Any way to speed things up...?

I’ve been studying Kanji for about 2 years using Anki and I’m pretty good at most of the Joyo kanji - along the way I’ve learned the radicals and subcomponents pretty well, so I just want to get on with it and get through the radicals and kanji on WaniKani quickly.

I really want to use WaniKani to develop my vocab even further (I’ve already got about 3,000 words in my head using Anki) but I can’t seem to access the vocabulary lessons/reviews. I struggle a bit with the UI so I’m not sure if I’m doing it wrong or if the vocab gets introduced after the radicals and kanji.
I wanted to fly through the radicals and kanji to see if the vocab becomes available.

The main problem is that the reviews seem to come round infrequently (I’m currently waiting 3 hours) and I’m not being offered new radicals or kanji to learn. I’m struggling to make this work for me for some reason…

If you want to learn vocab something like iknow would be better suited.


Hate to be the one to break this for you, but it won’t get any faster. It’s a pretty strict SRS system, so you can’t just skip ahead.

Wanikani should be used to learn kanji. Sure you can pick up vocab along the way, but it’s not made for vocab learning. Maybe Anki suits you better for these cases? I know there are quiet a few deck floating around this forum that might serve you well.

Hey, you should check out the FAQ which talks about this. It’s important to build upon what comes before, radicals and kanji, to learn well the vocabulary. The reason reviews take a while to show is because of their Spaced Repetition System, a.k.a. SRS. It may seem slow for now, but you will find yourself overwhelmed in no time

Sadly there is next to no flexibility in how to learn here. As Derpies said, it’s strict.

I’m pretty sure traveling close to the speed of light should shorten the wait a bit.


Ah right…that’s a shame as I came on here about a year ago to see if they had a mnemonic for 大人 - I’m normally pretty good at making up my own but their story for it made it stick in my head and I’ve not forgotten it since :slight_smile:

It’s a shame as I’d like to use it as a refresher for the kanji, but the radicals have been given somewhat strange names so I want to get through them and not worry too much.

For example, 干 is called “antenna” but I know it actually means “to dry” or “to air”, so I’d rather keep the real meanings in my head rather than learn the WaniKani names, essentially skip them, refresh my kanji and get on with the vocab.

It’s a shame if it’s not going to be workable as I’ve heard good things about the system :confused:

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I can understand that, but if you disregard the strange radical names, the mnemonics won’t be of any use later down the line anyway as they build on these radicals.
And as other’s mentioned, wanikani is a kanji learning site and the vocabs purpose is just to solidify the kanji knowledge.

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Ah, yes I see…

Looking at some of the vocab, I can see that the mnemonics are based on the kanji meaning (which seem in line with what I’ve already learned), so I reckon I could ditch the radical names (you can also add your own names for these to get past the reviews using my learned meanings, which is great).

I suppose I could just keep revisiting WaniKani, get through the radicals slowly, let it build up and then see if it snowballs and becomes useful. No harm in giving it a go, even if I’m slightly bending the purpose :slight_smile:

Plus there seems to be an acitve and helpful community on here, which is always good :+1:


Nobody’s stoppind you from trying :smile:
I’d suggest checking out our ultimate additional resources list, though. :wink:

Exactly! That’s what I think :smiley:

Cheers for all your help!


One other addition: while WK will expose you to many wonderful vocab words, it is not a vocab resource. It is a kanji learning resource.

There are quite some examples of words that you learn here that are not used/not written in kanji ordinarily. That’s because they are teaching you the most common meanings and readings, so that you can read out in the wild.

Hope you find what you’re looking for in your learning journey, be it here or with other things!

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Totally, just keep at it. It will become incredibly useful, and if you already know stuff, you’ll breeze through the first levels, actually for what I’ve seen is people who already know something the ones that thrive the most here. Just think about it this way, this whole thing can be done in about a year, say a year and a half, but you end up actually knowing kanji that well. You lose nothing by trying it out, and you could win tons.



Except, ya know, 100+ dollars and loads of time? Which is worth it if you don’t know kanji yet. But if OP already knows kanji, then those dollars and that time is probably better spent somewhere else. I don’t think it makes sense to invest heavily in a kanji learning resource if you already know kanji. The first three free levels sure, could be fun but you could also be doing one of the many other resources out there.


