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

Hi there everyone!

First time posting on the forums. Been slowly but steadily working my way through the beginnings of WK, and I’m roughly halfway through level 2.

I know this is still early, early days, but I feel like while I’ve conquered a considerable amount already, I don’t really feel like I ‘know” anything. I don’t know if that makes much sense, but like I don’t feel like I’m yet accomplished in terms of kanji comprehension and knowledge.

Has anyone else experienced this?


Hello hello, welcome!

Definitely! I experienced that on two different levels, so to speak.

First, the simple fact that it takes a lot of repetition for something new to really settle well into your long-term memory. Even up to Master in the SRS is very little exposure to a new word, if you compare it to how many times you’ve seen words in your native language.

Secondly, there was learning words in a vacuum for a while. When I started, my vocab pool was non-existent, and my grammar knowledge somehow managed to be less-than-non-existent. That meant I couldn’t place the words in the proper context through native exposure.

It feels very different when you get further along, and you start reading/hearing/using the words like they’re supposed to be used. As you encounter usage after usage, things cement much better as your brain has many examples that it can draw from, rather than that one, tenuous mental link of a WK lesson.

I’d say what you’re feeling is perfectly normal, and rather unavoidable, but you’ll get there if you persevere! Best of luck! :muscle:


Thank you so much for such a thoughtful reply!

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Hi WK community! Thanks for the space for new people questions! :smiley:

How realistic is a goal of moving from Level 2 to Level 12 in 6 months? I know I see all the max-speed-type numbers, but with a bunch of competing responsibilities, I kinda want to make a reasonable goal of joining the (very cool sounding!) Absolute Beginner Book Club in May '22.

Thank you and good luck to fellow new people!


Hello hello, welcome!

Sounds like a great goal! ^^

Six months is about 24 weeks, so if you take 2 or 2.5 weeks per level, you should be around your desired level at that time. You can always glance at how many radicals, kanji, and vocab a given level has, and divide it by 17ish days to see how many lessons a day you should do to keep up with your goal.

Starting to read as early as possible is a very good idea, in my opinion, so I hope you’ll get to enjoy the book club after putting in all the hard work. :muscle: がんばってください!


Hello, I have read up everything I can regarding the difference between vocabulary and kanji on Wanikani, but I seem to still be a little bit confused. For example, I understand that Radicals on their own have no purpose, but when they are apart of other Kanji their meanings help tie into the overall meaning of a Kanji. However, I am not understanding the difference between Kanji and Vocabulary, Ive read the FAQ and GUIDES, but I still cant completely click with what the difference is between the two and I dont want to continue forward until I do understand the difference or I feel I will get more confused later on. If someone who explain the difference in really simple terms I would appreciate it. Also if this has been asked by someone else before and there is a thread of replies, feel free to link me to that instead. Thank you.

I’m guessing you mean you don’t grasp why there is, for instance, a 山 kanji item and a 山 vocabulary item, right?

Radicals are building blocks for kanji, and kanji are building blocks for vocab.

Sometimes a kanji is “built” from only one radical, and sometimes a vocab word is only “built” from one kanji.

Since they are building blocks, kanji are more abstract. They typically have several possible ways they can be read and none of those ways is more right or wrong, since they’re all just possible readings.

Vocab items are more concrete. They are the words you actually encounter in sentences. Words typically have only one way they can be read, though there are exceptions. They’re much more constrained that kanji though, since they are the final product of being “built.”

山 as a word is やま. The kanji also has the reading さん, but this reading is not used when you see the kanji 山 alone, because さん by itself does not mean “mountain” as a word in Japanese.

It might help to remember that there is a spoken language behind all of the symbols, and the kanji just consolidate and clarify things.

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So from what you’ve mentioned is the vocabulary basically a “longer word” / “longer meaning” of a simpler kanji ??? is the best way for me to describe it. For example, the radical 一 means ground. However, this radical also has a kanji on its own meaning one. So this kanji alone has the meaning of one but let’s say we add vocabulary to it like 一つwithin this vocabulary the kanji still retains its original meaning of one but with hiragana added to it expands on the meaning to make it one thing. However, like mentioned, there are kanji that are vocabulary with nothing added on to it, but it still doesn’t lose its original meaning, however it might be said differently depending on the kun and on yomi? Is that correct or am I still misunderstanding. Thank you for your response.

