Diasble Radicals

Is it possible to disable radicals?

If you know Chinese, you already know the meaning of most kanji, and it didn’t take long to fill in the gaps. Even if you don’t, I think most people could memorize the meaning of the jouyou kanji in a month or two outside of wanikani.

Currently radical cards (and also the onyomi (pink) cards) are pretty useless to me. But they take up a bunch of my review queue.

Currently, I just give them all one synonym (e.g. “x”), but that’s pretty tedious. But if I don’t do this, and I don’t happen to know whatever nonsense name wanikani gave them, I’ll fail reviews and can’t move forward with lessons.

Is there a way to turn radical cards off altogether? If not, is this something you’d like to see added?

I’ve seen many, many threads on this from searching around but a lot of them are pretty old.

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Hello hello, welcome!

In short: no. The only option if you want to skip it is to add a user synonym like “x” and enter that whenever they come up.

However, as I’m sure you’ll notice if you look through the WK radicals - they have their own radical system. Things that are not typically radicals are treated as such for the sake of mnemonics.

WK has in the past said they might drop the term radicals, because people that are familiar with them want to skip them, or become confused when something that isn’t an official radical is labelled as such.

So WK doesn’t let you skip radicals because their whole system is based on them. They are used to make it easier for people to distinguish similar looking kanji down the road, and to craft the mnemonics that very many members find instrumental to learning.

But not everyone finds them equally useful, and if you’re in that camp, the user synonyms can circumvent them, but they’ll come up for review until Burn.

Hope you’ll enjoy your WK journey!

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While I don’t know Chinese, I have a similar problem with some of the names for the radicals - I really don’t like the name WK has chosen to give some of them. So I just make sure to create a synonym the first time they come up and then use that.

Likewise, I tend to only rely on WK’s mnemonics when I can’t come up with my own. I think anything you come up with that makes sense to you will always be better than “borrowed” mnemonics.

The amount of time it would take me to learn some of WK’s most insane mnemonics would be greater than just learning the kanji or coming up with my own mnemonic.

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You don’t HAVE to learn the mnemonics. They are there to help you if you need them. You are free to learn them, make up your own, or ignore them. So do whatever is of most help to you.

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First things first:
welcome_wk


Confuseddog
Don’t mean to sound rude, but I personally don’t think this is feasible for most people. If you think you can do it and find WaniKani too cumbersome, why don’t you try it out yourself with something like RTK and see how things go?

If you’re looking primarily to learn vocab, WaniKani is not the way to go about it (it is a kanji learning site first and foremost). There are a lot of other useful apps like Torii or Kitsun for learning core vocab.

Like Omun already mentioned, WaniKani uses these “radical” components to help form their own mnemonics. It’s true a lot of them are nonsense, but it is nonsense because that’s how the system intended to use them. Feel free to use your own (or official radical names and such) if you’d like in the notes and synonyms, as many of us do.


What you’re feeling is not uncommon for a lot of somewhat “experienced” new users (native Chinese speaker, already well into Japanese studies, etc) to WaniKani, and I feel obligated to point you to Naphthalene’s review of WaniKani as an advanced Japanese learner (completed WK after attaining JLPT N1…)

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Thanks for the in-depth reply! Wow, this editor is fancy.

So, I know the kanji meanings in Chinese (and English), my point is the majority (okay not the majority but 2/5) of my wanikani reviews are things I already know :frowning:

If you’re looking primarily to learn vocab, WaniKani is not the way to go about it (it is a kanji learning site first and foremost). There are a lot of other useful apps like Torii or Kitsun for learning core vocab.

Hmm okay, this is useful to know! Yeah I could use like an Anki or Torii deck and just go through the vocab, but I like the wanikani UI and mnemonic method (for the readings of characters, not the meanings). So I had hoped to use wanikani, but the radical thing is a big bummer. Plus, I can’t skip past all these words I already know.

Like Omun already mentioned, WaniKani uses these “radical” components to help form their own mnemonics. It’s true a lot of them are nonsense, but it is nonsense because that’s how the system intended to use them. Feel free to use your own (or official radical names and such) if you’d like in the notes and synonyms, as many of us do.

Yeah, this is what I do, but if you already know all the kanji meanings (like you said, I think the average person could get there in a couple months with RTK), then it’s just annoying to have to go and mark every radical. Maybe I could use the API to do it en masse somehow…

Naphthalene’s review of WaniKani as an advanced Japanese learner

Wow, 10 months lol. I think I would be around N3 so it won’t take me that long, but yikes. But I totally agree, the user input is super powerful for making sure I get things right. I need to be more careful about typos messing up my accuracy…

In any event, thanks for all the details! I think I will be okay with just using a synonym on the radicals and seeing how far that takes me. Thanks!

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Why would anyone need WaniKani then?

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If you’re open to using scripts, then you can use the double check script to just override the system to mark all radicals as correct, no matter what you type in the review. You wouldn’t need to add synonyms for them either.

If not this, then synonyms is the best solution AFAIK.

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Why would anyone need WaniKani then?

To learn words? What?

Yeah, but we already established they can learn more than 2000 things from a language they don’t know in a month with their own process. They’d just keep going, it seems to me.

But in my experience there aren’t many people who learn all the jouyou kanji in that kind of timeframe, never mind “most people.”

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Might I recommend you KameSame? It has a very similar UI to WaniKani, and has a lot of useful features that you might like.

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If vocabulary is your goal and you are already familiar with all the kanji meanings and their onyomi, like others have said, Wanikani is probably not going to be the most efficient learning tool for you. You’d make far better use of your time going through a Core 10,000 vocab deck and expanding your grammar knowledge so that you can jump into consuming native material as soon as possible.

Not that you can’t go through Wanikani without making use of the radicals and mneumonics - a lot of people do, especially when they start out with some prior japanese knowledge already.
But Wanikani’s focus, first and foremost, is to help you to learn kanji; so if vocabulary is what you mostly need to work on there are plenty of other online resources available that would be of more use to you.

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Since it looks like you’ve decided to continue with Wanikani though, I just have one suggestion! I don’t know if you’ve seen, but Wanikani lets you see all the kanji in future levels too, so you can check to see how many you know/don’t know and maybe gauge how helpful Wanikani will be that way. I just wanted to say that because it looks like you’re only on level 2, and the kanji are very very basic in the earlier levels (I had prior Chinese knowledge as well and knew pretty much everything for like 6 levels.) But the later levels have much more kanji w/different readings or that don’t exist in Chinese. So you might find the kanji cards more useful in the future!

There are also a lot less radical cards in future levels, less than ten in every level past 13, so if you think they’re annoying, they’ll be easier to ignore later.

Edit:
Just thought of something else: adding a synonym like “x” for every word I already know sounds pretty exhausting-- since you can’t skip anything, I don’t think it should take much longer to just type in the correct answer. When I see a card where I already know the meaning/reading, I just skip reading the memnomics and add it to the reviews.

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It depends whether you learned traditional or simplified mandarin. Kanji uses traditional stroke order.

Also some kanji have different meanings.
走 means walk in Mandarin but run in Japanese
步 means run jn Mandarin and walk in Japanese.

mhm, that’s right! I spent about a month learning all the jouyou kanji meanings. I’ve been using KameSame like recommended above for vocab lately and really appreciate the ability to turn off Kanji and Radicals. But I do miss the mnemonics.