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

Read the article and loved how in-depth it is!

Maybe it’s to soon to ask this question, but I wonder when I can start reading kids books/stories. I understand basic grammar now (ます & て forms, a bunch of verbs from my minna no nihongo lessons, wa/ga/ni/de early usages) and I wonder if I should wait until I finish my N5 course in October. That would also put me several levels ahead in WK which would hopefully make reading kids books easier.

My point of confusion is not knowing what kind of books I should buy. I realize that “finished minna no nihongo 1 + at LvXX in WK” isn’t an easy criteria to filter books by. :sweat_smile:


I think there are other, better suited users on here to answer the question when you should begin reading, but so far my impression is that you can’t start early enough. If you already understand some grammar, try graded readers, if you’ve got some levels down (say 10) buy an easy manga and join a bookclub. But, as mentioned, others know more about this.

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Kids’ books do not limit grammar to N5 level, but depending on what grade the books are aimed at, they will roughly use N5 kanji, or a lot of furigana, or a lot in kana.

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As @zEUs_japanese already mentioned, you can always look around in the absolute beginner book club stuff. ^^

When voting on which book to read next, they often post snippets in order for people to gauge if it’s easy or hard for them. That can give you an idea on whether you may want to buy one of those books, or if you want to join a book club.

Even if you look through the thread of a book club that finished, there will be people asking and answering grammar questions, and sometimes there are vocab lists put together by the reading group. That can speed up the checking of unknown words.

Someone recently posted about a site called JLPT stories. It’s short audio clips read by natives, but it also has the full text available. You can always read (and listen) to that, since it’s aimed at students of specific JLPT levels.


Hey! I also joined Wanikani with previous experience with Minna No Nihongo.

As others mentioned, children’s books can have more advanced grammar so I agree starting with graded readers might be a bit better. Check out this free link to be able to read high quality graded readers with audio until the end of the month.

I ended up buying a level 0 reader before I found this link and after reading the books there I really wish I had just gone straight to level 2 readers. Hope this helps you find your comprehension level as well. :slight_smile:

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Recently I started to burn some of my items and one thought came to my mind.
I feel like I don’t want to Burnt items gone forever from review queue.
Instead, I feel like I’d like to keep them there with just keeping increasing intervals. Like the same way it is in Anki or some other SRS systems.
I mean, even KaniWani have an option to take off Burnt cap and keep rescheduling Enlightened items forever with increasing intervals - 4 month, 8, 1.5 years, etc
I know there is “Resurrect” button under each item and use it a lot with some of those that I’m not so sure as I supposed to be.
Still, I just feel like 4 month is not enough for me to feel like “hey, I know this stuff ezpz like a piece of cake I knew for entire life” and would be happy to check my knowlege again in 8 month and 1.5 year again, at least.

I’ve properly checked all the FAQs and official guides I managed to find, also googled entire forum but still could not find any related discussion. I still feel like it’s quite common idea, so I would appreciate if you just link me the proper thread. I mean, both with requesting such feature or detailed official explanation of why WK team does not implement it. I believe, I’m not alone who is not so confident in own skills and looking for lifetime way to check them still being alive.

EDIT: would appreciate as well if you approve me to make separate thread, since I’m still pretty new on this forum.

Hey! I’ve seen this come up in a number of other threads. The general consensus seems to be that an SRS system can only take you so far - at one point you just have to start re-enforcing the meanings/readings of your burnt items by seeing them in the wild.

Since there are a lot of people here who studied English as a second language I’ll use this as an example - at one point you reach a level fluency in English where you no longer use an SRS system/vocabulary deck etc to practice the meaning for basic words like “item”, “thought” or “mind”, right? The same applies to WK - you learn the kanji enough that you should be able to recognize it in the wild without problems (burnt), now it’s time for you to start consuming media where you can repeatedly see these kanji so you don’t forget them. If you do end up forgetting some of the burnt kanji or vocabulary then that just means that it wasn’t that common to begin with, since you never encountered it while reading/watching native material. Hope this helps explain why the burnt items are burnt forever.

