Can I remove Radicals?

While I can’t say I speak fluent Chinese, I know at least 1,000 Characters and probably 5,000 Chinese Vocabulary Word over about 12 years of compulsory education as a second language. This means that for most of the kanji I can almost always get the meaning right even if I screw up the readings. There are some kanji that doesn’t exist as a Chinese character, has a different meaning from the Chinese character, uses Traditional Chinese instead of the Simplified Chinese that I know, so I’m not really complaining about the kanji. However, I feel the radicals are pretty useless considering I already know almost all of what they’re usually related or relevant to so is there a way to remove them so I can save time? Thanks.


Nope. You can add your own user synonyms to sorta cheat the system (like put ‘radical’ for each one), but you can’t just remove them outright. I’d be careful though, because they are the building blocks for learning kanji in this system, and it might trip you up later. They also help with learning Japanese pronunciations as the radicals build stories that then help with sound recall, so there’s that.

That being said, it’s up to you in the end. I just wouldn’t recommend it myself.
(I don’t know any Chinese so I can’t speak to that side of it)


I wish, especially the radicals that don’t match the same meaning as the Kanji they represent.


WaniKani’s radicals are not the official list of radicals, but are instead mnemonic components to assist in learning the kanji.


I wish I never look at the radicals they just annoy me, since they are not even the “official ones” but then again I also never read the mnemonics.

It’s like Koichi doesn’t even know Wikipedia exists. I could find them before I learned a single kanji and he’s over here thinking ⺌ is “triceratops,” when it’s clearly “small upside-down 小.” Get it together, Koichi.

You see a small upside-down 小 in the distance. But, it’s odd. It’s perfectly legs shaped (that is, circular). Some kind of legs-small upside-down 小, if you will. The reason they are this shape is because they want to absorb as much sunlight (or just light is fine, too) as possible. They evolved to be round so they don’t have any corners casting a shadow.

Much better.


Cause official radicals are of any use?


Well, some Radicals are somewhat useful, especially when they mean different things in Chinese and Japanese. However, Radicals like 小 ( read ‘xiao’ in Chinese ) mean little/small in both Japanese and Chinese and I know that, but I don’t know the Japanese reading. In which case I’d like the reading but not the meaning. I wish it was somewhat customisable, like have a way to delete one side from your revision list. Most infuriating when I put ‘little’ instead of ‘small’ and they mark me wrong. Anyways, thanks for your reply. I guess I’ll have to deal with it. Maybe if I get to later levels they’ll actually help my chinese, though looking at Level 60, the radicals are still pretty basic.

I wonder if knowing Chinese will help or hinder me. I can guess the meaning by looking at the kanji when looking at signs in Japan, and reading kana will help me guess pretty much all the foreign words in English so I found it pretty easy to get around Japan. I like the shinkansen most though, when they repeat it in Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese so even if I miss one I can still listen to the other.

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The “add synonym” function is your friend. You can add “little” as a synonym and it will accept it as a correct answer from then on. Others have mentioned, but WaniKani’s system is based on memorizing kanji using the “radicals” (more like visual building blocks instead of “official” radicals) names by incorporating them into memorable little stories (what is referred here as “mnemonics”). For example you have the “radicals” ノ(slide) and 小(small) making up a story for the kanji 少(few). “On a small slide, you only have room for a few people”.

It’s why you can’t skip radicals, they’re essential to the way WaniKani is supposed to work. There are users who don’t use the mnemonics, and some even add a synonym like “fake” for every radical so they can just pass the reviews while ignoring them completely. That’d be the way to ignore radicals and still progress with the kanji and vocab. Ultimately it’s up to you. I personally find them useful to differentiate between similar kanji, like (譲 嬢 壌), or (微 徴), or (徹 撤). Anyway, you get the point.

If you’re confident you can memorize the kanji without mnemonics, feel free to add a synonym for all radicals that will help you cheat the system.


You can’t but you you have two options.

  1. Cheat. Open the level list in another browser tab, and copy paste or type in the answer when the radical comes up.

  2. Cheat more efficiently with the override script. When a radical comes up just hit some random keys, it will be marked wrong, then press F and look at the answer, override the radical and when it comes back again then just put in the right answer.

actually @jneapan solution is much better.
Just add the same synonym like “a” to all radicals. just hit a and press enter whenever a radical comes up.

oh and FYI I like the WK radicals I don’t do this lol


No but I learned the “official names” once in japanese lessons and I thought they were really easy to remember. Every time it is a Wanikani made up name I just get confused. Why can’t there be several radicals with the same name? Why did Wanikani change it every time there would be two with the same name? For me it is way more difficult for me to remember these names I tried for a while but I just don’t get why that was even necessary.

I think there’s an invisible list where it accepts the official radicals (or so I’ve heard). Add in a synonym and you’re golden.

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Like I mentioned before most of WaniKani’s radicals are not official radicals. They’re kanji components used for the means of creating mnemonics. If you can’t make this work for you, even with people’s suggestions… then perhaps WaniKani’s system is not for you.

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Honestly? Not going to be the best suggestion for WK’s own forum, but for you I wouldn’t recommend putting much time into this.

You’re “not complaining” about the kanji, but that’s literally all this is here to teach you. This is only a kanji learning site, not a Japanese learning site.

Since you already, through Chinese, have a basic understanding of kanji, I strongly recommend you find a good grammar resource, and a good vocab resource, especially a good kana vocab resource. Those are the far larger points of difference between the languages than hanzi to kanji.
This should just be a good supplement to help get you fluent.

Good luck.


It is definitely not a system for me. There are many things that I don’t like or prevent me from learning really efficiently. I’ve stopped reading the mnemonics after level 1 since they are not helping me in any way. But the SRS system here is the only thing that actually manages to keep me learning on a daily basis. So I use it since it is still better than doing nothing.

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So you should do what people have suggested, and add some easy-to-type synonym, so that you can just make them go away when they appear. Because what you’re actually suggesting is for them to overhaul WaniKani’s entire system, and I’m afraid that’s simply not going to happen.

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I don’t think I ever suggested anything. I am using synonyms.

Ah, my bad. I thought you were the OP. :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t necessarily recommend skipping the radicals, but if you really want to, feel free to install my autofill script: It will show the right answer automatically so you just have to press enter.


This is probably the easiest solution