Time spent doing flashcards?

I was wondering how much time people spend studying flashcards for their foreign language vs other methods (I am including Wanikani as flashcard time).

Between Wanikani and Anki I feel like I am spending too much time doing just flashcards when I could be doing more active/engaging methods. So I want to see how much time others spend between flashcards and other sources and see if I could get some advice of how to adjust my schedule.

I also study Russian and spend about 40 minutes solely on Anki each day between both Russian and Japanese. I usually spend 30mins-1hour on Wanikani. So, lets say around 1:15-1:40 hours per day just doing flashcards.

I think part of my problem is that it is really easy for me to zone out doing flashcards or click through too quickly because I’m on autopilot. I’ve been using Anki and Wanikani for quite awhile so (Anki especially) isn’t as stimulating as it used to be.

Does anyone else have suggestions for vocab retention and expansion that doesn’t involved SRS? Or any tips on how to make SRS more engaging?

My Russian is at a higher level, so I’m at the point where grammar is fine but vocab expansion is key, and Japanese is beginner so I’m constantly learning a ton of new info grammar and vocab wise.

Edit: I still do listening practice everyday for Russian, and something else everyday for Japanese whether it is grammar workbook, listening, italki session etc.

EditEdit: I also forgot to include the time spent making MORE flashcards. I don’t do this everyday, but maybe once or twice a week I spend an hour making flashcards of new words I encountered.


I probably spend 3 or 4 hours minimum on flashcards a day.
I think I do (maybe) 30 minutes of grammar a week but that changes a lot.
I do listening practice… well not as often as I should :eyes:
And as for speaking practice… Let’s just not talk about that :sweat_smile:

I think having a more visually appealing and interesting website like Wanikani (vs. Anki) makes flashcards more interesting. I like to use Kitsun :slight_smile:
Sometimes switching things up a bit helps my motivation. For example, pick a cool Russian or Japanese song and learn the vocab for that!

I found this website about different language learners and their favorite methods for learning them :slight_smile: I only skimmed through it but it might be useful

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Wow, 3-4 hours is a lot. To each their own, but for me it just seems I have hit a wall with flashcards. Since each flashcard doesn’t a lot of information its like just a bunch of small disconnected building blocks that are sitting in my passive memory. So I feel like ditching one SRS situation for a shinier one won’t do much.

I might just ditch Anki for a couple months and see if I am able to retain new words I encounter without the help of a SRS.

I’ll check out that article though, thank you!

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I think part of the reason most people are here is because we don’t want to spend as much time making our own flashcards. WK does the heavy lifting for us.

I do spend some time with cards, specifically for words that I learn in my vocab apps, or more recently, flashcards for pitch accent.

But it’s supplemental, and not every day.

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I tried flashcards last year, and never again. It was … horrible. shudders while being assaulted with memories of the past
I’ve never liked flashcards. They don’t help me. A more efficient way of studying is to just stare at the material for a while every few hours until the text is burned into my brain. At least, that’s how I study for tests.
The answer to your question: 0 minutes per day/lifetime. Flashcards never provided anything supplemental for me (I don’t know if that sentence makes sense, I’m exhausted). I would burn the flashcards and never look back. But that’s just my sleep-deprived opinion.

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But… how did you make it to level 25 if you never use WK? (Which OP counts as a flashcard system)

As for me, I’m spending somewhere between 2 and 3 hours a day on WK, floflo and Kitsun. It feels way too much.


Magic :stuck_out_tongue:


I spend around 90 minutes on flash cards each day, I think.

My problem is that I don’t want to do other work (like learning grammar) but I know it’s more important than learning new characters for my development right now.

So im going to try to spend a little less time on the flash cards and a little more time with my grammar textbooks. Something like 60 minutes for each per day seems ideal to me.

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I probably do something like 2 hours of flashcards every day. WK maybe 15 mins a day though.

I actually like to do the reviews and make new flashcards. The ones that I do are more appealing to me than WK or any other website… Nowdays it’s a mix between monolingual cards and listening practice… so having to read the definitions in japanese is also a constant reading practice, and overall keeps me interested in the language, as strangely enough dictionaries have very cool information.

Ideally this gets balanced with reading almost daily for an hour, so I can get new words to include in the SRS thingie… WK lost the spotlight (I am tacking all the vocab to my Anki routine), but still I consider is doing its part in putting kanjis into my routine as well… Actually these last months using WK just for kanji I’m enjoying WK more than ever :sweat_smile:

In the end I plan to be over with SRS apps once I’m reading more adult oriented material and my vocab feels in a secure place (10K-12K perhaps :man_shrugging: …) . Meanwhile I’ve been changing the routine as much as I can to make it appealing and using more and more japanese. Studying —> immersion been my target this days.


I spend at least 3 hours every day on Wanikani and Anki flashcards. I go to Japanese language school 3.5 hours per day 5 days per week. On those days I also study 1-2 hours outside of school and watch some kind of tv/anime/video in Japanese for another hour. That comes to a total of ~9 hours per day of focused study on weekdays. That doesn’t include all the other exposure I get while living in Japan.

I’m ridiculously driven to become fluent, but progress is so much slower than I ever imagined. I’m constantly toeing the line of burnout, sometimes accidentally crossing it. I really don’t recommend my methods to anyone. :sob:

it’s like just a bunch of small disconnected building blocks that are sitting in my passive memory

Reading/listening/speaking outside of Wanikani will help with that. My experience has been that there is a “magic day” every month or two where I wake up and suddenly all that stuff feels… more connected and less burdensome. From then on my understanding seems to be permanently increased. YMMV


May I ask… How long have you been doing that ??:open_mouth:

Seems like a super intensive routine… I’ll be going to Japan in a couple of months, and decided against language schools in turn for doing something else in japanese (Shodo) … Both for interacting with japanese people and to avoid burnout.

How do you currently feel regarding the language school routine ?

I’ve been at it for a year and a half now. I started from basically no Japanese. The particular school I chose is terrible for westerners and I wouldn’t recommend it. I only stay because switching schools would involve leaving Japan for several months. I’ve heard from several english speakers that the westerner-focused schools such as Kai and Coto Academy (in Tokyo) are really good and fun to attend.

jp language schools are mostly tailored to the hordes of chinese students. fight, you can do it :slight_smile:

Ah… I hate to tell you this, but WaniKani IS flashcards.


I used to spend no time at all on physical flashcards, as I use WK and iKnow, and they’re essentially pre-packaged, digital flashcards for kanji and vocab respectively. I try to, and usually do, clear both out once a day while also starting 5-10 new words on iKnow unless there’s a big backlog.

Recently, though, leading into the N2 and now after taking (and probably not passing, but I don’t know; depends on how poorly listening went) it, I’ve started making physical flashcards for any new kanji, vocab, or phrases I want to remember. They sell little key-rings of small cards specifically made for vocab flashcards in Japan, and they’re super handy.

Those I review irregularly. But just the act of writing, and then having, them is a help. I keep those card sets on hand when reading so I can add to them. (And sometimes just a regular conversation will have me jotting one down when I can get to them later.)

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time to quit


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