New to this site. How do people feel about it?

Well, you’re asking on the WK forums, so you’re going to get a lot of answers in favor of the site. I’ll be a bit more measured and say that WK does several things quite well – it’s very beginner-accessible and I like that it curates readings for kanji which can otherwise be very overwhelming. The selected vocab are, largely, chosen for frequency of occurrence in Japanese literature as far as I can tell which is nice. Lastly, community-made user scripts are easy to install and can really enhance WK’s functionality as well. However, there are other tools that are useful in other ways.

In the hands of somebody disciplined who already has a decent grasp of Japanese grammar (ie, the only thing holding them back from getting into basic reading is lack of kanji/vocab), Heisig’s Remember the Kanji (RTK) and the Core 6k vocab deck on Anki or Memrise can be incredibly powerful tools, and you probably can’t beat this approach for raw speed of acquisition. If you’ll be doing reading as reinforcement, this can be a great semi-immersionist approach.

The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Course (KKLC) offers hands-down the best mnemonics of any of the kanji-learning tools I’ve tried. Fortunately KKLC can be used to supplement WK or RTK (actually you can use KKLC to replace the RTK book without much trouble, and it may even be preferable to do so), and I rarely do kanji lessons on WK without my copy of KKLC on hand.

The last option is to jump right into native material once you have basic grammar (e.g., simple manga) and struggle along through kanji and vocab as you go along, adding new items to your anki/HouHou/Memrise deck as you encounter them. Some people swear by this approach, but I honestly find it too unstructured and frustrating to use as the foundation for all my learning. Best to be familiar with this method, though, as you will wind up employing this method as you go along and get into reading as you’ll very regularly encounter words you don’t know. To put things in perspective WK will teach you ~6k vocab . . . iirc, 8yo’s have passive vocabs of about 10k words (and a much better grasp of syntax than us); the average adult Japanese native speaker has something closer to 25k - 35k words in their passive vocab (need someone to verify though, right now I can only find a source for English passive vocab). If you use other methods first, you’ll at least recognize the kanji, and this will mostly be an exercise in vocab acquisition which I think is probably ideal.

Anyway, those are the major kanji options that I’m aware of, and I’d recommend you give them all a look and figure out what you think works best for you. The most important thing is to pick something and stick with it at least until you have a solid foundation. Down the line it may make sense for you to change your approach (e.g., I’m considering switching the KKLC + Core 6k sometime after I hit WK level 35), but don’t jump around so often that you undermine yourself.


What kind of simple manga would you recommend?

Meh. I find the mnemonics pretty useless, and who the heck is Kun-yomi anyway?

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Only if you’re using Rfindleys “Golden Burns” Script, if I’m not mistaken. :stuck_out_tongue:

Nope. The script only works for the ones using it. Check the color of mine.


Depends on your grammar proficiency. If you can mark these things off of your checklist – basic particles; past, present, negative equivalents; progressive tense; adjectives; formal forms – you can probably start tackling basic reading.

I’m still in this process myself, but I started by getting my toes wet with NHK Easy (which was anything but!) before tackling a manga. Once your comfortable with NHK Easy you have the option of jumping straight into easy children’s mangas like Bono Bono, Chi’s Sweet Home, Yotsuba or Polar Bear Cafe; or you can make the transition by using Satori Reader for a couple months to ease yourself into more complicated readings. Oh there’s an alternate route to all this in graded readers, but those tend to run pretty pricey (avg. $10 each). If you’re willing to lay down some cash, though, they’re a comfortable, structured way to gain confidence in your reading.

Yours is gold. Oh, so it only turns gold for those you are using the script and level 60? So are you saying that you’d have to be level 60 and we’d both have to be using the script for you to appear gold to me?

By default level 60’s are yellow, for people that are using the script level 60’s turn from yellow to gold.


Golden burns just changes the color of burned items on your dashboard (and other item pages) from black to gold… Doesn’t it. What would it have to do with the level icon here.


It does two things: what you mentioned about turning burns from black to gold and then it also adds that same gold to the level 60 people (default being yellowish).


Eh, the level 60 icon seems gold enough to me. But it still obviously wouldn’t change what other people see.


Indeed there’s a certain subjectivity to how we all perceive colour. And I’ve checked the scripts active pages and it’s definitely changing the emblem colour.

You were saying that level 60 people only appear yellow if they have that script, correct?

It would be nice to learn that much vocabulary through WK, but it doesn’t teach that many because there are only ~8800 items in total (this includes the kanji and WK radicals). So about over 6k vocabulary items altogether.

To the OP, @jodyaudio, I was satisfied with WK. I recommend it to people serious about learning how to read. Obviously, it’s not a perfect system but for the amount of time it took to learn kanji, I feel it was money well spent.


By Jove, you’re right. Got my numbers mixed. Well, even more work to do in the wild I guess.

I love it. I don’t think I could really learn kanji without this platform. I hate anki cards and notecards in general and handwriting kanji would be painfully slow and would still require some manual SRS system.
Just do the frist 3 levels as they are free. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions.
( ◠‿◠ )


I love it! I’m only on day four right now but I love that I’m forced to take breaks and I’m always so excited for my next lessons and reviews ヾ(๑╹◡╹)ノ"

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