Hitting some problems

I’m liking Wanikani. (Fortunately, since I spent on the lifetime deal last sale) However, I’m hitting one snag.

Kanji that I easily pass, burned, and can immediately recognize when I scroll through burned items completely stump me in the wild.

For reference, I’m not talking about highly stylized labels and billboards, I don’t ever expect to read those, nor care if I ever do.

I’m talking about neat text. I scramble to put together the radicals, or picture what I remember that looked like it, and come up confused.

After a little self-diagnosis, I think I figured out what is happening: I have trained myself to recognize Wanikani answers. Sure, the WK kanji is a perfectly accurate picture of the kanji. But my brain wants to see a WK screen to remember kanji. Newspaper kanji and twitter screen kanji aren’t a language.

I’m sure others have experienced similar problems. What is the best way to deal with this OTHER than neatly placing each character in front of a purple or pink background in order to read them?


Try installing this:


In addition to what plantron says, you just want to do lots of reading. That’s gonna be the way to solidify it all in your mind.

Also, if you watch any TV content, movies, etc. I try to read signs, etc. that have text as more reading practice.


This definitely helps my recognition outside of WK.


I only wanted to use the vanilla version of Wanikani until I saw this. It’s really cool and so easy to set up I’m actually surprised.

Thanks for sharing it :hugs:

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I used to have that problem, and tried to think of some good way to solve it, but in the end I didn’t manage to think of anything and just kept trying to read stuff, and at some point it just stopped being as much of a problem.


Yeah, ditto.
I’ve just resigned myself to having to look up stuff that I already “know”, and try not beat myself up too much when I realize that I “learned” it 10 levels ago…


For me part of the problem was not just the font, but the size of the text on WK is massive and that makes it a lot easier to see the radicals. Besides just reading, I think that doing reviews on AnkiDroid has helped me learn to read smaller black text on a white background.


I’ve encountered this as well, including for vocabulary from my own Anki deck. I can recognize the reading of a kanji when I have my sample sentence, but seeing it in the wild, I have no recollection of having ever seen the kanji before in my life. I’m trained to recognize the meaning of the vocabulary’s reading and meaning only within the context of my sample sentences.

As others and noted, reading will help out with this. It’s a struggle at first. You need to know not only the vocabulary you’re reading, but the grammar as well. Everything is slow to begin with. But as you push through and read more and more, you start to get the most basic gist of what you’re reading without looking up so much. And then with more and more experience, you’ll find you’re able to more easily recognize words you know while reading, rather than being limited to the confines of WaniKani reviews.


I have a self study goal of reading at least one NHK Easy News article every day. Helps me quite a bit I think.


You are a lifesaver. I’m really glad I installed this script and stumbled across this thread when I did ^^ Thanks for sharing

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Credit where credit is due: @obskyr

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I can only say ditto. I use the script Plantron linked to help recognize kanji in several fonts. And then reading is doing the rest. I’m learning to recognize stuff in different context by going to those different contexts again and again. And the more I do it, the quicker I recognize new stuff I’ve learnt without having to look it up. (So now I can learn something new on WK, and I’ll recognize it in my reading later without having to look it up a time or two first. When I started reading I usually had to look up things that I then realized I’d learn on WK, and it happened quite a few times.)


Jitai is good! Also read stuff. Like books and stuff. It is hard to recognize the kanji at first with it but it is the best way to expose yourself to new stuff. Also most dictionaries have multiple fonts for kanji and stuff, so if you look up a kanji there while learning it on WK it also helps.

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Glad to know it wasn’t just me. When it happens you question if this is all really working at all and then remember all the time already invested but I guess we just have to push through it.

Great way to look at it.

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I often write the Kanji that I learn on Genkōyōshi paper simultaneously while doing my reviews. I learn the handwritten fond this way and I also get to see Kanji on a smaller scale. I always look them up in jisho.org to make sure that I remember and write them the right way.

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