New People Questions! ~~~<3 [Lost?! Confused?! We're here to help!]

I suppose it could be this. But does turning a previously learned kanji into a radical for a higher level really help later?

An item should never spontaneously go from learned to unlearned.

As others said, an item that was taught as a kanji may be later taught as a radical. This is so future, more complicated kanji don’t have to be composed of 12 radicals or something.

I see what you mean. WK does indeed teach you certain kanji, and in later levels re-teaches some of those kanji as radicals.

It’s for ease mostly. As you move up, the kanji become increasingly complex. Doing it this way avoids that, by level 50, wk has to list 10 low-level radicals that wouldn’t comfortably fit into a mnemonic.

So yes, some kanji will be coming back as radicals, but that is to make things easier in the long run. WK consolidates low-level building blocks into higher level building blocks to smooth out learning and memorization.


A sloppy example with the level 50 kanji for “gloom” 鬱

If we stick only with low level radicals, WK would have to make a mnemonic with tree, ground, mountain, gun, forehead, hair, spoon, and one that I don’t immediately recognize. That would be very frustrating to remember.

Pairing it down to the radicals tree, can, and psychopath makes complex kanji easier to write mnemonics for, and easier to learn.

So stick with it. :slight_smile: Those new kanji-radicals are on the whole some of the easiest to learn, since it’s usually just the name of the kanji you already know.


Hah. WaniKani’s description of the psychopath radical is “Inside this guy’s forehead you have a spoon and a bunch of hair, not to mention whatever that is in the top left”. Not the greatest mnemonic ever.

Then psychopath only ever gets used in 鬱 anyway…

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Hello! From USA


Hey, I am currently level 9…(maybe) and I see what you mean, but you didn’t learn the radical for “beforehand”, you learned the kanji 予 in level 8 or 9. So it is giving you the kanji in the earlier stages, and the radical later. It is the same meaning…but I see what you mean. You aren’t really starting from zero though. :slight_smile: There is a really similar radical in level 7 (spear) though.

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I’ve seen a few people mention the radicals, but I had a question. Does wanikani use the same like “definition” for radicals as like another japanese book would? What i mean is if I was reading another japanese book that was teaching me kanji, would “一” be defined as “One” cause it is one, or would the radical be called “Ground” as it is on wanikani?

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Hello and welcome!

This question (and numerous others that beginners tend to have) is covered in the FAQ ^^



I have a few questions…
I’m somehow confused by the terms “Kanji Reading” and “Vocab Reading”.

For example I learned that the Kanji Reading of 山 is “さん” and the Vocab Reading is “やま”.
Or 女 also has different readings for Kanji and Vocab.

What exactly is the difference? When do I use which?

Hello and welcome!

Did you happen to look through the FAQ? ^^

Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have further questions not covered in there, or if you’re still unclear after!

Yes, thank you, I have! :slight_smile:

But I’m confused in which situations irl I would use the Kanji reading or the vocabulary reading.

Vocab teaches you just that: vocabulary. Full words as you encounter them in the language.

Kanji are the building blocks of words. By knowing the meaning and reading of kanji, you have a chance at pronouncing and understanding the meaning of words you may never have encountered.

Plenty of resources teach vocab to simply memorise, but WK teaches an ability to read beyond that, by teaching you individual kanji.

And you’ll begin to see the pattern soon enough as you continue through the levels. The on’yomi is usually (not always - usually) taught for the kanji. On’yomi is used mosty in jukugo words (words comprised of multiple kanji) and kun’yomi usually used for words with okurigana (kana attached to the kanji as part of that word).

As always in a language; plenty of exceptions to this, with words that mix kun and on. ^^


Thank you a lot for this answer!

Especially the part that on’yomi is mostly used for jukugo words and kun’yomi is mostly for words with okurigana makes me understand this better!

So this means that I’ll for example eventually re-encounter vocabs where I use “いち” for 1 and not “ひと” like in “一人”?


Yes :+1: In level 2 you’ll encounter several words that use the on’yomi like that.

Hope to see you around, and good luck getting stuck in!


Don‘t get freaked out by the numbers, they are quite strange in Japanese:
many different ways of counting things and days and sheets and people and small animals and…

They will eventually stick. So even if you get frustrated in the beginning, you will get it, it’s just a matter if time.

The best of lucks!


Yes, I learned that already from a friend :smiley:

Thank you! :blush:


how do I do my reviews?

Thanks for this! It helped me a lot ^^

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Might have to do with the radical re-vamp… Or maybe the kanji/radical has shifted levels, which happens sometimes, although I’ve never had to do a lesson again for that reason. …Hmm (゜-゜)

I have a question. It’s not related to the SRS intervals, or to the Crabigator, or to mnemonics, or to userscripts…

No, my question, the one I still haven’t been able to figure out after weeks lurking in these forums…

What’s the deal with the (several, ever changing) poll thread(s)?