Noob in need!

So you are saying, god forbid I should use 學 to help remember 学 if I so chose, because it could just as easily mean something else?

Or…wait what was this even about again?

Does…does anyone know?


crawls into corner, sobs quietly until death takes her from this cruel confusing realm


I’m not sure what the point of this argument is. WK’s radicals are “made up” for a reason and that is to make the mnemonics more memorable. Changing their meanings would require rewriting a large portion of the material and I doubt that would happen no matter how often this comes up.

At the end of the day, does it really matter how you learned a kanji if you can read and understand it? If you’d prefer to learn kanji with the “correct” radicals then there are other methods for doing so out there and that’s completely fine. No one method is for everyone.


It’s fine to use the old forms as a mnemonic, just don’t use them by mistake. Unless you plan on reading older texts, it’s not all that useful to know them. Most native speakers under the age of 30 probably do not know them by heart.

I think I understand what you are saying, but it that really related to the kanji? The reform basically said “Writing 學 is a drag, let’s write 学”. Changing the meaning over time is normal. Dif the reforms even say something of the meaning of kanjis?

My confusion is on why are they made up or changed in the first place. It’s fine to attach a name to a thing that has none, but when the meaning has already been established why suddenly change it? Writing is not that hard of a thing to do, nanowrimo would be the ur-example of that, and none of those people do get any money for their efforts, while WK is a subscriber service.

Wow… still going on… amazing.


It wasn’t really just simplifying of writing the kanji, it was broadening terms and creating artificial language constructs that made sense. Something like 3000 words unrelated to technological progress OR outside influence were introduced after WW2.

As I understand it, the reason they were made up is what I said here:

More of the reasoning behind WK’s teaching method is explained in the guide.


Just a note in response to a comment on radicals and such (from the WK FAQ):

But you don’t have the meaning I know!

If there is a radical, kanji, or vocabulary word you know as something else you can add those definitions yourself with the user synonyms feature. Just go to the item’s page and click add.


Does that actually allow it as an answer, though?
The “construction” one is particularly throwing me off, because it’s anything but, i keep answering to the question correctly, but WK penalizes me because of their a̶r̶b̶i̶t̶r̶a̶r̶y̶ different naming scheme.

Yes, it allows it as an answer if you enter it. So if you can’t seem to remember the WK meaning you can just stick to your own.


Yes. Try it whenever you get a chance. It takes 3 seconds.


That’s really helpful. Wish i had known that sooner

Thank you

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No problem. I really do recommend reading the FAQ and guide; they answer a lot of possible concerns for beginners. If it seemed like some folks in this thread were getting a little spicy, it’s because these questions get asked a lot.

Also @Ateosira, I’m really just doing my best to be polite, lol.


I don’t think that was the reason… but agree to disagree.

@fiertia I figured. How is it going? :wink: !

MY BELOVED うさ子猫たん dropping in like the most beautiful ray of sunshine!
I… I would never be 辛い… Okay, maybe just a little bit…

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Be still my heart!!


And hey, I never said a little spiciness was a bad thing :sweat_drops:

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Interesting. I never thought I’d be arguing on the side of WaniKani’s radicals before. This is new.

Spaced learning has quite an extensive amount of research and study behind it and has proven its worth. Just how much space is necessary between reviews for each person is, yes, dependent upon a large amount of variables, so one cannot expect a singular system to be able to be optimal for everyone.

Unless you’re an advocate for rote memorization as a method of learning language (which I dearly hope you are not), Duolingo is a very poor instrument for learning a language from my experience as a major in educational theory. Drills work fine for learning kanji and the like, but for grammar, rote memorization only leads to stiff, rarely usable production ability.

Okay, as someone who has studied and memorized all traditional radicals, I can tell you almost none of this matters. Firstly, ⼂ and ⼅being “dot” and “hook” are arbitrary names made my linguists to simplify referring to the objects. By all technically, the Japanese name for ⼂would justify “dot,” but, by that same logic, ⼅is “feather rod,” not “hook.” It frankly doesn’t matter what you call either of these, since they provide no actual semantic influence on any kanji, simply existing as the components for producing the semantic radicals.

入 being “to enter” is complete and utter nonsense. A quick google search finds that it means “enter” in almost all English sources, and simply because its Japanese name happens to be the verb, a radical has no grammatical function, so it cannot be an infinitive.

Ironically, 一 is a radical and does have a Japanese name and meaning: いち, meaning “one.”

Might want to at least remember how many there are (214, by the way), or learn to Google before arguing about a topic on a forum if you want to be taken seriously. No offense intended, but, even as someone who has and still dislikes WaniKani’s “radical” system, it’s actually bothers me to see someone complaining about the system developed over time and by many people with a lot of thought without even properly knowing the system they claim is superior.

Once again, complete and utter nonsense. Sure, knowing the radicals can help you learn kanji, but not knowing them won’t inhibit you in the slightest. Tell me, why is 月 in the kanji for most body parts? I can guarantee you that knowing 月 as つき meaning “moon” won’t help you in the slightest, because the moon radical in those kanji used to be different, but changed to moon because people consistently misread and/or wrote it incorrectly. In other words, people didn’t know or care to write the “meat” radical properly yet still had no problem reading and writing the kanji and so that radical disappeared and was replaced.

Best part? When I was discussing my interest in learning this factor with native Japanese coworkers, they had no idea in the slightest why 月 was used in those kanji. It just is.

To the meat of the issue. WaniKani’s main two “weapons” of learning are SRS and mnemonics. As has been mentioned time and time in other posts by the older members (bless you all for your continued endurance), one could surely attempt to create thousands of mnemonics based on the actual meanings, but the effectiveness of those mnemonics would go under question. Instead, using new names that make more creative and outlandish mnemonics that stick more easily was the decision made for this website’s design.

Secondly, while many of the early “radicals” are actual kangxi radicals, as you’ve already noticed, many are not. If you continue to use WaniKani, you’ll notice that the majority of mid-level radicals are either the previous kanji already learned, or complex components that aren’t radicals but a collections of simpler kanji used commonly together. As such, randomly sticking to the meaning of real radicals to suddenly raining nonsense meanings on the users wouldn’t be effective either.

I do not use WaniKani’s mnemonics, and, as such, I do not actually learn the “radical” names for them either. I utilize the Ignore script to simply “bypass” the radicals with names I’ll never remember to continue on with my kanji studies. Is this cheating? No! The radicals are meant to make it easier to see how kanji are built. If you are as informed about kanji history as you make yourself out to be, then simply follow my example and either Ignore script the “radicals” away or write in synonyms in cases where a kangxi radical exists. I maintain over 97% accuracy without much difficulty.

TL:DR: Over the span of team the WK design team made their entire system, they found the kangxi radical names to be less effective at teaching kanji than their own “radicals.” Even now, they are working to refine that process with a radical overhaul in sight. If you have a radical desire to follow a path that relies on the kangxi radicals for some reason (though, as someone who knows them all, I can tell you it’s not worthwhile for anything other than hobbyist learning and fun), then WK just might not be for you.


Welcome to the dark side. You can now access the full power of poop and the boob graves in your basement.


You know, when I first joined WK and looked at the forums I thought wow, everyone here is so mean. So many quick harsh responses. But after seeing posts like these for like the 214684654 time, coming from people who have not put any time into WK and basically just show up and say its trash and doesn’t work, I totally get it.

Also, people really need to read the FAQ and guide.