What I think about the burn system

I’m a bit scared about the “burned” mechanic. I think instead of burning things you’ve mastered you would get an option to burn them instead of it just happening whether you like it or not. Until a person has learned, they might have already forgotten some of the burned things. Person like me, with a very bad memory due to daily doses of medicine, I’m afraid to start to forget things that will be burned.

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Burning items helps to keep the review stack to a fair level. Also, for the majority it should work since the whole process is based on the functionality of our memory storage of the brain.
If someone wants to leran Japanese, it is good advice to not only rely on Wanikani but also read articles, books etc. Finding the learnt Kanji in another contect will solidify the vocabulary. And if everything goes south, you still can reset some or all levels.

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you can resurrect some items if you want but theyll go right back to apprentice

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I’ve got over 2000 burned items and 1500 enlightened items right now. I don’t think I could handle it if they stayed in enlightened. :wink:

As noted, you can unburn any items you like so it’s the same mechanic from a different perspective.

Don’t worry about it too much. Just like your native language, you will forget things. If you really want to keep them in memory there’s no substitute for reading.

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Learning kanji on WK isn’t like growing a third foot that you’ll have until you die. It gets some information into your head and makes most of it stick for long enough that you can start using it practically. But the intention is that once you’re done with WK, or even before you’re done, you’re reading natural Japanese text - either because you’re continuing your studies, or because you wanted to read a bunch of Japanese (manga? books? robot instructions?) and now you can, or maybe you’re going to live or work in Japan. So you’re going to get natural reinforcement for any common kanji or vocab from your reading.

If you get though part or all of WK, and then go off and completely ignore Japanese for a few years, some of that learning might stick with you, but a lot of it will fade. In that case you’re probably better off resetting WK, which is the same as unburning all those items.

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It’s not really a mechanic, it’s just the last stage of the srs intervals. If you want to continue the srs for whatever reason then just keep adding intervals. For example: 8 months, 2 years, 4 years…

Don’t be scared! I jist burned my first items yesterday after 5 or 6 months of wanikani.
I really don’t need stick or toe radicals in my stack anymore.

I export my burned items to Anki to let the intervals get longer

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Indeed! That’s why I’m learning… you never know when it might come in useful!

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Everyone will start to forget things they have burned if they never see them again. And that’s fine!

The example I like to make - English is my first language, and there are words I’ve probably seen once or twice years or decades ago, that I’ve now forgotten. That’s fine. It doesn’t make sense to keep studying things if they truly never show up again.

As you learn Japanese and start consuming native content you will have vocabulary naturally reinforced by virtue of seeing them on a regular basis.

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I see the goal of WK is to get the kanji in your head so that you can recognize them when you read. As you read, you start to see the words and kanji used in context and form deeper connections and understanding. Memorizing these things in isolation in an SRS can’t teach you that and that’s the stuff that really makes it stick.

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Thank you guys, didn’t know that was a thing. Really helped me out. Have a productive day

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If you don’t want to unburn items and clog your review pile the self-study script will let you review the burn items without unburning them.

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This script also lets you review burned items without setting them back to apprentice level 1, although it gives you the option to if you make a mistake. It’s good for people like me who aren’t in any formal Japanese classes and are just starting to read Japanese/aren’t able to read texts with a whole lot of kanji yet.

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Person like me, with a very bad memory due to daily doses of medicine, I’m afraid to start to forget things that will be burned.

If you’re able to burn an item then you’ll most likely have it in your long-term memory at that point. Keep in mind that it takes 6 months after getting an item to Enlightened to actually review burn them.

I hope that encourages you :wink: