What to do when you find a vocab that you've studied, but can't remember the meaning?

Hello, folks. I’d like some advice.

Since I’m used to begginner/low intermediate grammar, when I reached level 20s~ here I threw myself in the wild, trying to consume several different types of content (nhk easy news, visual novels with dual lang, mangas, raw rpgs etc).

As expected, there are many words and sentences that I’m not able to grasp. But there is another situation that’s triggering me.

Sometimes I find a vocab that I’m sure I’ve studied on WK before, but I can’t remember the meaning at all (and I can’t figure out from the context).

In this situation, what do you guys usually do?

a- stop whatever activity you are doing and look for the meaning;

b- write down the vocab and look for the meaning later;

c- ignore and move on, hoping for the WK review to arrive soon.

Usually I look at the translation (if the content has dual lang), but most of the time there isn’t, so by now I simply move on. On one side, I wouldn’t like to stop everytime it happens, specially if it’s a game and I’m not in a “study” session. On the other hand, idk if I should stop and look for the meaning/context right away, so I get more used to the word.

I’ve also thought ab creating an ANKI deck or something similar just for these words, but I feel that it will mess up with the SRS intervals/will be too much hassle bc there will be a ton of words.

What’s the approach of you guys when you are not really studying, but face this kind of situation?

Best regards to everyone.


I usually add them back to SRS, preferably to another SRS platform that is not Wanikani. As you can see, I’m level 60 on WK so I’m moving my workload to elsewhere.

I don’t think it will become that big of a deck to be honest. It’s just one word once in a while. I do it with Kitsun (an alternative to Anki) and it takes seconds to create the card and do the lesson for it.


Whether I’ve studied a word before or not, when I don’t get the meaning of a word while reading, I usually look it up right there and then. Understanding what’s going on simply makes consuming content much more enjoyable. When it seems like a useful word that might show up frequently, I add it to an Anki deck. There are words that are probably in several of my Anki decks and on WaniKani, but I don’t worry too much about messing with the SRS (in that sense, reading is also messing with the SRS, I suppose). One way or another, the word will show up again, and I will memorize it at some point.
I wouldn’t rely on the WK review to show up soon. I certainly couldn’t deal with having to wait for maybe a month to be reminded what the meaning of that stupid word was I couldn’t remember for the life of me :smiley:


If it happens online then I take a screenshot of the whole sentence and add it to a folder for review later. I’m just getting into grammar so it helps to have context sentences. Usually I don’t recognize the word because it is not in the dictionary form etc. I personally only have room in my life for one SRS so that eliminates Anki decks etc.


It depends.

If there is two or more vocabulary that I don’t know, and I am out of context. I pass. If I understood whole sentence with one key vocabulary missing, sometimes I got curious and I look up. Generally I lookup for verification. I am going lazy way. I am preferring this way because, I want to understand meanings naturally and I want to be able to depend on my guesswork. Also, constantly lookup up for meaning breaks my understanding and enjoyment.

I take the long road.


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