How WK Handles Synonyms

If you mention someone by name, you’re inviting them to respond. That’s just common sense. You seem perfectly articulate. But you’re free to do as you please.


It is actually, since you’re implying that they would have derailed the conversation with specious arguments instead of voicing reasonable criticism about your stance. It’s not “how things stand”. I’m sure that you’re perfectly aware that your attitude is extremely condescending. People ‘who spend half their day here’ and ‘pigs in the mud’ who distort the truths you’re imparting in your posts by daring to comment on them ( which is exactly what you did). Leebo has been perfectly gracious to you while you’ve been nothing but passive aggressive. There may have been a point somewhere in there about heated conversations often derailing and not wanting to endlessly engage in an argument, but it was very much lost among your personal and offensive insinuations.

I’m also stopping here. Thanks and bye.


But in the example above, I showed how a sentence really does make a big difference. I realize it would require a change, and necessitate work for Tofugu, but this is the feedback page, isn’t it? Just sort of seems like you’re saying WaniKani is exactly what it is, and shouldn’t change in any way.


It’s a shame this became weirdly combative, because I feel this is a great point. This is spot on to what I’m trying to say. I understand the overall futility in trying to give a definition for a Japanese word in English, but I feel there’s ways WK can do so that add clarity that make learning words easier later, and prevent bad habits. Especially as WK is a fairly all-encompassing source for this, I think a clarity overhaul would add a lot.


I understand the point that you’re trying to make, however, I feel as though asking for more comprehensive listings is heading towards dictionary territory, where you normally find the most common usage to the more obscure along with their corresponding example sentences… I know that WK does it sometimes but in general I believe that this is beyond the scope and intentions of the site (they had to draw a line somewhere), and perhaps of little interest to the many users who are here just to learn kanji really fast and aren’t really concerned about the nuances of the language while doing so.

And listen, I have found myself asking “why?”: WK taught the kanji 派 as “sect” but then the vocabulary for 派手 means “showy/flashy/gaudy” and I couldn’t wrap my mind behind the disconnect… So I went looking and discovered that 派 can also mean “party.” Why isn’t this also included? I don’t know but it wasn’t too much trouble for me to learn on my own either.

Lastly, I do believe that WK is fully aware and honest about its limitations which is why Tofugu puts out a language resource list every once in awhile. This is like saying, “don’t look to us for all things- here are other places that can complete the picture for you.”

Seems to me like this question comes up fairly often, for good reason - WK advertises that you’ll know “over 6000 words” by the time you finish, or something like that.

My opinion: WK is a tool for learning kanji and for absolutely nothing else. The pedagogic value of WK’s vocab items is not in expanding your vocabulary but in giving you a basic sense of kanji readings and meanings in the context of words. Related thoughts here: Are my current study tools suitable for my level? - #4 by mister_lawrence.

Once you start using textbooks to learn vocab and focus on reading Japanese texts - as you said you intend to do - you will probably find that the importance of WK in your life shrinks dramatically and that its imperfections aren’t such a big deal. :slight_smile:


Many solid points, Ian. WK is helpful, but that doesn’t mean that things can’t be done to improve it.
The WK synonyms system also has several quirks about it as well.

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I guess, but I’m not asking them to add in the full Jisho listing for each kanji / piece of vocab. You’re right they have to draw a line somewhere, but it seems to me like adding a little bit of context would add a lot of clarity, making the entire process easier.

In fact, your example I think is a great one. Had they added just a little note to go along with that, it would have made learning that vocab a lot easier for you. Of course it’s not too much trouble to learn that bit better on your own, and all of this will require supplemental learning but adding clarity would be for any learner’s benefit, I’d say.

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Right, that’s my point. Obviously they’re trying to teach you vocabulary alongside kanji. But I feel they could make the definitions clearer to help learning both of these components.

Actually, after this week I’ll have finished both Genki I & II, and I meet one on one with a teacher for an hour a week. It’s primarily more native material I personally need at this point. Of course, WK is only part of my study method. But this feels like another thing entirely; I’m simply trying to point out an “imperfection” as you said, and offer feedback.


I dunno, from someone who already had to learn another language, most resources don’t really mention synonyms, unless its something important. The only english resources that focused on synonyms at the time that I started to learn were: 1. my dictionary and 2. my teacher lol.

Synonyms and antonyms are just that kind of thing that you either search for in dictionaries/synonym sites, you learn through context, or you just don’t learn it.