As a low level, how I am supposed to use the context sentences?

I am currently level 2 and I can’t see the benefits of the context sentences yet because I can’t read 90% of what is written.

Yes, I can read the sounds but I have no idea where most words end and the next ones start, so I am having a really hard time making a good use of these sentences so early.

Should I ignore them for now and focus on it when I have more knowledge under my belt?


For one, the translations can clarify the English meaning. I realize you might not have encountered many ambiguous words yet, but you will.

Second… There’s no harm in trying to read them and notice patterns. I wouldn’t be so quick to give up just because you currently have a small vocabulary or haven’t studied much grammar.

Things you notice and understand yourself stick much stronger than things simply told to you.


If there’s one complaint I have about WaniKani, it’s that many context sentences contain kanji and vocabulary that are not taught yet, even in the higher levels.

While I agree with @Leebo that you shouldn’t be too quick to give up, I also don’t think that the sentences should be what you’re focusing on either until you know more. In fact, there’s a Tofugu blog that goes into detail about this. The key takeaway being that you should focus on material that’s only slightly more difficult that what you can handle, not material that you don’t know most of.


They’re in the process of (slowly) adding more simple sentences to each level. They just haven’t gotten past 20 yet.


Welcome to WaniKani! I recommend getting some grammar experience under your belt before concentrating on those context sentences, they will become more helpful the farther you go! If you cant read kanji (or words in general online) I recommend using an extension like RikaiKun which you can enable and hover over japanese to show hiragana/katakana and meanings.

Its true that it might be annoying but I think they are all kanji that will be used frequently in general, and it doesnt hurt to have a quick check with RikaiKun and learn something new!


Does this mean I should know the sentences that are being shown to me since I am below 20?

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Here is an example of a lv 2 sentence:

You should know all the kanji, since there is only 1 and its from level 2 vocabulary. I saw a few other sentences which were the same. I would assume you can read at least one sentence of each vocab up to level 20 based on what Leebo said.

Two of the three sentences for each word in the first 20 levels is meant to be understandable, provided that you have some grammar knowledge as well. You can’t hope to understand entire sentences without learning grammar.


Below level 20 you will always be able to read at least one sentence aloud. Whether you can understand it is a different question. People can make it to level 60 here while barely studying grammar, but WK can’t cater to every level of learner simultaneously.


I have always ignored the context sentences. : /


I would strongly suggest you not bother with the context sentences on Wanikani. All they have ever done is discourage me. There are even times where they introduce a word to you, but in the sentence use it in a completely different context than what is even being taught, which sure, might show you one of the various ways the word is used, but is almost entirely useless for understanding what you just learned.

My understanding is that there have been complaints about this in the past, and that they’re trying to revamp the context sentences, but even still I would not stress too much about them. You shouldn’t be coming to wanikani for grammar. You should be learning that using another resource like bunpro or tae kim or a textbook or something.

If you want reading material that is probably closer to your level, look in to Japanese Graded Readers.


Tbh i am ignoring them too. I am level 9 sooo yeah


Yeah you need to learn grammar to understand the sentences. If you want to dive into a bit of grammar Bunpro have one month free and after doing a bit you will be able to tell where words start and finish. I was in the same boat until I started grammar.

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I share that feeling about conjugating differently in context sentences.

For example, I just learnt 称える
The context sentence given is 先生から勤勉だと褒め称えられた

Why now suddenly is this the compound verb 褒め称える ? Is 称える rarely used, or does it have different nuance? If there’s a reason for choosing a different usage for the context sentence, then please tell me what it is!

The reality of course is that I look up a lot of what I am learning on Jisho or ALC to get a better idea of context than Wanikani will give me.

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you can read them after your first reset :slight_smile:
mistakes will be made and …

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Is there somewhere I can read updates about the process of adding new sentences? Have the new ones also been checked by native speakers?

I really love the new sentences tho and I think it’s great that WK is listening to its user base. The context sentences being too hard and weird was my biggest annoyance about WK back in the day.

May I add,
As frustrating and slow it may be to read the context sentences… it is the reason why most people use Wanikani, to eventually read Japanese kanji in its context. Which is to say, to read sentences, paragraphs, and pages in Japanese.

It’s probably best to give it a go, and see if you could of half guessed the meaning by comparing it to the English translation. After that, don’t worry about it and move on.

The brain is a powerful ‘AI’ computer, capable of self-learning, given enough data (it’s how you learned your native language). Just look at it as more data is required before you can increase your accuracy, and don’t worry about it. But to ignore the example sentences all together in the name of speed… you would be giving up precious “brain data”, that will in time be processed to help you eventually understand what it is that you are reading.

If nothing else, just look where the Kanji is in the sentence and look with the English equivalent word occurs in the English sentence. Even just noticing where it places itself in the sentence is also studying grammar, (subconsciously).

There is a very good Video on YouTube comparing learning Kanji and foreign language to how one becomes a Professional chicken sexer (which came out of Japan btw).


Thank you MeowMashiro, that link explains it well.

This could help you
It’s a good thing to have bookmarked in your browser.


Good example of what I meant where the example sentence doesn’t really show the use case that’s being taught from the vocab word (in this case using it in a compound verb which doesn’t make the singular verb clear).

I’m certain the sentences are useful to some, but I think a lot of language learning comes down to pushing past the uncomfortable parts where it feels like you don’t know what you’re doing. For me, I found I got much better at actually learning Japanese (and reading and comprehension) when I stopped worrying if I should be “getting” everything all the time during my studies. And in this case that meant just completely ignoring the wanikani sentences because they never felt like they were helping me.

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