Example sentences using kanji not taught in WaniKani

I’m not sure how I feel about this, so I thought I’d ask the community. Lately I’ve run across a few context sentences that use kanji that not only haven’t been taught yet at this level of WaniKani, but in fact aren’t taught in any of the 60 levels.

I guess my feeling is that if the kanji is common enough to use in an example sentence, then it’s worth teaching in WK. Or alternately, if these words are normally written in kana alone, why are they written using kanji here?

Here are the ones I’ve noticed so far:

In the context sentence for 扱う(あつかう - to handle), the word 溜まります(たまります) is used. 溜まる means to collect or gather.

In the context sentence for 房 (ふさ - cluster), the word 葡萄 - ぶどう is used. 葡萄 means grapes. Pretty sure that one is normally written with kana.

There’s another context sentence, but I can’t remember which word it’s for, that uses 嘘 (うそ - lie).

I suppose the answer to why they aren’t taught in WK is because they aren’t super-common kanji (super-common words, though), and aren’t part of the joyou set. Although that’s also true of some WK-taught kanji like 噌 (the so in miso which by the way looks different when I type it than what we learned in WK apparently because of changes made to JIS in 2004, though that’s another story).



Wow, I’ve always assumed those are kanji we’ll be learning in coming levels, i did not have notice.
You’re really the detective!!

I usually just look em up in jisho or in an app on my phone, since i’ve found unknown kanji since the very first level… I guess doing this on later levels is just their way of saying you will eventually fly by yourself, be aware that there’s still a lot of kanji in that 1% we don’t teach here!

Anyways I think is good to be exposed to new material while studying sentences, because at least what I do is to try to recgonize the bushu and the possible meaning before looking them up

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Levels 1-60 take 1-2 years. Level 61 takes a lifetime.


This is why they started adding a second and third sentence to all the items, first with levels 1-10 and then with levels 11-20. These new sentences always use only kanji that has appeared before that level.

They just haven’t gotten to adding them to all the levels yet.

BTW, I see 葡萄 on packaging for grape-flavored things fairly regularly.

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Indeed. I see it surprisingly often.
It is one of those words that you see 2-3 times and you remember it because of context and uniqueness of the characters.

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I think it’s good, more kanji exposure for free :stuck_out_tongue:
Also, thanks to the magic of copy/paste (or browser extensions), they are fairly easy to look up. (NB: I don’t know how annoying that actually is)
It would be nice to have furigana, but it’s a running gag that they won’t add those.

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I looked up the kanji I listed in jisho.org and the showed frequency stats that they were in the bottom 2000 of the 2500 most common kanji used in newspapers. For what that’s worth. Life isn’t just newspapers though, and as a couple people have pointed out 葡萄 isn’t uncommon in certain contexts. I asked my wife if she writes 溜まる with hiragana, and no, she uses kanji.

I guess my takeaway is that while the 60 levels of WK are more than scratching the surface of kanji usage, it’s nowhere near what could be considered complete to be a literate adult.

That’s not a complete surprise (and I know this has been discussed before) but I wouldn’t mind another 200 or so kanji added to the 2000ish already taught here.

But, sigh, I guess WK has taught me effective tools for learning new kanji on my own as I encounter them.

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Definitely. A literate adult knows around 3000 kanji. That’s also what the pre-level 1 kanken tests you on, and just for fun, level 1 is 6000 kanji.

There’s more than one “beyond WK” Anki deck available on the forum, and one on kitsun too, though :slight_smile: Although, as people like @jprspereira have mentioned elsewhere, you might want to learn extra kanji through vocab. (I like the kanji then vocab approach though)
(I also wish the beyond WK deck on kitsun was organized by frequency)


I’ve heard this 3000 number mentioned a few times, which has made me curious about something. Does that figure include kanji used exclusively in names? If so, any guess (very roughly) how many of those 3000 or so kanji fall into that category?

I don’t think so, except maybe for a few obvious ones (e.g. 嶋 or 嶌). I think it’s mostly those from common words but that aren’t involved in enough vocab to justify becoming “common”

It does. At least several hundred for sure.

So you think the average adult knows 3000 kanji and they’re not even mentioning the ones that primarily appear in names?

Also, the mention of Kanken pre-1 seems a bit unrelated… the average person would fail pre-N1 without even coming close to passing, despite knowing 3000 kanji.

@seanblue said exclusively in names.
There are indeed many kanji that are not commonly used in words, and would be much more frequently seen in names: e.g. the 蔦 in Tsutaya, the actual plant tends to be written in kana as far as I could see, but nothing prevents you from doing so. But no one would ever use 嶋 instead of 島

Well, yes? We both know the kanken is not just about being able to read said kanji.

It’s still a kanji that means “island.” And it’s on Kanken level 1. So if someone said they knew 6000 kanji for that purpose, they’d be including it there. Why not on the 3000 total?

The distinction between “currently used exclusively in names” and “historically used primarily in names” isn’t one I was making.

EDIT: I take it back, it’s on pre-1.

But I am making a distinction among similar lines, which is why we end up with apparently conflicting opinions.

Yes, and as I said, a regular native would definitely say they know it. But they won’t use it for anything else than names, hence I said it was a “name only” kanji.
My point was that there aren’t that many “name only” kanji (among the 3000), even though a lot of those extra kanji would indeed almost only appears in names.

But… what makes 嶋 a name-only kanji in your opinion, while most of the other jinmeiyou aren’t? You can write ひろい as 弘い, with a jinmeiyou kanji, because that’s what it means, but no one would now because it almost only appears in names. So is that one in some other category in your opinion? Because I don’t see much difference, and there are hundreds of them. I’m just trying to grasp the distinction between “jinmeiyou kanji” and your definition of “exclusively used in names” kanji.

Well, that would be based on word/ use frequency :woman_shrugging:
If you can’t expect a native to be able to read any word using said kanji, then I would say it’s name only.
If 弘’s only vocab is 弘い and people can’t read it, then that would make 弘 a name only kanji in my book…

Isn’t that what basically all the jinmeiyou kanji are? They all have some kind of associated vocabulary that some, often simpler, kanji has taken over in common use for words that aren’t names.

Any native would definitely respond “しま” if you showed them 嶋 and they would know it means “island” and not “stripe” or something.

All “name only” kanji are jinmeiyou, but the opposite is not true.
You have 喧嘩 in there, as well as 喋る and all the usual suspects that were mentioned in the other thread about adding more kanji.

That being said, I’m looking at the jinmeiyou list right now, and uh, okay, I’m not a native so I can’t really say for sure, but there are a lot more that look “name only” than I expected. Basically, I was only thinking about 異体字, plus a few extra, but there are 212 of those alone. So I guess my “not that many” matches your “several hundreds”.

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I’ll agree that I responded more to what I thought seanblue meant than what he literally said, but I guess we cleared it up.


@Naphthalene @Leebo Seems like you two had a fun conversation while I was asleep. :slight_smile:

For the record, by “used exclusively in names” I meant no one would reasonably expect them to show up in a normal word 99.9% of the time, which I think is pretty much the definition Leebo was using. Basically I guess I wanted to know if the 3000 figure included jinmeiyou. I wasn’t familiar enough with the jinmeiyou list to mention it in my original question.

Anyway, it seems like the conclusion was basically that the 3000 figure does include a several hundred from the jinmeiyou list. Thanks!