Wrong answers due to typos

In what real-world situation are you going to be typing japanese and not have access to the backspace key?


I’d agree with wanting to fix the root cause. At least with my native language typing I’ve been putting in a bit of practice to clean it up. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the Japanese side of things (and especially on mobile). Outside of WK/Bunpro I don’t have any reason to output Japanese so it just comes off as bad tradeoff of effort to reward if I actually focused on improving that.

Most are typos, but there’s a lot of synonym related issues as well. Off the top of my head I think 検索 accepts [lookup] or [internet search], but not [search] or [internet lookup] which is kind of annoying. Most of the time I think it is to avoid a potential mixup with other words like 捜索, but I don’t really think that’s a good reason to block off an acceptable work or penalize the user. Occasionally I’ll run into a situation where I have an acceptable answer (probably from learning it elsewhere), but find myself preferring the WK answer. With longer phrases or more ambiguous definitions I’ve found myself adding a lot of synonyms to combat this which is not a great fix either. Most of the time I find it easier to undo and type the accepted answer.

In terms of time saves, it’s retyping now or retyping twice in the future. For synonyms the process is clunky enough for me that I could probably type the answer multiple times over. I could slow down and look at my answer again, but I’m in the awkward spot of being able to mash keys fast enough that it usually takes longer to reread my answer and find mistakes before submitting. Cutting my overall pace for the occasional mistake doesn’t seem worthwhile under those circumstances. Similarly, targeted practice on something that burns in eight or so entries feels questionable.

I feel like the economics of a [do it right from the ground up approach] would be there if I was going to live/work in Japan or regularly communicate with Japanese people, but I don’t. And really, I don’t like stressing WK the way some of the ‘learning better’ crowd does. I just see it as bootstrapping to get into reading Japanese, but the diminishing returns have long since set in and the definitions/example sentences here are really just passable.

It also doesn’t help that from my perspective do-over buttons do exist. My job is almost entirely typing with the backspace and delete keys available. I would probably get a lecture for entering statements without transactions, not keeping backups, or creating ez deployment systems for when things update (or catch fire). A compiler catches most of my typos and even now I’m staring at squiggles from the browser’s spell check features. I had to fill out some nasty federal paperwork recently and surprisingly enough they even had instructions for using white out.

I could see an argument about time sensitive situations such as a conversation or an exam, but thankfully I’m an antisocial idiot we’re in the middle of a pandemic ha ha ha… I can’t believe we’re about to start our third year of this.

Same here. If I use my phone it’s a backup plan for the rare moments I don’t have access to a pc.


I get your point of view since yeah, you don’t have a “redo” button in real-life typing. While I understand that, I don’t feel miss typing in real life is that big of a deal. When I’m having a normal chat with my friends I don’t even care about miss typos, and if the word is completely different, I just correct it on the following message. There’s not a redo button, but you can “fix” it. It’s not like chatting with a friend requires high typing skills. I won’t start revising my msg before sending it.
In WK I also think having that option in WK is also fine. If in WK I write “っ明日” I won’t suck it up and wait for weeks to repeat it, since I know perfectly how to write it.

And if I’m writing an important thing, be it for a job, a letter, a paper, a form, etc. of course I will revise it as many times as I need it before submitting it.

That’s why I don’t think having the button is a bad thing. (Unless you press it when you weren’t even close).

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Now that I’m here I’ll ask. Is there a Userscript to change the “proficiency” level of the elements? There are some “burned” items on my list I would like to review again.

Thanks for the apostrophe tip, I wasn’t aware of that.

There’s a resurrect button that’s part of the vanilla site. You just need to browse to the item’s page and scroll down.


Alternatively, using scripts like item inspector and self study quiz you can set up a custom review session. I know Flaming Durtles has similar features built in and I’d be surprised if the other apps didn’t.


Well, it appears there are at least two hills with people dying on them. :slight_smile: I promise this will be my last reply on this thread.

It sometimes prevents debates from being contentious if one tries to restate the other side’s position.

My understanding of the other "hill's" position:

You feel that using Double-Check to correct typos (and user synonyms?) without marking a review incorrect makes sense because it prevents one or two unnecessary reviews from adding to your overall workload and lets you progress faster. Seeing something marked incorrect and knowing it moved back a stage or two are both an annoyance that can be easily avoided. So why not do so?

