Radicals are frustrating

I don’t have much to elaborate, just wanted to tell how frustrating it has been dealing with this site and its radicals, and I also think its making it harder for me to learn. Whenever I fail, I don’t think “wow it was so obvious”, it goes more like “wow this is so stupid”. I feel like a 5 year old reading these unfunny descriptions and comparisons. Thats all


I can’t remember the last time I relied on a WK mnemonic, it’s totally possible to level up without them. It takes a bit of time to come up with your own mnemonics, but to me it was worth it


I’m gonna ask you a question that I want you to genuinely try to answer, because this is something I feel is important. Put yourself into the perspective of an average Wanikani user coming to the forums. They don’t know who you are, they have no investment into your wellbeing whatsoever. It’s your first post even, so no one has seen you before, no one knows anything about you.

Absolutely any context that might attenuate the bad impression you leave with this kind of post is missing. Think long and hard how others perceive this post. What are you hoping to achieve? Just throw your complaints into the void like this is some kind of cathartic diary? Do you just want attention? Cause you’re gonna get it, and not all of it will be good attention. Do you want help? Advice from people who’ve been here longer? What are your goals? Do you want to learn kanji? Do you want to learn Japanese?

And why do you feel the need to post an unconstructive rant as your first post ever? Are you making up excuses for yourself for when you’re gonna quit learning kanji? How should a complete stranger on the internet answer your post that you’d be satisfied? If it were you reading this from a complete stranger, how would you react?


You think I care about impressions?

Then, cool story bro.

Have a good life.


That’s what I thought at first, too. I really didn’t need the radicals or mnemonics for the first couple hundred kanji. And then in the teen levels when kanji started getting more complex in both form and meaning, that’s when the radicals started helping a lot for the kanji that weren’t so straightforward.


I’m hoping thats what happens, although I doubt ill go any further than level 3 due to the paywall

Yeah, it can be quite the investment for some people. Gotta choose if we want to invest money into something that’ll help us advance faster or time into a less efficient but less costly method. I personally started my membership with a half-price year membership code that came around the end of the winter sale that has so far happened every year. That helped me get a better idea of if it’s worth it or not. I’m a lifer now, so it most definitely was!


Just trying a new approach. In my 33 years, I’ve seen many people sow negative energy around them, then blaming other people for responding negatively. I tried to make you reflect a bit about that. My questions still stand. What are your goals? And what do you want to achieve?

You may not care about how other people perceive you, but if you’re gonna try and be in a social context, you need to think about reciprocity.


So, the radicals on WaniKani are more mnemonic components than any sort of official radicals. Koichi subscribes to the school of thought that mnemonics should evoke some kind of emotional and/or sensory response, hence the slightly ridiculous stories, but yeah, that’s not for everyone. You’re free to come up with your own mnemonics for everything, or you can also add a user synonym, which is another answer that the server will also accept as being correct (unless it happens to be on the hidden block list, which has been known to happen sometimes).

There’s people sowing negative energy, sure, and then there’s just someone who’s just frustrated with the fact that it’s just not clicking with them. This really felt like the latter. I don’t think your three-paragraph admonishment was necessary.


It probably wasn’t. Honestly I should have just not said anything. In my own way, I was trying to provide constructive criticism.


Welcome to the community, @cool_lamp!

If the mnemonics don’t work for you, then you can simply use WaniKani for the SRS and kanji/vocab. However, you may find that even if you usually don’t want to rely on radicals, they may help in specific instances with kanji that you have trouble remembering.

It’s up to you to determine the method that works best for you. People learn in all different kinds of ways.


I see now, it really was just an in-the-moment frustration. I tend to get carried away by strong emotions like that. I apologize

edit: Also I posted this with the feeling I wouldn’t get any responses and I would be just screaming into the abyss, its kind of impressive to see such an active and supporting community really


The thing with radicals, and the mnemonic stories, and them being silly. That’s an intentional design on their part. They wanted to make the stories memorable, so they made them silly, or dramatic, or shocking in some way for others.

In the beginning when there’s few items to memorize, it seems useless, but as you progress and unlock hundreds of new characters, you’ll find it helpful to differentiate them by their radicals. Look at 識 織 職 for example. If you’re just memorizing the kanji by their overall shape, you’ll have trouble with them, but you see the 言 糸 耳 radicals on the left and you can distinguish them a lot easier, especially if you committed the stories to memory.


I was very much with you and your post :smiley: Without any deeper context that was hard to grasp what cool_lamp had on his mind. Especially that his original post sounded very pretentious. I think it was a proper reaction.
I’m just saying that because I felt bad for you when you said that you shouldn’t have commented on anything at all.


They are the most important part of WK… and save up a lot of time. I use them to learn my Kanji outside of those here and they have been invaluable.
If you don’t mind spending a considerable amount of time, then you should come up with your own. There are too many, though.

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The community is the best part of Wanikani. Most of us are pretty chill, and there’s all sorts of interaction from book clubs for all levels to threads full of polls and all the gifs you could ask for. Best of all, even if you choose not to continue with the main part of Wanikani, the forums are still available whenever you have a question or need a resource.


I mean, that’s kind of how mnemonic devices work. They’re SUPPOSED to be ridiculous, because it’s easier to remember that way.


Second this advice. I use the mnemonics, but once I’ve practiced a kanji for a while I tend to forget them/ignore them. Really good for specific instances like Breadstick has said.

Some of the mnemonics are a bit of a stretch, so I understand your frustration.


There’s also the fact that many new users come here with the impression that it’s just like twitter et al, not realizing that many of us strive to cultivate a more positive atmosphere

And yeah @cool_lamp the POLL thread is awesome