How often do you get an answer wrong after using a synonym?

For example, I keep typing “kid” instead of “child” for the 子 radical. It’s driving me nuts. I can remember what the radical means, but I can’t seem to force my brain to use the correct word, even though kid should be fine. I can’t help but wonder if this is a common thing that happens here…?

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It does happen a lot, I’m sure. But it only has to happen to you once per synonym. If you add “kid” as a synonym to the item, the system will accept that answer and you’ll be good to go.

The system doesn’t have obvious synonyms for the radicals listed by default because they are designed to be used exactly as they are in stories, as keywords. But the system still accepts user-added synonyms.


I didn’t even know I could add them. Thank you!


It’s hard to know these things in the beginning, but adding synonyms to vocab and kanji will get more important later on.

I very rarely do so for radicals though. But, essentially, when it comes to kanji meaning if you have a different word in your head for a specific concept - just add it as your synonym.

Obviously don’t add wrong stuff, but for a lot of cases the minor difference in nuance is negligible or the context when you see the word in the wild will give you the right nuance anyway.

Kid and child is the same concept for example, even if they are used slightly different as vocab items.

So, as you progress you might wanna help yourself by adding more synonyms that just matches your understanding of a concept, to make it easier to recall that meaning long term.

Good luck with your studies!


Quite often, I would say. But as others have said, I’ve started to add synonyms, sometimes I even add them in other languages (english is not my main language) :slight_smile:

It’s actually one of my pet peeves, I wish some of the words and kanji had more synonyms/alternate meanings. I don’t only use wanikani to learn kanji, so sometimes I write a meaning I learned from another source and I have to re-check and add a new synonym/alternate meaning.

In general not very often, but unfortunately, I had quite some yesterday. However, my synonyms were on the verge of being actual synonyms. More like fringe meanings.

Then again, a few days ago I answered “way” to the 方 radical and radicals often have only 1 qualifying answer. One vocab word where I really got annoyed was 公用 (“public business”, even though it’s not an official WK synonym).

After the first annoying fail for a radical/kanji/vocab, I go with this:

Thanks to wanikani, I had to look up quite a lot of words to see it they were indeed synonyms.


I’ve had quite a few of these, especially some of the 文 related vocab. Not quite the same but I just hit a new level and found “theres no other way” that won’t accept just “no other way”. It’s driving me nuts!

For that one you can try to remember “can’t be helped” if you mean 仕方がない, cause that’s kind of the indirect meaning.

I also once got the 文 radical wrong that one time I decided to write “sentence” instead of “writing” :frowning: .


Yes. Super annoying. Adding synonyms helps, but not 100% of the time. Sometimes I forget whether I actually added a synonym or not. And getting a wrong answer to then have to keep revising an item for half a year instead of burning it even though you actually know it is too much at stake for me. So recently I started double checking myself before giving the answers. I’ll first type in the meaning into wk search to make sure I’m right if I have any doubts. I pretty much all the time give the right answer, but there are rare occasions I do have to adjust the meaning a little bit. Takes more time, but I get really annoyed from screwing up stuff for no real reason. And I don’t feel like slowing down, so I don’t want stuff to pile up.

i do add synonyms when it makes sense. but funilly enough, adding the synonym is often enough extra context that i’ll remember the official meaning next time around :smile:

I somewhat abuse user synonyms, most often for radicals (that’s super common among us wk users I guess). My excuse: English is not my native language. Like, thread is also string (thanks minecraft duh), build for 工 construction, tent for 广 canopy and 999 more.
Sometimes I just slapp plain russian slang, like kosar for 千円 a thousand yen :joy: Just because I’m too lazy to type.
Anything that sticks will do for me. Learning hindered? I don’t think so, really.


Add synonyms is great but they don’t fix the first time you get the item wrong because the synonym is not yet entered. In this case the Double-Check script will let you mark an item as correct even though WK marked the item as wrong.

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