Some also feel that other things like lightning mode and 1x1/paired/back-to-back mode that make reviews sessions go faster without losing accuracy are very worthwhile, because we spend so much time on Wanikani no matter what.

Is my understanding fair?

If so, I think the main point of contention is about our attitudes about extra reviews and incorrect answers.

Some value progressing quickly and “efficiently” through the levels more than I do (and that’s okay). I truly understand that many of us want to avoid unnecessary reviews. I wanted to, too, but I’ve learned to change my attitude about reviews (especially after noticing how long many of the level 60s stick around here still doing daily reviews).

It was unnecessarily confrontative for me to ask if the OP’s goal was to read Japanese or get through the levels quickly, but it was a serious question.

My attitude re: reviews and mistakes (thoughts many have seen repeated elsewhere)

Anyone here beyond level three is paying for a service that quizzes you more often on items you find difficult to memorize, and less often on things you find easy. Really, that’s the primary function of the WK SRS.

The scheduling as things progress is intended to quiz you just before you’re likely to forget an item, but the optimal timing is arguable and almost certainly varies from person to person. The main thing is to see early stage items more frequently, and later stage items less often.

The really important thing to realize is that Wanikani only knows you find something difficult if you answer incorrectly!

Incorrect answers are literally the only feedback you provide. It’s human nature to be annoyed at any incorrect answer (legitimate or typo) but the only effect of one is to tell the system to show you the item again sooner.

A small percentage of “unnecessary” reviews definitely won’t hurt anyone’s learning. If you’re overwhelmed with the number of daily reviews, then it’s a different thing entirely, but in my opinion, one should never feel bad about incorrect answers on Wanikani.

I’ve yet to find an item I’m unable to burn with this attitude, though it admittedly sometimes takes several dozen reviews (necessary or unecessary).

I know in my case I sometimes lie to myself about “typos” and “synonyms,” too. Would I really have written とおす rather than とうす for 通す? しょう rather than しょ for 勝? はっくつ instead of はいくつ for 発掘? When I think “oh, that’s just a synonym for what I typed,” was it really? With all the subtle nuance?

We ALL cheat during our reviews in various ways. I reflexively hit “f” to reveal the correct answer on a miss. Sometimes the explanation gives away the other half. Other times I hit enter to reveal the other half of the answer “to check that it’s what I thought” (yeah, right :slight_smile: ).

I already have to fight my desire to F-Enter or shift-hover with Yomichan. I don’t want any more temptations to “cheat”! :sweat_smile:

We are all here to learn to read Japanese. Most of us don’t care too much whether it takes us one year or five, but we all know (or should) that getting to level 60 doesn’t mean we’re finished learning Japanese.

What road we choose definitely comes down to personal preference.

Responses to specific points

I agree. Dunno if it should be native functionality, but I’m planning to install it expressly for mistake delay.

This is undeniably true. Let’s quantify:

I take about 6 seconds on the slow side to answer an individual reading/meaning question. I typically do about 130 reviews per day. That’s about 1560 or 26 minutes per day answering questions on average (some days a bit more). A typo costs 2 extra reviews or 4 extra reading/meaning questions. If I have a typo 5% of the time (seems a lot) then my 130 reviews and 26 minutes per day goes up to 137 reviews and 28 minutes. (This is completely and obviously wrong, I’ll quantify correctly once I’ve finished my reviews :slight_smile: ).

It’s definitely possible I’m not thinking about this correctly, but I don’t think so. Honestly, I think the annoyance with typos comes down to Ego. Humans (even this one!) just hate getting things wrong.

I don’t follow this, I’m afraid. We are discussing typos with entering readings (via romaji to enter kana), but I don’t understand the last bit. Isn’t the whole point of this site learning to read Kanji? That includes both readings and meanings, doesn’t it?

We appear to agree that in the real world typos mean the Kanji you’re looking for won’t show up. At the very least it will take a lot of scrolling to find the one you’re looking for.

As for “you’ll notice and probably correct”: Autocorrect memes and wrong-kanji memes are very much a thing in Japan.

This argument also doesn’t make logical sense to me. The desired kanji not showing up is exactly equivalent to the right kana not show up, isn’t it? Submitting a typo is the problem, not correcting one.

