To much SRS?

Hey everyone,

I know simialar topics like this came up a couple of times but I guess my question is a little more specific.
Curently I do 4 SRS systems, Wanikani, Anki for the Genki Vocab, Bunpro and Kamesame.
I feel really good with the SRS system and it helps alot but for some reason I get stuck with Kamesame alot and it stretches my review time out alot.
I am wondering how´s everybody managing this kind of things. I feel like I need Kamesame because I have issues recognizing reversed Kanjis, so I don´t want to drop it but at the same time it just takes so much time for each review.

2 Likes

4 SRS systems is a lot, but I did the same when I first started out. I guess if it starts to feel way to much, my advice to be to drop one (I know you don’t want to, but there is only so much we can do in a day), otherwise you’ll burn out and might stop enjoying studying Japanese completely which would be a real shame.

I had to cut back to just Anki for vocab and WK for kanji, it just became too much SRS’ing and it started eating away at the time I wanted to use for immersion. So gauge how you feel, don’t feel like it’s a failure if you decide to drop one or two, the good thing about these things is that you can always start them again if you feel like it.

All the best!

6 Likes

I think people over-rely on SRS to the detriment of more useful methods of study. It makes sense, don’t get me wrong. Easily quantifiable progress, and fairly mindless. But are you leaving time for other things? Reading, listening, speaking, writing? SRS is great for some initial familiarity but the things you’re learning don’t really “sink in” until you actually start encountering them in context.

9 Likes

I’m personally not a fan of EN->JP flaschards, so if you’re dropping something, I’d drop Kamesame to have time for something else. There’s only so much SRS can do. It’s best viewed as a supplement.

10 Likes

I did Kamesame along with WK until I got lvl 10 in WK, then it became too much. KS is great but it took me way more time than WK, it’s so much harder to do it in reverse order.
Since I want to focus on reading instead of speaking Japanese I decided to stop doing KS.

Besides WK I’m doing Bunpro, Kanji Study and since last week writing Kanji with Ringotan.
With Kanji Study I’m doing srs for the Kanji that I already burned so that goes very quickly, but during reviews it asks to fill in missing Kanji in vocab. It’s fun and also teaches me new vocab at the same time.
Ringotan is fun too, I found it surprisingly hard to write Kanji from memory.

1 Like

I don’t think doing 4 SRS systems is too much necessarily, but maybe slow down the pace/do fewer lessons on each of them so that it doesn’t become too much for you? And then you can use that extra time to study in other ways as well (reading, speaking, writing, and listening, as @eglepe mentioned).

I’ve never heard of or used Kamesame so I can’t say much about that. Otherwise, I’m using a lot of the same SRS as you. I currently use Wanikani for kanji (of course), Anki (for Genki vocab), and Bunpro (following along with my Genki book). I pretty much consider Anki and Bunpro as supplements to my Genki learning, and since I don’t go through Genki that fast, I’m taking Anki and Bunpro relatively slow too. Per day, I learn about 10 new vocab words on Anki and 1-2 grammar points on Bunpro. I’m also reading “Japanese the Manga Way” on the side because I think it’s a fun read and it goes through some of the more “casual” ways of speaking Japanese that Genki doesn’t cover, and Bunpro helps me practice those grammar points too. Personally I like using Anki and Bunpro as learning supplements this way because it feels very cohesive to me and it helps me practice and review the skills from my textbooks that then helps me with the Genki workbook exercises (writing, listening, reading). I also watch anime, listen to podcasts, and read graded readers when I have the time. (I really don’t do enough speaking, though…)

Anyway, if you really feel like you need all 4 SRS’s, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to keep using them all (but as others have said, if you do drop one you can always start again later). SRS is an amazing tool but I think it’s important that SRS isn’t your only source of study, as others have mentioned. Best of luck! I’m rooting for you! :smiling_face: :smiling_face:

1 Like

My thought exactly. All it does is train you to translate in your head, and that will bite you in the ass later. Best to drop that immediately and use the time to watch Japanese shows with Japanese subtitles.

3 Likes

Perhaps EN=>JP is a bad quiz design for recalling readings without Kanji hint. Also, I don’t think it is truly for “recall” as many people think. I would avoid thinking about another language when thinking about Japanese, anyway. Though, it may help with recalling readings or Kana.

Simplest form of reading recall without Kanji hint would be listening practice, with or without subtitles or accompanying text.

Another way that could work, is speaking / writing in a variety of topics. Writing, of course, helps with recalling Kanji used in vocabularies in more details.

I find listening helpful with reading, I may say.

1 Like

For sure, especially using what you learned in speaking practice. Actively speaking and constructing responses on the fly out of what I had studied helped me lock down grammar rules faster than just typing them in on internet every three days.

3 Likes

In the beginning I just stuck with my Genki textbook and did some anki along side it. Once I finished the genki books I started using WK and BunPro (I kind of regret using BunPro as it really wasn’t working like WK did for me). Eventually I got kind of burnt out of WK and then just did straight anki and reading for about 2 or 3 years + JLPT prep books. SRS is great an all but you should really only be doing 2 at a time since you can really only realistically learn so much at once. WK is great for kanji only and has some vocab but they aren’t always useful, which is where reading comes in. Grammar-wise, some people swear by bunpro but I use Renshuu.org . Ultimately you’ll need to figure out what is important to you. N5 level stuff can be done pretty slowly in a short time so you could just slow down how much new information you’re trying to get on each system, or take your weakpoint at the moment and put most of your focus on that and drop anything that isn’t giving you a lot of trouble learning naturally through input or what have you.

