Meaning + Reading combined

Would anyone else find it useful if there were a review format where the kanji would be displayed, and instead of having to answer the meaning and reading separately, you’d have 2 inputs for each on the same page?

I think (for me at least), it would make reviews a bit more streamlined, but it would also help my brain consolidate information better. For example, I can look at 大役 and answer important task, and then answer たいやく, but if you asked me out of the blue what “taiyaku” means in Japanese, I’d stare at you blankly like a stunned goat.

I know it might seem like the combination approach would be irrelevant, but brains do magical synesthesia things all the time!


You can use scripts to put meaning and reading back to back. But those darn permissions… :roll_eyes:

[Userscript]: Reorder Ultimate 2 [newest]


People want what they want, and you know what works for you. But there is a scientific reason why WK does it. It helps the learning process.


I wonder if having reading and meaning, radicals, kanji, vocab, all mixed up really improves the learning progress. I’m really not sure about that - I found that reading/meaning back to back works well for me, and sorting it so vocab leads the kanji, with radicals at the end, structures my curriculum in a way that favors reinforcement over progress… which i believe will help me out a lot.

I think Tofugu read too much into those scientific findings.


As I said, everyone knows what works for them. ^^ When I read up on interleaving back in the day, I found the arguments for it pretty compelling.

At one point in my WK, I had a script set one to one, and I was reviewig radicals, kanji, and vocab without mixing. I found that I became much more prone to grouping - as they all came close together, I started recognizing what batch of levels certain items were coming from. “Ah, that was that one level, so now I’m also going to have that other kanji with a very similar meaning.” My brain was using grouping as a crutch. I don’t know if I would have honestly remembered kanji B in a native situation, since right before I reviewed it, kanji A made me go “oh yeah, B will be coming then, huh?”

For me, the interleaving is more challenging, and it is more likely to force me to look at each item and have to search the memories of dozens and dozens of levels for what it might be, without my brain grouping things in a way that only helps during WK reviewing, and not during native reading.

Not sure I’m explaining that clearly, but I tried, hehe. Everyone should do what they want to do, but it’s always best to make informed decisions. :slight_smile: The fact that things like 1:1 mode in scripts exist shows that it’s definitely something people are drawn to.


Radical, kanji and vocab lessons all pop up close to each other - as they should, that’s the goal of WK, right, a self-supporting, modular system. The downside would be that all these things will pop up together for reviews, too, and then it doesn’t really make a big difference if you order it to have radicals or vocab first, or if you do 1:1 reviews.

Interleaving is still a thing, with levels consisting of various, seemingly random bits of information (there is no “theme” to the kanji WK teaches within a level), only that “one thing” consists of 5-6 cards.

I can see how scripts that let you slack off with vocab, or override can do a lot of damage if you don’t use them responsibly though.

(Wonder if I’m making sense right now, I’m a bit drunk and kinda got lost in my own reply, lol)

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I want to hear more about your point of view. I think it’s interesting, but later, not now. Later, when you’re not a bit drunk. I’ve been following your posts and Omun’s and read that reference Omun referred long ago. I want to see your argument that 1:1 is better than randomized one, or at least, that’s what works for you. Later.

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yeah, today was hump day. i’m not really drunk, just a little, but i’m also tired, so i’ll write something up later :slight_smile:



ok, first things first, to kick this off: there’s no scientific proof that interleaving or other methods work better or worse for vocab acquisition.

there is, however, scientific evidence that points in the direction that learning vocabulary by topic (bird names) or other grouping (antonyms, synonyms, same this or that) is less effective. this includes learning a set of vocab items in specific order (word lists, for example iverson method).

wanikani doesn’t teach such lists.
yes, radicals, kanji and vocab are connected, and usually, if you get one right, the others are correct as a consequence, but if you think about it, all the words you learn and the radical are part of the neural network that makes up the memory of that specific kanji. 日にち、日々、日付、日曜日、日焼け and so on are all single strands of the kanji you just guessed right, and it’s perfectly cool, because that’s what you’re here for.

since there are no thematic (et cetera) lists of radicals, kanji, vocabulary here, there’s no need to introduce another layer of interleaving by making reviews harder artificially.

i’d argue that when you work on your reviews and you focus enough over a long enough period of time, you go into the flow, which impacts your learning process positively. by testing reading and meaning together, you activate both bits of information in a timely manner and reinforce them at (almost) the same time.
(you go into alpha state when you’re engrossed in a book btw)

that’s why i think Tofugu misunderstood something there … which is no big deal, because mods exist, and everyone’s free to do it their way, just as @Omun said.

and tbh, i don’t think it’s even a big deal in the grand scheme of things :wink: 2-3 years of wanikani are nothing compared with how long some of us have been studying already.


I did this as well… I was getting kinda frustrated that I’d see a word, the reading would pop up in my head, but I was asked for the meaning and I’d kinda feel like “stop, I’m not supposed to think of that now!”

I want to produce the behaviour in my brain where a word’s sound and meaning appear simultaneously. Not make myself consider them separate from one another.


especially later, when both english keyword and readings kind of dissolve and leave a kanji that represents a certain concept and is mostly read like X, but sometimes as Y, like in words A, B and C you use regularly.

i bet that testing for the english keyword leads to better test results of the english keywords, but who’s paying WK for that? we’re here to learn to read.

I was thinking mostly about words though, not kanji… A kanji doesn’t really have just one sound it can make in your head, but a word most often has only one way to sound so I’d like that to be the immediate reaction when I see it, if I can.

In practice there are tons of words I just make best guesses for when reading though since I’m not sure how to pronounce them…

that’s right, but it still works for both: put them on 1:1 and you’ll reinforce it properly, instead of being irritated and kicked out of the flow.

tofugu calls that “review trance” and assumes it’s a bad thing, but i’m of the opinion that the opposite is the case.

neither of us have proof for our theories, people have to find out which works for them themselves.

I like practicing back to back, but I like being tested separately/randomly/interleaved. The SRS is both at once, so :man_shrugging:

I don’t love the thing where I type in a whole reading or meaning quickly, only to realize I’ve typed the wrong one and have to backspace, backspace… (At least I’ve learned not to press enter until I proofread). I think the black/white bar isn’t visually different enough to prevent that, at least not for me. When I use the self-study script, this isn’t a problem because it’s always reading, then meaning.


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