This is precisely the same point as above. “Slowing down” means reviewing what you typed before submitting it, not typing it perfectly without using the backspace key.

My point is that it’s submitting a typo without looking and noticing it that’s the problem, but that it’s still not the end of the world even if that happens.

My point is twofold:

  1. Even if you’d simply submitted the typo without using Double-check to correct it, you’d see it again sooner than you would have otherwise.

  2. It would probably be better to look at what you’re typing and correct it to begin prior to submitting instead of depending on Double-check to catch it for you, though I understand the convenience of it.

I don’t think so. The master list is here

Hooray! Someone else who doesn’t mind “unnecessary” reviews! :grin:

I think your best bet is the self-study quiz. You can also launch self-study from the Item Inspector which can be extremely helpful.

I wrote all this to have something to link to in the future. Apologies for the encyclopedia entry.

Peace, everyone. I’m out.


Haha, I should probably shut up too, but I’ve actually been enjoying the discussion we’ve had so far :slight_smile:

As much as I complain about the content body, it’s what I’d consider the primary purpose of the site. The SRS component was really good, but now I see it as a bit dated given all of the options out there.

I’m pretty sure that was a standalone before lord findley unified and cleaned up a lot of the scripting space, but it’s probably broken since the staff have updated the UI.

For the estimate I just went looser. Using that 1% of what I think kumi’s monte carlo sim came up with as 140k+ reviews (in a high accuracy case) by 3ish seconds each was around 4.2k seconds. A little over an hour of catch up reviews over the course of the program. Those numbers are definitely too optimistic of an estimate for me, but ideally they shouldn’t get much worse.

Sorry for dragging this out. I literally just complained about this kind of discussion in another thread. Anyway, I always appreciate seeing you around here. Take care man :smiley:


Double-Check is actually the main script that I plan to support for as long as I can.

My own experience: I placed strong memorization above efficiency, so I spent a lot of time drilling items outside of the SRS. I basically drilled until I had no hesitation on items, so the only reason I would get things wrong was because of typos. And being a fast typist, my fingers are usually about 2-3 words ahead of my proofreading, so the double-tap submit was my arch-nemesis.

Once I started using Reorder with pairing, and Double-Check to catch typos (very strictly only true typos), all of my frustrations with the review process melted away, and I could focus on actual Japanese. WK became much more pleasant for me. Otherwise, it felt like having a keyboard with a broken Backspace key.

Also, as a side note, the thing I hated about the Override script before I wrote Double-Check was the fact that Override didn’t make you retype it. With Double-Check, I wanted it to be a true backspace key that didn’t correct my answer for me. I did include the “mark correct” and “mark incorrect” features because there are other users who have good use-cases for those (mostly having to do with synonyms, and WK’s typo forgiveness being too forgiving). But those were not features I ever wanted to use myself.


AAARGH. I said I wouldn’t do it. I just can’t keep my fingers off the keyboard! :disappointed_relieved:

This use-case makes perfect sense to me. You were doing many more reviews than most anyway. My concern was with people sweating a couple extra reviews.

I’d forgotten about the occasional item I get correct when I shouldn’t have. That also happens occasionally and I’ve ZERO qualms about marking something incorrect!

I really need to install the thing so I’m not speaking from ignorance.


Ah sorry for the confusion, this is probably the one I was referring to. I think it was like 2017ish you managed to shrink the script list I was using in half lol, but I remember having some trouble back then since a lot of the stuff I was interested in ended up dead or broken.

The junk cycling on this platform is pretty bad, so I feel like SSQ looping for new or failed items is what helps me the most in the learning sense. For reviews I think 1x1 is indispensable. Reading first is more aligned with my goals and the interleaving didn’t seem to benefit me much anyway :-/ Everything else mostly ends up being friction reduction (faster reviews, confusion guesser/niai putting showing possible mistakes in reviews, ect).


What is SSQ looping? (Please, Lord, tell me it isn’t this).

That’s not “a lot” if you type on your phone. I constantly mistype じ for じょ and vice versa, for example.

