Content suggestions and issues thread

One thing I find pretty frustrating about WaniKani – it’s neglecting possible synonyms. If I’d like to add them manually, I’d make a free Anki deck instead of using WaniKani :^)
Like, why should I remember that 土 radical is “dirt” and nothing else? You guys taught me it’s “soil” some time ago, then renamed it, and now punish me for that answer?
Isn’t SRS about forgetting mnemonics and remembering the definition?
Why I can omit “something” on every transitive verb except for “to move something”? WaniKani punishes me if the answer is “to move”, like why? I remember that 指圧 is some kind of massage, so why “massage” is incorrect? Should I remember after half a year that 日本的 is “very Japanese”, not just “Japanese”?
Is there anything behind marking incorrect “invite” for the kanji 招? WaniKani isn’t a single source for me, and that’s the way I remembered this kanji, it’s one of its definitions. Why “passage of time” doesn’t accepted for 歴? And so on. Like, it happens almost every day.
WaniKani is still effective for me though, but man, sometimes it gives me so much frustration.

So I’d like to suggest a feature that a similar site, Bunpro, already have. They send every incorrect answer to the server to collect some stats. And when they see some popular “incorrect” answer could be actually considered as a correct one, they just allow it.
It will save a lot of efforts for @Mods reading similar topics about adding some synonyms. Also it will save time for frustrated guys like me who post adding suggestions here. And the time is precious when you’re trying to level up in a week, that’s why I don’t report those frustrating things. And the second reason, now it looks like contacting some bank or internet service provider. “I’ll query this with our content team.” What a bureaucracy.

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As someone who’s been in this very same situation and effectively quit, because the not accepted synonyms kept accumulating, I think it’s a very good idea.

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I believe there is a userscript that allows you to immediately add synonyms / alternative answers when learning new lessons, which may be worth looking into.

That’s obviously sidestepping the issue a bit, but it’s a temporary solution, at least.

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We are actually already looking into a similar feature (collecting incorrect data) although we have some other priorities we are looking into first and we also want this feature to help out with the bigger picture, not just with synonyms, so it may take some time before we build it properly.

I’ll try to answer some of your specific questions but I will unfortunately have to query the other ones with our content team :wink:

  • 土 was never actually soil, it used to be grave which we changed to dirt but grave is still an accepted answer.

  • 指圧 is a very specific practice (with debated efficacy) and definitely not just a massage.

  • 日本的 means “very/typically Japanese”, teaching it simply as “Japanese” would be incorrect.

Some of your other examples aren’t necessarily ways we decided to “punish” the user but are more a result of circumstances changing over the years as well as the occasional oversight. I’ll pass them on let and you know what they say. If you ever do have a list of items you have issues with and have a bit of time, please email it over to us so we can make the necessary changes if needed at hello@wanikani.com

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Thank you for your answer.
It’s hard to make such list, it takes some time and efforts. Much more than just review that word/kanji again.
(Just now it happened with 裁判 that not only “trial”, but also “judgement”, but WaniKani accepts only “trial”.)
It’s would be nice to have some quick feedback button while doing reviews that shows a form where would already be prefilled that pesky word/kanji and an “incorrect” answer.

I like this idea a lot. Too often in my reviews, I find myself stopping to wonder things like “is this word ‘discussion’ or ‘conversation’?” when there’s really no difference. Sometimes I fail things if I guess them wrong so that the official WK definition will stick. Usually though I just think to myself ‘close enough’ and undo my answer to type in the right one.

It’s fine to do that when they’re actual synonyms, but it trains me to just say “close enough” and call a card a pass, which undermines one of the advantages WK has over self-judged SRSs (like how most people use Anki). It also tempts people to decide “close enough” for things that are less clear cut, and fall into one of the classic WK traps (the other being reorder abuse).

Also on the transitive verb thing, I haven’t gone through and counted, but it feels like 1% will get marked wrong if you don’t include “something” (or “someone”, etc.), 1% will get marked wrong if you DO include “something”, and 98% are fine either way. This is frustrating for people who want to have things work consistently, as well as users who want to always put “something” in order to learn which verbs are transitive.

