I m not a native speaker is it hard

I m not english native speaker is it hard for me to continue in wanikani.


It mostly depends on if your English is good enough to navigate the site. There are a lot of non-English natives that do well on WaniKani, but most of them write and understand English very well already. When you get to higher levels you might find some English meanings that you don’t know (that happens sometimes to English natives like me too), but you can always add synonyms in your native language.

How have the first 2-3 levels been for you? If they went well I think you can expect WaniKani to continue to work well for you.


I’d say most of us aren’t native speakers, but as Sean said, it depends on whether your English is good enough.

I mostly use this site just to learn kanji, and for that you need to know all the words you want to learn in Japanese, in English. Then there’s reading and understanding the example sentences for vocab.


Well, I’m not a native English speaker either and I think that if you can understand the replies in this thread - then your English should be good enough for this site. However, only you can decide that. You’ve done the free levels - they give quite a good impression on what’s ahead. If you didn’t have too much problems with English on free levels - then you shouldn’t have too much problems with the rest levels either. If you did - then… Again, it’s up to you to decide.
Anyway, I wish you best of luck with your studies!


I think for non native speakers WK is a bit less helpful but still a great tool.

There’re some weird english words comming sometime, but those aren’t that many. There’s always the possibility to put a synonym if you see it actually helps with the recall process (if the new word in japanese and the keyword in english are both new to you, porbably you’re better replacing that word).

Troublesome part for me was more related to mnemonics and how those are made with english phonetics on mind (sometime even streching that too). Japanese phonemes match perfectly with spanish (my L1) ones, so that gradually made me use mnemonics less and less, as english mnemonics could sometimes make it more confusing.

For example for the phoneme: た (ta). In english, it depends. It doesn’t sound like the one in “take”, but it does sound like the one in “Tampa” (phonetic rules for english are like… :man_shrugging:). For spanish “ta” sounds the same in every word, so it’s super easy. I found myself dodging the english mnemonic quite often because of this.

In any case mnemonics are bound to be used less as you progress. Previous knowledge and new tools hold your learning after a point.

There’s some element about American culture been refered often in the mnemonics too, but I think those are well known ones and easy to catch up if you are not an american.

All this said, I would still consider WK a good tool for a non native.:+1:


Are you a native Japanese speaker? That could make it easier.



The pronunciation might differ depending on the country/region, but in my region Tampa doesn’t sound like the Spanish/Japanese た / ta either. Funnily enough, I’d say a word that matches the Spanish/Japanese pronunciation is “top”, and that doesn’t even have an “a” in it. English is so silly…


You’re right!! Probably I’ve heard it said by other spanish speakers from Florida mostly, 'cause samples in Forvo indeed don’t sound like the spanish “ta” at all :sweat_smile:.

I’m thinking everyday how much english massive distribution in media all around the glove helps english language learners… as for the rest seems quite an inconsistent language to be explained and made sense out of it :joy:


I’ve been speaking english for many years, and I’m pretty fluent in oral and written english, but some words do surprise me from time to time. One that stuck with me was 向 “Yonder”. I could remember the meaning and the reading of it, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the word “yonder” xD
That being said, I don’t conisder that a difficulty at all. It is more of a funny thing tbh


Indeed there’re so many items to be learned, that the ocasional weird english vocab it’s nothing to be scared of for jumping into WK.
Still if there was an spanish version of WK I would have went with it, but since there wasn’t, WK fitted the bill quite alright :+1:

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I’m not an English native but I grew up with English speaking media and have been learning since I was young. To be honest there are some words or definitions that I had to first look up in English in order to learn the Japanese for it. This level I learned 菅 which apparently means ‘sedge’, first time even seeing this word. Had some issue with 錦’s ‘brocade’ as well. It helps learn English too, that’s all I’m saying


Hey :slight_smile: I’m not English native speaker either.

Still, sometimes WK gives a ‘meaning’ or a direct translation of a kanji that makes no sense to me because it’s simply a word I never use. When this happens, I add a synonym or two choosing words that at easier for me to remember. Et voilà!

Same thing with the long answers “period of time” (ok) but “time period” (not ok). Meh One synonym addition later, I get a correct answer to the review and a nice ego boost!

So, no, it won’t be too hard. You just have to adapt WK to your needs. But it’s flexible enough for that.


Glad to know it wasn’t just me! lol


This might help you remember “yonder”


The a in Tampa is usually pronounced with a lot of “e” in it, like the a in damp, lamp, ramp, stamp, camp, amplifier… I guess there is some kinda rule in American English whereby if you have an “a” followed by “mp” it has a weird drawling kind of vocalization

The Japanese style “ta” sound is found in American English more often with words spelled with an “o” – like the name Tom, or mom or bomb. – Tom isn’t exactly like “ta” but it’s close.

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I think “tap” could be one of those examples where both the written word and phonetic could match the japanese sound (I checked in Forvo this time :slightly_smiling_face: ).

But yeah, english speakers you have a mess in your hands :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I didn’t know those either. Of course, I don’t really know them now either. I just know an approximation or their meanings. In my mind, sedge = plant and brocade = patterned fabric.

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I am not native too. At first WK was a bit difficult, Duolingo helped me a lot.

That is probably true in British English


The other day I was trying to pronounce “deuteragonist” and I just gave up.