How important is KaniWani?

With WaniKani I’ve been doing 3 study sessions everyday and it’s been great, and I always follow it up with a KaniWani session tackling my reviews there. KaniWani seems useful, but as many have pointed out the ton of synonyms makes it a drag. While there are ways to minimize the synonyms issue, the bigger issue I have with KaniWani is just that’s it’s super boring and it doesn’t really feel like you’re learning anything, just tackling stuff I already know from another angle. Not to trash on KaniWani, it’s an incredible resource, but I’m just not sure if it’s for me.

So, with all of that said, my question is: how important is KaniWani? How much do you think I would regret it in the future if I dropped it? If I did drop it I would replace it with reading an NHK Easy article each session, or listening to some audio. Does KaniWani provide enough value to be more worth the time than that portion of reading/listening?

Thanks for your time!


Check chapter 3 of my Guide for WK :slight_smile: KW is different than NHK articles or listening practice. I explain everything in detail there :v:

To sum up:

  • Do you want to mainly focus on reading/listening and speaking/writing is of little interest? If yes, don’t use KW.
  • If not, use KW.

I use KaniWani just so I get the two way exposure. I used to just do WaniKani and it was great with reading but as soon as I wanted to write, or say anything I would completely stall. It does take a lot of time I admit so it’s up to how much time you have. I’d say if you were really pressed for time then it’d probably be more efficient to have reading practise.

KaniWani is good for differenciating words that are very similar to each other. For example 容疑(ようぎ)and 嫌疑(けんぎ), both listed as ‘suspicion’. I search these up in a monolingual dictionary and put the definitions as a synonym so I can think about the different words it could be and choose the one that matches the Japanese definition. So, the definition for 容疑(ようぎ)is “罪を犯した疑い” Suspicion of comitting a crime, and 嫌疑(けんぎ)is “(悪いことをした)疑い” Suspicion of having done a bad thing. For me it makes KaniWani worthwhile, but then again, I have lots of time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it depends on the time you have and your goals/priorities. Aaaand, @jprspereira beat me to it :smile:


Next time, link my guide and add your 2c :heart: :durtle_love:


EDIT: misread the problem here, haha. so most of this doesn’t apply at all. I only used KaniWan for like a da. I feel like my recall in conversation with just WaniKani is good enough for now.

If you have already been studying Japanese for a while before starting WaniKani, of course most of the early kanji are going to be familiar to you. I had the same thing. But at some point the amount of known versus new kanji you learn in every level will start to slant towards more new ones. Of course you also get readings of known kanji, that you might not have known before, as well.

Of course it is important that you keep practising Japanese in other ways, as I am sure you have been doing. WaniKani is simply the easiest way, since all you have to do is show up for your reviews, and you can feel like you got ahead in your studies a little bit.

If you feel like WaniKani isn’t giving you enough at the moment, maybe exchange one or two of those sessions a day and devote that time to grammar or listening or something else.

Just to clarify, WaniKani is amazing and I plan to stick with it until level 60. I was more specifically talking about KaniWani, the companion many use alongside WaniKani.

I’ll most likely stick with KaniWani as well, from the other posts it seems important enough to keep up with. :slight_smile:


if kaniwani is boring, don’t do it. boring content leads to burn out, and for a marathon project, that’s deadly.
do whatever else. i’m not doing kw either, and i don’t feel i loose out on anything. do something fun instead.


I don’t think KW is useless but I’d rather talk to people on hellotalk and what not to practice the same kind of skills.

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I like KW but I’ve fallen behind and my time is finite. I’d rather put it towards grammar/listening/conversation/reading at the moment. Synonyms do drive me crazy as well. KameSame is a nice alternative but don’t like using a Japanese keyboard which generates a list of kanji (essentially defeating the whole point). Maybe there is a way to fix this but I don’t know.

I stuck with KW until around level 24 at which point I went on a vacation and didn’t have time to complete both WK and KW. I got so far behind in KW that I never caught up. I think the main reason I couldn’t muster the motivation to catch up again was that the problem with synonyms in KW was too frustrating.

Ultimately, looking back on when I used it and now that I don’t, I’m not sure that there is that big a difference. With learning words and recognition vs recall, I think it’s probably more important to learn to recognize words and see them in context a few times before trying to use them yourself. So I’m coming down on the side of KW being not that important in the long run. Your mileage may of course vary.

