Do we even learn japanese with Wanikani?

Hi everyone,

I just came back to Wanikani after a while (tried it once before) and this time I finally decided to stop being lazy and go all the way!

I went through the first lessons and then I was wondering…do we even learn japanese here? As a non-native English speaker, I always enjoy learning even more English but what’s the point if we learn the kanji in English without it’s kun’yomi or on’yomi reading? I am not here to learn japanese as a whole, just the kanji part, though what’s the point if I can read nine without knowing how to pronounce it as “kyu”?

Maybe I am missing something so please bear with me as I am a new member of the family!

Have a great day!




The pronunciation comes once you learn the vocabulary.
First you learn the radicals, then the kanji that use those radicals, then the words that use those kanji.
For example, you’ll learn 車 with しゃ as a pronunciation, but then you’ll eventually get the word 車 くるま.


You can see all of the first 3 levels worth of content, even if you’re not subscribed, so I don’t understand what prompted the question.


This is what I needed. I started learning radicals and was seeing no japanese whatsoever.

I guess I am just dumb and didn’t wait long enough for a conclusion lol.

Thank you!

@Leebo Maybe I wasn’t clear enough, sorry for that.

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I suggest you to spend some minutes going through the Wanikani Guide and FAQ section : those two should give you a brief explanation on how the site works and what/how you learn.

You may also find some useful suggestion on how to complement your studies of kanji with other topics.


You can navigate to the kanji and vocab pages though, right?

They let you see all the content. They’re linked at the top of the dashboard.

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I have no problem with other content beside Kanji (I use other sources besides Wanikani) so that’s why I don’t really care about learning vocabulary.

I read those last time but it seems that I forgot a couple of things. I guess I just panicked when I didn’t find any japanese while reading radicals lessons lol. Thank you!

@Leebo Yeah, hopefully^^. It’s just when I go on radicals I don’t see japanese so I thought it was weird (for example for 女 in the radicals there is nothing but when I go to kanji page I see hiragana for it. Since I didn’t see the kanji yet in lessons (only radicals so far), I assumed that there is no japanese so yeah…my bad :confused:

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I think it’s important to note that you are learning vocabulary by learning kanji so I find your question a little baffling. I think there is a little bit of confusion as to what you think “Japanese” is. It’s not just kanji, hiragana and katakana. It’s grammar, vocabulary, listening, levels of politeness, etc… and in order to really learn Japanese, I suggest you really make it a point to study every aspect of it otherwise you’re setting yourself up for failure once again.

Last thing that not many people mention is to also make it a point to study the culture as well as the language because without it, you can’t really get a grasp on the language as a whole.


I see what you mean :slight_smile:
The radicals are the parts that make up the kanji. The names are not the official names, just mnemonics to help you remember them. Once you learn the parts of the kanji, it will teach you the actual kanji that uses those radicals. Once you learn the kanji, you can learn the vocab that uses those kanji. To get to the kanji, you have to keep reviewing the radicals, until you get them correct 4 times. After that, they will move from apprentice to guru. Hope that helps!


Insert “No, we’re learning Chinese in here” joke.

Just kidding, plz don’t kill me.


no, you learn Kanji … and I suppose by osmosis you can pick up Kana. You are exposed to Japanese in the example sentences but this is not a language learning tool.

I think you misunderstood the whole situation. I already know how to read/write hiragana and katakana. I am also using many other sources to learn japanese so I am just here for the kanji.

It’s just that learning how to read kanji in english seemed useless to me. Though, it was just because I was still in the radicals and didn’t unlock the kanjis yet. Not a smart move from me.

Thanks anyway!







Funny enough, at nagasaki the other day there was a sign in mandarin but I still knew what it meant! xie xie kouichi


(I’m late to the party, but I’m posting The List anyway because the thread topic is close enough)

@Draga If you have not read the FAQ or the guide, you could try looking in one of the following threads:

24 hour wait and 0 reviews tomorrow
a bit slow to progress?
About the first (infamously) slow levels
Already know a few kanji…
A Three Day Wait
At Level 4 but stilll seems a bit slow.
Brutally slow feeding of new items and reviews for intermediate student
Can I speed up the pace at WaniKani?
Can new users jump to their appropriate level
Can you study Japanese in a faster way?
Does it start this slowly?
Early level unlock speed
Enough with radicals, why won’t kanji come already?!
Feel like there needs to be a more concise way for non-beginners to bypass content already known.
Give me more reviews
Going through the start faster.
Help new to WaniKani
Help please new subscriber
Help with lessons cant seem to get anymore
horribly slow for intermediate, any way to skip levels??
How long need wait for new lessons?
How many reviews before new lessonlevel
How to level up
I’m level N3 but I just started using this site. Do I really have to start from the beginning?
In 72 hours some reviews very sparse
Is it just me or do the reviews suck For level 2
Is it supposed to be this slow?
Isnt five days a bit too long of a wait
Is skipping from apprentice to guru/master/enlighten/burn possible?
Is skipping levels possible?
Is there any way to make this thing go faster?
Is there ANY way to speed this up?
Is there anyway to speed wanikani up? I find this too slow.
is there any way to speed wanikani up?
Just started, why is it this slow?
Kanji progression
New here
New lessons arent unlocking
New user checklist and lesson speed
New user question 0 Lessons and 0 Reviews means I should just wait
New user questions
No New Lessons
Not being able to continue/skip ahead
Not getting a new lessons
One study session just one radical now must wait 8 hours
Only 1 kanji in the reviews since 3 days
Only 86 reviews within the next day I am bored
Pace is too slow for intermediate-level users.
Progression question!
Progression speed
Pshh… This is too easy and slow!
Question about wait times
Review and level up wait time for the millionth time probably
Shorten wait periods
Silly questions i have
Simple beginner question
Skipping Ahead
Skipping Levels (or making them quicker)
Slow Progress customise starting level
Slow progression
Slow Start?
So slow
Speeding up lessons
Speed too slow
Speed up the first 5 levels of wanikani
Suggestion: Assessing Levels of New Users
Suggestion: Skip Waiting Time
The SPEED!!! of WaniKani.
The starting-as-non-beginner / placement-test / I-already-know-this thread
The wait times are ridiciously long
Think WaniKani is slow? You’re not alone.
This newbie needs help on unlocking more lessons
This website sure starts slow…
Time between reviews for each SRS level
Too Slow
Two days until next review No lessons either
Unlocking new radicalskanji
Unnecessary waiting for new content
Wait 4hrs to review only one word
Wait times
Wanikani isn’t as slow as I expected it to be and I am disappoint.
WaniKani is so slow!
WaniKani is so slow at the start
WaniKani is so slow
WaniKani Is Too Slow!!!
Wanikani painfully slow
ways to make the learning processes faster?
way to speed up the lessons?
What do you need to do level up
When are my lessons coming
When do you get a new lesson
When may I start studying Kanji
When will WaniKani increase speed?
Why is this site soooo slow?!?!?!?
Why must it be so “slow”?
Wish the intervals between reviews were shortened. Any tips on getting to the next review faster?



Yeah I just went through the whole thing, usually I always read everything before posting on a forum but not seeing japanese at all was so unexpected that I panicked xD

I just had to wait a bit until I unlock a kanji…I think starting with a topic like this was the best way to introduce myself :confused:

Thank you for the huge thing anyway!

@xyzbuster That’s why I panicked, I thought I would see japanese right from the start :stuck_out_tongue:


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