I feel like this word could be very uncomfortable - even triggering - for quite a few people. I don’t like the sexual words in my queue, but this word feels a little worse, especially if seen by someone who knows a person who took their life in this way.
While I understand the concern people have whenever this word inevitably comes up, I’m of the belief that we shouldn’t censor things when it comes to education. Let me elaborate.
Japan has a rather high suicide rate, and even words like 過労死 (death caused by exhaustion/fatigue from being overworked) and 過労自殺 (suicide caused by the stresses related to being overworked). Japanese work culture is unbelievably unhealthy in a lot of different ways, and one way people escape these stresses is, unfortunately, suicide. One rather common method is diving in front of trains, and you will occasionally even see train delays due to these types of incidents. I believe it’s important that this conversation be had, and people be aware, that Japan isn’t a simple Utopia like many people seem to believe.
Is it a word you absolutely must know? Probably not. Can it be uncomfortable to talk about? Absolutely. However, a lot of conversations most worth having are uncomfortable to have, and ignoring them does more damage than good in my opinion.
I think 自殺 is an important, if uncomfortable word, because it is likely to come up in news stories and such. I think someone can put together the rest if they encounter 飛び込み自殺 in the wild, where one can avoid reading about an article about the topic if they don’t want to risk exposure to details.
Their reasoning to include it is written in the explanation section.
Unfortunately, this is a term you should probably be familiar with because it comes up from time to time on the news and around train stations. (Hopefully someday it will no longer be a term you need to know and we can remove it forever)
This word is indeed a trigger word. I agree. There are better words to memories the readings, though it is something you might encounter in a newspaper. I’m not sure, that’s enough reasoning to have it on WK, honestly. Talking about methods for suicide is definitely much worse than merely mentioning suicide. That’s a statistical fact, which is why news organizations are also very careful about how they talk about the subject and usually keeps it to small headlines. They know that when they publish about the subject, more people WILL take their lives. Putting it into an SRS, it defo much, much worse.
What do you say @Mods is it really necessary to have this word on WK, what with how it can both make people take dangerous actions themselves, or it might bring up very painful memories and thoughts for others.
As @Chellykins say, you can probably figure it out in the wild if you encounter it.
I had a very hard time with all the suicide items on WK, but this one in particular.
If such changes were to be implemented, I think it should be done in the form of selectable “WK Safe mode” or sth like this, so that people who don’t have a problem with uncomfortable words would still have the opportunity to learn. Removing them completely is IMO bad idea, since they’re important part of language.
To practically answer your question, I’m sure there is an extension you can find that would automatically burn it or stop it showing up. I don’t use them myself but I think there’s extensions to deal with ‘leeches’ that have this sort of functionality. Similarly, you could burn your sexual words too if you are uncomfortable.
I don’t know. I want to learn them and I would not be happy if they remove either good or bad words. They are part of the langauge. They are not even rarely used.
If mod decide to remove them… well I don’t know what to say but just allow me to learn them in some other way on WaniKani… please?
I am all for a SFW WaniKani mode, that would be amazing. Maybe like a box you can check when an item comes up that puts it into a list, and then before clicking “reviews” to start reviewing, you can click SFW mode or Regular mode.
You’re right, I definitely agree that both good and bad words are important to learn. I’m just worried that it might trigger people by randomly popping up SRS-style, or trigger people around the person doing reviews if they happen to look at that person’s computer screen (I work in Japan so everyone can definitely read the big kanji if they look at my computer screen).
I understand. Whoever feel trigger by this must have gone through a terrible past incident. I think the best way to tackle this issue is offering an option to skip sensitive vocab like this.
However, 自殺 is the vocab that cannot be skipped but 飛び込み自殺 is kinda difficult I think. It’s kinda hard to guess the meaning but not that hard.
Here are guidelines from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on how journalists should report suicides.
AFSP and others also say that whenever you write about suicide you should include a crisis hotline phone number or website so a reader can get help right away.
In the USA it’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ )
Internationally, here are 2 webpages that let people look up the crisis number for their country. (disclaimer, I don’t know these orgs or how complete their lists are):
- https://findahelpline.com/ ← IMO this one looks easier to navigate?
The text to add would be something like this:
“If you (or someone close to you) has been thinking about suicide or if you’re in any sort of emotional crisis, please go to [link to site] to find a crisis hotline for your country. These are usually free and confidential and anyone can call if they feel like they need help.”