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I use KW to test my drawing the kanji too. You might say that’s not important these days, but I find drawing them helps me remember and do better at WaniKani. With that said, I’m not as diligent about keeping up - maybe a couple of times a week. I have 226 reviews waiting there. That’s what I do when I need to kill time waiting for a meeting to start or something. I save WaniKani for my full attention.

I’m kind of over the synonym problem. Don’t care. I’m not concerned about leveling up or anything on KW. I’m just using it as a prompt generator for kanji writing and reading practice. If I see a synonym one and fail it, eh. It’ll come back in a minute and I’ll know which one it’s asking for. Eventually I’ll remove them from the stack once my writing gets reflexive enough that I don’t think I need to practice that one any more.


Kaniwani is pretty great but I also got bored of seeing the same thing right after doing my wk reviews. Then I noticed there is a setting on kaniwani that says something like “only review words at or above wanikani” and you can change it from apprentice/guru/master/enlightened/burned, so that the word only appears in kaniwani when you’ve gotten it to that level on wanikani.

Now I only review my burned items on kaniwani which feels great because I’m not forgetting them because of lack of exposure on wk, and I also don’t have a flood of reviews. It’s way more chill this way and I feel like I can keep up with it instead of dropping it which I probably would have done otherwise.

Might be worth looking into :slight_smile: (but ofc you don’t have to do burned items. do what level you want/feel comfortable with, I don’t have much energy anymore which is why I have it at burned)


can you tell me about your hello talk experience?

( I did not do kaniwani, but I imagine it would be helpful for recall in terms of speech. There are other ways to achieve that though. That is my four cents.)

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I used KaniWani for burned items only and I made it to aprox lvl 30 content on there. I stopped KaniWani because I quit WaniKani.
Since I’m not practising speaking until I’m fluent in understanding I guess I’m not super affected by my current lack of KaniWani but I will say that I can for sure remember (recall) vocab without it.

Using KaniWani helps in order to make that recalling period shorter though, especially in the beginning when you’re not used to it. It’s not crucial in order to be able to speak Japanese though so don’t be afraid to drop it if it becomes too much to keep up both.

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Why don’t you practice speaking?

Kaniwani is great. It takes MUCH less of your time per day than WaniKani and it helps reinforce already burnt items (if you set it to only pop up after burnt on Wanikani)

As everyone’s favorite LaBeouf says, “JUST DO IT”. It being Kaniwani!

Ok I could write about this forever so I’m sorry if it gets a bit long.

Since language is very specific in way, when conveying ideas in Japanese, a lot of the time there are certain ways of saying certain things correctly that you can’t make up on your own with the vocab knowledge you have. In the beginning, I would practice making my own sentences and speaking but the result was almost never natural.

Ex: I will live a healthy life from now on.
My sentence: これから健康な生活を生きる。
Natives correction: これから健康な生活を送る

I thought 送る ment “to send” something but it’s also used in the sense of “living one’s life”, “escorting someone” etc.

After realizing this I decided that I would do what I did with English. I am just going to listen and consume native material as much as possible until I understand 98% of what I hear before I start practising my speaking. There really is no need for me to be able to speak Japanese at the moment so focusing on input rather than output will save me the trouble of “unlearning” bad habits created by outputting/speaking to soon.

However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t convey my thought in Japanese. I can, I have spoken to native speakers, but I sound like a caveman due to lack of correct wording and I would rather not reinforce bad habits. Input is the key to proper output. Just my opinion :coffee::ok_hand:


Okay. I suppose I understand the “I don’t want to have to unlearn bad habits” part. I’m of a different mindset. Your learning strategy reminds of the way I used to play Diablo II when I was a kid. I’d battle all of the easy guys and never die. Then, after leveling sufficiently, I’d try my hand at some more challenging opponents. To each his own. Level 60 is no small feat.

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Yeah you can use the app to strike conversations with people who are looking to learn your native language and you can learn from each other. Most conversations don’t really go anywhere but it’s good practice to get started forming your own thoughts and sentences in Japanese.

Having actual irl conversations with native speakers when you’re still not very fluent in a given language will most likely end up with them smiling at your attemps and switching to english so unless you have people who speak exclusively japanese to talk to I think it’s a great first step. I think having a reading understanding of what’s typically said by native speakers also helps your listening comprehension in that you don’t get surprised by sentences. Overall tools like these were a cornerstone of my early learning strategy.

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