Please change the example sentences

I hate the example sentences. I always feel like the Tofugu staff got so bored writing them that they just decided to write stupid stuff that would make each other laugh, rather than try to write sentences that would be comprehensible by beginners. Bunpro example sentences are much better and I can generally read and comprehend them.


I wholeheartedly agree with this thread lol. Using the phrase “I hate the example sentences” would be an understatement of how I feel about them.

That’s why I’m using a script that shows example sentences from anime. They are much better than Wanikani’s example sentences. ( “Wanikani Anime Sentences” script )


Wait, people actually try to read those things?


It’s become a meme between me and my friends at this point. I send them screenshots from the example sentences and just laugh at how stupid they are sometimes.


I hate people who hate the sample sentences.

MMA Deathmatch topic START!!!


Not everybody. Just non-level 60 people.


wow, I had no idea this existed!

I will give it a try.

I’ve not been round here that long in the greater scheme of things, but I have seen almost as much hate for the example sentences as for 河豚 or 里心.

I am wondering if I am missing something?

The example sentences are a bit of an optional extra for me, sometimes I look at them sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I can translate, sometimes I can’t. When I do look at them (and I am trying to do this more) I am looking for: the vocab in question - how is it being used etc; the translation - does this help me understand the meaning(s)/nuances better? I sometimes have a bash and understanding the whole sentences, and it is nice when I can, but I don’t sweat it if I can’t.

My question is, is there a reason I should be suspicious of the sentences for my purposes. Are they ungrammatical or misleading in terms of usage? Or are they a bit whacky, and sometimes a bit too complicated, but fine for my purposes (that I have outlined above.)


Please, stop with the discrimination Plantron… Hugs!

1 Like

They aren’t ungramamtical, just zany.

A little bit of zany is good because it helps your memory, but they went too far and made them so zany that they’re hard for beginners to understand.

@Abunaichan I feel your pain and I will say that it gets a little bit better. I noticed that in the first 10 levels the example sentences were 100% useless to me, but more recently they mostly use vocabulary that I have already encountered so they have started to serve some purpose for me.


I loved them! There has been so many similar discussions in the past:

  1. Wanikani team is adding context sentences with simple grammar. Most of low levels vocabulary have at least one context sentence that is easy to understand.
  2. Lots of users love the advanced grammar sentences. Personally, I found rewarding than I can read all of them now (after getting 75% of N3 grammar) but when reached level 60 I could not (Genki 1 grammar knowledge).

You did not miss anything, don’t worry.
The sample sentences often are bizarre and that makes it impossible to anticipate the meaning of the sentence if you only know the meaning of some of the words and you do not think too much about grammar.
It is the opposite strategy of any textbook I know and definitely different from the JLPT tests.

Some people hate it for that reason because it is difficult.

I love it for the exact same reason, because not being able to anticipate the meaning means I have to really understand grammar. Especially you have to be careful about what particles are used. You can easily pass the JLPT level 1 with just guessing yourself through most of details if you know what kind of people are writing these questions and how they expect foreigners to perceive Japan.
I am a living proof of that :sweat_smile:

(Imagined) Example:

man- dog- bite

A dog bites the man. (conventional sample sentence)
A man bites the dog. (Wanikani)

The more bizarre something is, the better in my impression. I realized that, when I thought I can almost understand everything in written English after having to read some philosophical texts for university that where supposed to be difficult.
Well, and then I started reading headlines of The Sun…



West Ham fan loses FINGER celebrating vs Genk in gruesome video from stands


Driver who flashed lights as warning blinded motorist who killed pedestrian


Queen subjected to crude fart joke when dignitary suggested SHE broke wind not horse

Honestly, I have to read these several times before it makes any sense who did what to whom…
I feel it is a good training though.


I do read them - for these reasons in order:

  • (just the Englsh) to get a sense of in what contexts the vocabulary is used. Invaluable.
  • They’re funny, and who couldn’t use more humor in life
  • Like @Amimononohitsuji said, they’re unpredictable and make excellent stretch reading practice when I’m in the mood for picking over a +1 (or +2 or +3) skill-level sentence with a microscope, a grammar dictionary, and a regular dictionary.
  • I feels good when I can read one no problem (somewhat rare)
  • sometimes I pick up a word or phrase or figure of speech other than the vocabulary I’m supposed to be studying.

Sure, I could get all that reading anime or whatever, but they’re right there


guess i shouldn’t openly admit here that i add each level’s vocab sentences to an anki deck i have as I go through wanikani levels lol…it is helpful for cementing reading/usage of the vocab for me.


The more I use the sentence example script, the more I get the sense that some sentences are inherently trying to be tricky…

Take this one for example


I often confuse 体験(たいけん) and 試験(しけん), so when I saw 教室(きょうしつ) in the sentence, I figured it meant an examination room.

but no

The number of applicants for the rice harvesting experience activity reached five hundred.

This isn’t the first sentence I’ve come across like this… I would have appreciated an example sentence that wouldn’t be so easily confusing like this one. This one just felt designed to trick…


Good idea, I also need that I think.

Example sentences should have audio recording by Kyoko and Kenichi


I used to think the example sentences had a mocking quality. Like “if you knew Japanese, you could read this. But in that case you wouldn’t be here. Ha ha!” That was partly because they were much longer and more complicated than they needed to be to let you see the word used in a natural context, and partly because they had a tendency to use words and kanji that WK hadn’t taught you yet.

But now I just don’t care. The example sentences were never a useful resource to me, and I do my reading outside WK, so I don’t really even look at them.

They should just change them all to 私はペンです。


If somebody mocks you, he is kindly giving you a list of things you don’t know or you are not good at.
That’s why I think it can be very useful as a guideline for what you should study first.
Or, in other words, if you feel mocked by something, that means, you think that you have a lack of understanding of that part and know if you concentrate on this part you can improve faster.

1 Like

Yes! That would be so helpful!