Please, make the kana vocab optional!

They’re working on it (allegedly). Hoping the feature comes sooner rather than later.


Honestly I can’t see it being damaging for fluency. If you feel like you already know them, it takes two seconds to smash them out anyways. They’re completely inoffensive, and don’t really get in the way at all.


Imagine you pay for a gym subscription to use their weights, you do your cardio by jogging and cycling outside the gym. You only pay the gym to use the weights.

Now let’s say the gym introduces a new rule; between every set you have to go running on the treadmill.

Sure, it’s not going to be damaging to your health but it completely messes with your workout routine. You’d quickly go find another gym.

Now replace gym with WK, lifting weights with learn kanji, treadmill running with kana-only vocab, and your health with Japanese proficiency.


Exactly. Let’s put it another way: it’s inefficient and damaging for the focus of users who want to concentrate on kanji. When you add the fact that WaniKani has been known for years now as a kanji learning service, the frustration of many – though of course not all! – users is understandable. As someone who is ‘lazy’ (read: I aim to minimise the effort required to reach a desired result by doing only whatever I think is most effective), I don’t like being made to do pointless work that’s not relevant to my goal, so I sympathise. Nobody likes paying to feel like they’re being forced to waste their time, and the fact is that some WK users are feeling that way right now. (PS: Don’t talk to me about ‘sucking it up’ – I spent two years of my life involuntarily bound by law to follow orders, so don’t you dare assume I don’t know what that involves.)

That aside, as a computer science student, I (like some more experienced devs here) don’t see why it should be hard to implement the ‘optional’ feature. Perhaps I just don’t appreciate how complex WK’s code is, but from an object-oriented programming perspective, it should be as simple as adding a ‘kana’ or ‘optional’ boolean attribute to the learnable item class, adding another ‘kana_vocab_off’ boolean attribute to whatever class they’re using for settings, and filling in code that checks the ‘kana’ attribute of an item and removes it from the lesson and review queues if necessary (or just doesn’t put it in at all). I’m actually concerned that for whatever reason, the kana items were designed without this ‘kana’ attribute, which means the devs might be manually combing through the files looking for kana items in order to add that attribute to them. However, if ‘opt-out’ was part of the plan to begin with, that’s probably not the case, so who knows what’s going on.


Imagine the ‘cardio’ required is 30 seconds per session (in fact on average much less, as it’s 15 minutes in total over all past and future sessions), so basically it amounts to much less than what you do by waking from one weight lifting machine to the next. Basically every single gym in existence forces you to do that amount of ‘cardio’ and nobody ever complained or changed gym for that reason. But sure, you do you and change gym. I wonder why all these people who find it unacceptable are still here complaining rather than in another gym doing what they like.


First of 3 sets. Reps. Drop focus, set down weights, walk to threadmill, start threadmill, run threadmill 30 seconds (or 1 second if we go with how the analogy has been twisted here), stop threadmill, walk back to weights, re-focus. Second of 3 sets. Reps.


If a kana words makes somebody ‘drop focus’ and that person than requires to ‘re-focus’ I wouldn’t want to be in that person shoes. Reading actual Japanese must be extremely challenging. Can you imagine the stress due to all the continued losses of focus every time a kana word shows up. Not to mention the horror when an Arabic numeral appear. They probably would give up reading altogether once they reach the bottom of a page and notice in a corner the page number in non-Japanese characters :scream:.

Jokes aside, the analogy is frankly terrible and makes no sense whatsoever, but if we really want to go by it one would definitely not want to stay in that gym so I really don’t understand why all these people against kana words hang around if this introduction is as damaging as the analogy suggest. Could it be perhaps that the analogy is just an over dramatic exaggeration and reality is nothing like that? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


This is truly an awful analogy. For one, 30 seconds of treadmill between every set will amount to half your workout. We’re talking about 80 new words as opposed to 8000+ existing items. Next, there’s no “transition” by walking over to the treadmill. It’s instantaneous. This analogy is extremely misleading.

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The hell are you on about? You can chose what to do in the gym, of course forcing that to people would be enough to switch gyms.

If you arent annoyed by this update, im happy for you, but you need to stop convincing others to be happy because you are. Hopefully wk can implement that opt out soon so everyone can be happy, but its been more than 2 months since they recieved harsh feedback and still nothing has been done, so no wonder people keep on asking.


The post above linked to the newsletter, where Kana Opt-in and Summary Page got nothing more than a one sentence mention at the very bottom. “We haven’t forgotten about these and we’re actively working on them”

Hardly seems like they’ve put it as a priority. Updates to kana opt-in and summary pages are currently ‘footnote status’ as far as the newsletter goes.


“Losing focus” over a kana-only word sounds extremely painful when reading. My condolences if that’s the case.


Can you imagine the stress due to all the continued losses of focus every time a kana word shows up.

こんにちは has knocked me out of my kanji flow in ways ベッドの下 hasn’t. During my focused kanji study, which isn’t normal reading. こんにちは is welcome during normal reading.

But it’s ok, my flow now includes writing “k” and hitting “enter” when I recognize a kana word


No. Not when reading. When focusing on the skill of kanji retention. Different things


I’m dumbfounded. I don’t even know what to say.

You must truly want it to feel miserable if こんにちは throws off your focus but ベッドの下 doesn’t.


unrelated: hi! congratulations on first post!


I’m dumbfounded. I don’t even know what to say.

You must truly want it to feel miserable if こんにちは throws off your focus but ベッドの下 doesn’t.

I’m sure you have a job, or some activity, or some video game, or whatever, that brings you to a state of focus that can be broken easily, even if a kana word suddenly showing up in your kanji studies after years of not doing that doesn’t do it.

If you really can’t relate in any way, then that mental fortitude is actually quite an advantage in life and I envy you I guess


It is truly baffling to me why the people who aren’t bothered feel the need to come complain about us who are bothered complaining. It’s perfectly normal to voice your complaints when a service you are paying for isn’t doing what you’d like it to.

The changes don’t bother you? GREAT, good for you, go enjoy them. Nobody is asking for the changes to be removed, but for a large portion of users these are actively bad changes so we would like them to be optional. If you enjoy it but it was made optional that would literally affect your life 0%. Not everyone focuses or studies the same way you do and that shouldn’t be hard to understand.

Basically, I come to these threads to commiserate with fellow people who would like to see WK work better for us and remind the WK team we are still bothered by the changes and it is highly frustrating that every time the threads are hijacked by people going "but it’s not bothering meeeeeeee, how dare you complain when I’m not bothered? :frowning: "


And they should receive it - without me.

What a defeatist attitude. You’re depicting it as if Wanikani were some unchangeable force of nature.

A beta feature should be optional from the start.


In other words, “I don’t agree with your views so please don’t post in my echo chamber.”

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I expected the platform to be rigid, yes.