Kana-Only Vocabulary Additions

Not reading through 500 replies, but fully aside from whether or not this is a necessary addition, as a mobile user, I just unlocked a bunch of kana-only vocab after leveling up to 21 and it’s completely breaking my app. I can’t pass これ - it just freezes up and I have to exit out. The JLPT is in a month, guys, this was not the time to roll in a new feature :smiling_face_with_tear:


WK doesn’t have an official smartphone app, which one are you using?

Some of them have already been updated (or forked in the case of Flaming Durtles) in order to support the new vocab.


I’ve been using Tsurukame since I started well over a year ago :joy: no idea about other app availability

What app? If you are using flaiming durtles, it has not been maintained for a long time. There is a new fork of the app that works perfectly.

Is that android-only? Not seeing any mention of an Apple version at a glance

It is, I don’t know what the status is on Tsurakame.

EDIT: [iOS] Tsurukame - native app with offline lessons and reviews - #1125 by marciska

Apparently a fix is in the work but not upstreamed yet?

The post also lists a workaround to temporarily remove kana vocab from the app. Apparently the issue is with する that’s handled specially by the app because it considers it a suru-verb (ironic).

Ahh, I see. In that case, my original point still stands: could this not have waited until after JLPT :smiling_face_with_tear:

Edit: will check out that fix once I’m home and have more than 2% battery lol hopefully that helps for now

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I sympathize. Apparently the issue is only for する so maybe if you pass this one on the desktop you can do the rest with the app?

Inconvenient though, I agree…

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@lyricaluck It was a bug in Tsurukame, not affiliated with WaniKani team. But is has been already fixed. It is currently waiting for approval by Apple to come into the AppStore (as far as I am told).
If you cannot wait, you can already install the Tsurukame TestFlight build (which is the same version that will get uploaded to the Apple AppStore eventually), or use the website in the meantime.

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する works fine on Tsurukame for me, unless you type “do” instead of “to do,” in which case the app crashes (probably something related to the) “hey this is a verb and needs “to”” jiggle.

Nope, the problem is because “do” is not accepted (any other not accepted word will do too), and then Tsurukame will open the details view. The app crashes because when it opens the details view it removes the する of a verb to only get the base (like 否定 する) – but する doesn’t have any “base”. It was already fixed in the newest update, but Apple takes some time until the update is permitted to the AppStore. In the meantime install the TestFlight build which I linked above, or wait until it is available in the AppStore.


I’d say exactly for the reason you mentioned earlier: because these are the words everybody knows, phonetically at least. When you already have “ohayo” or “konnichiwa” in your mind, you can map the words easier onto their kana versions and thus learn kana symbols faster.

I hope that the WK team will find some solution for people who are frustrated by kana vocabulary.

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To use WK, you’re already expected to know hiragana and katakana.

Anyone learning Japanese in order to communicate will probably learn こんにちは as their first word.

How are you going to know that you need to know kana for Japanese unless you are interested in learning Japanese in general? I can’t imagine coming to WK and not already knowing at least こんにちは. But WK expects you to wait a weeks to learn basic greetings.


That’s what I have been using is Tsurukame TestFlight.

My feedback: this should be opt-in. Most WK users in the mid or high levels are already going to know most of the kana-only words that are being introduced, so it just serves as a distraction from what they’re actually learning at those levels. I’m on level 26 and was struggling to keep up already, and throwing a bunch of words I already know into the mix just side tracked me.

However, I love the addition in general. If WK incorporated the most common vocab words (maybe 2000?) in addition to vocab that’s meant to reinforce kanji, it would easily become the one-stop-shop for Japanese vocabulary learning and people wouldn’t need to use Anki to learn the basics.


I LOVE the new kana-only vocabulary. Especially since when I spend too much time focusing on WK, my grammar tends to fall to the wayside. The reverse also happens.

What I would like to see added is that when Wanikani says in the item “This is sometimes written in kanji” or “This has kanji but it’s usually written in hiragana” we have some context for that. Either linking us to the vocab page where we learned the kanji, or just showing us what it is.


I’m confused, how does the new kana vocabulary help you with grammar?

I do agree that it would be a good idea to get “usually/often kana” indications systematically on vocabulary.

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Exactly! I am awful at Katakana! This is going to help immensely!

That’s a good idea. Like when it says there is Kanji for it, but it will almost always be written in Katakana, maybe showing what it might look like in Kanji briefly, even if it is ancient.

The elephant in the room is that if WK starts building the opt-out feature for kana-only vocabs, people are going to start requesting opt-out for kanji also.

For example, someone who has been studying Japanese for years would know most kanji in the first 10-20 levels. If they can opt out of those kanji, then they only have about 40 levels left to conquer, and thus they don’t have to buy the lifetime or even annual subscription.

With opt-out, you can potentially finish WK in several months, thus reducing WK’s income. In the extreme scenario, you can join today and just opt out of all kanji, and you immediately reach level 60 without doing any reviews at all.

So if WK is going to introduce opt-out for kanji at all, I think they are going to reduce the number of kanji you can opt out of, for example only 1 per long level, and probably none for the short levels. This guarantees that you still have to go about 1 week per long level or 3 days per short level.