I have just recently joined WaniKani, and although I’ve only been here a couple weeks, I’m really enjoying it and the community is great. The only thing I’ve come to dislike is that there is no gauge of what you already know, meaning you have to start from the bottom, regardless of prior knowledge. I haven’t purchased a subscription (yet but I plan to ) so I cannot see what future levels offer, but from what I can see, it may be a while till I catch up to my current skill level. I was thinking that to fix this problem there could be an “Review Now” option that would allow you to quickly move on without having to wait. This option could be available to new users who are above a certain proficiency level (this could be selected from a list of proficiencies when signing up?). I think this or an optional placement test that would test your knowledge of Kanji and vocabulary from lower levels up would be beneficial in keeping already somewhat proficient users engaged.
WaniKani teaches kanji in its own unique order, based primarily on visual complexity of characters, so some things would be skipped by any self-selected start-at-level-X options. Its radicals also don’t map directly onto those used by other systems (if they even use radicals at all).
This proposal comes up pretty frequently and doesn’t really go anywhere, even though the deficiency you’ve identified could alienate some knowledgeable users like yourself, because it’s expected that it won’t take long before people hit things that are new, or might benefit from working through the old again for practice.
You could use a script to bypass items you already know when they come up (search the forums for userscripts; there are a lot of interesting extensions), but it’d be on you to be sure you’re not skipping things just because they look familiar.
I see, I wasn’t aware that WaniKani taught in relation to visual complexity. Makes a lot more sense, and I’ll look into scripts.
Hi Ethann! Welcome!
Totally hear what you’re saying. It’s ultimately up to the admins to take this under consideration, but for what it’s worth, here’s my two cents:
1 - Even if you are at a more advanced level than say levels 1-3, it’s still totally worth your time to go through the process. Embrace it, consider it a good review for whatever you already know.
2 - The beauty and in my opinion, the most worthwhile part of this site, are the mnemonics that they’ve come up with to help memorization. They are inventive, at times hilarious, and most of all memorable. In my opinion, by skipping the early parts (radicals etc), you might be doing yourself a disservice for future kanji.
It starts with simple-looking, low-stroke radicals and gradually builds up from there.
More-useful kanji are prioritised where possible, but the design leads to situations like not learning 私 until, I think, level 25 (but you’ll know it from reading by then), and some obscure things much earlier just because they’re easy.
You might want to look at the excellent https://www.wkstats.com/ to get an idea of how WK’s levels overlap and deviate from JLPT, Joyo, and various reading level targets.
- But that does not change your point.
Also, OP, I want to also mention that reviewing things have been quite useful to me.
Context: I have passed the JLPT N1 about two years ago, and pretty much stopped studying since then. I was looking for something to patch some holes in my kanji knowledge, so I decided to give WK a go. Even though, looking at the website mentioned by @fl0rm I expected to not learn much until level 50, I have been (pleasantly?) surprised to find that I have mislearned/had a fuzzy memory of other kanjis I am seeing right now. Since level 10, I can definitely feel that my kanji knowledge is getting better.