Japanese in Reading and Meaning

I’m not sure if this has been suggested before but I’ll throw it out there anyway. I personally found (as probably most of you have) that using Japanese actually Improves your Japanese (No brainer right lol) but also the better you get English starts to become a big problem. When I had a look at the higher levels of Wani Kani there is still only English being used in the description 例えば:in level 50 which is probably close to being N2 (or maybe is) there is no Japanese being used. I feel there is a real opportunity missing for users to cement and utilize their learning.

*例えば:たとえば means for example. ( just thought I throw it in there for spice lol)
what are your thoughts



Do you mean in the vocab meaning and reading explanations? I’m not sure if the amount of work involved would be worth the pay-out, because I found that by the time I reached level 50, I hardly looked at those descriptions anymore, unless it was an unusual reading (but those usually need to be in English because they involve a mnemonic). I think there’s a bit of a catch-22, where users in the lower levels could really benefit from that kind of reinforced learning, but don’t have the foundation to read explanations in Japanese yet. And by the time users reach that solid foundation, they don’t spend as much time reading the explanations :sweat_smile:

Still, it’s an interesting idea, and I’ve had more than a few moments where I’ve been frustrated by the lack of clarity on the nuance of a word! It meant having to go to jisho or another site to figure it out.


I think it’s certainly a pretty interesting idea and I guess most people would probably benefit from this in one way or another, but as @Jonapan said, at some point you barely look at the descriptions. I also feel like at those higher levels people are gonna be spending more time reading native content anyways (for example with bookclubs or just on their own).

People at lower levels would maybe benefit more from that, but for some it might be too complicated to understand. So you’d have to keep english explanations just incase for people who might not be as far into learning jp, but then the question is, when you would make the transition to jp explanations.

While the idea is definitely interesting, I don’t think the amount of work that has to be put into this change would be really worth it.

I think that, as other people have pointed out, people might not be looking at the explanations once they reach the higher levels. More importantly, however, is that implementing such a feature successfully would probably require a change in users’ mindsets: I believe that most people on WK use it to learn kanji and study a bit of vocabulary. By default, what most people desire in such a situation is something that explains things as clearly as possible, in a manner that’s accessible to them. That means that explanations in English are the natural choice, seeing as WK’s target audience is English speakers learning Japanese. Doing things this way means that the effort required of users is minimised, allowing them to absorb the material easily and focus on learning new words and kanji. Your suggestion, on the other hand, would require users to treat WK as part of an immersion experience in order for the added Japanese text to be useful. It might also make some users feel that WK is unnecessarily cluttered. Another thing: some mnemonics or explanations might rely on Anglo-American cultural references, which could make them very hard to translate.

I’m not saying that your idea is a bad one by any means. I would probably want it if I were actively using the WK SRS. I’m just saying that I’m not sure how many people would want to use such a feature, particularly since

  1. There is no guarantee that a WK user has grammatical knowledge to match his or her kanji knowledge.
  2. At a given level, it maybe be difficult to construct sentences that are composed almost entirely of words WK that has been covered before.

As things are, there are already example sentences on WK, which certain people may already be using for reinforced learning and studying grammar.

Please don’t take my comments to heart. I don’t intend to shoot your idea down. It’s just that I’m not sure how viable it would be, even if it’s great in theory. It might be better to look for native material (e.g. anime, newspapers, manga, websites…) for the purpose of immersion, and to take advantage of the Japanese practice threads on the forums. (N.B.: Grammar in posts isn’t perfect even in the advanced Japanese section, so don’t forget to check how the structures you see should be used. It can be good practice otherwise.) Also, I’d suggest using a good dictionary, like ejje.weblio.jp or Jisho. (Honestly, use both, because as great as Jisho is, I don’t think it has everything, and the definitions aren’t written by native speakers anyway.)


Fair points and please don’t apologize everyone has raised very interesting points. I think your point about grammar makes a lot of sense. I was just thinking it would be great to give users a reason to actually want to read the notes and use Japanese at the level they are at. Also if grammer is slowly introduced then we would get used to it. If it was baked in from the beginning small things like instead of writing what radicals are bring used the radical are just put in radicals.

You have an 犭 for a 夫 with (can’t find horns :joy:) that are 狭い。
That being said though it probably cause I read everything.


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Personally, while I often prefer to include Japanese/kanji when I’m asked for mnemonics (though i don’t really use them myself), I think I might find this a little hard to follow. However, if it works for you, great!
I personally know that 夹 means ‘to squeeze from both sides/sandwich’ in Mandarin, so I would use that to help me, but it might create confusion because the Japanese verb for ‘to sandwich’ is はさむ (挟む), and as you can see, the kanji is different.

どういたしまして。By the way, it’s technically コメントして くれて ありがとう, because the comments were made by other people for you. 「コメントしてありがとう」is something like ‘I make a comment and am glad’, which is of course not what you mean.

Mhm, I guess so. All the best, either way. I hope you find the resources you need!


One thing I would like is if the examples used in vocabulary only used Kanji you have learned so far, like a graded reader.

I like to read the examples, especially the weird ones, but have stopped half way through most lessons because I am like ****!!! I don’t know that Kanji and I am too lazy to look it up.

But that’s me and I know by the time I hit level 20, the things I get in my Enlighten and Burn pile I should hopefully know enough for that to not be an issue.


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