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Obviously any solution to this problem is going to take time to create, as Nico said. In the meantime, I really do recommend the Double Check script and Anki Mode scripts for you. I think most people tolerate these problems you’re encountering, but if it’s upsetting you, then over time it’s just going to burn you out as seen with @linchou in this thread. The former lets you undo an incorrect answer if upon seeing the correct answer you realise you’ve been shafted by the problems you’re describing. The latter gets around the particular words or language they want you to use, especially for transitive and intransitive verbs. However, I understand most people really love typing answers (for reasons beyond my understanding, but I digress), so it isn’t mandatory if you’re okay with undoing and retyping your answers.

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Today’s issues:

  • boots is an “incorrect” answer for the kanji 靴,
  • differ is incorrect for 違,
  • “fortune telling” is incorrect for 占,
  • ban is incorrect for 禁,
  • stamp is incorrect for 印,
  • step is incorrect for the radical 歩,
  • “salary cut” is incorrect for 減給,
  • “foreign exchange student” for 留学生,
  • “provision” for 供給,
  • siesta doesn’t work 昼休み,
  • “for sure” for 確かに,
  • electrical appliance for 電子機器.

Those are just what I’ve encountered today. It’s a massive problem. If someone would make such list, there would be few hundred items I guess.

UPD:

  • “gratitude” nor “thanks” doesn’t work for the kanji 謝,
  • assets for kanji 財,
  • boy for “〜君”,
  • plural for “〜達”,
  • characteristic for 独特,
  • “spooky story” for 怪談.
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Thanks for the list, I appreciate it can be a bit of hassle to send this in, I’ll forward it over to our content team for them to review and I’ll bring up your original request too.

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Thank you. There’s more:

  • perfection doesn’t work for 完成,
  • overwork for 残業,
  • accident for 変事,
  • affair for 事件,
  • void for 虚しい,
  • sutra for 仏典,
  • trait for 特徴,
  • good relations for 仲良し,
  • lifesaver for radical 冓,
  • electronic machinery for 電子機器,
  • guidance for kanji 導,
  • baby nor infant for kanji 児,
  • discontinue for kanji 絶,
  • express train for 急行,
  • completely black for 真っ黒,
  • gangsters for 暴力団,
  • whistle for 口笛,
  • profit for kanji 益,
  • amount for kanji 程,
  • congratulations for radical 吉,
  • conditions for 事情,
  • affair for 事件,
  • round for the radical 丸,
  • to warm for 温める,
  • 麗 kanji’s hint: “You know what would make learning this radical lovely? Studying your radicals.” – probably this kanji implied,
  • envious for kanji 羨,
  • poetry for the word 詩,
  • assets for kanji 資,
  • disbelief for 不信,
  • South Pole for 南極,
  • ease for the radical 楽,
  • fixing for 修理,
  • signature for kanji 署,
  • thank you, nice, splendid for 結構,
  • death by freezing for 凍死,
  • bully for the kanji 苛,
  • amount for 程度.
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I think one of the core issues here, with which I also struggle, is that it is almost impossible for a language learner to judge whether an answer is a correct synonym or if it actually means something else. This leads to either a needlessly large workload as items are incorrectly marked wrong, or learning wrong information when adding synonyms yourself. Additionally, it builds frustration which is the number one reason people fail to reach their language goals. Any feature that lowers the effort required to check if a “wrong” answer is actually wrong or not would help with this.

In addition to the already suggested solution, it might also help to include some sort of discussion segment linked to each item. That way, people could look for clarification while doing lessons or reviews. It would also make answers to frequently asked questions easier to find for new users.

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Thanks for taking the time with this list. I’ll pass it on. We added most of the options you mentioned before except:

  • boy for “〜君”
  • plural for “〜達”
  • electrical appliance for 電子機器

I’ll mention this to our engineers, thanks for the suggestion.

