Am I going crazy? Did words change?

捕える - I could have sworn this used to be “to grasp an idea”? Now it’s “to catch”. I’m suddenly getting this wrong. I remember “grasp” because i made a stupid mnemonic “e ru” sounds like “air-u”, and I “tore off something” to “grasp” some “air”. so I’m trying to grab “air” that I “tore off” which paints a really odd image in my brain (which helped me remember this easier)


利く - I remembered this as “To be useful” or “to be effective”, but now it’s “to work well”.

has it always been these meanings or did they change? it’s extremely frustrating because i was getting close to enlightened but now I’m back on apprentice for these two.


They sometimes make changes to words, you can check the updates on their blog

(It looks like 捕える was changed just this week)


I got this today too. I checked the blog, and sure enough, 捕える is listed as having a meaning changed

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ah ok. i did not know wanikani changes their meanings. still frustrating that I have to relearn it but alright i guess.

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If it’s any consolation, those still are legitimate meanings for the words! :see_no_evil:


I asked somewhere else in the forums about this - obviously the blog is the best place to see those changes, but unless you check them every week, some of those changes might slip through and we have to relearn them. -shrugs-

I did ask my Japanese coworkers about the verb とらえる specifically, and it seems like 捉える(とらえる)is used for more abstract concepts. You can see reference below:

Wow, I had the same thought. And it is something I unlocked recently only. I also felt I dreamed about the meaning “grasp an idea” lol. :sweat_smile:

I’m glad to know it’s not just me. It’s starting to become an annoying leech since I thought it was “to be effective” and got it wrong when it came up for a burn.


Wow, if you guys hadn’t said it, I won’t have noticed.

I remember when 札 reading changed and WK added them as a new vocabulary. I wish they do the same for any words that change reading/meaning than letting us make mistakes when it comes up later in review.

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There really should be a notice on WaniKani itself when items change because let’s be honest, most of us aren’t going to be constantly checking the Tofugu blog for updates. When a website updates usually there would be an announcement on the website itself, I’d hope that makes sense.


I agree. If they can put a notice up warning of down time due to maintenance, they could just as easily put one up saying there have been changes to xyz or even just that there have been changes with a link to where details can be found.


Hmm. I see the vocabulary changelogs roll out every week on the WaniKani Tumblr, but I can’t seem to locate news posts on the subject in the forums. That may only be because I’ve been off the forums for the year and am now re-learning how to navigate the site. But even so, I absolutely agree, a notification mid-review for those who either missed the announcement or haven’t had a chance to go dig it up yet would be very useful. I know Kristen mentioned in another thread that the dev team is aware of the desire for such a thing, but we have no idea on the schedule for that.

As long as you consider the “word” to be a distinct entity from any particular rendering in kanji.

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The worst part is when you have them burned already and you have to go on an unburning spree. Please find a way to fix this problem team. We would really appreciate it :v:

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I’d say to consider how big of a change it is and to compare it to what definitions you find for it online. If it’s a minor change that you can still figure out what it is saying, then I wouldn’t bother relearning it. KaniWani is a different story though.

I mean, but you still have to do that process and make a choice, right? I kinda did it for most words after level 30 or so, but it’s not practical when you’re on the go. It’s not really about what WK doesn’t teach. It’s about teaching and then changing. Avoiding any problems for their users is a must imo. It’s not a post on a blog no one knows about that will fix it :slight_smile:

You could always add a synonym as the old word is still correct, just not the default.

Again, not really sure I agree that it is. They’re trying to make a distinction between the usages of 効く and 利く, which are similar but distinct in Japanese.

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Good thing I saw this post because for a long time the meaning for 利く was a leech for me (I didn’t have an issue with the reading). I finally got it right in my head to mean to be effective. Its due to come up in my queue in 13 days for a burn and I would have been highly upset. I just went in an added the old default as a synonym so I’ll be fine when it comes around.

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