Japanese meanings of radicals etc

Hi, Just started the course, very excited, looks very good.

I am learning the first ten radicals, but I only see their meaning in English, am I missing something? Is there a setting?

e.g. I would like to know the Japanese word for river as well as the kanji

Thank you

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The radicals on WK are not the kangxi radicals that you might have heard of before, which are taught to Japanese students and are used for cataloging kanji in kanji dictionaries.

Here, the radicals are better thought of as kanji parts, which you will learn as a way of creating English mnemonics for remembering how to put together kanji that are made up of them.

When you have reached the guru level with the 川 radical, you will unlock the 川 kanji. That lesson will teach you one reading for the kanji and its meaning (which in this case you already know because it just happens to be the same as the individual radical, but that’s not always the case).

When you get the kanji to guru, you’ll unlock the 川 vocabulary word, and other words that use that kanji in compounds related to rivers.

That radical also will come back, when you start to use it to put together other kanji that contain it, like 州, 順, or 荒 (notice the different ways it can fit into other kanji).


Thank you for the reply.

Am I right in understanding then, that the interpretations of the radicals in WK, are WK specific?

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Yes :slight_smile:


If you’d like to learn the japanese names for the radicals, I recommend installing the kanji study app from your app store. It’s not free but very useful if you can afford it.


WaniKani splits up Radicals, Kanji, then Vocabulary. So you will learn the River radical, when you guru that, you will learn the Kanji for river with a pronunciation, and then (in some cases), there could be the actual word for river with a third pronunciation. WaniKani will go through all of them with time.

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