Kanji vs Vocab advice?

Hey All,

Was just browsing the community and got to reading a bunch of posts about speeding through wani kani. All of my day rates are insanely higher than everyone elses (factors of 10) and i don’t know if i’m doing it wrong or something. I keep my apprentice items below 80 as a general rule (or else i end up with too many things hitting at once on guru review days or something) but i feel like i’m constantly floating at least 50 vocab items in apprentice. This heavily reduces the speed and number of reviews i feel that i can do in a week, and i’ve lately ended up with 40+ days per level.

In addition to this, each level is introducing a hundred or so vocabs around where i am (which i assume will keep increasing). So by the time i do hit the 90% kanji, i suddenly have 150 lesson items which i have to get through 80 of to get to new radicals, and due to wanting to keep reviews low this takes quite a while.

So my question is, should I be using a reordering script? Is learning the kanji WITHOUT associated vocab have any inherent value? I’m okay with my pace now (after having experimented with more things in apprentice, this seems like a pretty good place for me to be), but sad about the estimated finish time of in the mid 2020s… however, I am wary about the reordering script because I feel like i learn the kanji better when I see them inside of words, more exposure, etc.

Thanks for any help!

I’m not sure why using the reordering script means you’ll skip the vocabulary, but the warnings people chime in about using it have to do with people purposefully omitting the vocabulary. There are plenty of speedsters who do the vocabulary lessons as well.


You’re farther along than I am, so take this with a grain of salt.

My opinion is that you should keep up with both the kanji and vocabulary. It helps you get more familiar with on’yomi vs kun’yomi readings, jukugo pairs, rendaku and how it impacts pronunciation, etc. Plus, there are just many words and phrases that have kana attached to them that you need the context for.

Take 下さい for very simple example. If you only looked at the kanji, you probably be confused. “Below sa i?” You need the vocabulary study to know it’s the common “Please give me…” phrase.

You can go at whatever pace you’re comfortable with, though it sounds like you may be able to let yourself build up more items at once. Sure, you’ll struggle through some of the apprentice level reviews, but that’s largely helpful in SRS.

You can check, but it does max out at some point. It’s not like at level 50 you’ll be getting 300 new vocab items or anything like that.

In my opinion, no. You read and speak with words, not kanji. So knowing the kanji only doesn’t help very much in the long run.

Only if you want to go faster. But as I already mentioned, it’s not worth doing that if you plan to use it to skip vocab. If you do want to use a script to optimize lessons, I recommend [Userscript] WaniKani Lesson Filter. You can use this to choose how many lessons of each type you want to do at any given time. This means that you can do all the radicals right away, and then mix new kanji and vocab together if you want. As long as you do about 3 times as many vocab as kanji, you should be able to keep up with all your lessons.


If i did the reordering script, would it not push the kanji to the top? At my rate, i think that would result in touching way fewer of the vocab than currently (where i do every vocab lesson before i get to the next level’s radicals or kanji).

You can reorder things in any way you want with the reorder script.


OK, that’s good to know about the reorder script. May start using that, thanks for all the replies!

This is probably somewhat clear but i do love this, i’m just worried i’m a slowpoke and feel like i have a learning disorder sometimes going through these. Very disheartening at times

Do read my post above before you start using it. Can’t hurt to know what options you have available to you before picking one.

1 Like

Sorry, i was viewing that as a similar thing. Definitely meant to look at that as well.

Upon further investigation, I’m not sure what the difference is, or what the value to me is for either. if i set it to 15 radicals and 0 kanji or vocab would it not essentially reorder? Right now using the default order my worry is that i’m going too slowly. I am in agreement with you re:vocab being more valuable than pure kanji knowledge in a vacuum, which kind of locks me in to the somewhat default order.

Maybe there’s a world where i could take on more kanji/vocab at once, especially if i’m lingering 50 or so no matter what, and maybe that’s the only true solution… just really don’t know and feel somewhat rambly at the moment. Either way, i’m not planning on skipping straight to radicals/kanji just for the purpose of getting to 60 or something though.

Basically with the reorder script you can order by type or level. Most likely, that’ll mean you’d get a bunch of radicals in a row, a bunch of kanji in a row, and a bunch of vocab in a row (in whichever order you specify). With Lesson Filter you can mix them together when learning. It’s just a matter of preference.

And FYI, each post has a reply button, so if you click that (instead of the topic’s reply button), the person you’re replying to will get a notification. That way they can respond more quickly.

1 Like

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your speed, provided that you feel what you’re doing works for you and that you’re retaining the material. There are a lot of users who are proud of their ability to get through the program quickly. Aside from the ones that make explicit statements saying that going too slow is a detriment, those making posts about their own progress aren’t trying to make commentary about others going slower than they are. They don’t know you, your life circumstances, and goals. So you shouldn’t need to worry about your progress, I think.

If you’d like to go faster because you feel like what you’re doing isn’t working well with you (i.e., you’re not retaining the material; you’ve been trying to go faster, but for whatever reason you aren’t progressing; etc.), there are things you can do to increase your speed without using the reorder script to give you a boost (if it’s needed).

If you’d like to pick up the pace a bit and feel like you’re making more progress, I think it’d be more worthwhile taking a closer look at the things you’re getting wrong and why. What your typical accuracy is, if you struggle more with reading or meaning, etc.

Fix a few things and you might find yourself going much more quickly…

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.