Legendary level users, feel free to correct me if I’ve misunderstood something. :slight_smile:


Thank you for your reply!
Yeah, I thought this way as well. Of course, consuming native content in a wild is essential and is our actual goal after all, right?
Still, I feel like keeping items in reviews rotation could be useful support for some rather rare items we learn at higher levels. I mean, Burnt items have 4 month interval, making it ~8 month “alive” in our head, right? So if you don’t deal with some 鎮圧 (random vocab from lvl55) news everyday, you just lose it one day.

Most important - and the gist of my post - I actually can’t see any cons for this idea. I mean, keeping long-intervaled items in queue won’t hurt anybody, right? Checking them in 8m and then 1.5y, etc - contributes next to inexistent load of reviews, compared to review load from new items.

So, personally I’d be happy to have the same switch as KaniWani provides, making it possible to at least turn this feature on for ones looking for it.

If you’re consistently adding cards it actually does increase your workload. Keep in mind if you don’t have a retirement interval, you’re workload is only ever increasing (assuming set new cards a day).

I used this to simulate three years of anki usage adding 20 cards a day. Both with and without a retirement interval of 180 days. The difference was about 350 vs 270 daily reviews in the latter half. The longer you do it, the bigger the difference will be.


Hi this is my first post in the community, so I am sorry if my question have been answered already.
So recently I just discovered KW and checked that out immediately, since I am already on level 9 on WK, there was already a whole load of pending lesson on KW and I was a bit overwhelmed lol.
So I locked the later lessons and only unlocked the first lesson, but then when I unlocked the 2nd, 3rd levels, etc, the pending lesson pile dont change. I read that the syncing process is not in real time, but it was already a day or so when i unlocked the lessons, is this normal? or is there something wrong that I hadnt noticed :frowning: can anyone help?

I haven’t used KW for 2 years or so, but if I recall correctly the syncing should be immediate these days… have you tried locking the items and then unlocking them again?

If anything, posting on the actual KW thread could get you an answer from the staff:

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oh thanks for the help, yeah I tried locking and unlocking for several times and somehow it did the trick on the last attempt hahaha!

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Glad it worked out :grin:

Instead of getting it to Enlightended I keep getting the Kanji 知 wrong. Because I can’t remember eh On-Reading.

It’s a level 6 Kanji and the first time the ち reading appears in a word is at level 17…

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Write it down ten times, with the kanji and vocab readings. This usually helps me with persistent leeches.

Well that’s the point, the first vocab with that reading comes up at level 17 and I’m at 12. Of course I know 知る. Well, now that I’ve complained I’ll probably remember the ち reading too.

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That’s exactly the point :wink:

Might also want to check out some leech related scripts!

Here’s a complete and utter noob question/comment/observation:

I’ve gone through the guides and the FAQ and nowhere could I find it explained that the colour of the background in reviews actually matters! I thought it was just an aesthetic choice for the web designers! I saw the FAQ on the colours as they pertain to levels and as I don’t really care about that, but just want to proceed at my own self-study pace.

Then here I am, looking at 下. Uhm… か! No, loser, it’s した! Blabla on-yomi, blabla kun-yomi. But, but, I just only did my review yesterday and it was か!

Oh, wait… that one was with a blue background, this one had a pinkish tint. Does that make a difference? Apparently it does! Blue is the radical, pink the Kanji. (and Purple is for vocab?)

What do colourblind people do? Is this actually clearly explained or am I just too old and dense (OK, boomer) when everybody else just got it?


Under the coloured area it will say ‘radical’, ‘kanji’ or ‘vocabulary’ so the colours are just backup. I still mix them up all the time. I need to force myself to count to three before hitting the button


Argh! I never even consciously noticed that even thought it’s right there! It’s just like my brain is just going into Kanji-Rorschach mode that it can barely parse English anymore.

I am indeed going to do a mental 3-second count, maybe a sort of checklist (radical-kanji-vocab? on-kun?)

Is there a userscript that asks “are you sure? are you absolutely sure? do you REALLY mean it?”

Thanks for the reply!

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