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Your Anki Reviews will Decrease Over Time — 8 Comments

  1. I think many intermediate learners face this, me being one of them! I’ve done similar thing s to help (decreasing new cards, etc) Thanks for this post!

  2. How long exactly does it take for Anki reviews to become better? Do you have a rough estimate? I’ve been trying Anki out for months (pretty much using the RTK deck), and I still find myself failing the vast majority of my cards and pretty much brute-forcing my way through them, possibly without really learning anything.

    • For the RTK deck did you use the stories for each kanji?

      Since it doesn’t just suddenly get better, it is a bit of a slow process, and it depends on how much other Japanese input you are receiving in your daily life. The more other input the better your Anki retention rate will be. But it will get better. Give it more time.

      When I had a smaller deck in my first year or so, I was going through 200~400 reviews a day.

      • I’ve given up on using stories or mnemonics entirely. No matter how good the mnemonic, somehow, I’ve managed to forget it. If I have to put that much work into remembering the memory tool, wouldn’t it make more sense putting that same amount of work into what you’re ultimately trying to remember in the first place?

        • “If I have to put that much work into remembering the memory tool, wouldn’t it make more sense putting that same amount of work into what you’re ultimately trying to remember in the first place?”
          No…, it wouldn’t…
          The point is that rather random sequences of brush strokes are so much harder to remember than the stories, and hence require MORE work: after all, an average story only has some 2-4 elements (the keywords associated with the elements that compose the kanji), and your brain will usually easily associate them together because you have a clear mental image connecting them. Now, you might of course argue that then you could just memorize the elements, and that that should just be the “same” amount of information, but it’s not really, at least for us human beings, because there is no “logic” you can rely on to remember the relationship between those elements: having stories allows one to narrow down the valid ways of combining those elements much more than simple visual memory (which is what you are de facto using. In fact, one of the most peculiar things that happened to me at earlier stages, would be to see, the word, recall the story, draw the kanji, think: “I don’t even remember ever seeing this”, and having it right anyway).

          I really would recommend giving another go at the stories via the Heisig method… but if you find this doesn’t work for you (or you feel it is too hard for you), the suggestions (which I haven’t tried myself) I would give you would be to look into either RTKLite (a reduced RTK deck which focus only on the 1000 more important kanji, and hence should be less painful), or the LazyKanji method (which I am skeptical about, but seems devised for people with your complaints)

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