島 and 鳥 aren't considered visually similar?

Title. I get these two mixed up, why aren’t they considered visually similar? (島 and 鳥)

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Does Wanikani have a list of visually similar kanji? I thought that was a userscrip… I tried opening some random WK kanji pages and didn’t find any ‘visually similar kanji’ section on any of them.

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It does but honestly it’s pretty arbitrary and generally incomplete. It’s subjective anyway…

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I agree with this! When I wasn’t used to them yet I’d confuse them too!

Generally every kanji with the same radical on the right confuses me :rofl:

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Here’s a script that gives a more inclusive list of visually similar kanji

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But anyway, @Mods it may be worth adding these to each other then.

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Thanks for the tag! I’ll share this with the team and see if we’d like to get these connected as visually similar kanji.

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Both of these are automatically bird for me. But if I check the bottom left part of 島 , it looks like (upper part of) “coast” 岸 to me rather than “mountain” 山 radical.
What has a lot of coastlines? Island! … I haven’t mixed it up ever since :smiley:

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How about 車 and 重 and 垂 :smiley:

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I’ll ask about these ones too, thanks!

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Wanikani even uses the 車 radical for 垂 even though they’re really nothing alike if you draw them.

That reminds me of another oddity: is used as radical for both and except that of course for 網 it’s not actually that radical at all, it’s 罔. To make matters worse, you learn both kanji on level 42!

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Are you sure 岡 and 罔 are actually different radicals, and that the second one isn’t just a simplification of the first? I’m not sure where I’d look that up, so I’m just throwing it out there as a guess.

As far as I can tell they’re completely unrelated, see for instance:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/岡

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/罔

The fact that they’re unrelated is not an issue per-se, there are plenty of other situations where WaniKani uses the same radical for two completely unrelated components. Clearly WaniKani only cares about how the kanji looks like, not its origins.

But in this case it’s a bit awkward because you end up with two different kanji on the same level with exactly the same radical decomposition.

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That’s a frustration I feel a lot, especially in the vocab for later levels. Just a lot of examples of words that mean different things, but which have kanji that have been given the same English meaning, and instead of helping you disambiguate the two, the mnemonic will be something like “if it’s an ‘angry’ ‘fellow’ then the only thing he could be is the plaintiff!” and “this is an ‘angry’ ‘fellow’, so you can bet he’ll be a murderer!” (not a real example, I can never remember them off the top of my head).

This accounts for like 95% of my leech cards.

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Another similar pair: 完 and 宗

Same with 玄 and 系

I wanted to let you all know that we looked into some of these suggestions and have now added the following kanji as visually similar to each other. We’re also looking into the other suggestions.
(4), (9), and (33)
(10) and (14)
(11) and (27)
(12) and (7)

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If you want to have a really good time, check out the bottom-most black kanji on this label from a canister of matcha I bought last year that also means “island.” :smile:


(I’m guessing it’s an antiquated version of 島, since tea companies frequently strive for traditional/historic branding.)

It is indeed. The kanji still exists in Unicode, mind: 嶋

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Hey! Just posting here with an update:

(14) - Added (29) to the visually similar list. (29) - Added (30) to the visually similar list.

-Nick at WK

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