EDITED TO ADD: This is not about whether something is “uncomfortable,” it’s about respecting and keeping your readers safe. You won’t know if a reader is in crisis or barely holding it together! Being careful about your language, including a link to help resources, this is how you say “Hey, this is an important topic, but I also care about you and I want you to be okay.”
If you’re suggesting this because you’re worrying about what other people might be thinking - perhaps it’s best not to presume. If people are finding it uncomfortable I’m sure they will let the mods know themselves. (I’m assuming you are speaking for these other hypothetical people rather than yourself, from the phrasing of your post).
Obviously suicide is a uncomfortable topic. But talking about suicide is a proven way to help people who feel suicidal*. And how can you do that if you don’t know the word.
*C.f. UK Samaritans 116 123
WK is like learning a dictionary. I’m not sure that dictionary makers have to think about excising words because they have “triggering” meanings for some of their users.
Gonna give my opinion as someone who does have suicide as a serious trigger, and has blocked keywords like that on other sites like Twitter just so they don’t pop up out of nowhere.
It happens. It’s unfortunate, but stuff like this isn’t always 100% avoidable. The good thing about WK is that you can take a glance at upcoming vocab, and that’s something that I’ve had to do to avoid being caught off-guard by triggering topics. For me at least (everyone’s trauma is different though), if I know what’s coming in advance I can be mentally prepared for the topic to pop up.
I will say 自殺 has popped up a fair few times during my studies and my time in Japan whilst reading news articles and whatnot, so knowing it has been pretty useful.
And hey, silver linings. I’ve never once forgotten the vocab - getting that stuff nice and squared away, burned as quickly as possible!
Personally, I don’t see any point to remove that from Wanikani. Hiding something doesn’t make it disappear, and it won’t make any difference to the problem of what exists, in Japan and elsewhere. Actually, I think the opposite would be better for everyone, more exposure for the subject and perhaps people learn to talk about problems before a situation escalates to point of suicide.
And as @Epona pointed out, it’s not WK’s job to think what trigger word might trigger someone. If someone feels uncomfortable about subjects they should look for plugins that can block them.
Removing those from every place just makes those subjects more abstract and harder to talk about, and what/who that helps?
It’s good to learn it exists, so you know you can avoid it whenever it comes up.
So because a term makes your tummy hurt you want to pretend it doesn’t exist and be unable to read it? Seems backwards and counterproductive to me. Maybe while we’re at it we can remove 太る and 痩せる since people have eating disorders. Or remove お母さん because some people have abusive parents. Or 犬 because some people have cynophobia. Or 飛行機 because many people have a crippling fear of flying. Or 酒 because it could trigger a relapse in an alcoholic.
My point is twofold. First, just about anything can be “triggering” to someone and trimming words based on that possibility we would be left with a barren and useless language. Second, pretending a word doesn’t exist doesn’t do anyone any good. Besides, if you don’t learn it now you’ll probably end up looking it up at some point anyways
Agree. A lot of bad things happen to a lot of people, incurable may trigger thinking about my mothers incurable brain cancer, murder, murderer, dentist, doctor…there are all kind of potential triggers…fugu…etc. We can’t remove them all.
I suppose a system where people could remove them themselves while still letting others learn might be a good compromise.
There seems to be too much emphasis nowadays on avoidance of anything unpleasant at all costs…whatever happened to “you must face your fear, let it wash over you and through you etc…”
I think we can perhaps agree that while yes “every thing can be a trigger for someone” some words are more likely to be to be upsetting for a large amount of people than others.
I don’t think that not teaching is necessarily the answer. But I do think that they might improve the presentation as mentioned above. Include links for helplines, or they could also remind users about how to use user synonyms to swap in something else that might be less upsetting. Just something that is a bit more caring overall and give people some options.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think part of the reason why no one has made a script that can block out certain WaniKani vocabulary items yet is because it’s probably not that easy to make.
IIRC review sessions only have 10 active items at a time (since you only review half of an item at a time, either the reading or meaning, and if you don’t finish both within 2 hours the progress of the item resets) so I imagine that the script would constantly have to check for the blocked item to make sure it doesn’t appear? I think a script made by someone on these forums would have to do it this way, since only WaniKani themselves could remove an item for you client-side, right?