Why I Stopped Using SRS

There’s definitely a way to do that, but I hate customizing Anki so I can’t help you there ^^

Ahh. So let me ask about this inefficient business since you feel that SRS is the inefficient one. How much time would you say you’ve spent per day reading over these past 6 years?

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I don’t know if what I have to say really is all that interesting or anything, but I guess I’ll give my opinion anyway.

It seems like a lot of people either do tons of SRS or nearly none, but I think the most efficient way to do it is to balance things in a way that makes sense and addresses your weaknesses.

When it comes to reading, that would mean using some SRS if you come across a decent amount of words you don’t know (but not to the point where it’s the only thing you do, because that just seems pointless) and spending more time reading instead if you only come across a few words you don’t know.

That’s obviously just the way that seems best for me though. Regarding the debate about learning through exposure, I know it’s possible because I learned English that way, but it also took a really long time before I really could consider myself fluent at a level at least close to a native. I honestly feel like I’m learning Japanese faster than I ever learned English despite how it supposedly is much harder. Part of that may be because I have more experience with learning languages in general, but I’d like to think at least part of it is because the methods I’m using are more efficient.

To summarise: I think both SRS and exposure help a lot. Exposure is more important, but using SRS as well is more efficient for me, judging by how fast I’ve learned Japanese so far compared to how long it took me to learn English and German without using any SRS at all.


In Japanese? I couldn’t say. Until maybe 2 years ago, it used to vary a lot. At that point, though, I felt like I’d overcome an invisible barrier that had stopped me from engaging into high amounts of native material.

Nowadays I probably spend about 40-60 minutes reading a day. In the past year, I’ve put more time into reading books which, I think, has helped me make significant progress. Obviously I’m doing this for fun, too, not only to learn Japanese. I mean, that was basically the reason I started learning Japanese in the first place.

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Which books did you enjoy the most? :slight_smile:

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I wrote about that here. I enjoyed all of these books quite a bit, but I think the Kemono no Souja novels are closest to my heart. Reading the third one now makes me realize that once again.


Right, I’m with you all the way. I started learning japanese to read a light novel and stuff. So lets say as you’re reading for those 60 mins, you add…10 words you dont know. Over time your review count would rise and all and at the speed I do reviews, that would maybe take out like 20 mins lets say (I do 100 reviews in about 17 mins from when I timed myself a few times). So now youre reviewing for 20 mins and reading for 40. Over 6 years this is 22,000 words. 22,000 words plus any other words that you’ve picked up anyways from exposure. Similar to nath, I don’t add every single word and dont think anyone should quite frankly. So ultimately, in this situation, would you say it’s efficient to give up 20 mins of reading for that?

Not to mention that in the long run, the more words you know, the less you have to look up. The less you have to look up, the more you can read and the more you can guess from context clues.


Thank you thank you😊

Hmm, I couldn’t say, it would take long-term studies to find the answer, and even then it would probably be highly individual. According to my last experience with SRS when I picked it up again last year for a few weeks, I tended to forget even words I had learned to a “mature” level sometimes if I had not encountered them in a “real” situation. Also see what Sezme wrote. If you think you’ve found a good balance, I definitely think your approach is a good one.

Out of interest, I’ve read your thread on floflo and what I found interesting is that I’ve had a similar experience during reading Kemono no Souja: at the beginning, I was overwhelmed with new words (20+ on the first pages), but now it’s usually only 2-4 words a page I don’t know, sometimes pages without unknown words, though there tend to be spikes, especially since this is the first medieval fantasy story I have read in Japanese. For more slice-of-life-y stuff, the count tends to be lower probably. Higher for literary works, though, but I will get there eventually.

I had a 6-month break between volume 2 and 3, and I definitely forgot many of the words I learned, but I’ve found that they come back quickly, so that’s not a big issue for me.

If you’re forgetting words that you’re srsing, maybe it is inefficient the way you are doing it. So lemme ask, have you tried mnemonics like WK has, having context sentences with your cards (from the book you got the word from), or anything like that? When I did the first part of the core 10k, I didn’t do any of that and yeah, I didn’t remember very much.

Yeah, authors tend to stick to similar vocab. Its for this reason that the figure I stated earlier (1500 words being used once in the first 3 books, but then never again in the rest of the first seven books) is pretty heavy. Even a single author will very often use a word but then not use it again (for awhile, at least). Those words can be tough to learn without srs, and I think its those words that very much separate the results from pure exposure and exposure+srs.

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SRS is just a tool to simulate exposure. If it feels like a grind it is being used ineffectively.


Yes, I did use context sentences from where I encountered them after I’d figured out a way to at them automatically. For every word, actually. But the sentences stay the same, you start to memorize them for what they are.

For example:
Front: 中低
Back: なかびく hollow

(By the way, I didn’t remember 中低 anymore, but 竪琴 and 弦 from this sentence – both words I learned from the book – are still very present.)

This is an issue I’ve had with Bunpro (SRS to reinforce grammar). Sometimes I memorize the sentence pattern and know the answer is X, without actually understanding the grammar. Thankfully they minimize this issue by having 12 example sentences per grammar point, but it’s not perfect.


Newbie here, but I thought I’d chime in.

Your initial post makes it seem as if you think we’re all here to SRS mountains of Japanese vocabulary. We’re not. We’re here to learn kanji, and we’re here to do it fast. The vocab is just incidental and mostly helps to reinforce kanji readings and meanings.

I don’t personally think that SRS is the end-all, be-all of language learning, but for learning kanji, what wanikani offers is invaluable. Anyone who completes all 60 levels of wanikani will be at a massive advantage no matter how they decide to further their Japanese studies.


I mean, I’m not sneezing at 6000 words though


I didn’t even think about WK when making this thread and I didn’t mean to address WK users in specific. Everything was just based on my own experience, totally unrelated to anything on WK.

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Pretty sure Koichi did. It’s called lifetime subscription, not “use it until you’re done” subscription. :stuck_out_tongue:


Joke’s on him, I’m a vampire.


Jokes on him, I don’t have a life


B-but then neither of you qualify for lifetime! It’s void after death!