Ghost Kanji on WaniKani iPhone app - whut? Plzhalp

Please to explain the meaning of the ghost kanji that sometimes appear below Vocabulary Examples images in the iPhone WaniKani app? I’ve been watching them go past for a while without being able to figure out what they mean. So humbly asking for halp. Halp!

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The app isn’t official. You should find it’s thread on the forums and ask for help there.


I don’t use the app so I’ve never seen this before, but that vocab uses all three of those kanji (I’m also L4 haha), so couldn’t it just be that there isn’t enough space to put purple behind all three of them? So the third kanji accidentally goes underneath?


The text is too long and it wraps. Can happen on desktop as well. The text is 先々月 for month before last, obviously.


It’s just that the box isn’t big enough to contain everything. It’s nothing to be concerned about. :slight_smile:

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Your phone is haunted.

But seriously though, I’m not entirely sure how you look at a word that’s being translated as “month before last” and not be able to figure out why there’s a 月 sitting underneath…


Aha! Mystery solved! Sank you one and all!

“…Sun Tsu said, 'If instructions are not clear and commands not explicit, it is the commander’s fault… (not the footsoldier’s).”

I humbly and sincerely thank you Belthazar (and acm2010) for a valuable insight. I signed up for WaniKani, not primarily to learn Japanese (although that’s fun, too), but to gain insight into the experience of being a rank beginner learner. And now I have a fresh raw sample to chew on, of newbie feels when I say to them, even if gently, ‘how can you not figure that out?’, or ‘obviously…’.


I’m not querying your lack of Japanese ability, but rather your lack of intuition. Japanese is a highly contextual language, and if you don’t get the hang of being able to intuit what’s going on, you’re gonna struggle. You’ve got a word being translated as “month before last”, which is comprised only of the character “previous” twice, but then floating underneath, the word “month”? Your intuition should be screaming that the character is somehow related.

As others have commented, though, you can’t really blame the commander here, because his instructions are being garbled by the phone.


The stuff that intuition is made up of is… experience. A deep database. And at Japanese, I’m inexperienced.

Is it rational to expect intuition from a greenie?

I’m literal-minded, so when you say “I’m not entirely sure how you look at a word that’s being translated as “month before last” and not be able to figure out why there’s a 月 sitting underneath…”

I believe you. Why? Not because you aren’t smart, but because you likely lack perspective, intuition, aka a deep database, about working with beginner learners.