Kana-Only Vocabulary Additions

You must have some interest in WK improving or you wouldn’t be participating in this thread.

You raise reasonable points. It made me wonder why those things didn’t bother me.

Primarily two things come to mind: a script that hides the English translations until you hover over them, and yomichan. Honestly, I’d have also found the context sentences less useful without both.

As a fellow goof, I actually enjoy some of the quirky sentences.

Personally, I dislike Anki for the self-grading and for the sheer number of confirmation choices — people ding WK for “needing” user scripts, but Anki “required” even more plugins/addons/configuration when I tried it. The plethora of available decks didn’t help, either (at least with WK there is only one curated deck).

Also as a personal preference, I don’t really care about n+1. But that’s because yomichan makes lookups so easy.

It’s currently the same experience as reading something in the real world, and using only n+1 vocabulary must also create some strange sentences (paging Dr. Seuss).

I think I will submit an RFE to WK related to this (unlike many in this thread, I’ve found them receptive to suggestions, though I am more patient than some).

Untaught vocabulary would be straightforward to mechanically identify, so for desktop users, at least, a moral equivalent to yomichan for those terms would be a nice feature with the context sentences. The Hide Context Sentence functionality couldn’t be easier to implement, either. Mobile UX will require thinking, though.


I certainly do, but my vested interest is them improving as a Kanji learning platform (and I think there’s a lot of potential for improvement on that front still).

I agree, Anki has all sorts of cruft, software-wise it’s not the best. Some decks are very high quality though. I quite like Clozemaster for vocab but as I said earlier, I think it’s a bit more clunkier for Japanese.

I like N+1 because I know I’m supposed to know everything but one word/grammatical construct in a sentence, so I can put in the effort to read it without “cheating” with yomichan. If you just start hovering everywhere you’ll necessarily end up translating words you actually knew but didn’t immediately recognize.

I agree completely with that, but I don’t know if they’ll be willing to revise the thousands of example sentences to implement this, it seems like a lot of work. It could be automated to a certain degree I suppose (or maybe even crowdsourced).


Just to add another random 2 cents into the mass of what I’m not sure will be fully read by anyone:

If kana-only vocab is going to be implemented, I see absolutely no reason why words like これ・それ・あれ・どれ or then ここ・そこ・あそこ・どこ should be put in what seems to be such randomly selected levels apart. これ in level 3, but あれ in level 6 makes no sense whatsoever.

For one, they are so closely related and are always taught as a group that it’s just super weird that someone thinks this level distrubution is a good idea. Besides, assuming an average level-up of, idk, let’s say 10 days? It would take a learner 80-90 days to “learn” そこ on WaniKani, which is in level 9 (!). Which is kinda ridiculous lol. At that point, any Japanese learner will already have come across these basic words, and thus this level distribution strategy not only doesn’t make sense but also destroys the whole credibility of this addition.

I still personally have no issues with this addition, but IMO it absolutely needs to be reconfigured. If there were a separate path to learn kana-only vocab, then I’m sure it would be even easier to sort the words in levels much more accordingly, while also avoiding “overflooding” the current, vanilla levels when it comes to vocabulary content.


I typically always use the ‘J’ key during reviews to reinforce my pronunciation. However, in the reviews for the kana-only vocabulary, the ‘J’ key shortcut does not function.

I am sure that this might be able to be fixed by an add-on, but it would be nice if there was native support for this feature.

There was an audio glitch where the kana word audio would cause all the audio of words before it to play simultaneously
(IE if ‘ringo’ was your first review then it’d just play ringo, but if it was the 5th, all 5 previous audio tracks would play)
Staff have said they’re looking into bug fixes but rn the temporary solution just seems to have been removing kana word audio from reviews

If you are referencing this topic:

They were discussing lessons. I am specifically talking about reviews.
If there was a temporary fix that affected both lessons and reviews then, as you say, it might come back when the main bug is fixed.

In either case, thank you for the info.


Wow, that’s an incredibly info packed deck. Maybe once I’m done with Renshuu, I’ll give it a try.

That’s a mood. I’m getting better at speaking with people irl but sometimes I’ll get tripped up on a word and have to ask if it’s spelt with x kanji.

