I am new and (somewhat) helpless

Thanks for the ping. :slightly_smiling_face:

@sheba One of the things we’re looking to improve is usability for colorblind users. There are a couple things on our radar already based on feedback (like extra visual indicators for right/wrong answers), so please let me know about any other issues or the like that you run into.

Speaking of which, I haven’t forgotten about that, it’s just that app development is priority no.1 right now (now that it’s in beta, we can actually talk about it, which is nice). UI changes to regular WK will probably wait until after the app launches, or until after we’ve hired more people.


Wow there are so many replies, thank you so much!
I also just hit level 2 a minute ago. However, with me being completely overwhelmed by the level 1 vocabulary already, I think I will wait with new lessons for now and just get everything there sorted first before tackling new Kanji, so level 2 can wait a few days.

Also sorry for not quoting and saying something to every reply; that would take too much time. Know that I read everything and that I am insanely grateful for all the help and encouragement I recieve from everyone here! :blush: I am making note of all tips given to me!

Well, I could do that, but that would take 5-6 months in which I could then do nothing else. I have around 20-30 bucks a month for not-necessary things, but often I just find myself suddenly needing some meds the insurance doesn’t pay in full or stuff like that and then money goes away. So if I subscribe, I fear it will have to be the expensive, monthly fee. :frowning:

I seriously do hope that. Right now I feel it gets only harder as it seems level 2 has a lot more lessons it wants to toss at me immediately compared to level one. I hope at least that number steadies out; I don’t really want to have more like 20-30 things to review at the same time. But thankfully I can control these things, so that’s a plus. I just need to find out how to keep myself from being overwhelmed I guess.

I definitely will! I will stick with my level 1 stuff even though I’m officially level 2 now apparently until my crititcal list stops being full of vocabulary but then will take a look at level 2. First glance says I already know a few of these radicals/kanji. That’s why I think that I won’t be really able to give a true “view” until I hit a level full of things I didn’t know before. Right now, I am failing at every vocabulary I had not heard before, so I expect that a level full of unknown stuff will be far, far worse than what level 1 and (hopefully) level 2 will toss at me.

Okay, this is pretty scary sounding. I mean, the backgrounds are different hues for me and if, in the middle of a review, I suddenly have a hue change, I know something different is now being asked, but…yeah. It’s not always easy to tell already.

It does, however, say what it wants. It says “Vocabulary Reading”, for example. I just need to learn how to read better. With so many things to review, though, I am always too tempted to blaze through things. Actually I accidentally type a reading instead of a meaning (and only catch it when it changes to Japanese) far, far more often than mixing up what I am looking at (so vocab/radical/kanji).

Now gonna group all the wonderful color feedback stuff into one reply. :slight_smile:

First, thank you so much for all the help with this!
I can only really recommend the Coblis Colorblindness Simulator for trying to see how different types of colorblindness work. You can upload your own images in there and see how they look in the different colorblindnesses.

I’m gonna try embedding pictures again, not sure why it didn’t work before for me. For example, the suggested pattern idea looks with my colorblindness (Protanopia, which is red-blind), like this:
Which is great and all, but sadly next to colorblind I also have a cataracts and that makes subtle things not very visual. I love the pattern idea, though; they just would have to be more prominent. I see only something slightly different on the middle image, tbh.

I will definitely look into @Kumirei’s link, though - I have no idea what a userstyle even is, but I will surely be able to figure that out. Thank you so much for the Iink! If this works out for me I won’t need anything extra done. Thank you so much @marcwilk for offering :hugs: I hope I can find something without having to ask others to do something just for me and this userstyle looks promising already!

@CyrusS Thank you for working on helping colorblind users! Let me say that I am actually really happy with how well WK works for me compared to other websites in general and also other Japanese language sources, which was one of the reasons I was attracted to it. As I also have cataracts (which means everything looks pretty blurry) I love how big you display the Kanji. A lot of other websites have everything written so small that it’s impossible to even figure out how the Kanji really looks until I look it up on google and check jisho.org. That’s not the case here and a huge help. The only thing that, aside from (for me) similiar colors, I have some issues with is the light grey text that’s often used. Especially things like where we can click to add our own notes in lessons (the “add synonym” button), where it’s slightly-darker-gray on light gray. Everything else actually is really great and I struggle on 90% of the websites I visit more than on WK. WK isn’t unuseable because of my disabilities - I just need to learn to read better (or, apparently, to figure out what a userstyle is. :smiley: )

Again, thank you so much, everyone! I hope I didn’t forget anything really important, this was a lot to answer!