2 Likes

I do three SRS (WK, KaniWani, Anki), but that is definitely my own personal limit. I’m really careful with overall pacing on all three so that I don’t overwhelm myself. I keep my WK pace very, very consistent (I do the same amount of lessons a day, with about two week level-ups) so that the stream of daily reviews coming in through WK and KW is predictable and well within doable levels for me.

With Anki, I use it for two things: 1) pre-learning my textbook (Minna no Nihongo) vocab before reading each chapter, and 2) learning domain-specific vocab that are mined from my main source of immersion (pro wrestling). I’m really careful with adding new cards to my circulating decks in Anki, and I make sure not to overwhelm myself there. I prioritize the textbook vocab and only add additional cards from my immersion when I feel like the daily workload there has gone back down to more reasonable levels. When I’m done with WK lessons, I’ll be ramping up the time I spend on Anki, but until then, I’m taking it a little easy there.

My main advice is to be very, very consistent with adding cards so that your daily workload on all SRS services is extremely predictable and you know exactly what to expect each day. If that starts to become too much for you, scale back by reducing the number of new cards you’re adding. If that’s not enough, then consider dropping the system that is causing you the most strain (which sounds like it might be Kamesame in your case).

You want to aim for your daily workload with SRS being way below what you can get done in ideal situations because you want to still be able to do it on a bad day. If you have more energy to study Japanese above your minimum SRS commitment on any given day, it’s best to use that to do non-SRS study that doesn’t add to your future workload, like immersion or studying grammar (I’m personally not a fan of SRS for grammar).

For what it’s worth, I’ve been keeping up with all of this for almost two years now, without missing a single day or getting close to burning out, so it definitely is possible! But you really have to be comfortable with going at a slower pace, I think, which some people really struggle with. You also have to recognize when you need to scale back and start reducing your lessons before you burn out. If you wait to scale back on lessons when the workload is already too much for you, it might take too long for the review load to lighten.

4 Likes

Valid and interesting point.

“Translating in your head” rather than thinking in the target language is hard mode for sure.

Makes me wonder about a monolingual J-J meaning-to-vocabulary SRS. That would be difficult but could be interesting once you’ve reached a certain level of reading (and IME input ability).

2 Likes

I couldn’t barely do 2 SRS at the same time and could handle both for one year only and droped bunpro at N1 (didnt work for me anymore since N2, their srs review becomes confusing with complex grammar points).

I prefer to stick to one thing only, in this case, increasing my vocab which WK helps me a lot. When I hit 60 here I will try a different one.

I know that it can be done in Anki, but I hate that tool. Quizlet allows it, too, but that one doesn’t have SRS. 2023, and we’re still stuck with either too rigid or too complex tools.

Kitsun is kinda like anki with a little nicer UI and WK-like quizzing rather than “easy/hard” replies, fwiw.

With a monolingual dictionary it would be possible to create such a deck for sure, but it would take a fair bit of effort to figure out which words I’d like to practice recalling.

I’ll do what I normally do after a great idea: take a nap until the feeling goes away.

2 Likes

Yeah… I don’t really feel like sinking weeks into building such a deck either :smiley:

I had the same problem. For me it was because the other systems, WK and BunPro in particular, are structured, especially WK, in that they have things laid out in a particular ‘standard’ order. With KameSame, while I think it’s a really cool app/SRS, it allows me to add literally any word I come across. I ended up loading it up with waaay too many items and pretty quickly burnt out on it (well, I burnt out altogether, not just on KameSame). When I came back from burnout, I realized I had to limit myself, so I started back with just WK first; then once I got that under control, I added BP back into the mix. And currently, I’ve just about got both under control again. I don’t think I’ll be starting any other SRS any time soon (although one called Torii looks pretty good; but not for a while yet).

Oh, BTW, I’m not sure what you meant by ‘reversed kanjis’, but I just remembered that I also supplement WK with one called KaniWani, which is like ‘reverse WaniKani’: It gives you the English meaning (only of WK vocab, so it’s limited/structured, unlike KameSame), and you have to produce the Japanese kana (which reveals the associated kanji when you answer). Since it’s a very focused/limited app, it doesn’t take nearly as much mental effort as either WK or BP; again, it’s really just a nice supplement to WK.

This exists. Nihongo Lessons is the first to come to mind.

The monolingual cards start from Intermediate level. They are sentences with very brief monolingual definitions of the new word being learned, all building on previously learned words.

Originally it was “Jalup”, which was a great app with some nifty features. The creator of Jalup sold it last year, and as far as I can tell the content of Nihongo Lessons is still the same.

2 Likes

Hey everyone, thank you for the plenty replies.
I just droped Kamesame for now and it just feels better now. Maybe i´ll go back at some point in time to catch up with it.

5 Likes

Oh yeah, I’d meant to add that KaniWani is my lowest mental effort SRS out of the three I use by far. Recall takes more mental energy than recognition, but since KW only asks for one review per item (WK asks for two: reading and meaning), and since it only tests vocab and not kanji, I breeze through my KW reviews much faster. I never tried KameSame and don’t really know all the differences between them, but for me KaniWani’s simplicity was what was appealing about it and why I chose to use it.

1 Like