Hiragana and Katakana in WaniKani

I’ve seen that this has been brought up many times, but I think this would be a really cool thing to implement. Of course, I already know Hiragana and Katakana with mnemonics from online (not going to specify exact location), but I think WaniKani should have an option like that. When you create an account, there should be two options, learning and/or practicing Hiragana (and/or maybe Katakana; maybe needing to Guru it) or to skip it entirely. This would be flexible to more people, especially absolute beginners. It’s near about 100 characters, so it shouldn’t be that bad. I want to see what you people think. Do you think this will ever happen?

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Most people who join WK have already learned kana (from classroom, Tofugu, other websites, books, etc.). So this is not going to happen.

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I guess that is true, but there are still some people that would prefer to use a program like this. I guess rather than people using WaniKani, they could use Anki. 46 characters for each Alphabet wouldn’t be that bad.

To be fair I don’t think it’s completely ridiculous, almost every Japanese app I’ve got has some small section on kana even if that’s not the ultimate point of the app (Lingodeer, Human Japanese, Kanji Study etc) But, to use Wanikani currently you have to be already able to read kana so it’s useless to everybody currently using the site.

But boy do I need some katakana practice. I’ve barely used it since I learned it, I’ll recognise some Kanji waaaay easier then katakana :joy:

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Except for all those people asking why りゆう is wrong because they think it’s the same thing as りゅう.

I think it would be a good idea to have this as an optional level 0.

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That’s very true. I’ve always found Hiragana way more easier than Katakana due to how much more I use it. It is usually difficult to write it.

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Level 0 would be a nice idea. I just didn’t want to include it because Level 0 sounds a bit awkward, but it makes sense, because you are starting from zero. Pretty much, if you want to learn Hiragana and Katakana first, you start from Level 0, but if you want to start with Kanji (since you already know it), you can start from Level 1.

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Have you tried reading things about/from Yokai Watch, Pokemon, or any other collectable monster franchise? They usually have all the yokai/pokemon/monster names in katakana. They sometimes use specific loanwords, too. (レベルアップ, ゲット, ポケットモンスター)

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There’s only one thing that I kind of question. What should be the pace it goes at?

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Kid’s media in general has a lot of katakana in it, and is a great way to learn. They have a lot of hiragana (and furi of course) as well, since target audience won’t know a lot of kanji. Honestly it’s a good way to pick up both alphabets

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I’ll look at trying it :blush: tbh I think I just need to sit down and go over it properly again some time but it’s so damned boring that I put it off. General exposure’s what got me used to hiragana so if there was some media that was katakana heavy and that I could get interested in I should probably try it.

Which, although a little off topic, kinda relates that a lil kana option on wani wouldn’t be bad, if there was easy exposure on something I’m using daily that’d be nice. (Not saying it should be compulsory for people to do or a priority for the developers lol, just a nice option) Might make it seem more accessible to complete beginners as well. Although I suppose that then people would argue that complete beginners shouldn’t be prioritising Kanji learning anyway :sweat_smile:

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Does one really need to know hiragana to use WK?

You can learn the pronunciation from the audio and compose the answer using the kana chart that is included when you type the answer. Looking into the chart could work as the level 0.

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There is vocabulary that utilizes Hiragana. I would rather be able to remember a reading to a sound rather than just a sound. Knowing Hiragana is really necessary, especially for Furigana (and like what I said, vocabulary).

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I don’t mind it being optional, but imo the important thing to keep in mind is that wanikani is a kanji learning website/system. Kana aren’t kanji, and learning kana won’t help you understand/read kanji in a way radicals and vocab do.

Although I don’t mean to project too much: if wanikani had an obligatory kana part before kanji, I would never have started it.

Edit: I see that I didn’t really read well. OP mentioned an option to learn kana. That’s of course completely fine.

Yeah, but just in terms of the mechanics of WK, you could theoretically get away with not having a solid understanding. You just remember the pronunciation in romaji, find the appropriate kana in the chart, and you’re all set.

I don’t think anyone is arguing that learning kana is actually unnecessary for learning Japanese properly, just that you could do a lot of content on WK without committing it to memory if you really wanted to be that lazy.

Obviously when people go into the real world, they’ll want to be able to read furigana and whatnot, but that doesn’t impact WK.

Maybe not to have an entire section dedicated to Katakana, but I would appreciate being able type your answers in Katakana and still get it as a correct answer.


That way you could practice Katakana and Kanji at the same time.

Then I would suggest using the WaniKani Katakana Madness Script. It transforms all on-yomi readings to Katakana and leaves kun-yomi readings in Hiragana. It makes you practice Katakana with the on yomi readings, and if you really want it, then go for it. :smiley:

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Not exactly what I was looking for, but thanks!

This is a free program that works alot like wanikani
It has a Kana only option which will teach you lots of katakana words and also common words like いつも which wanikani does not teach

I recently realized how much I struggle with this, and even hiragana sometimes when my brain decides it doesn’t want to work. Passive learning can really create weaknesses like that sometimes.

I’ve started writing out the charts every day and it’s so much easier now.

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