Any Reason Why Learnt Kanji Have to Be Made into Radicals?

It has been something that has been bothering me for a while.
For example, both and have 宿 and 従 that are quite apparent, and that should make for an easy mnemonic, since they were already learnt and mastered a long time ago.
However, since they were not turned into their radical version, the mnemonic breaks them down into even smaller parts, though they should be quite recognisable already.
Not only does this make the new kanji harder to learn, but it can even makes the previously learnt kanji fuzzier, as it is mixing multiple mnemonics for a similar character.
This raises the question, why even bother turning kanji into radicals? By assuming every kanji learnt can be used as a radical, this also removes the need to add those cards. From my point of view, they are just unnecessarily making us learn the same thing twice.
To me, when the need arises for a kanji to be made into a radical, it should either have a different meaning than the kanji, or it should focus on a singular meaning. Anything else just feels superfluous.


Something similar, but not quite the same was asked just recently in this thread here, where the overmind @koichi himself answered right here, perhaps it helps.

I understand your point, but in my opinion (just my thoughts), some additional revision never hurts.

This is something where I absolutely don’t agree. Radicals only have one single meaning anyway, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t be different from the kanji meaning at all, since you might end up confusing the kanji and the radical meanings during the reviews.


Thanks, I did not find that thread earlier. Koichi’s reply is a little chaotic and I did not fully understand, but I guess they are working on that?

The additional revision part and turning kanji into radical thing is not the main problem, to be fair. The real issue is that, by the same token, they are locking themselves out of using kanji as radicals for every radical card they have not yet added. Hopefully they manage to come out with some solution, but I can see how it may require recoding stuff around a bit.

What I meant by having radicals with different meaning is that, for example, the 申 kanji and 申 radical have a slight alteration in acceptable answer.
Or, the 平 radical focusses on “peace” rather than “flat”.

Those radicals as well as completely unseen ideograms should be the only radicals appearing, in my opinion.

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I agree completely and I personally auto-skip radicals and don’t pay them any attention because they’re often superfluous and sometimes even misleading (hiding meaningful relationship between kanji). I made a post about it there:

I recommend using the keisei script instead, it’s not relevant for all the kanji on WK (only about 70% of them) but when it is it usually does a better job of giving your a meaningful decomposition of the kanji:


Didn’t koichi recently drop by a thread and comment on wanting to change how that works in WK?

Found it:

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This is literally the post I linked lol :wink:

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Ah, I just skimmed the replies and somehow didn’t catch that you referenced that post, sorry^^;

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