Ability to Skip Radicals/Kanji (or just Kanji)

Is there an ability to just skip over radicals and/or Kanji. I’m hitting a brick wall here with time and those items (especially kanji) are becoming junk to me, as those wouldn’t necessarily have the same pronunciation as the vocab (what is actually used in conversation). I’m coming in having to state the spelling for kanji and getting it wrong due incorrect form. In the mean time I have to learn kanji forms that may never get spoken when it is by itself, because the vocab is pronounced different.
In all honestly, it would be super helpful to just learn the vocab and maybe the radicals (as those are just English representatives). I know this may not help everyone, but it would be really helpful for people who are crunched on time by work.

Sorry if I went rambling there.

I think in the FAQ somewhere it defends their reason for requiring you to follow their set sequence, and I’ll try to find that and link it (https://knowledge.wanikani.com/getting-started/how-wanikani-works/), but I’m going to address the rest of what you’ve said first.

WaniKani is a kanji learning resource. It’s not meant to be used as a vocab source, though you will learn a fair number of words through using it. The purpose of the words it teaches you are to reinforce the readings of the kanji, as opposed to the meaning of the vocab. Again, you’ll inevitably gain that benefit as a side effect of using WaniKani. The end goal with WaniKani is to be able to read kanji. Not to build a vocab for conversation, which I think most people who waited until later levels to add additional vocab sources or grammar sources would readily agree with.

If your intention is to learn vocab, I’d recommend looking into something like Anki, Kitsun, or any number of the other listed resources in this thread: The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!

Especially if you’re trying to learn it for speaking purposes. WaniKani will only marginally help your speaking skills, if at all, since you’re not practicing going backwards from English to Japanese, having to recall vocab while crafting original sentences, or practicing speaking the words anyway.

Additionally, the first readings you learn for kanji will definitely be used in vocab. There’s a reason you learn that reading first, and usually the vocab that follows will include multiple readings so that you don’t get in the habit of always reading it with the first one.

At the end of the day, WaniKani is a fantastic resource for learning kanji. But if that’s not your goal, it may not be your best option for where you focus a majority of your time.


There’s no way to skip anything.

Radicals unlock kanji, kanji unlocks vocab, that’s the system. Have you read the FAQ? https://knowledge.wanikani.com/




Although it could be useful for you, If they made such a feature they’d have to allow it for every user. At that point I think skipping certain kanji would be abused and negatively affect how WaniKani is intended to be used. The best thing to do is to use other learning apps centered around speaking :smile:

It may not be helpful for all, but it could be helpful for enough. Especially if you have the ability to just click to mark a kanji cleared or learned, like you can to reset one. That would be the simplest way to add more functionality to the site.

So far, a lot of the kanji seems to appear in vocab as well. And if not, having just a brief radical would be fine. “Oh ok. if i see this symbol it means this if by itself. Done”.

@jneapan - As for reading the FAQ, yeah. I bought a lifetime, however; the program is now starting to be more of hindrance than help.

@Houndstooth - I don’t dive into forums much and didn’t know about the resources, thanks. I may have to switch gears and call WK a sunk cost, and perform at a slower pace than the maybe 1x per day or three I’m able to get at now. I mainly just am trying to clear stuff to burn so it doesn’t pop again.

Honestly though, if your goal is to learn vocab, you’re never going to learn more vocab faster than by knowing your kanji readings.

white = はく bird = ちょう … and swan = 白鳥 はくちょう. If you know your readings it’s like you already knew the word, but didn’t know you did! Not so if learning kanji readings is a “waste of your time” though.


As you’ve bought lifetime, there’s nothing preventing you from putting WK on hold for a while. Learning more vocab beforehand can help a lot for remembering Kanji readings. For example, I don’t remember 使 as having anything to do with “sheep” or whatever WK’s mnemonic is. I remember it because it’s the し from 天使 (てんし). Likewise, 丈 is the じょう from
大丈夫 (だいじょうぶ), 平 is the へい from 平気 (へいき), and 先 is the せん from
先輩 (せんぱい). Those are all fairly common words I knew from before WK. Knowing more words will allow you to make more connections like that.

If you want to continue WK right now anyway, I’d recommend searching the Kanji you’re trying to learn on Jisho. It may be part of a word you already know. If it isn’t, there may be some easy to remember words in there (I learned the level 44 vocab 落雷 (らくらい), thunderbolt, at level 10 because 落 wouldn’t stick otherwise). If there aren’t, you’ll have to rely on the mnemonics until you unlock the related vocabulary, and then use that.

