I actually like kana-only vocab

Maybe it is an unpopular opinion but I like the new kana-only vocab even if I know most of it.

A little tired of people complaining about such a minor thing. They talk about it as if there were 100 new kana-only words per lesson when in reality there are barely anything at all and the time to type in each answer is about 2 seconds.

Eagerly waiting for more vocab!



I wholeheartedly with you, I would also like many more kana words. I hope wanikani covers something like core 6K or even core 10K. Many of these words are already in wanikani, but most of the kana only ones are currently missing. I think a good place to start would be core 2K, and then slowly working the way up to more coverage.


Many of us like the Kana-Only vocab also, but it should have been optional from the start. Why not make it optional??

The ‘minor’ thing is not New Feature vs. No New Feature. It’s New Feature Optional vs. New Feature Mandatory.

Do you have any good reason for why the new feature should be mandatory, even for long time users who have no use for it?


I do agree with this, but I don’t think simply adding these extra vocab to the system as is would be very good. Imo vocab is best learned in context, which at the very minimum is a sentence. WK absolutely has the necessesary example sentences to make one awesome tool for studying vocab in context if they wanted. This site puts the sheer number of sentences on here into perspective (showing all sentences containg only kanji you’ve learnt. For me at lv 32, I can just keep scrolling and scrolling!)
But without using a third-party site like this, WK’s context sentences are actually quite inaccessable and very difficult to study from.

iKnow is a comparable site (paid, srs) which already does the core 6k and all in the context of sentences so unless WK does something similar, there will always be at least one superior paid srs site for learning vocab.


Maybe it is an unpopular opinion but I like the complaints even if I know most of them.

A little tired of people complaining about such a minor thing. People talk about it as if there were 100 new threads a day when in reality there are barely any at all and the time to mute each one is about 2 seconds.


I agree with you, It really should be optional, but if it isn’t, I don’t think it’s a big deal.

And kana-only vocab CAN be mandatory just like first levels are mandatory too, even though a lot of people already know the most basic kanji.

I see a solid argument that WaniKani is a kanji-learning tool, but it could just boil down to the personal vision of Tofugu on their project.


I know I’m just inviting trouble – and the irony is that I don’t have a horse in this race since I haven’t used the WK SRS even once – but I’m just saying… part of why people want to focus on kanji only… is because they want to start reading ASAP and learn in context. I do think that it’s somewhat wrongheaded to approach Japanese thinking, ‘First I’ll learn all the kanji, then I’ll be able to read.’ I don’t front-load kanji or vocab myself, with the exception of last-minute N1 cramming (was pointless, honestly, though I passed thanks to my kanji and grammar knowledge) and rare words I’m challenging myself to memorise. However, I do see how having a rough idea of what each kanji means before encountering a new kanji-containing word can help with learning it – I’m essentially doing that by using my Chinese kanji knowledge when I learn a new word containing familiar kanji – and I think that’s what a lot of people are hoping WK will do for them.

Yes, there aren’t many kana-only words yet, but

  1. Users have been promised more of them, for better or worse, meaning people will have to face more of those in their lesson and review queues
  2. Working through additional tasks you have no interest in – even if they’re really easy and can be quickly finished – can be very frustrating over time, especially if you have to repeat them, and that’s not counting the need to get them right to eliminate them permanently ASAP (typos and non-accepted answers are a killer)

If there’s anyone who doesn’t believe me on point #2, just go try Duolingo for a language you’re no longer a beginner in. Being forced to clear items you already know, when you’re anxious to get to new knowledge, is not fun. Obviously though, this depends on your personality and how you approach learning Japanese, but I can definitely see why some people wouldn’t like it, particularly if they don’t have much time for Japanese every day.

The difference here – which has been raised elsewhere – is that kanji mnemonics in WK build on each other, so it can be argued that knowing the earlier mnemonics is necessary to use the rest of WK. It’s much harder to argue that for kana-only vocabulary.

Again, the problem here is the fact that it’s taking so long to make these words optional when they’re supposed to be optional (as per what the WK Team has said). Changing the vision of WK is fine, and adding more kana-only words is fine, but there needs to be consideration for what users want and need, along with what they’ve been promised. Even if we acknowledge that kana-only vocabulary can be a good thing – though I’m still going to tell you as a native Chinese speaker holding an N1 cert that most of my struggles with Japanese have been related to verbs written in kanji with unexpected readings, not kana-only words, onomatopoeia being the only real exception – the fact that advanced users are getting words like これ in their queues shows the way they’ve been inserted into the system leaves much to be desired.

Anyhow, I guess this is why I don’t usually bother with SRSes, especially ones I can’t control. I’d rather get a context-rich resource to build my basic knowledge, then sweat it out looking new things up while aiming for maximum understanding so most of it sticks. I make mnemonics if I need to, and then I move on. Eventually I either stop forgetting the word, or I stop encountering it in my textbooks/in the wild. But maybe that’s just me.

