How do you deal with Kanj meanings provided by WK?

Hello there,

I have this issue that most of the time I can recall the concept of a Kanji correctly, but I fail to provide the exact answer that WK asks for.
Up to now I’ve let these items fail, because technically my answer wasn’t correct and I’m always to scared to add synonyms, because I afraid that something, I’m not aware of, will bite me back in the long run (maybe I misunderstood the Kanji concept, etc.)
But recently I’ve pilled up so many Apprentice items, that I’ve started to overthink my approach.

Just in my last session I had these:

婚 = marriage → marry
培 = cultivate → cultivation
絶 = extinction → extinct
警 = warn → warning
諮 = consult with → consult
簡 = simplicity → simple
葬 = burial → bury
誇 = pride → proud

What is your approach with cases like these: do you just add synonyms, do you let them fail or do you even use the double-check script to mark them right?


To be honest, I think that one has to accept that when English isn’t your native language, it’s not all that helpful in thinking too hard on the exact WK wording or even distinguishing between verbs or nouns.

Especially for kanji recognition purposes. What you need to memorize is the concept the kanji represents - and be able to recognize it in new words you might encounter in the wild. If you can do that, I’d say you’re fine with accepting also “wrong” answers. Just my two cents.

As you say, having a pile of apprentice items that you basically know already is not helpful. I’m just not sure it’s possible for myself to learn the correct distinctions long term, to be honest, so nowing 婚 is about marrying and marriage seems plenty for me.


I’ll add the synonym. Kanji stand for concepts. It doesn’t matter if you use the verb or the noun - the kanji is neither. I wouldn’t waste my time on something that has no significance outside of Wanikani and rather use the time to learn more Japanese.


I deal with them with the double-check script. :grinning:

Especially because I’m not an English native, there is just way too many collocations that I get wrong like “introduction letter” instead of “letter of introduction” (紹介状) or “direct trip” instead of “direct voyage” (直航), hundred and hundred like that, it’s just a losing battle. As long as the meaning is fairly close, I pass them.


Exactly. We use Wanikani to learn Japanese, not English :wink:


I add synonyms; it doesn’t matter as long I understand the Japanese meaning. The goal for reading is I don’t need to hold each word into my brain and translate them one by one - that would be too slow, but rather understand the whole sentence.


Just add synonyms. A lot of the WK meanings for kanji don’t make much sense anyway. Just look at the range of words using that kanji and decide what feels appropriate for the concept(s) yourself.


As people said before, just add your meanings as synonyms.
At the end on the day, for the purpose of learning to read Japanese, you will need to know vocabulary, not separate kanji concepts. Nothing will change if you remember 婚 as marry instead of marriage. Your meanings are so close the WK meanings, that you shouldn’t even have issues with the WK mnemonics for vocab that’s based on those kanji.


Doublecheck without restraint.

1 Like

I already expected these answers, but it gives me confidence with this.

皆様、どもありがとう :heart:

Yeah, that’s exactly the case, and that was the reason I was afraid of adding synonyms and do the override thingy, but in the end it will help me more, than it could harm me.


There will be users who made the choice of avoidance (me) and on thers who kept on their track (you) but I think both paths are alright as long as you recognize the inherent weakness to the choices. Good luck!


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