Dealing with leeches

How do you guys deal with leeches? I really don’t know what is the best approach. Currently I just ignore them and let them come back as many times as it takes for me to remember them, I don’t do any extra quick studies on them since I feel like there is a reason why I forget that vocab. So I should just keep letting the word go through the process of forgetting right?

I am studying german, so my leeches come mostly from me not remember the right article for that noun or from me not writing the word exactly right.

My leeches board normally displays words that I have learned relatively recently, once time passes old words naturally kind of get displaced by new words that I am struggling more with. This approach is working for me so far, but I do realize that it wastes a bit of my time since my reviews get longer and longer.

Is there a better way of doing it? How do you guys approach your leeches?

The quick study is useful if used right; after a review session, never before. But I generally let most items circulate around in the SRS . Certain words just don’t stick with SRS vocab alone so having SRS sentences separately has helped a lot to give context in many cases. Also having a native language → target language layout has be very helpful. Other than that, just grinding the words is all I know…eventually I get bored of getting the same thing wrong after a ridiculous amount of failures and it will click somehow or encountering native content will put the last piece of the puzzle (or shear embarrassment when you have to use it in a native situation and can’t remember quick enough…that locks the memory better, lol).

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Haha that is so true! Very often I get frustrated by getting some specific word wrong too many times, then I complain to my husband expressing how much I hate that word. After that, I never get that word wrong ever again.


Try creating a new mnemonic for vocab you’re having trouble with. Something that will give you the sound and meaning together leave a strong image in your mind. You can write it in the Notes field on the item as a reminder.

Ex. I was trying to remember 拙い(つたない) - shoddy. My mnemonic was that a suit (つ)with no tie (た、ない)would look shoddy. It’s a stretch, but it worked well enough to lock it in.