Presumably one could make a userscript that would help you ignore kanji you don’t want and just automatically get the review right for you automatically when it pops up, but it would still take the same time to level, since you can’t skip levels and you gotta do the reviews anyway. I can’t think of another way to skip anything, but you might want to make a new userscript request in the API And Third-Party Apps section of the forums.

Other than that, if you feel so cheated out of your money, you can try to send a mail to hello@wanikani.com and try to ask for a refund. I don’t think anyone wants an unhappy customer sticking around.

My advice to you though is to give it more time and see if the system grows on you, it might surprise you :man_shrugging:


A new user script really isn’t required. You could use the adding your own synonyms and add something like “n” or something really easy…for all the radicals, kanji, or things you don’t want to worry about. This will allow you to in essence bypass the forced learning before leveling while learning all the vocab you want. There is always more vocab than kanji and radicals anyway so this might be an easy way to do it. You could also use this method with the reorder script and reorder to force vocab early…

However, as you said, there are some really bright folks that could probably automate this whole thing with scripts so I guess it depends on what the user really wants to use WK for. I think skipping so much would potentially do the user a disservice, but who knows…all depends on what you want to learn.

The mixing up of onyomi vs kunyomi readings is something that used to drive me crazy…it still annoys me from time to time, but once I asked a native speaker about how in the heck they don’t get this all mixed up I got an interesting and sort of obvious answer.

If you think back to when you learned your native language, in my case English, you were given a word in school, it’s definition, how to spell it, how to use it in a sentence and expected to know it for tests. That’s it. You weren’t given multiple readings (no pun intended for the word “read”) and expected to know them. You were simply taught vocab…this is how she was taught in school. This is the word and it’s reading. Yes you learn kanji, but you aren’t taught in the same way as an adult fluent in another language already trying to build on what you know. Also don’t forget we are learning kanji FAST! Even if it takes me 3 years (maybe 2 hopefully), that’s still 3x as fast as the Japanese school system does it.

Anyway, what I’ve done since learning this (and it seems to have helped my frustration quite a bit) is take the kanji and learn the onyomi reading. Then with vocab learn the word and it’s full reading (like a flashcard), vs building the reading from kanji. It doesn’t work all the time, because my memory is cr@ptastic…but it does really help cut down on the frustration. Learning the vocab and how to use them as well as learning the kanji together has been beneficial.

As @erie-canary mentioned, you can get a lot of understanding of the words from the kanji itself. As I’ve gotten higher in levels concepts or verbs vs straightforward nouns aren’t as easy, but it still works. Unfortunately, learning Japanese is hard! That’s why so many people get frustrated and give up. If you are frustrated or overloaded, take a little break, review what you know, remember why you want to learn in the first place, and come back to it. You can’t always be doing the hard stuff 100% of the time or you’ll burn out.

Right now I feel like Im at a very sweet spot, having all the N5 grammar and about 10-15% of the N4 grammar(thanks to bunpro) things are coming together a lot more. I really think having the grammar is what makes things so much clearer. But you need vocab to make sentences and lots of grammar…it just takes time! One thing I’ve noticed as I learn new vocab (thanks to the kanji), it’s getting easier and easier to predict the vocab readings knowing the onyomi readings.

My 2円 stick with it…eventually the stuff that’s troubling you now will be easy in 3-4 months and the new stuff will trouble you … then in a few months that will be easy too! Don’t be afraid to whine and complain…people will help…the folks at WK are kind and also want you to do well … 頑張って下さい。


@shuly thanks for the reply. I understand learning the meaning. It’s mainly the onyomi vs kunyomi; which the last I checked is not able to be edited (I pick up the meaning super quick).

As for sticking with it, I will be. It’s more of a personal requirement of mine to figure out what my colleagues are saying and for when I take business trips. It has helped me a bit so far, but katakana was way more helpful to me when I went over for my first time as many signs were in this and I was able to slowly ‘sound it out’. I may need to look into userscripting (though I need to figure out what that even is first. xD

Not sure what you mean by can’t be edited…but I was specifically referring to the ability to add synonyms when you are doing the reviews. (it can’t be done on lessons but can be done during reviews).

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