Do you think a Chinese version of Wanikani would work?

Title says it all really. I’m currently learning Chinese (both Cantonese and Putonghua - I know I know I’m a glutton for punishment :)).

Anyway I love Wanikani and though there isn’t an equivalent in Chinese surely there should be. What do you guys think? Seems a no brainer. Can anyone think of any reasons why it might work?

Let’s hassle Koichi to do Chinese :slight_smile:


Let’s not. :sweat_smile:

I’m sure the interwebs has a lot of SRS resources for Chinese, though.
Here, I’ll give you a head start with free resources.

Jia you! 加油
I’m aware that it’s Hokkien but whatever


Is definitely used in Mandarin.

Anyway, you don’t need to learn characters twice, I would just suggest using the Spoonfed Chinese deck


Sure I can google for resources too, but I haven’t found anything that can touch Wanikani. Ninchanese is probably the closest I’ve found but it’s still nowhere near as good.

1 Like

I’ve never found anything as good as WaniKani. My daughter is learning Mandarin, so I’d love to learn that too. I even went to Chinese camp with her this summer. :slight_smile:

I would pay good money for a quality Mandarin resource. There are lots of nice Japanese resources I love, just wish there was some Chinese as well.


What a pleasant surprise. Thanks!

The site looks adorable, though!

1 Like

I think the problem is the amount of time a user will need to spend to learn the same amount of officially required characters (is it 10k?) plus all the related vocabulary. You can finish WaniKani in around a year, and that’s “just” 2000 characters plus 6000 vocab. It’s gonna be expensive from a user’s point of view. It might be a big success if done properly, though!

1 Like

10K? What world is that? Basic literacy in Chinese is generally considered to be in the range of 2,000 - 3,500 characters. The 现代汉语常用字表 lists 2,500 “common” characters and then 1,000 somewhat less common characters.


Oh, just read somewhere the average amount of common characters an adult must learn to speak fluent Chinese is around 8-10k, that’s why I was asking.

Don’t know what that thing you wrote means but I think is the same as the common Kanji list?

If it’s just 2000 then it shouldn’t be a problem to write a similar system!

It still doesn’t look like a lot of characters to me, compared to Japanese, given all the language “features” hiragana takes care of. Is it simpler than Japanese?

1 Like

Yea basically, you can even google 中国の常用漢字.

One thing is that in schools children learn characters faster. I know friends who left China at around age 10 and they have no problem with reading however had no formal character education beyond that level. But certainly an educated adult knows even more characters.

A lot of the things that are “designated” as Hiragana, such as particles, don’t really exist in Chinese. But keep in mind you don’t need more characters for more usages, 了 is one of the most common grammatical characters, but it also exists in words such as 不了. At the end of the day though you have the Japanese characters that aren’t really used in Chinese, and the ones in Chinese that aren’t really used in Japanese. But you’ll find native Japanese people can generally get the gist of a Chinese sentence.

1 Like

I agree that while the core meaning of much of Kanji is the same as Hanzi you’d still be learning the different meanings for them since they’re spoken very differently. Plus while the meaning of individual Kanji and Hanzi is often the same i’m pretty sure that when combined into vocab many of the meanings are different from chinese. And that’ s not even taking into account the two writing systems of Simplified and Traditional Chinese. So I still feel that I would benefit hugely from a chinese version of Wanikani. It’s just so much more interesting to study with Wanikani than any other methods i’ve tried and i’ve tried many.

Anyway in the meantime thanks for the Spoonfed deck recommendation. Looks great!

1 Like

Well yes, you still have to learn words, but that’s just what you do, you learn words and go from there. Even though you will run into many cognates. The vast majority of Hanzi have only one pronunciation, so a lot of the issues of Japanese are not present.

And if you already know Traditional, Simplified is fairly simple as the simplifications are both regular, and pretty easy to identify for the most part, only a small amount of characters have been simplified in a way that you can’t tell, and you just find them as you come along. The majority of characters have none, or minor simplifications, and many like 国 are simplified the same way.

1 Like

I did try to create a Chinese version of WaniKani here, and it is based of SpoonFed, HSK vocabularies, and Hanzi Frequency.

Also, 60 levels of 50 hanzi each; so, it is 3000, not 10k characters as you might thought.

(NB, WaniKani has around 40 kanji per level, so it isn’t much different.)


I think if i will know some app or website which is similar to WaniKani but for Chinese i would be successful with learning Mandarin. I just was thinking how idea of tones should be presented? Maybe each tone is like emotion? And then when you learn meaning of character you make it together with some emotion.

1 Like

In my Anki, tone marks are required to be input (by numbers + Javascript to convert), but I don’t mark my answer as wrong even if I put in the wrong tone marks.

Well, the IME doesn’t even required tone marks to be input, and tone marks aren’t always accurate with the actual pronunciation, because of the tone changing rules.

Being able to actually use the IME should be the first priority, if you want to eventually be able to chat with a Chinese person.

I have actually been involved in developing a version of this myself. In the process of structuring the characters and looking for developers as we speak. I wasn’t aware of Ninchanese, however, I had thought there was nothing on the market for Mandarin.

I do have some issues with the way Ninchanese works though…Prefer Wanikani’s structure, openness, but also strictness.

Polv, I took a look at your deck and I think the main challenge you will have with your approach is the lack of structure of Radical, Kanji, and Vocab similar to Wanikani. HSK vocab lists I’ve found omit one character words. Perhaps it’s not as necessary to have two separate categories in Mandarin as it is in Japanese because most Mandarin words can be used by themselves anyway.

It’s difficult to focus on radicals early on, because it is better to learn sentences early on, rather than vocabularies… (unless you already have a Chinese “sense”, the grammar, of course.) Not an issue in Japanese, though; as you can always learn Japanese grammar with Kana and Furigana.

And it is hard to learn sentences sorted by radicals…

The way I do in Chinese is to learn sentences converted into vocab (with jieba). The Japanese equivalent of this would be MeCab. Not really sure if Sub2SRS uses this approach.

BTW, I have a new project; but no SRS yet, maybe later…


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.