chapter and remember why you’re doing it, then after slogging through the next be back in the same place only to get to the next level remembering “I did all this to get here, am I really going to give up now?”

Best of luck. ファイト!

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Like @TheFlaminMunch, I try to keep my apprentice items to around 100. I do feel sometimes that reviews are a bit lacking so I go over the 100 limit sometimes. Sometimes it seems I keep getting a lot wrong so I let it fall around 90. This is rare though as it is on or over 100 most of the time.

Hi, I am at the point you are talking about and have encountered the kanji you just mentioned. I often mistake one for the other and it is frustrating that I have guru’ed some then they fall back to apprentice because I was not paying much attention. I can totally relate to what you are saying.

This! I was going to say this, but of course @jprspereira already said it. He has wise words @tomds , you would be wise as to heed them.


If you at least know the 4 meanings (resp. Hoist, Guts, Sunlight and Hot Water), there is a simple way to remember the differences.

  • In general, if the 月 radical is used (most of the time on the left of the kanji), the kanji can be describing an organ or something to do with the body. This is the case for guts 腸.
  • The 揚 has a hand radical on the left side. Hoisting is something you do with your hand.
  • The 湯 has the tsunami radical on its side, which usually implies something water related. Therefore this is the hot water radical.
  • The remaining kanji 陽 doesn’t really make sense with the given radical name, but it’s the last one, so that one is sunlight.

Wow! How insightful.

Now I will have to ask you in person where to get the best Stroopwafels when I eventually visit Den Haag, and Amsterdam, and Rotterdam, and the list goes on… :wink:

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You can buy them in a store anywhere, but the taste won’t be much different between each store. Plus those can be imported anyway.
My advice is therefore: find a stand at a marketplace. Often there are small stalls that sell them freshly made and deliciously warm, with the syrup still slightly liquid and sticky. It’s the McFreaking best. You can buy super big ones too, for even more enjoyment.

Here are locations and times for outdoor (and indoor) markets in

Also, not sure if you have your whole trip planned yet, but Utrecht has a pretty nice city center too. Not sure what you’re into though (architecture, culture, food, etc)


So much great advice. I was going at full speed until I got close to level 10. Between hitting new kanji and life my reviews piled up. I realized I needed to start slowing down my lessons. As other recommended I started keeping my apprentice pile between 80-120. Before I started getting reviews for burning it was 120. Now that I have a flow of items to burn (or fail) I keep it at 70-100 depending on the flow. I try not to learn too much vocab at once (10-15) so sometimes it takes a few days to build up. I also consider how many reviews I am getting. If I’m getting a lot of 50+ reviews then I slow down on lessons so I can focus on the ones I missed.

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