I just noticed that in the reviews. In the 17,000 reviews that I’ve done I’ve never noticed that it said radical, kanji, and vocabulary. Heck, often I miss whether it is asking for reading or meaning. I’d say about a quarter of the ones I get wrong are because I type in the reading and press enter before I notice it is asking for meaning. I’d be sunk without the colors.


Hey guys, it’s me again! Both because I was asked to give updates and because I also have a question (which might not belong in here but this is my thread, sooooo…)

Anyway update: Started with the level 2 radicals and kanji. Going actually pretty great so far, but then again, radicals are easy since I don’t have to learn any reading for them. The fact that I’m still on some level 1 vocabs also means I’m getting all three kinds of them mixed together now and that actually really helped me to learn to differenciate between them even with colorblindness. I still often write the meaning instead of the reading and vice versa, though…:sweat_smile:

Vocabs seem to be my worst category by far. I still have some of the level 1 ones at really low percentages, though I do admit to typing dumbly by mistake. Still not used to the double-n, which causes me to mistype a lot… Also I didn’t get away with typing “rise” instead of “to rise”, but when I accidentally typed “Mr. Fuji” instead of “Mt. Fuji”, that was totally alright.:thinking::grinning:

And now, my maybe not-category-approved question: Because radicals are easy and I am motivated because of that, I went to check out the subscription-options again…and then I saw that WK apparently doesn’t accept PayPal? Or am I just blind? I only saw credit card options and unfortunately, because I’m disabled and don’t have enough income, I am not having one (as in, I’m not allowed to by German law, it’s not that I don’t want one). So, uh… is there a PayPal option? Because otherwise I have absolutely no way of actually subscribing.:frowning_face: I hope I’m just blind and didn’t see the correct option…

EDIT: Also I am sad that my avatar still says “level 1” when I am totally in level 2. What does it take to get it to show up correctly? Do I need to Guru all level 1 things or something?

1 Like

No, there’s just a bit of delay between WaniKani and Discourse. If it hasn’t updated in a few hours, try logging out of the forums and logging back in again.

1 Like

I think I read somewhere in another thread that while WK does not have PayPal as a standard option on the payment screen, they do accept PayPal.

If I remember correctly, you would need to contact staff by email, whereupon they provided you with a sort of ‘PayPal invoice’.

In any case, the staff is really friendly, so even if you just want to check out your options and aren’t sure whether you want to purchase, I wouldn’t hesitate to contact them! :slight_smile:

Edit: here’s a thread by someone who managed to subscribe by PayPal as evidenced by their 3> level. :+1:


Thank you very much @Belthazar and @Belerith!

I am now officially level 2 (needed to log out and back in; I had started the level 2 stuff more than 24 hours ago…) and, once I’m level 3 and hopefully still motivated, will then contact staff about PayPal payment!
The communit here is awesome, I really appreciate the quick help! :hugs:


Debit cards are also accepted, if that’s what you were worried about (I paid with my debit card with no problems for years). I’m not sure what the German laws are, but it seems weird to prevent someone from having a debit card.

1 Like

If you’re not a native speaker you might have missed that sites often say credit card even though you can still use a regular debit card.


Well, that’s where my language knowledge ends since I’m not completely sure what a debit card is. I am allowed to have a normal bank account that cannot dip below 0 bucks (so no lending money from the bank, ever) and which can be used for normal transactions, but I’ve never had the option online to pay anything international with it. We call it “giro account” here, which my dictionary translates to “check/cheque account”. Since I never had anything else I admit to having little to no knowledge about anything else. :confused:

With a debit card you only spend money you have (in your bank account).
With a credit card you spend money you don’t have (a temporary loan)

1 Like

Well, then I do indeed seem to have a debit card, but I have no clue how to use it internationally… It’s from a local German bank and while I could use it for German websites before, I never was able to input anything remotely looking like my card number into an international paying attempt. However, it might very well be possible and me just being stupid; I definitely deem that an option. Maybe I was just too careful? Obviously, non-native language + stuff that concerns money = Better be careful and don’t do anything you aren’t sure of.


Just have to enter those deets and let Jesus take the wheel (trust that WK won’t make fraudulent charges)

1 Like

If that doesn’t work and PayPal is an option for you, you can send a mail to hello@wanikani.com and ask them about that option, they’ll definitely accommodate you. Many have reported success using this.


So I am one of those people who’s really good at learning languages, and the first couple of levels of Wanikani still messed me up! There’s a lot of multiple-common-reading kanji in the first couple of levels, and I’m at level 18 now and still make mistakes on some of those early-level words almost every time.


