"Past", "Previous" and "Early" Kanji all at level 4 makes for a troublesome SRS experience


It seems odd to place 3 Kanji that have similar meanings into the same WaniKani level, as it makes it very easy to mix up which readings are for which, drastically increasing the time it takes to enforce the correct readings in your mind to be able to progress with them, meanwhile the rest go along normal.

And to further compound the problem, Past’s reading is similar to Rest and Master in that same level.

Did anyone else feel that they took a fair bit longer with lvl4 than their previous? I doesn’t help that I unloaded my lesson queue instead of only doing a few of the lessons and doing reviews for just those, but usually it works out alright… But this made it extra difficult :S

edit: To make it clear, not complaining about similar words existing… Just about them being taught at the exact same time.


I think learning similar Kanji at the same time helps you distinguish them in the long run.

EDIT: I do understand you struggle though. I’ve had a lot of problems with the “work” themed Kanji from level 11. Now they are coming back for burn to bite me in the ass.


I already have issues with similar vocab during level 2 so… I think in the long run it’ll help to not confuse them if I stay stuck longer giving the wrong answers. Probably is best to drill those early on and learn to pay attention and not confuse them than try to learn similar ones later on and have to overcome a stronger association of “this general symbol equals this”.


It’s totally normal with new items to feel confused etc. (= learning). It will get faster in time. Lessons ahead have many extremely confusing terms (get ready for 先年 and company). After awhile you’ll get better at internalizing new words. English is the same way. Practice, practice, practice!


Yea I have the same challenge here with level 1 and 2 especially distinguishing those 大きさ、大した、大きい。 Just got me confused for a while before I slowly got the hang of it. But better this way as starting to mix them up later on I feel. This way I got a better comparison between them as when they are spread out between different levels.


I believe you mean 去 and 先? However, they are both utilized in most important beginner-level words without which it will be troublesome to speak about everyday routines in the past.

As for the readings, the whole homonym thing in Japanese gets on my nerves too, but that’s how it is, better get used to it right away. It’s the language trait.

Level 4 was evidently longer for me than 1-3 levels, because there were almost no familiar kanji anymore.


Perhaps, but if regular SRS is good for all the other words, I don’t think hindering that process is helpful, because you’re going to more firmly implant some memory of confusion instead of simply learning these Kanji normally, separately. Once you’ve learned one, you’re not going to get easily confused when you learn a similar one later.

Well, words like that are at least a bit easier, since you’re dealing with hiragana/katakana as well, so the words look quite visibly distinct and part of the reading is already there for you since it’s part hiragana/katakana, that part always being read the same. But some of the definitions can be lacking when it comes to distinguishing very(中々), very(大いに) and considerable(大した). But overall wasn’t too bad…

I found the easiest way to distinguish between those early 大 words was simply:
If it ends in “sa” it’s “sa-ize”.
If it ends in “ta” it’s “tall”, which is "considerable"
And so the only one left had to simply be “big”.


I understand that, I’m not saying these words should be separated by 30 levels. Simply by a single WaniKani level so they aren’t learned at the exact same moment.


Several kanji meaning the same thing: there going to be a lot of that going forward. My impression is that that’s the way a japanese words often are made. For example, how do you say “reason”… well, you say “reason-reason”.


Exactly!! It’s those words that totally threw me off. Forces me to actually focus instead of firing off answers after a quick look. :confused: That and the whole kun’yomi and on’yomi thing where we learn one reading for the kanji and another for the vocab and I don’t really pay attention to the rules so… yeah. I need to study the logic behind those a bit.


Oh I certainly do and understand that, if that was a problem I’d be complaining about a lot more words hehe. It’s why I use KaniWani as well so I can fully learn these words in both directions! This is just an issue I feel like could be improved to make that level go more smoothly.


btw strangely enough, but I don’t associate eartly with last and previous


It’s more by extension for me, early > earlier = previous = last.
Or, if he came early, he was previous to you.
To get the last donut, you should come early.
The person who came early, was last, previous to you.

There’s a lot of neuronal overlap with those words, a lot of mental connections, so pinning down a specific reading to each, at the same time, can be a bit of a task imo.


You’ve got more battles of that type in your very near future, and yes, it’s frustrating! I am finding that there is a very important “feel” to the language that you slowly begin to realize through learning these subtle differences that can’t be explained as well as it can be taught through exposure.

Suffer through, and prepare for pronunciation battles in levels 5 & 6!


Eh? きょ, きゅう, and しゅ?

Those… Are pretty different from each other.


It’s an interesting point–not long ago when I was just beginning I too had trouble differentiating between some of the Japanese syllables. After some practice they become very distinct but some of them are not so clear at first. For きょ, きゅう, and しゅ and similar the mouth position starts out almost the same so I can see why they might be confused. And of course きゅう vs. きゅ has to be learned.


Well, sadly it’s never been the easiest for me to learn a new language despite this being now my fourth one to learn. It has always been the hard struggling way and me just having to stick to it mistake after mistake but hey I speak now for example fluently in English and can switch between it and my native language back and forth even in the middle of the sentence without giving it a second thought.

I like you ideas on how to memorize the different words with 大 I’ve actually already thought up the one with さ and size but hadn’t found a good one for the other two :slight_smile: This has always worked for me, working with images and mnemonics, that’s how I originally learned real fast Hiragana and Katakana :slight_smile:
The thing however that gets me confused always is the different readings of Kanji. Especially when I have a review where a Kanji is asked with three different vocab readings and then it all of a sudden asks also the On or Kun’yomi reading separat of that Kanji standing alone. I guess that is just something one needs to get used to. As a complete beginner to Kanji it will still take my brain a little until it starts remembering all meanings :stuck_out_tongue:

Yup seems we are in the same boat here haha


I think this is beneficial in the long run, even if it’s more difficult during that level initially. So far, the hardest for me was level 12, which included:
Hot Weather (暑)
Hot Water (湯)
Spring/Fountain (泉)
Warm (温)

Those were confusing for a while, but I think this will help me remember them better in the long run.


With 大きさ、大した、大きい, it’s a matter of grammar

Just remember that if something ends in さ, it can also mean -ness. Like 長 is long but 長さ is length. Longness. And bigness is size. 大きい ends in い so assume adjective when thinking of the possibilities.

OP, it’s MUCH better to struggle with this while it’s fresh. It’s a LOT harder to unlearn something later on.


In terms of the variance that there is between the usual on-yomi readings for things, those are quite close in sound quality. It might not feel like it by the time you’re lvl35 like you are, but early on it’s definitely not very easy to decide which of those goes to which since they aren’t drastically different phonetics. I think my pronunciation is pretty good, and they are phonetically distinct of course, but they are similar in enough ways that it can be hard to remember which when you’re just starting to learn the kanji.


I don’t agree with that, because if you learned them staggered, there wouldn’t be any struggle in the first place and they would be learned like any other Kanji, which is perfectly fine. The struggle comes from them being learned at the same time, not just from them being similar words. Why add unnecessary time to the learning process ya’know?

Once one of the words is in your long term memory, learning a similar word afterwards leaves little confusion, since you’re not going to confuse the word you already know well with the one you’re learning due to that different strength in memory.