Is WK asking for a blind trust?

Sorry for my message. I am a little bit lost, after 4 weeks of starting learning Japanese.
I didn’t find a section that explain the process used by Wanikani, I feel like, “WK > Please trust us, we know what we are doing. You will see in the far future. Please commit with us and pay a lot of money and give us your time, and you will be rewarded in 2 or 3 years”
But, its giving me headache between what we are learning in class vs WK.
For example, in class the teacher is asking us to learn 人 as ひと (kun-yomi), but on wanikani, I am asked to remember にん and じん (On-yomi).
Can you please share your experience with that ? What should I do ? learn both from day 1 ? or its a step by step learning process (kun then on)? or we will end up just using Kun or On when reading newspapper for example?
Perhaps, delay WK until I have a at least 1000 vocab ? or following textbook’s Kanji list, like Genki1 and 2? Or just remember the JLPT5 for now ?
You understood, I am lost :slight_smile: thx for your help,
Thank you for your answers,
Have a nice end of day,


Wow, I can’t even read this. Maybe next time ask your question using normal size text.


This may help if you haven’t read it already.


WaniKani has you learn both because the on-yomi readings are used in hundreds of words.

Do you want to be able to say ‘human’? Then you need to know the にん reading. Do you want to know how to say ‘Japanese person’? Then you need to know the じん reading. I can go on and on if you want.


First 3 levels are free so you can see if their methods agree with you. No trust needed.


First 3 levels are free to see if it’s right for you.

WaniKani uses a spaced repetition system:

You can read more about how it works in the link. (Spoiler: It works.)


I’m wondering why your teacher never mentioned that you have to remember more than one reading for every kanji. That should be one of the first things he/she mentioned before you learn kanji.


It sounds like you are in a beginner class. If you keep on with classes, your teacher will eventually teach the on-yomi, too.

Also, if you keep on with WK, it will teach the kun-yomi. So you will learn both.

There is no way to change the order that WK teaches kanji in, and it’s probably different than the order you will learn in class. If that bothers you, then maybe you could wait and do WK during school breaks or something like that.

As others mentioned, you don’t have to pay for WK until after you finish level 3.


If doesn’t even make sense to not learn it in a beginner class. One of the earliest things I learned in a beginner class is how to count people or to say nationalities like ‘American’. Which is impossible without knowing にん and じん.

Edited to add:

Japanese for Busy People teaches you the じん reading on page 4 when it covers nationalities. ひと doesn’t come up until page 21.


Ah, be nice. Looks like he tried to draw a horizontal line between paragraphs, but for some reason, hyphens on a blank line just makes the previous paragraph have large text instead.

Like so.


Thx Belthazar, it was the line :blush:


In a way I see what you mean, since the order used by wanikani can sometimes be unusual.

But the FAQ explains the whole methodology so everything will be clear to you. I really recommend reading it, so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

The first levels are also free, so there’s no harm in trying it out!


Maybe, but hardly seems to be the case in the given example since knowing since knowing にん and じん opens up being able to read around 600 words. Which according to what I can search on Jisho is about 3 times as many words as using a ひと reading.


Ah, my bad. I hate how markdown does that.


I don’t think blind trust is the right word. I think after the first 3 (free) levels it becomes pretty apparent how the system works.

When learning a language you need to personally decide how you are going to tackle it. Its YOUR journey, and thus all educational apps, universities, etc. are going to do curriculums that they think are the best and in turn is your responsibility to realize if it’s working or not.

Personally, I enjoy learning the Onyomi readings because when I see vocabulary 85+% of the time I already know it’s reading. That’s an incredible feeling. Also, the speed at which I am learning is faster than any other method I have tried. And I’ve come to realize that having a large vocabulary mental store is going to make grammar studies / pen pals much easier and less straining.

Ultimately you need to figure out through the free lessons if you are learning/memorizing at a worthwhile pace. At the end of the day, a language requires vocabulary and grammar knowledge. Wanikani quite obviously solves the first of those problems.

edit - i reread your post and I think you were missing one thing:
Sometimes the onyomi reading is used WAY more frequently than the kunyomi. Sometimes Wanikani gives you the kunyomi reading instead because the onyomi reading is rarely if ever used. Reiterating from earlier, once you know the most frequent reading using wanikani, learning the vocab is a piece of cake.

ALSO in the case of person: hito, jin, nin… ALL of those are frequent and you will learn all of them in wanikani early on, but as you get to less frequent words, wanikani teaches you the readings that are most valuable.

ONYOMI readings are always found when kanji are joined together with no hiragana present. Hence why onyomi is important.

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It is a cult! Run while you ca


In WaniKani, if you go through with the program till the end, you’ll learn aroung 2000 kanji and 6000 vocab, so it covers a lot.

What it won’t cover though, and to be fair, it’s hard to expect them to, is nuance to distinguish between a word’s different uses, or between different synonyms (they do provide context sentences for words though), and it will definitely not teach you handwriting (you can, however use a userscript that adds stroke order count to your kanji lessons, if you want to also learn handwriting).

However, if you supplement your WaniKani use with other learning methods, it’s a very powerful tool in your arsenal, and definitely worth the money (I’m biased on this because I’ve been using WaniKani since starting Japanese in the first place).

In addition, the community is great and there’s a lot of great discussions on the forums (tbh that’d be my main reason for recommending this site to people), there are plenty of third-party apps and userscripts that add to the functionality of WaniKani, all made for free (almost all :slight_smile:) by users, for other users. It truly is a place like no other on the internet.

The staff is great too, always helpful whenever I had a problem. They were always quick to respond to my emails and help me solve whatever issue I was having. From my point of view, this is one of the few big investments I made into Japanese learning that I don’t regret at all.


In just the three free levels you’ll learn pretty much as much kanji as you’ll learn in your whole first class of Japanese.


You’re only 4 weeks into learning Japanese, so I wouldn’t worry too much about WK right now. You can always start WK anytime, but I for me I find having some foundation in grammar and basic vocabulary in your class should make WK easier for you.

Otherwise, you’ll learn all these vocabulary words from WK but it’d serve you no other purpose, making you forget them again. Also, the first 3-4 levels of WK are free, so you can always complete them and see if it helps you remember Kanji better. For me, at level 18 I’ve learned 593 kanji… that’s 593 more than I remember from Genki I and II. :smiley:

Basics first! Then WK.