Are radicals really any use?

Thanks yeah. This is pretty much how I feel in a nutshell, however I do see from others how even I could make use of the radicals here so it’s been a very worthwhile post- even if I have spent more time on it than lessons today! lol

lol yeah I’ve already come across one or two that I wish I hadn’t even though I’m trying to avoid them as much as possible. :wink:

I do use Anki and other things already and they are useful but I want more! lol Whatever I can fit in to my days. Doing the rounds of several different systems might be what ends up best for me personally, but it would be nice to come across a ‘main’ system that really works for me. Maybe this is it, we’ll see. :slight_smile:

Thank you. This kind of feedback about your experience with the radicals makes me think it’s worth not completely ignoring them so that when I get to the point you are talking about I’m not completely clueless about how to proceed.


I’d just do the JLNP levels in Anki otherwise.

I do often create my own mnemonics, but I’d say it’s a 50/50 split between mine and Koichi’s on which one’s I use.

I suck at learning and retaining Kanji, so I find the radicals and mnemonics incredibly beneficial.

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Instead of replying in four separate posts, you can highlight the text of someone else’s post and click on the "Quote prompt. When you do that, the highlighted text is instantly copied into the reply box.

It makes you look less like an attention-seeking spammer.

lol thanks but it’s far easier to reply from email than on the forums. I can reply to each in turn and remove them from my inbox so I don’t have to go through the whole thread again each time. I appreciate the replies and take the time to reply to them because people took the time to reply to me and offer me advice.

I didn’t read all the comments so forgive me, but I really enjoy using radicals to learn kanji. If you know the meanings or look of radicals (even ones they don’t teach here on Wanikani (though I’m also low level too so I don’t know how many they show you in total)), it definitely can help you a lot in using a kanji dictionary, which I do almost constantly in my everyday life here in Japan. If you can remember a piece of a kanji, that can even help you to remember the rest by either using the silly stories they make up here (I don’t use them very much) or making your own meaning from the kanji themselves. Please don’t be discouraged at the beginning because of these radicals. If you don’t like the stories they give for them, just make your own synonyms which help you to remember it and move on. Eventually, you’ll be overloaded with kanji and vocabulary words soon enough and you will be happy to see a radical pop up every now and again <3

The script doesn’t appear to be working. I thought I’d get to add my own synonyms early but after installing the program and then opening WaniKani nothing happened.

That script doesn’t work for me either. I usually just wait for the next review to enter a synonym, or alternatively I click on the item on the lesson summary page, and just add a synonym on the item page. You still have little enough items in review that you can just go to the radical list and edit the ones that bother you.

I guess you missed it because you’re using email, but: forum etiquette here is to bundle replies. Please do so.

Hmm it definitely worked for me a few days ago. Can you provide details over in @irrelephant’s thread?

i am just not using the v2. I never cared enough to really look into it, haha

I think native Japanese speakers learn kanji through stroke orders. I was able to learn all the N5 and N4 without radicals but for me N3 and up kanji are more complex and I just couldn’t get them memorized. This is why I started using Wanikani. I think radicals help best when trying to memorize complex kanji for people who don’t want to learn how to write kanji. I use to practice stroke order but I found that I did more typing and reading than writing so for me learning via stroke order was not working.


I think it works, but it’s limited. For example, you can’t add synonyms before lessons. You can’t add synonyms during the initial review part of the lessons. You can only add synonyms right when you are getting the lesson but before the review portion.

I have the script installed but rarely use it. It’s not such a big deal to remember the definition provided by WK the first time, and then add a synonym later if needed.

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ありがとうございます。I appreciate your advice. :slight_smile: At the moment the waiting is more annoying than anything else, I need to remember to go back to it every 2 hours for a minute lesson before waiting for another 2 hours. lol Oh well it’s supposed to be for a good reason so it’s all good.

はい I will just keep doing it that way. ありがとうございます。

meh, if you say so. かんぱい。

okay I’m here on the forums and I can’t see how to do what you have done here quoting more than one reply in your post. And the reason I was replying by email still stands, so if that doesn’t work here I guess the forums aren’t for me. This post is a monster and sorting through it manually grouping replies - even if I did know how to do that- would just be a mess. So as much as this post has had amazing responses from lots of amazing people enthusiastic to help out, I won’t bother making any more here. I respect the rules and that’s the best way for me not to feel the need to break them.
A real downer to end on, but thanks for keeping me in line.

Eh, I wouldn’t worry too too much about it. It’s a convention that keeps the forum from getting all cluttered up. Usually people respond to multiple others in one combined reply, but if email prevents you from doing that, I think we’d rather have you here than not. You don’t necessarily need to quote people every time though, sometimes just name: reply works just as well. Just try not to make a big series of replies in a row and you should be fine.

In any case, welcome!


If you are serious about studying, find another app or way of studying yourself that you can run with on the downtime while the SRS works its magic. I use Kanjibox on my iPad to study different levels of JLPT kanji in my downtime, like riding on a train or during my lunch breaks at work. It gives you quizzes with readings and meanings, so it has been super helpful in boosting my memory. Good luck in your studies!