In the meantime, guess I’ll be a little more insufferable and suggest this one more time, for the people who don’t want kana-only vocab:

I would do it myself, but like I said, I don’t use the SRS. Current things I’ve heard:

  • Reorder Omega
  • Third-party apps like Tsukurame (or something like that???)

If need be, I’ll go make a separate thread for it so hopefully this discussion will finally go somewhere…


Same boat.

And onomatopoeia-like adverbs, I’m guessing? At least that’s the case for me.

And funny enough, in one of the early threads someone from WaniKani (Scott, I think?) mentioned that the early reception of the kana-only feature was negative and that’s why they held back from releasing it even earlier. Wondering if people complained about extremely simple words being shoved into the review queues of advanced users. This came up so many times among the current complaints that I would be surprised it hadn’t been the case before.

To be fair, WaniKani for the most part works, precisely because it’s a ready package. But it’s also extremely opinionated and makes a lot of strange and unnecessary concessions which make using it at later levels difficult. Anki doesn’t have these sort of problems.

For instance, one of the things people typically complain about is review caps. Pretty sure no one’s too happy about taking a 1-day break and then getting slammed with 300-500 reviews. This is a fairly easy thing to implement, yet WaniKani is missing QoL features like this.

The addition of kana vocabulary just makes it worse, because these words will inflate the review queue despite being simple, making it even more difficult to manage one’s review schedule.


And we are tired of people who have differing opinions complaining that the problems we are experiencing because of the of the kana-only vocab are a minor thing. It feels very much as if we are being told to shut up and learn to like it.

For those of you arguing that those of us complaining about the addition of kana only vocabulary are blowing things out of proportion I offer the following point:

Yes, currently the time required to learn/review/burn this first small set of kana only vocab is relatively short. The reason, however, that I find it to be such a tedious and irksome task is that it completely disrupts my flow when I am doing my reviews or lessons. Going from kanji to elementary kana only words that I learned long ago is jarring and causes me to have to pause and regain my focus when I come back to a kanji review/lesson. This in itself is a reason that the developers should give us an opt out or instant burn for kana only vocab. They should have rolled out the kana only additions with an opt out/burn option to start with. I’m glad that you are enjoying these additions but others who have equally valid experiences with them are not.


I think you summarised very effectively what some other people here think, and why some of these threads end up the way they do: some of you ‘are tired of people who have different opinions’.


Wow this entire forum is full of misanthropes! :innocent:


One can tell we’re hitting some pretty low lows…

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At some point eliminating the kana threads has to become a seriously strong point in favor of the team hurrying towards making them optional.

Then you can all go back to talking about summary pages! :innocent:


To be honest, I recently came to the realization that none of these things might happen. WaniKani entered this Skyrim-like sweetspot that script and third-party app writers did all of the heavy-lifting and already solved all of WaniKani’s shortcomings, but you still need to buy a subscription to have access.

So what you end up with is a still working backend and a quickly corroding front-end.


Wanikani now for xbox, playstation, switch and samsung smart fridge


I mean yeah; I haven’t said it but that’s been my honest expectation too. I’m really sympathetic to the frustrations because while people can go “they said they’re working on it!” a little vague promise that it’ll happen eventually really does just feel like buying time.

I can’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, and I at least will say sometimes when people complain about this stuff the way they go about it is overly presumptuous and aggressive. Easy to say that because I have no reason to have any emotional investment at this stage, though. I usually surround these comments in talking about how much WK helped me with kanji because while I probably could’ve learned them another way, it really truly did.

But when it comes down to it, in its exact state – I’ve managed to get decently far in learning Japanese I guess, so I’ve actually had quite a few friends ask me what I used. It happened again with a few today, but increasingly when it comes to Wanikani I feel like I spend half the time going “well… recently it’s gotten worse for all of these reasons…”

I’m happy for the people who love the kana additions. I’ve made my case elsewhere that I don’t think it will ever be as good as keeping WK purely kanji-focused, and that especially in this protracted middle ground period it’s absolutely worthless, but there are people getting what they want and that’s cool. Genuinely, happy they have what they want, or will eventually when more actually come.

It’s just, when looking into these various kanji options, there are some criticisms about WK that are essentially fair but that I thought the good outweighed and I was willing to pay. But every change seems to embody the spirit of those problems even more. It’s even more rigid, even more feature-lacking (come on, tell people what they got right and wrong) than free alternatives, on and on.

I’m increasingly leaning towards looking further into the other options to give my friends better methods and just recommending the forums for the book clubs and helpful people. If anyone reads these threads anymore beyond checking out the flags when people started insulting each other again, would just like them to know that.


No, you don’t understand.
All these threads complaining about the newly added kana vocabulary break my 5 year old routine of checking WaniKani memes, insulting other people’s study routines and clicking on poll threads instead of actually learning Japanese.

Why can I not opt out of stupidity? I can’t understand why the Flying Spaghetti Monster couldn’t implement such a simple feature. Maybe the codebase of humanity is just too messy. I wonder if I should rewrite everything in Rust.


The Flying Spaghetti Monster has no power here. The Crabigator made sure of that.

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