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I’m not sure I would characterize it exactly that way, but if it helps you to think about it like that, then that might not be a problem.

Be careful with this… WaniKani radicals have names, not meanings, which are used here for mnemonics. Sometimes they correspond to the meaning of the kanji if the shape is the same, but other times they don’t. Any Japanese person would say that 一 means “one” not “ground”, but “one” is not a particularly helpful word in mnemonics.

There is a word, ひとつ. It’s used for counting. It’s written using the kanji 一, and it’s probably the case that they put the つ outside of the kanji where you can see it so that you know it’s not the word いち, which is also written with the kanji 一. They could have decided that 一 is both いち and ひとつ depending on context, but they didn’t (most of the time anyway… I think there are actually times 一 alone can be ひとつ). There may be more to it, but I would not think of it as literally putting つ on there to make it longer for the sake of being longer.

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Sorry I shouldve clarified, I do understand that the radicals are simply for mnemonic purposes, but I appreciate you giving the heads up. To clarify on the last part, I think what I am mainly trying to get at is kind of what I said earlier, just not very well. Is basically the difference between kanji and vocabularly, besides being pronounced differently depending on context, is the meaning being expanded upon in the vocabularly (in a lot instances at least). Once again I understand mountain is an example that nothing is being expanded upon and it just means the same both in vocabulary and kanji but the sounds can change, but would this be the basic gist of it? Once again, appreciate you taking the time to respond.

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Sometimes it is. There are words where the individual Kanji meanings can be quite different from the meaning of the word when they’re used together.

I honestly wouldn’t let this stop you. As you go further along, you will gain a better understanding just by learning the kanji.

I had to absent from Wanikani for a whole month and now there are 600 reviews that seem like I can’t make go away. What do I do?

Review them a few at a time. Batches of 10-20 every hour. Do not start new lessons until the review count goes to zero. You should be able to clear them out in a week even if you tackle 100 reviews a day. (Assuming you don’t have a major influx of reviews every day)

Next time when you go on a vacation or an extended break, feel free to use the Vacation mode so that your reviews won’t pile up Felicibus san :slightly_smiling_face:

Good luck :+1:


Hello, so I am having a weird interface issue with WaniKani depending on the computer I get on, both are laptops and both I use google chrome, however, when I am on my work computer and log into Wanikani it shows up differently. By differently, I mean that I cannot see the times for when my next lessons will show up by the hour, so I just have to periodically log into to Wanikani and check. However, when I log into Wanikani on my laptop at home I can see all of it just fine and know when the next reviews are coming up. Could anyone explan why this is occurring or if there is an option or button or page I can get to so I can see when my next review times are? Thanks.


Hmm, I can’t say I’ve heard people mention this particular problem before. :thinking:

I think you might get the fastest response if you email WK at, maybe while adding some screenshots of your respective screens so that they can get a look see.

Hope it will get sorted out for you soon!

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Can someone see where I got this wrong. I’m pretty sure that’s a small つ. Otherwise I’m missing it.


Are you sure you didn’t accidentally press shift to make a katakana へ?

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Ooohh. Maybe. For me it’s the tab. But it’s possible. I didn’t even think of that. Thanks. The second time it came round I got it right. I was just so confused comparing the two answers because they looked identical.

oh and you’re right it’s shift…thanks again

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I’ve got two basic questions.

First off, what kind of usage pattern should I try to be using for this program? I get the whole point of waiting for the SRS to work properly, but the timing between reviews is kind of odd. Sometimes there are reviews coming up an hour later and sometimes they wait days. Should I be attempting to do them as soon as they come up? Or am I OK to just do them once a day? Maybe as long as once a week?

The second question I have is at what level would be a good time to start trying to find reading material or other things to help me better understand the language.