Suggestions for avoiding stupid mistakes?

First let me state for the record that I am not complaining about WaniKani, only about my own repeated behaviour. But I’m at level 8 and I’m starting to worry about myself. Almost every day, I find that I make several stupid mistakes usually at the start of a review session. I’m talking about the kind of mistake where I swap reading for meaning, or vocab for kanji (reading or meaning), or kanji meaning for radical meaning. I want to fix my brain.

Usually I make this kind of mistake near the beginning of a review session before getting into the rhythm of the thing. Not a huge deal if I have 75 items to review, but it feels more impactful if I only have 5 items to review and I botch two or three of them, and then I have to live with that low percentage until next time.

So anyway, I understand that it’s my own damn mistake, but I’m not a complete dummy, and I often believe myself to be fully awake. And yet, and yet, even after stopping and staring at my answer before pressing Return, I’m rewarded with the recognition that yet again, I am an idiot.

The point of this post is simply to ask the community if you’ve found good methods of training yourselves to avoid this kind of mistake. Just as the SRS method in WaniKani is working very well to allow me to recognize kanji and vocabulary, I wonder if there’s a method you’ve found that helps you correct a flake-out when using WaniKani before it happens. Also, can someone think of (or does one already exist) a cool WK-らしい nickname for this kind of mistake. They’re not leeches… but what are they?


I still do this occasionally. :upside_down_face: Not sure what to tell you. Until I am in a rhythm, I have to keep super super focused. Otherwise, I will definitely make dumb mistakes. Maybe even make yourself say it out loud before you type it as a second layer of security. Even then though, I still do this quite a bit, and I know what you mean, it is frustrating and feels fairly unavoidable…On the large scale though, I think it ends up not mattering all that much, even though it is frustrating. So keep plugging. Best of luck!!


(And [instructions])

As long as you’re 100% honest with yourself about genuine typos versus “oh, I knew that (but not really)”, double-check is good for allowing you to correct mistakes, and even marking things wrong when WK’s typo-forgiveness was too generous.


So, recently I have done my best to pay attention to not being distracted. I force myself to do one thing at a time, and force all other thoughts out of my mind. I have noticed the mistakes go away. Now I only get answers wrong if I don’t know them. I still have to be aware of distractions, because it is easy to slip into unnecessary mistakes. Yesterday I got my first 100% on like 30 words, and I can’t remember the last time that happened.



Seriously, today I put in “school” instead of “high school” because I was rushing. Don’t rush. Try to stop your finger automatically jumping to the return key and actually read what you put before you press it.


I agree with you. getting something wrong because of a mistake, doesn’t really matter. It can be frustrating, but at the end of the day learning is most important. And getting an answer wrong is just giving yourself another opportunity to study those kanji.


I had to deal with it too.
I started to use the ignore script for typos and for times that I start and realize that although I’m sitting in front of the screen I’m not really there. Then I decide whether I should continue, stop clear my head and continue or stop and get back when I’m more focused. Sometimes it’s just a matter of drinking/eating something because not enough glocuse available to your brain can make a big difference (yep, it can be that trivial a solution).

I try to make those deliberate pauses to slow down and register the color of the background. And I had to think about doing so and practicing doing so. I had to make a mental note, ‘cause my natural reaction is looking at the kanji and disregarding the background color.
I also noticed that sometime seeing a the kanji alone after seeing it as part of vocabs for a while and it’s suddenly looks quit big on the screen, confuses mii. again, it has to do with pattern/face recognition which is something you’re supposed to fight against while reading kanji - it’s all about slowing down and getting into details - you’re not being stupid, you’re simply training your brain to process in a way that is different than it tends to.

One other things that started happening lately is that instead of writing the meaning I write the reading first, not as a mistake but it helps mii recall it. It just started happening and I suspect it has to do with the fact that the meanings and readings are written on the left side of the screen so starting with extracting the input I remember helps to bring the input that was associated with that same space.
And again by doing so you prevent yourself from pushing enter right away.

Hopefully something here might help you.


This. IF you trust yourself to not abuse these scripts, than use them.

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I think this happens to everyone once in a while, it doesn’t happen to me very often thankfully and only in the mornings when I just woke up or when I’m super distracted with other thoughts, my solution is:

  1. to sleep well, if I have a good night sleep and wake up happy and refreshed I’ve noticed I don’t make so many mistakes and I can concentrate more easily, maybe have some breakfast before studying.

  2. Don’t rush, like ever… maybe only for burned or enlightened items (?) but try not to rush and think your answers at least twice, do it when you feel confused/distracted or after waking up.

And don’t worry so much about typos/stupid mistakes, if you really know the answer than there’s nothing to worry about, you can answer correctly next time, making mistakes is not the same as not knowing the answer at all so relax :smiley:.


What helped me cut down on input errors was to check to see how it was coming out on screen against what I was hearing in my head. I’d often start typing out the meaning, only to see hiragana come up on my monitor, and realize, that WK was looking for the reading. Even still it took some time to train my finger off of the enter key, and proofread my response. Furthermore, when I notice I am getting into rhythm, I consciously take my finger off of that enter key.


Thanks, everyone. These are all good suggestions. I’ll redouble my effort to slow down and focus. I’m not quite ready to install the ignore script, not exactly because I don’t trust myself, but more that, I wish to fix the problem on my end. That said, I have unlimited thanks and お礼 for rfindley for making so many useful scripts, some of which I am happily using.

Now about that nickname, suggestions anyone?

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I have a similar problem, though I usually start messing up at the end. I tend to start going too fast and end up with typos on very easy kanji (it hurts when it would have evolved to “enlightened” if I didn’t mess up), or input the wrong meaning.

What I do when this happens, is stop, close my eyes & take a breath. I acknowledge that I am rushing and need to slow down. As for getting the meaning wrong, I have taken up reading the kanji out loud; Sometimes my brain sees a kanji and jumps to one meaning, when it is just a very similar looking kanji or combination. That has saved me from making mistakes quite often.


I’ve also noticed that getting good sleep and waking up refreshed makes a world of difference. Both points are spot-on! :star_struck:


Yeah, I find making mistakes helps drive the correct answers into your memory. Learning from mistakes isn’t fun, but it is effective. I try to acknowledge the error, take note of where I went wrong and remind myself it’s not the end of the world.


Maybe @Koichi could approve the creation of a Baka-dot emoji?



I’ve referred to it as itchy enter finger privately. IEF can be dangerous after all.


Haha, one would think so, but I find after inputting じ when it’s the vocabulary word 次 or つぎ five times in a row, I’m not certain. On the other hand I do remember now, so you’re probably right in the long run.

I like that… Maybe BakaZakana…

Yeah, I have a few that I keep messing up too. I keep telling myself I’ll get them one day, even if I’ve burned every other kanji first. One day…


Same problem, every reviewing session at least once. I usually do WaniKani via the app tho, so I can undo the silly mistake. I never made it count; maybe that’s why I keep making it :smiley:

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