Ok but… Why is that a loss to you?

If OP already knows kanji, then of course, there will be no reason for OP to be here
But then again, why is OP here then?

I’ve seen a lot of people coming here saying that they know 1000+ kanji, and they’re happy to be here.
There are quite some people voluntarily resetting their level also.

I surely don’t know OP’s background, just sharing my point of view

If you have experience with Anki and considering your level of knowledge, just read as much Japanese as possible and sentence mine vocabs like crazy, you could easily do 15 i+1 cards a day. I am doing 5 a day, while going with a strict 7 day level up on WK and also doing grammar and more Kanji through Heisig. At your level, WK will slow you down and it might cost you your motivation, just learn the words that matter to you, 15 new items a day means 2700 words in half a year. If you are really crazy, do 20 new cards a day, that’s my goal after WK, that’ll be 3600 words in 6 months. Let’s say you are shooting for 80% retention, that’s 2880 in half a year. Lets say you do this for the next two years, that’s about 12000 words (because we all know that we cheat when it comes to i+1 and we love to add that little i+2 here and there). And as you learn words, learning new words will be easier and easier, so the next 10000 will be much easier than the first.

WK is a tool and as such there are different ways of using it. I guess everybody finds his own way after using it for a while.

I think it is a common belief that the radical system as it is implemented feels a bit weak, but I can imagine that somebody may find it pretty useful. From what I have read some time ago they are working on it to change it in the future.

At first I tried memorizing radicals as they were presented to me until I realized it was pretty useless for me to learn their mnemonics. As I would start to remember and associate the “right” meaning (when available) to the radicals I would then fail the review because the required answer was something else.

What I do now when I see radicals during a review session is definitely to try and associate them mentally but I always directly look the answers up on WK website. This works wonders for me because I find that I still learn them along the way but I don’t have to think about “holes, boobs and raptors” anymore. There is just so much more RAM available to my brain when working on Kanji and vocabulary instead that my ability to learn those has improved considerably. I am not looking back.

What I do to train with radicals is instead to use Jisho and to search all Kanji I do not know / remember by radical search.

I think you can spend your time in more productive ways than what WK has to offer you, given that you have more or less an ok knowledge of joujo kanji.

You already have a notion of kanji that with exposure (that you’ll not find in WK) will get solidified. So go for exposure!! Read, watch shows!!

And if you have an Anki routine, you can improve over that routine as well. I would go this way… trying to practice with your already known kanji and vocab; then make your word count flourish by making a reading routine, and throw progressively that into the vocab SRS routine.

anyway my way of viewing things… as WK started as one of my main platforms for learning, and as it should be, is progressively leaving the scene in my studies. It has serve its function :ok_hand: … but in the end I’m learning japanese to use it…

Just to say that it happens, I came in with a N1 certificate and knowing 2000+ kanji. Up to level 50, I would usually know 90% of the kanji on a given level.

Technically, people like @Voleuse are right in saying that I could have spent my money and time in much better ways. But at the same time, I had never been able to revisit and iron out all the wrinkles I had in the kanji I should have known already, and it was anyway always a pain to sort though stuff I really knew, kinda knew and didn’t know.
Reading a lot helps a bit, but it only goes so far. I had a bad habit of knowing what a word meant, but had forgotten the reading (especially for words with single kanjis), so, no matter how much I read, that would not get better. Plus why study, since I feel comfortable anyway right? Not a good recipe for making progress.

Buying a subscription has kept me motivated to actually sit through the whole thing (I’m mostly done at the time of writing). Plus, it made me discover the community and a bunch of other nice resources, like and (both are great for vocab, by the way).
So, at that point, it really depends on your personality and what keeps you going. In my case it was worth it.


we’re in a somewhat similar situation. only that i lack the kanji, but i have some vocab to help me over the hump.
i too believe it’s worth it, if only to be thorough and systematic, to drive the blind spots out, however few they may be, and remove any doubts. that’s actually priceless.

the community here is also nice. many japanese learning communities are toxic, for whatever strange reasons. wk is laid back and the people are cool.