The carelessness method

(I just made that name up.) Just watching one of good ol’ Steve’s videos and what he says here got me thinking:

Instead of trying hard to get things right, instead we just go essentially as fast as we can without putting in much effort. Applying this to WaniKani, it would mean we get a much lower accuracy and many more reviews, but reviewing becomes faster and easier. This might also increase the time we use WaniKani overall, i.e. increasing time to burn since we are constantly getting things wrong.

I feel like this would be helpful for me – I tend to have trouble staying focused when I get stuck on a word. Some days I even click away and do something else, then totally forget that I was in the middle of reviewing!

Thoughts? Has anyone tried this before?


It’s a matter of balancing things. If you’re going fast, but you’re having an accuracy 70% under, then you’re going too fast. On the other hand, if you’re going slower but get constant accuracy of 95% up, then you could probably push yourself a bit more.

Same with reviews. You can afford to think for a few seconds. But for mins, it becomes counter-productive.


That’s how you should use wk in my opinion.
(Obviously within reason.)


I think it’s a good approach in general, but I’m not so sure for WK. The reviews will pile up quickly, and will doing 500+ reviews per day “carelessly” will really improve your learning?


Ah, the ol’ “strong and wrong” method.

When it comes to applying the language to real life, there’s a lot to be said for just plain ol’ confidence, but you need to be at least slightly intelligible for that to work.


This is pretty much what I do. Just power through everything, get it all wrong, get it all wrong again, but then I start to get it right.

Accuracy is usually at about 70%-80% for a 250-350 review (daily), never spend more than a few seconds on a word. I just go with the first thing that pops into my head. Some items I’ve gotten wrong about 30 or 40 times, but once I start getting them right I rarely get them wrong again.

Though this is how I life, just overexposure of failure. Do the hardest things first then everything becomes easier. So this way works for me at least.

Probably wouldn’t recommend doing it this way for everyone though


I tend to average 80 - 90%, so I guess I could use some pushing. Often when I think longer, I am right as much as I am wrong and tend to remember the ones I get right, so I don’t find that on its own very counterproductive – but it is slow and not fun at all.

Yeah that number’s a bit spooky. I feel like if there are too many reviews, my brain/subconscious will be overloaded and won’t remember most of them like it would if there were only a hundred or whatever.

I listened to TED talk recently where the speaker essentially told language learners to focus on the subject of the conversation and not on getting the language right (grammar, etc.). If we focus too much on language itself, we’ll fail to actually understand and communicate with the other person. She gave an example of a professionally trained woman completely failing to answer a question in English, and then of a store clerk who barely knew any English answering her question in just four words! But yeah, still need to know those four words, right?

How long do your review sessions usually take you? I definitely think I need to work on my resilience --I fail quite often in my creative projects (and video games!), and am not very good at persisting through those failiures (in my opinion anyway).

Anyway, I’d like to give this method a try, although I’m a little anxious about stuffing everything up :laughing: Perhaps I will give it a trial run next session… don’t have any burns or anything so it’ll be low risk.


I always answer within 3 seconds. Makes it so that 100 reviews takes less than 10 minutes.


I’ll give that a go!

Totally agree. I apply this rule to almost everything. “Consistency” is the key.

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That’s the whole point of the SRS, tho. Ignoring the careless part. Less care, maybe.

A 250-350 session usually takes about 15-30ish mins.

Same, I fail at all the creative stuff I do too, but failing is just slowly getting it right… slowly.
But keep at it, you will get there! The worst thing to do is not to fail, but to give up.

I’d say give it a shot for a few levels or so, see if it works for you. We all learn in different ways. If you start to feel overwhelmed it might not be the best approach for you. Keep experimenting until you find what works best for you!

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Yes, if you pace the lessons appropriately it shouldn’t be a bit problem, I just felt that even with high accuracy I have more than enough reviews already. The review sessions do get boring after a while.

My carelessness was rather to go over words that didn’t stick quickly and push them up with the ignore script so that I see them rarely without actually knowing them, after a few months it was getting better on its own. Just seeing something a hundred times (that may not really that essential anyway) annoys me, and I don’t have a big problem to “relearn” something I should have known from WK when I see it in the wild again.

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This is similar/tangential to my attitude toward learning Japanese. I don’t eliminate all other distractions and focus entirely on my learning. I don’t turn off the TV or audio book to do lessons or reviews and just go with the lessons/reviews as they come. I try my best but I don’t spend a lot of time agonizing over each review. My theory is that when I use Japanese out in the wild I will not be solely focused on only speaking or reading at that time. I will probably be reading as I drive or walk down the street or talking with someone while trying to walk and I worry that if I only learn in a distraction free environment entirely focused on learning I will only be able to use it in a similarly distraction free environment instead of real life. I recognize that my theory may be completely ridiculous from a learning science point of view, but it feels right to me.


… How do you do it ? Do you type at the speed of light ? xD
It takes me about 30mn to go through 100 review items :frowning:


I tend to do the same too. I often do my reviews while commuting and there are some distractions and background noises but I totally belive that you should learn to use a skill under the same conditions that you are expected to use it as early as possible. I’m no expert as well but I don’t see any downside to this approach as my accuracy is still fine.

(With that being said, I do tend to do my lessons quietly at home since I feel like I need to really concentrate to cement the new vocab and kanji)


Hey, how are you so fast with your reviews ?
I’m kinda baffled because it takes me about one hour to review 200 items, what with the typing and everything… o_o


251446983644938240 It only takes a second to type an answer, and if I don’t know the answer it’s even faster to just enter something and fail the review. I also have a bunch of script to make it a more fluid experience; such as lightning mode to automatically go to the next item if I get something right, and Fast Abridged Wrong/Multiple Answer to quickly tell me the correct answer when I get something wrong.


One of the first things I will do tonight is disable the ignore script, and install those scripts. This is going to be… interesting. :wink:

Now I just need to find a way to make it so that I’m not constantly making typos on mobile! I wish I could use the Japanese keyboard, but of course we need to write the meanings too.

I aim for 50 review items in 10 minutes. For me, how much free time I have is an issue and so often I would get distracted by online stuffs. The carelessness method is actually great for efficiency and focus. Give it a try and don’t worry too much about your stats.

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