I hope it works well for you! To give the team credit, they have been working on making better example sentences for a while now and trying to eliminate higher level kanji from them as well. Since it’s somewhere between 6,000-18,000 sentences, I don’t expect that they’d have a time frame estimate although hopefully there’s a daily quota/goal or something.


I wasn’t aware of this effort, that’s good to know!

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When I do Anki sentences, I catch myself confusing ここ and そこ, it’s one of my most common mistakes. And things like eso and esto in Spanish etc.

I don’t really differentiate bring and take etc. (native English speaker). And that and this seem to be interchangeable a lot of the time. My language mind doesn’t really have this direction sense that seems to exist in some languages. Maybe this vocab will help.

Have you tried the hide context sentence script? I find it quite useful for doing exactly what you seem to be looking for.

Have you tried turning on the setting that autoplays the audio when you submit a correct reading review? I’ve found that if my flash cards have audio, I do a far better job at recognizing the word when I hear it spoken, so I’ve gone out of my way to manually add in audio to as many of my textbook flash cards as possible, as well as supplementing my Yomichan cards with Forvo audio if necessary.

Homophones will definitely still be an issue (especially when your vocabulary is low enough to make you doubt that the word you heard is the same word that you know…), and it takes me a bit longer to process words when spelled in hiragana, but I definitely wouldn’t say that I’m at a complete loss when I encounter those words not in kanji, and I think a big part of that is because I reinforce them by listening to an audio recording of them every time I review them. Plus, just reading a lot and listening to a lot of Japanese will help you start to match sounds to the words.

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I’m sure this has already been said plenty of times in this thread, but I hope we can get the option to opt out of kana only words.

I joined WaniKani to learn kanji and use other resources for learning vocab. The key appeal of WaniKani to me was its focus on kanji and I’m disappointed to see that focus being diluted.


Is it normal that on flaming durtles my oyatsu / ringo are in radical and display with blue radical color instead of vocabulary?

It feels a bit confusing… wish it was vocab color

Ps. I also agree that option to opt out of these would make sense. A lot of these words are very basic and some of additions like kore sore are more of grammar points… learning them as words feels weird.


Flaming durtles doesn’t seem to be actively updated anymore. However, there is now Smouldering durtles which is Flaming durtles except it is being updated and kana-only words show as vocabulary there (as I’ve heard it; I don’t actually use it myself). See this thread: [Android] Smouldering Durtles (v1.0.4) - Now on the Play Store!


I can confirm that Smouldering Durtles handles kana vocab correctly.


Dev Team,

How do i opt out of the kana-only lessons? They are taking vaualbe time away from my higher level Kanji learning. Please add an option to remove these from my lesson and review feed. Thanks!


I was honestly surprised to hear that Wanikani was going to start including kana-only vocabulary in its lessons. I think it’s a good complement to the kanji vocabulary (since there’s plenty of useful vocab to learn that’s kana-only), but yeah I agree that it should be optional for those who just want WK as a kanji-focused resource.

I think this is going to test my ability to memorize words without having any kanji as a mnemonic. :joy: I seem to struggle more with kana-only vocab for that reason.

I do also think that if possible, kana-only vocab should be in a category of its own like how radicals, kanji, and (kanji) vocabulary words are and maybe make the entire kana-only vocab collection of lessons accessible at any time. There’s no kanji in any of these words, so I don’t think it makes sense to tie them to any WK level progression.


Please, please make an option to opt out of this. I see what you’re trying to do, but I already speak Japanese and use WaniKani strictly as a kanji tool, as I’m sure many others do. The random vocab being forced in, especially from levels I’ve already completed, is nothing but a waste of time for me. I think it would be amazing to eventually have a kanji track and a vocab track that can be purchased separately or combined!


It’s okay I’m just filtering the kana only vocabulary out on Tsurukame so I don’t have to deal with them and if there are any kana only vocabulary I see in the manga I’m reading I can just use the Nihongo Pro app to put it in a flashcard form.


I love this! I can see why it would be useful to have an opt-out feature for cases like @marin892 though.