Kanji with same meanings on the same level

I think maybe acknowledging their existence on the meaning mnemonic would help lol

I was just going through 理 and 由, and on one review I got to 由 and went like this:
“Oh, it’s reason… no wait, the other one is reason, cause the village is the reason there’s a king, so what was this?! oh god I don’t know, I’ll just put up reason. Oh, it WAS reason, so what was the other one? did I just made up the fact that it was reason?”

So yeah, not a big deal honestly, most people probably won’t have such a big brain fart they start gaslighint themselves, but hey, one extra line of text could also help lol


Yes, sometimes WK presents kanji with slightly different keywords, while the meaning is the same. But it seems it is just a way to keep the SRS system effective.
Because if you can answer indifferently ‘reason’ for every kanji review, the quizz is not efficiently testing that you can recognize each kanji individually.

During the WK scholarship, you will encounter multiple sets of kanji with close/identical meanings (the kanji for ‘art’, for ‘work’, for ‘look/see’, etc).

BTW: same issue for vocabularies, there are multiple japanese for ‘occupation’, ‘consent’, etc.

I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing… or I just have no clue what you tried to say.

On the example I brought up, they are two kanji from the same level, both with the meaning “reason” and not even one synonym… so I literally can only answer them as reason.


Ooo, ooo, the best one is when it teaches you 続く and 続ける and then goes “Uh… they both mean “to continue”… I dunno what the difference is. Shrug”

The difference, Mister WaniKani, is that one of them is transitive and the other is intransitive.


What I meant is that and mean ‘art’, but for the sake of knowledge testing one is named ‘acting’ and the other ‘art’.
Of course ‘acting’ is part of 芸’s semantic field, but maybe it would be translated as ‘art’ as a main meaning (at least, when i check some resources).

Ah, I get it, although that sounds like the opposite of what I was saying :stuck_out_tongue:

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There is a mix of both.
I think it makes sense to have the item title separated, in order to improve the quizz effectiveness.
But many items would need more elaborated explanation. I would appreciate the meaning frame to be appended with some precise definition from a reference dictionary (if it does not exist, that would be a much-needed script).

The reason why they don’t go into detail on the differences between those 2 words is because the goal of wanikani is to teach you kanji and not vocabulary. If you see those two kanji in the wild, you now know that both have something to do with reason and how to read them.

That’s also why wk teaches you 友人 as friend. They just want to teach you the reading of those kanji so you know that if you see 人 in a word, you can probably read it as じん. The word you’d actually use for friend is 友達.

laughs in examine, inspect, examination, inspection


This is the exact reason why I look the kanji and vocab up in alternative sources if there’s any ambiguity with WK’s gloss though. “Reason” can mean different things - the reason why something happened, the reason for someone getting up in the morning, a reasoned argument, reason as a mental faculty, reasoning with someone, being reasonable - and I wouldn’t expect Japanese to use the same word for each even if English does. No wonder “reason” returns so many results on WK.

Anyway, for me it’s important to learn the actual meaning of a given word (or kanji or grammar), not just whatever English words might stand in for it, and that means learning its denotations and connotations on top of a convenient computer-testable gloss. And looking a word up in a monolingual dictionary like the nicely easy-to-read Sanseido gets in some handy reading practice for free too. :slight_smile:

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This did not bother me at first because I did realize how detrimental it would be in the future. Now, during lessons, I keep Jisho.org open and choose a synonym that distinguishes similar vocabulary.
理 reason; principle; logic​ i.e use reason to figure it out
由 reason; significance; cause​ i.e. what is the reason for your bloody nose
Interestingly, the meaning mnemonics for these on WK seem to be reversed.


Yes. I know.
I just thought it would be good to have a line acknowledging the similar kanji on the similar level so that I don’t go around remembering there’s a kanji about reason but not realizing it was two instead of one lol

Yeah, ever since starting WK I’ve been using Jisho almost as much as any heavy use website like youtube haha.

And, again, the problem hasn’t been so much about knowing a difference in them, but rather, I just ended up forgetting that it was two reason related kanji in my new reviews now, so I spent like 20 minutes second guessing myself and confused. It’s really just me being a bit dumb lol

I think I’m already used to the meaning of kanji only going so far, and caring more about the actual words that use the kanji than the kanji by itself in isolation

Yeah, when 社 and it said “company”, I thought “oh like when someone keeps you company, companionship and stuff”, and then the vocabulary came on and I realized it was about a corporation lol


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