Is Getting a Subscription Worth It If I Already Know Around 600 Kanji?

Hey all, I’ve learned about 600 kanji meanings and readings and all along with a fair knowledge of particles 100% on my own in the last 3-4 months, yet I feel my overall understanding is a bit shaky, if i were to be buying a subscription I would mainly be doing vocab, so is it worth it just for that?

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It’s not worth it just for vocab, but it is worth it just for the kanji still. I knew a few hundred kanji as well when I started, and WK is perfect. But then there’s also @Naphthalene who already had N1 when they started WK. Do it for the kanji, not the vocab.


If you know 600 kanji, then you barely know a quarter of the kanji that WaniKani teaches. So yeah, it’s worth it.


If you would like to know the 600 you know better and also learn 1400 more, then I’d recommend it! The first few months would be review, but honestly even though I started WK thinking I knew 400-500 kanji, my recognition of them was less accurate and fast than I thought they were. I’m much stronger now.


Is there a reason to not continue with the method you used to learn your first 600?

You do learn vocab here, but the reason is to reinforce the readings of the kanji. There is a lot of vocab you need that you won’t learn here.

Not sure how much of WK you’ve gotten stuck into yet, but just so you know: WK has a set structure of teaching. There are scripts that will allow you to prioritise certain things over others, but you will not be able to single out vocab alone. A level’s radicals and kanji have to be in the “guru” SRS level before another level unlocks. And the vocab is also unlocked as kanji move into Guru.

Just so you don’t buy a sub thinking you can pick and choose what you want to learn. :slight_smile:

If you’re unsure; be sure to use the first 3 free levels. That will still be in the “slow” part of WK, so it won’t be representative of your later review numbers, but you’ll at least get a feel for the system.

Edit: Oh, and also; WK offers itself as a kanji teaching tool. So some of the vocab is obscure, or not very common (anymore). They intend to teach you words that use the common readings of kanji - not common vocab words, necessarily. They had to choose words that use only a combination of the kanji you already know, so then the options are more limited. Of course there are very many common and useful words!


I’m not sure if I knew 600 kanji when I started. Probably not! But I did have at least a passing acquaintance with quite a few, and I’ve never regretted subscribing. This really allowed me to approach kanji and kanji learning in a whole new way for me.

So you’re at level 1 here. Give it a try for the three free levels and see how it goes. I think as @kumirei mentioned, @naphthalene who started at a high level of Japanese would tell you that while much of WaniKani has been review, getting those kanji you already kind of know and the ones you don’t solidified in your mind is worth it.

Also, did I understand that your Japanese knowledge was acquired in the last 3-4 months? If so, then with respect, I doubt how much you actually know as opposed to how much you’ve memorized temporarily. Nothing personal of course, but you’d be surprised how your memory will jettison things you recently learned as time goes on. WaniKani attempts to overcome that by quizzing you at longer and longer intervals over time so that you really do learn things on a more permanent basis.


Yes if you want to be fluent in kanji😎

(not completely of course thats impossible)

Tl;dr: WK is only worth it if you like it enough that you consistently use it. The best method is the one that works for you!

If the method you used so far is still working for you, I think you don’t necessarily need WK. I learned around 700 kanji meanings with heisigs method, and around 400 to 500 with various textbooks (not sure, since I used different ones) where I could also pronounce certain vocab.

However, I completely stopped learning new ones after that. Heisigs method of learning meaning first and then pronunciation much later was not that motivating for me, and the textbook approach is very slow, too.

So for me, when I tried WK, I felt it was still worth it. It build upon previously learned kanji over time in a way that feels a bit more logical to me, and by teaching vocab that uses the kanji, even if some of it isn’t commonly written in those kanji anymore, it became much easier to remember.

But this is of course just my story here.

If your method is still motivating you and working for you, by all means continue! Maybe supplement it with reading or something. Look up vocab words that use kanji you’ve learned to solidify them in your brain. There are a lot of free online dictionaries out there that you can search by kanji.

But if you’re here because you’re not quite satisfied with your kanji studies, and that feels like too much hassle, why not try out WK for a few weeks on the side, get to know the method, and then decide for yourself?

Because even if you did recognize your self in what people here write, that doesn’t necessarily mean that WK will be it for you.

Edit: I wrote so much, but I’m not sure I really addressed the question so much as started to ramble. Sorry about that. :sweat_smile:


I guess it’s only worth it if you want to learn more than 600 kanji :smiley:

I even have a thread about it :stuck_out_tongue:
TL;DR: Even knowing 90% of the kanji here, it felt worth it to subscribe.

As mentioned above, the vocab here has been selected to reinforce specific kanji readings. That lead to many a thread complaining that the vocab on WK isn’t useful. And to be fair, things like 友人 or 寛ぐ are frequent enough in the wild, but probably not something to focus on as a beginner. Plus, there’s obviously no kana only words.
Long story short: you will need to learn vocab outside WK no matter what.


Look at me, i know around 600 Kanji and still lvl 20 and it only took me 4-5 months. Let me tell you 600 is nothing much compared to the end goal: burning all 2000


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