What to do when no flashcards left for the day as a beginner

hello there

I woke up early (3am) and did all my anki and wanikani reps and lessons for the day and now i have nothing that needs to be done until tomorrow. Im very much a beginner so cant really immerse because i dont understand anything at all. what should i do for the rest of the day that will help my japanese?

im doing 25 new sentence cards a day in anki on top of 20 wanikani lessons if theyre available. I should finish the tango n4 deck in 85 days and then hopefully i can actually start immersing with things and actually follow some of what is going on.

i dont want to take extra anki cards cos itll make the following days more reviews than planned but i still wanna do something with the time i have till tomorrow. what do you guys do in this situation?


Two options:

  1. Study without SRS. It may be less efficient, but you’ll still learn something. I would suggest studying grammar.
  2. There are many other things you can do in life.

Good job on recognizing that too much SRS at the beginning is bad later, I learned that lesson the hard way.


Do something with the language. Take a graded reader and a dictionary, look up what you don’t understand in sentences, look up grammar points and see if you can understand what you are reading. You won’t understand everything in the beginning, but thats okay, try to get the gist of things.
You will need to throw away the notion, that you can understand everything until a higher level anyway, the sooner the better! It’s okay to not know everything as long as you can follow along you will learn!

Or grab Satori Reader, LingQ or other options to read along with sound and a built in dictionary, LingQ even has beginner stories for people who know nothing about the language and let them learn sentence structure naturally. The believe, that you are not ready for immersion, is not correct. Even following along spoken language can help at the very beginning, understanding bits and pieces, making out words, it all helps. You will need to do all that at some point anyway, learning words without context will not make you be able to read in itself.

I also wouldn’t say that reading is less efficient than Anki. Studies show that SRS is not as efficient as “language gurus” on the internet want to make you believe. The long-term retention for the time put in is quite bad actually. I personally think, flashcards (Anki, WK, etc.) should never be something you think you “know” after the x-th repetition, it solely serves to give you a kickstart for finding the same things in texts or spoken language and actually learning it in context.
But I know there are many ways to look at all this, it’s only my perspective at the end of the day. :slight_smile:


Figure out what your plans for Japanese study that aren’t SRS are, and start doing those. There’s a lot of Japanese that just isn’t very sensibly learned through the medium of SRS even for people who really like SRS, because it requires learning and practicing rather than mere memorization and recall.

For a lot of people, that not-SRS component is a textbook (Genki is popular, there are others), or some YouTube video coverage of similar ground. There are other approaches too.


I dont have enough money for lingq/satori reader subscriptions currently, waiting till i next get paid to get the wanikani lifetime subscription. gonna be on level 3 an extra week cos of the wait lol

1 Like

There are a myriad of free option, too. Those are the easiest to access, but I think there are even free tools that replicate LingQ, in the end an easy story, beginner youtube videos (not just learning videos, but actual speech for beginners) is all you need to get started.
I hope the lifetime subscription helps your language goals in the end, though. We all have to make our own experiences, I guess. :slight_smile:


Marugoto is a great free grammar resource. Make an account here https://minato-jf.jp/

Go from A-1-1 katsudo and rikai on. Turn off romaji using the menu options.

1 Like

study grammar because even if you reach level 60 you will not be able to read anything interesting if you do not know grammar and WK does not teach grammar


Yes, absolutely. Gamified web apps with monthly subscription fees should not be your primary interaction with the language, in my opinion…


Watch a YouTube channel like Comprehensible Japanese (https://www.youtube.com/@cijapanese) . Listening a lot is good to get used to the sounds of the language, pronounciation of words, rhythm of sentences etc.


I would definitely recommend the Tadoku graded readers if you’re just starting out with your grammar studies. I think if you’re nearly finished an N4 deck, then you should definitely be good with the vocab required for the beginners content. Their level 0 and 1 stories have super basic grammar and if it’s new to you you could look it up as you go.

But I 100% agree with everyone that you should get started on grammar sooner rather than later, otherwise you’re going to end up with a good vocabulary but be unable to do anything with it. Whatever you start with is going to feel hard at first, but it does get easier!


Pull out Genki and start learning grammar, and write some sentences.


do the pablo escobar meme

just kidding

this “why so sloow” is so common before paid subscription. As soon as you pay you get over 100 lessons and then you start “why so many lessons?”

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I never mentioned anything about reading, and I agree that reading is better than SRS. I was instead comparing SRS with seeing something once out of context and never again. For example (although it’s a bad example), just reading a bunch of definitions of Japanese words (does anybody even do this?). Given that this person has said that they’re a beginner, immersion isn’t an easy option, and the only other real alternative is studying without context.

You can try bunpro at the same time.

I did understand what you mean, it just could be read as SRS is more efficient than other things and I personally think this is one of the huge problems in most language learning “communities”. It is suggested everywhere that with SRS you can learn a language so fast and it’s somehow the ultimate technique. While not even being very efficient, it for sure has destroyed the motivation for many many learners who just heard that, tried it and burned out. It’s a shame honestly, one of the most straining and motivation-draining activities is promoted literally everywhere, built into every app and a lot of money is made with this…

But no, I didn’t try to call you out, just took that quote to drive the point towards OP, that there are other options. If it somehow looked like I especially wanted to correct you, I’m sorry, that was certainly not my intention! :persevere: :bowing_man:

1 Like