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Thank you! Here’s another batch of answers falsely marked incorrect:

  • kanji 示 – display
  • kanji 副 – duplicate
  • word 程 – degree
  • kanji 宮 – princess
  • 特徴 – feature
  • 罰ゲーム – punishment game
  • 区域 – territory, domain

I’ll piggyback off this and mention the counter suffixes aren’t consistent.

〜枚 has ‘flat object’ as the primary reading and ‘flat object counter’ as a secondary meaning.

〜匹 has ‘small animal counter’ as the primary reading however ‘small animals’ is considered incorrect.

I’ll go out on a limb and suggest the other ones don’t follow any consistent ruling either.

個 isn’t even taught as a counter but then used in several vocabs as a counter.

EDIT: Sorry, didn’t mean to reply directly to you!

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Thanks for these, we’ll see about adding them.

We added most of these except:

  • “overwork” for 残業, we instead added “overtime work”
  • “good relations” for 仲良し because it refers to the person not the relationship
  • “electronic machinery” for 電子機器
  • “congratulations” for radical 吉
  • “thank you” for 結構, we instead added “no thank you”

Thanks for bringing this up, I’ll forward it over to our content team.

Update: Our team let us know that this is a work in progress already although I’m afraid I can’t give you an ETA right now as we have a few other projects we need to prioritise first.

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I have found that many of these issues can be overcome by adding my own definitions. Similar to other users, I have learned a number of Kanji and vocabulary words outside of Wanikani, and those meanings are now my default.
Instead of trying to cover the myriad of different possible english translations for words, I’d like to be able to add my own definition during “Lessons” rather than waiting for the word to appear in my review queue. Often I find myself trying to fly through reviews and I get words that I know “wrong.” This requires me to wait and add the definition when it pops back up. If I’m moving quickly, this slows my progress and ends up increasing the amount of time spent reviewing words that I am already very familiar with.
Being able to input my own definition during the lesson process would help reduce friction.

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That functionality is getting added very soon.

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Thank you! Here I go again:

  • kanji 程 – degree
  • 大勢 – masses
  • kanji 営 – occupation
  • 掛かる – to take (srsly, it’s the main meaning)
  • 無我夢中 – losing control, being absorbed
  • 見渡す – to take an extensive look
  • kanji 望 – wish
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Thanks, I’ll get these checked and let you know what we add.

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Thank you! Lemme continue:

  • 外面 – external appearance
  • 不潔 – unclean
  • 対応 – reaction
  • 〜宅 – one’s house
  • 軍人 – military personnel
  • 混乱する – to be in disorder
  • 続々 – in a series
  • 被る – to be covered
  • 表情 – expression
  • kanji 秀 – surpass
  • word 程 – degree
  • radical 奇 – strange
  • radical 道 – path
  • 修理 – fixing
  • 裁判 – judgement
  • 迷う – to be perplexed
  • kanji 率 – ratio
  • 悪口 – saying bad words, slur
  • 周年 – whole year
  • kanji 展 – unfold
  • 結局 – finally
  • 無我夢中 – being absorbed in, totally absorbed
  • 向ける – to turn
  • 故障 – fault
  • kanji 締 – tie
  • radical 昔 – old times
  • kanji 睡 – sleep
  • kanji 康 – sane (it’s a Heisig mnemonic)
  • kanji 攻 – attack
  • 鮮やか – fresh
  • 停止 – halt
  • 性病 – sexual disease
  • 領域 – region
  • kanji 俳 – actor
  • word 印 – stamp (or at least please add a tip that WaniKani is looking for meaning for another reading)
  • kanji 張 – lengthen
  • kanji 抜 – slip out
  • 独立 – self-reliance
  • kanji 武 – warrior
  • 対策 – measure
  • kanji 完 – completion
  • 非常 – unusual
  • 自愛 – narcissism
  • 置き場 – place to put
  • 修士 – master’s
  • 折角 – at great pains
  • kanji 積 – amass
  • 触る – to irritate
  • kanji 寄 – draw near
  • kanji 診 – examine
  • 出席 – presence
  • 発展する – to unfold
  • 見極める – to identify
  • 誘惑する – to entice, to lure
  • word 靴 – boots