Once you hit level five or so, there start being a lot fewer multiple-common-reading kanji. And by that point, your brain will have figured out a little better how to work with kanji and Wanikani’s specific teaching method, and you’ll start picking things up faster.

You mentioned earlier that you were looking for a way to learn grammar; Obenkyo is free and is great for that because they break down the grammar lessons in more informal, relatable language than you’ll get in a textbook. Obenkyo also has lessons and a flashcard system for all sorts of different aspects of Japanese, although it’s not regulated with an SRS system at all.

Stick with it! Once you hit about level ten or so, you’ll realize that when you’re looking at doujins and stuff you can actually recognize a lot of the kanji and be able to guess some of the dialogue’s meaning from context - that was a HUGE motivator for me!


This is a good example of why some grammar helps. You have things called counters in Japanese which have different meanings from the number words. That’s why these particular vocabulary words are confusing for you. I did the same thing as you until I learned about counters.

1 Like

The thread is long enough that I may have missed this, but have you looked into Heisig’s Remember the Kanji series? Much like what WK is doing, you work to associate keywords with the kanji, but also to practice writing them. I’m wondering if something physical like that would help get things in your head better. Technically you don’t need Heisig to practice writing – you could just look things up as they come up in WK – but it’s a thought.

And a quick edit – it does look to be available in German, if you might find that even more helpful.


Whoa, I come back and there’s so many new replies!:grinning:

I’ll definitely find a way to make payment happen if stuff keeps working out for me. My mom visited me today as well and when I told her about how my self-studies are going and that I found this website she suggested maybe talking to my father about a year-subscription as an early birthday present for me. That’s definitely also something I will consider! So yes, I do believe I have options now. Paypal is definitely the easiest thing for me, though, since I’m so used to using it.

Thank you for that suggestion, I will definitely look into that! I actually managed to get myself a digital copy of Genki I and II by reaching out to some of my old university buddies by now, but I found that seeing the pages of a textbook only on the screen instead of in front of me is sort of different, so I might indeed need something else on top of it. Definitely checking into different things at this point as duolingo keeps being kind of dumb - I actually do like the general style of their lessons, but the fact that they don’t explain anything at all is horrid.
And I definitely look forward to being able to read all the doujins and video games I want to read, so I’ll definitely stick with it! Thank you for the motivation!

Actually I am right now at the duolingo lesson teaching that counter and also the one for birds and rabbits (yeah that’s clearly the most important choice lol). I actually don’t find the grammar behind them very confusing, just the readings. Too many readings!

Though I must say that so far, level 2 is easier than level 1. Then again, I haven’t hit the vocabs yet…:see_no_evil:

I have never heard about that before and will look it up! I do believe writing would indeed help me; I have basically zero talent to learn things via audio, so WKs audio vocab help isn’t doing anything for me. Writing might help more, who knows. Though honestly I do keep doing awesomely on the meanings and the readings are the issue and I dunno if writing will help with that, but it might be worth a try.

Honestly though I looked into some of the threads of the people here who reached level 60 and their tips and I feel like that also helped me a lot.
There is hope for me maybe. At least until the next vocabs.:sweat_smile:


I’m not going to lie this one was so weird I memorized it on my first go. I didn’t want it to work but it did. It is one of the few where I consistently got it right at the very beginnning.

1 Like

Since I was asked to post updates: I now - according to an email I got - reached level four and, with that, subscription-territory. I also learned by communicating with the staff that monthly payments cannot be done via paypal, only year-long or lifetime ones, which means I have one big, ugly problem because it means that I might have to wait for my birthday (July 31st) and hope I get enough birthday money to pay for a yearly subscription… and not buy a much-needed new vacuum cleaner from the money. Well then, I never liked clean floors anyway.:sweat_smile:
Given how horribly poor I am at some of the Level 3 (and some Level 2) stuff still, it’s okay to not start with Level 4 yet, but the end of July is pretty far away. Oh well… I’ll see if I can talk someone into lending me the money early, at least.

Subscription issues aside, I was quite surprised just how different the levels were. While I haven’t found out how to access these neat graphs yet (maybe they’re just for subscribers?), I am pretty sure I did Level 2 in less than a week while needing almost two weeks for Level 3. Not quite sure why that happened, but it did. I am also struggling with remembering things from my Guru-category very often, especially verbs which just have different hiragana endings; I tend to mix their meanings up and also often forget which reading the one-kanji vocabs want because I don’t get the merciful “Nope, not that one”-screenshaking for vocabs.

That said, though, I made it to the end of Level 3 at least and didn’t give up! (Well, Kanji are at exactly 90%, so I’m not fully done but 90% is apparently level-up-time.)