Kana Input Option

Hi! I hope you are having a good day :). I just wanted to suggest something that has already been noted before but that I would like to add some reasoning behind and give some information about, the implementation of direct kana input as an alternative to romaji input into WaniKani itself.

Post with same suggestion by MuffinTastic.

(Direct) Kana Input

I have been wanting to switch to kana input for typing in hiragana in WaniKani, and have found some solutions to making it work relatively easily with minimal difficulty, but still find that it would be better if it was implemented directly by WaniKani.

Problems with using an IME for kana input (in my case, Microsoft’s IME on Windows 10):

  • Suggestions display under the kana, and even if I disable the suggestions, at least for me, they still pop up after a single syllable is inputted, but disappear after more are added after (which can be distracting and bring my attention away from the kanji I’m looking at). For example, I type ‘b’ for syllable ko and get all the suggestions below, but once I type ‘y’ for syllable kon, the giant pop up
    for suggestions disappears.

  • Also, turning on suggestions, at least with my IME, is required every time I turn off my IME and turn it back on, which is inconvenient at worse, but still notable.

  • Switching between English input and Japanese input, even when you get used to it, seems inefficient. I have been able to speed it up with keyboard shortcuts, with the main one I try using being as short as pressing F1, but it still is distracting as often times I forget to press it and type my English answer in Japanese or visa versa.

If WaniKani implemented it as an option:

  • Suggestions would not be a worry and therefore would not be distracting.

  • Switching between English input and Japanese input would be done automatically, as is already done with romaji and English.

I, in general, have continued using romaji, though I do stumble sometimes as the two different ways of typing Japanese interfere with each other, as everywhere else but WaniKani I use direct kana. So, the Japanese romaji often looks like a random jumble of letters like “byiaf, '[ygw[rt?” until I notice after looking at the screen bewildered for a second or too. But, this might just be me and my brain being mush 99% of the time.

In terms of the implication of direct kana into WaniKani, from what I know, direct kana input is pretty standardized across different IMEs (ro, nu, fu order)? And of course, this would be an optional setting, as romaji is the much preferred method.

This is not really that important of a feature in the end, this would benefit a relatively small amount of people, but I do think it would be very valuable to those who, for whatever reason, decided kana input would be beneficial for them. Also, the problems I noted would not really be that much of a problem if someone was really determined, so I completely understand why this would not in any way be a priority, or even a possibility, at all. Though, I do hope it could eventually get added.

Thank you for reading!
(if anything is unclear, my bad, I hope I can clarify)

I think the biggest thing is that not even Japanese people type like this (at least not at any significant rate). So there isn’t even the “well, it’s the true way to do it” argument.

Personally I’m just used to the shortcut for switching IME modes at this point, that I don’t even really think about it. (meaning the modes of whether alphabet or kana are produced, not the keystroke mode)


Yeah I completely agree with you. I tried to avoid anything that would hint at me having the opinion that kana is better than romaji, but I would say that they are at most equal, but it is much more likely that if one were to be better, it would be romaji, especially for those that already have qwerty or an alternative down.

On this, what IME do you use? Microsoft’s? Do you have any of the same issues I do in terms of suggestions still appearing or having to change the suggestions settings, or some other thing?

Also, I do see what you’re saying, that it would become increasingly easy. I actually have a similar set up for Anki, with a shortcut necessary to switch between English and Japanese. Though, the instinct did not seem to transfer to WaniKani sadly :(, so I’d need to get used to it again.

I use the Microsoft IME, and when I use WaniKani I keep the IME “on” but have the output be alphabet, so there would never be suggestions popping up.

Let me see what typing with the IME on and hiragana output is like.

I’m on my work computer at the moment, so switching is just one dedicated button. And when I type on WaniKani reviews with hiragana output, I don’t get any suggestions at all coming up, so for me, I could keep the IME in hiragana output, but I don’t see a reason to, because I would still need to switch back to answer English questions, which would just be annoying.

EDIT: Okay, I take that back, it does offer suggestions, but only after 3 or more hiragana, and coincidentally I only needed to answer with 2 for the first few.

But I’m not trying to turn suggestions off, so I would expect suggestions.

I can try again at home later on where it’s a setup probably more close to what you’re using.

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I’m interested in what you mean by this, I don’t seem to fully understand what this entails, but from what you say it seems like a good alternative. Does this mean you type using the kana input method but it goes directly to a hiragana character? Or does the IME output the romaji equivalent of the kana in alphabet form, meaning WaniKani can accept it?

Thank you for trying this, I want to see if you have a similar experience.

I always type with romaji, and just choose whether alphabet or hiragana are output. But I never “turn the IME off,” that is, I never switch the input method to one where Japanese isn’t even available. Outputting alphabet characters as they are is just one of the settings within the IME, and you can switch between the two with a shortcut. I never use direct kana input.

In other words, I always just switch between these two output options you see here (obviously in reality they can never both be selected simultaneously). And I always just type with the standard QWERTY keyboard.


Ah, I see. I follow you, and it would probably just be simpler for me to use romaji instead of direct kana and just go back to my old way (before I used direct kana) or do the same method as you. Though, one of the reasons I tend to slightly favor direct kana is that I do kind of like the feeling of separating English and Japanese typing and letters in terms of pronunciation. Using romaji always made my Japanese feel a tiny bit incomplete (which is completely stupid, I know). It was my goal to see Japanese kana as さくら instead of sa - ku - ra. This is pretty flawed reasoning, though in the end direct kana input kind of just stuck after I got used to it, whether or not my view of Japanese characters changed or will change. After that, I’ve always felt it was hard to type romaji correctly without interference, though I absolutely doubt that this is permanent if I got back into using romaji more often with other applications.

Back on track, just to make sure to show what happens with my suggestions, I right click the ‘A’ next to the Japanese symbol on the bottom bar (what is this called, application bar, task bar, toolbar?), as you would expect. Then, I go to Conversion Mode and select No Conversion, which is the right way to do it, right? This is the option that still ‘glitchily’ shows me suggestions in a distracting way, though this may just be a glitch on my side.

I’m still on my work computer, but I tried switching to that setting and for me it totally removes conversion, and obviously offers no suggestions. It does not appear to be doing anything that would match your description of the glitchiness.

I thought there was also some way to not show suggestions without disabling conversion, but I’m no expert.

I bet you are right, but with that, a kind of petty reason for having a single setting in the WaniKani option menu for enabling direct kana input would be that I would not have to worry about changing my settings every time I need to do a review or a lesson in WaniKani, which is sadly a major disadvantage. With direct kana, I would at the least need to use my mouse to click through a few settings from the toolbar / task bar in the bottom right, or at most go through a settings menu on my computer and clicking through different options to turn off suggestions or turn them back on, which is necessary as all my applications but WaniKani require the suggestions from the IME.

I appreciate your replies and assistance though, you have a lot of patience ;). (As seen in your many other very helpful replies throughout the forums).

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