When is it good to quit SRS?

Hi! I’ve been studying Japanese passively maybe since about 5 years ago (by consuming Japanese media, but mainly on listening) and actively since April 2018 (and finally reached level 60). My main goal is to be able to read manga and novels with ease. During my active period, I’ve been using SRS on and off, trying KaniWani, Anki and other stuff. Only WK remained from start until the end, but recently I found myself really frustrated with this repetitive stuff for stuff I already know, or stuff I don’t really need to know. Maybe it’s my laziness talking, but we tend to forget things we don’t ever never use. So I forgot most vocabulary introduced by WK which I never encountered while reading manga or light novels. However, I’ve been playing JP games and reading manga with ease (with occasional visit in the dictionary, but not so much that it dampens the entertainment). I do this almost everyday, so it’s not as if I’m losing touch with Japanese reading.

As for those who have quitted SRS, what was your indication it was good to quit? Or will it be better to continue with it nonetheless?

But really, maybe I just feel overwhelmed with all life stuff, and just depressed. Maybe a break from WK after almost 2 years is a good idea-


I quitted using SRS a year ago. That was 2 years into learning Japanese at a very intensive rythm. I think it was the right decision still, I felt it took time from my day that I could simply spend reading or in other more engaging activity, but more than that it started to turn into this negative experience in relation to learning the language… a chore basically, whereas other activities felt really pleasurable by then.

When life got busier on my end, the decision on what to take out of my routine was easy. But the same way as I was constant with my SRS, I put extra effort at making a constant reading routine. It lasted for a few months with me seen constant progress; I would read one hour daily and look up any word on my Kindle. I would even go to the library, take a walk and what not, so it really was a habit that I was building in relation to reading.
Then came Corona, me moving to another city, and well, just life…
I never ceased to immerse but the routine was lost and was only able to pick it up again a couple of months ago. Habits and a constant routine is what I feel really has kept my Japanese at a consistent level and just now even improving from where I left if at the start of the year.
SRS is a nice way to make you accountable specially in the beginning, but I feel now is by no means the only or even the best way to keep learning and getting better at the language.

If you have a routine using the language and have the opportunity to look up or ask new things that appear on the way, you’re good to go imo.

Godspeed my friend :wink:


I quit SRS after finishing Wanikani, not sure whether it was for the better or worse though. What I will say is that I believe it’s best to keep some kind of regular, active study routine in addition to a passive one. In my periods of passive-only study I’ve found it’s very easy to get comfortable reading / listening / speaking / writing things I’m already comfortable with, and in that case I feel like I’m not learning much, just maybe reinforcing things I already know. If I’m watching a show, and there’s a line or two I don’t understand, it’s very easy to just skip it because the gist is comprehensible as a whole.

I felt like my progress started to pick back up when I started making an active effort to do something challenging regularly. Sometimes I translate parts of a book I find difficult, trying my best to really understand and deconstruct all the nuances, sometimes I just write something, sometimes I will read some entries in my grammar dictionaries. For instance, lately I’ve been trying to study professional / business Japanese more since my knowledge of that specific area is very lacking.


I quit SRS after 2 years I think. Or maybe 2,5?
Anyways, I quit due to the fact that making flash cards and reviewing them became boring and I wanted to focus more of my time on consuming Japanese media.

I would say try quitting and see how it works out for you. Since you are able to consume and understand a lot of Japanese media already you will be fine.
If you feel like you start to miss SRS you can always start again but this time with a different approach perhaps.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of adding new words to your deck the first time you encounter them because you want to make sure that you will memorize them. But after quitting SRS, I noticed that I could memorize quite a lot of words by just encountering them and looking them up.

Maybe try to be a bit more critical to what you decide to add to your deck the next time around. Words that you notice that you look up over and over again each time you encounter them, words you want to use in conversation but can’t manage to remember when you need to etc. I started using SRS again recently after an 8 month break from it and this time around the work load is a lot lower and I only do it when I feel like it.

Once you have a nice grasp of how the language works, SRS is definitely not as important as it was in the earlier stages.


Yeah… Corona really messed up all my routine :frowning: I used to do all my SRS during commute, and now that commute is lost…

This is helpful! I think this is more enjoyable than just SRS-ing words. I actually am translating (albeit too slowly though) some manga and I actually found those with kansai-ben quite challenging.

Thanks! Maybe I will take a break for now and rethink my ways of studying Japanese.

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I technically quit SRS just over 2 years ago when my burnout from intense SRS usage coincided with getting a full time job. I never really accepted that I had quit until earlier this year, continuing to feel bad about my mountain of reviews and my abandoned anki decks for those 2 years.

Funnily enough it was coming to Japan which made me accept that I had given up on SRS, as I started to try and have a more positive mental outlook on my studying, not beating myself up over not doing WK. But although I’ve learnt a ton of Japanese over the past 8 months and although I can communicate fine, recently I’ve been getting back into SRS, resetting to level 15 on WK and starting the 10k on Torii.

So I’m not so much an ex-SRS user now, but I’ve definitely come to realize that there’s a healthy way of using SRS and that you shouldn’t force yourself to use a system that may actually be mentally degrading you. I’ve been learning Japanese for over 5 years technically now, and if I wasn’t so hard on myself in the first few years, I’d be much more proficient now.

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