Also your calculation misses something. Even if the typo rate is only 5%, given that you see an item at least 8 times, the chance that you never have a typo on that item, is just 0.95^8 = 0.66… (ca. 66%). So every third item would clog up my review schedule unnecessarily, and that is really assuming the 5% typo rate which for me is not realistic at all. If you have a typo every 10 reviews, more than half of your items will be delayed solely due to typos. That seems totally unnecessary to me.

In the “real world”, nobody cares about the very narrow translations that WK provides. Concepts or Japanese vocab words don’t map 1:1 to English words. So the whole point of being able to perfectly reproduce whatever response(s) WK thinks is appropriate for the item is just not something that matches how you’re going to understand it later on. This goes double for Kanji which, are even more general and vague in their meaning than vocab items.

The point of an SRS is to get you to the stage that you can absorb through immersion. That’s why I will mark myself correct if I think I have understood the meaning of the item well enough for my purposes; some distinctions seem meaningless, not really explained or just not relevant at this stage for me, so I choose to ignore them.

Sure, and autocorrect and bad spelling are prevalent in English too, and we still mostly understand each other.

If you type a whole sentence and at one point, you have じ instead of じょ, you won’t necessarily notice it if everything is in Kana because it’s just very easy to miss. But if you then try to get the IME to select Kanji for you, some part of it will probably make no sense because it will either find no Kanji at all or ones that look completely different than you’d expect. So yeah, I would usually notice. Typos still happen, even with IME, but it’s just less frequent.


I understand your points and if slowing down and double checking yourself is the right approach for you, by all means. I’m sure it makes sense for you.

But for me, I want WK to get out of my way. I’m not speedrunning it (I have been at it for more than a year and I took some breaks), but I’d still like it to be over sooner than later. Naturally, I won’t pick up on every nuance and I will not correctly remember every item even after burning it, but my goal is to finish WK such that I will then be able to absorb vocabulary through other means, such as immersion and/or more custom Anki decks.

Of course, it’s possible to take another approach and to really thoroughly learn every WK item (possibly in conjunction with Kaniwani), that you’ll have perfect and instant recall and understand all the nuances etc., but that’s not necessarily my goal. I do still mark myself wrong when I really don’t know the readings though, I’m just lenient with typos, (very occasionally, and usually only in lower stages) temporary brain farts and (especially) with meanings.


Doing Self Study Quiz repeatedly.


Yeah one of the problems is that you don’t really know how well you’ve done until WK is over and you start using the knowledge.

I’ve had back to back sentences with one word that was “wow, I haven’t seen this in over a year and I still remember it” and another that was “argh, can’t believe I didn’t remember that one from WK” and they’re from the same level.


100% agree with everything you said right here. I struggled in learning Japanese for years because I had this “quality over quantity” approach where I would spend a lot of time trying to perfectly understand every word or character that I learned, all the uses and nuances etc. before moving on. That kept my vocabulary and kanji knowledge low, which made it so I couldn’t read.

What I realized using WK is that when it comes to building your vocabulary, quantity is actually more important than quality. If I perfectly understand 50% of the words in a sentence, I don’t understand that sentence. If every sentence in a block of text is incomprehensible because I have too many holes in my vocabulary, that’s a huge impediment to using that text to learn the language. OTOH, if I have a rough, general understanding of 100% of the words in a sentence, I can work out what the sentence means, which will in turn reinforce all the individual words in that sentence in my brain.

I have probably learned as many new words and kanji in the last year with WK than it did in 4 years of studying Japanese in college, which included a year of study abroad in Japan! As a result my reading ability has improved dramatically and it’s opened up a lot of reading material that wasn’t available to me before.


You have the backspace key in reviews too.

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I have both of those, but I wasn’t aware of the vanilla option, thanks again for the info.

That, 100%. The very fact that wanting to read is my goal is a big part of the reason why I use double check somewhat liberally. Now that I can at least fake my way through with a lot of outside assistance, diverting unnecessary time away from Wanikani into literally practicing reading seems like a pretty good use of time towards the goal. The only thing I care to get out of Wanikani is a fighting chance at recognizing something and knowing the general idea when I come across it, so I can properly learn it through real world use.


Sure, so what. It’s probably still somewhere in my brain, and seeing it and looking it up will probably bring it back. 100% recall of all items isn’t necessarily the goal of an SRS.

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