Level 1 advice?

As funny as " level 1 advice " as a title is to me, I would appreciate some feedback.

I want to really get into this but doing the standard way is setting me back.

Something I think WK doesn’t really touch on is different types of learning.

For me, it’s easier to cement something into my memory by actually writing it out.

Ive been sorta just brute forcing my way through lessons but the more that’s added on, the more overwhelming it is and the less Im actually remembering when the lessons done.

The thing is, I remember through the Tofugu guide on learning actual writing of kana and kanji is pushed to the side due to the emphasis of how important stroke order is.

Is it too distracting to go through wanikani WHILE trying to learn stroke order? Is stroke order truly that vital/will it lead to me picking up bad habits through hasty chicken scratch? How inefficient would it 10 or more levels down?
I didn’t go into wanting to learn japanese handwriting, but I dont necessarily avoid it.

For me its as simple as writing out:

上げる ( ‘-’ < dash or square in a designated color to que me in that its vocab )
to raise ( definition )
あげる ( hiragana )
to raise an aardvark( あ ) above my head ( mnemonic )

This method of note taking is directly correlated to how I learn pretty anything that’s info heavy… I’m assuming if anything, this is just going to just physically slow me down more than the average user.

It will get better as you go along. Once some of the Kanji start sticking, you can practice more writing. It WILL start sticking. If you have the time, it certainly won’t hurt to write the kanji.

I use the stroke order script to show the stroke order on the lesson for the kanji. I personally write down all the kanji and vocab because I like writing it down, but it does take longer. However, I’m not in a rush, so I don’t mind spending a little extra time writing them down. I have noticed that I have gotten better at being able to predict the stroke order of kanji that I have never seen before, so I have found it helpful!


woah i didn’t know about stroke order scripts! just found one out to try, thank you for mentioning it! i dont mind taking the long route either, and with how integrated the script is, its getting two birds with one stone. thanks again!

Glad I could help! I wish I had discovered them earlier than I did because they’re very helpful for keeping a good pace.

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But do we need to learn strokes nowadays though?
I mean back when I did Chinese my parents forced me to learn the strokes from left to right to top to bottom order but now I don’t even use strokes anymore I mean the phones we have nowadays are very convenient that as long as the kanji/hanzi looks close to the letter we are targeting then it should automatically give you a ton of selection based on appearance of the drawn kanji on your phone.

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I was close to that conclusion until I found out about the stroke order script. I think its convenient to have at least some guide on how to get kanji down. A method for writing out the complex ones in such tiny places legibly may help me out with at least an idea of how lines fit together. I think its just the case of me guessing that I might be able to get used to kanji more with whats basically picture tutorials lol. It depends on the person in my opinion!

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What I do is writining every kanji of the current level 1-2 times. If I don’t know or unsure of the stroke order, then I jisho.org it and write it like 10 times or even more, depending on how much do I sweat. This is all I did more or less consistently up to lvl 38 or so. How much time does it take? Depends on how bad everything is with your knowledge. If you know pretty much every one of them with some minor troubles, then maybe 10-20 minutes…
So just do it and see how will it hinder your progress. It will require more time be dedicated.


That’s fair, I guess this is just me coming from experience of learning Chinese, but now that I am used to the order of strokes and how to do the lines, curves and etc… Learning Japanese just seems not that hard or that intimidating unlike for westerners that have no prior teachings/knowledge in East Asian language. But yeah the script is quite useful and you can also go to jisho.org to see the stroke order if you paste it into the search bar.

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Many applications are still sensitive to stroke order. That is, it factors stroke order into the guess of what you’re writing, and that can lead it to get different results based on the order you use.

I think there are times when that’s not a bad thing, but it’d be nice if more applications offered flexibility in that kind of thing.

Also, I personally enjoy studying writing kanji and so whether I “need” it or not, I appreciate things that make learning how to write easier.


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It’s great to have you here!

If you haven’t already check out the Forum Guidelines and the Wanikani User Guide .
There’s also tonnes of things on the forums to help you on your way such as The guide, The Ultimate resource list, and API and Third Party Apps.

If you have any questions, check out this thread; but if this doesn’t answer your questions, feel free to create a thread like @visol did here, or email The Wanikani staff.

Good luck, and I look forward to seeing you around!


Thank you, this is really useful!

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You mean you never ever write down something if you don’t have a computer at hand ?

I do write a lot by hand; particularly at work, I use paper sheets and a pen to put down ideas, numbers, dates, key words, etc.
Also when going to shop, I always write down the list by hand (it would be cumbersome to type it on the phone).

Well, maybe I’m just old :slight_smile:

I didn’t read the whole thread, but I just wanted to share my story. When I first started learning kanji (from a book) I tried to write them out without worrying about stroke order. This lead to some very crooked kanji! My friend pointed out that the stroke order is actually there to make the kanji easier to write. And guess what, when I started paying attention to stroke order it became much easier to write them!

You don’t necessarily need to learn the exact stroke order for every kanji individually, but I would recommend getting a feel for the typical pattern of the stroke order. Once you’ve learned a few different kanji in this way you get a feel for what the stroke order would be for an unknown kanji. And if something doesn’t feel right you can always look it up. Or make your own changes. Stroke order is there to help you, so if it’s not working you should feel free to change it around.

Just my two cents. I wish you luck with your kanji journey :slight_smile:


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