Radicals only experiment logs

TL:DR - Going to study all 480ish WK radicals in the weekend so I can create mnemonics for new kanji I see in anime subs , Will log how the experiment goes.

Kanji is my nightmare. yesterday I tried watching an anime I like with japanese and english subs at the same time - I found it very fun pausing and looking at kanji meaning , even though the sentence structure and grammar wasn’t 100% clear all the time. I’ve also incorporated WaniKani anime sentence API - and boy it made vocab reviews so much more fun.

I’m not that interested in reading tbh, I like listening and speaking and that’s what pops my focus - so ima try something. (I do need kanji though long term)

While watching I notice that naturally I try to break down new kanji into radicals and make a small mnemonic on the fly, problem is I’m missing alot of radical names.

So in order to learn by watching , making mnemonics on the fly and perhaps anki cards, Ima speed run through WK 480ish radicals.

I currently have an anki deck with the radical names, and gonna run through it tonight for 2 hours, and also on the weekend. then when I’m done with that, ima watch Hunter X Hunter with english+jap subs, make mnemonics on the fly , and see if I can find a cool way to have sentences audio on my phone when I’m done dissecting an episode.

Aight, time to study.

Aight, this is pretty fast, turns out also by level 7 i’ve allready been learning 180 radicals. this is pretty chill, can put on good music and go on learning for hours, will review tomorrow morning what i’ve did today, and try to get another 100 if not more during the day

day 2 - learned another 100 radicals. some of them I knew , but most I didn’t, I think tomorrow I’l muscle through 200 hundred before the week starts and I’l have ton of other stuff

Day 3 - had 73 reviews and 100 new cards + 100 wanikani reviews. That means I got 180 cards togo go, I think ima try to study the rest till the end of the day before the week starts

2022-05-23T21:00:00Z Day 5 I guess - Finished two days ago all the cards, I’ve been investing too much time into japanese , so would recommend people to spread things out , but i’m usually extreme and stupid and pay a price for it. started watching hunter x hunter like 1-2 episodes a day, i do not do deep dive into each episode and make cards or delve on the kanji - but I do focus on listening while just having a snapshot of the english subs without “reading them in my head” . I pause occationaly.

what is interesting though - is wanikani vocab sentences now

here I can on the fly create mnemonics for new kanji I find interesting , when i’m doing a study session.
this is cool because I know that later on when I’l see those kanjis or hear the words they’ll stick much much better.

I’l be able to do “serious anime kanji mining” probably only a month from now , but I’m still very happy I’ve learned all the radicals as it has some utility allready.


Godspeed, I’ll be watching with interest.

So first thing - wanikani radical cards often refer to kanji. i.e " this radical has the same meaning as the kanji X" , so I jump to WK website and search that card, then add the description to the radical card.

I also have Kanjidamage mnemonic api which shows mnemonic from kanjidamage website, these seem to make more sense that some of WK stories. If this keeps being the trend I might all together switch to RTK or something .

You should use what works best for you ofc. For me self-created mnemonics are best, followed by Wanikani mnemonics (for the readings), and I uninstalled the Kanjidamage script since I feel (in terms of reading-mnemonics at least) that Wanikani and Kanjidamage mnemonics shouldn’t be mixed.

Studying all the wanikani radicals first seems like a good idea for making your own mnemonics without interfering with what you’ll learn later on in Wanikani, but 480 items over the weekend seems a bit too ambitious for me. If you go through with it and find it to be worthwhile then I’ll do it myself (over a couple of weeks this summer).

If you’re not planning to continue using Wanikani then switching entirely to a different approach is sensible, and specifically learning Wanikani’s radical-breakdowns might not be the best approach :man_shrugging: But if you’re staying with Wanikani in the long run while also making custom mnemonics on the fly then I wouldn’t deviate from WK.

Mmm yes if I won’t continue with WK then I’m stuck with 480 radicals I guess haha.

I think by level 7 I’ve allready have like a 100 radicals? Also radicals stick easier since there’s no reading.

I’m almost at a 100 atm after like 1.5 hours. anyways i’l keep you update.
my wanikani srs is pretty aggressive btw, tried to mimic WK - 10 min , 4 hours, 8 hours, 1 day , 2 days , 1 week , 2 weeks

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Hi , so today I finished learning all of the 484 radicals. With reviews I’d say it took me about two hours per day , not sure . i think 50 new radicals per day is the way to goo , spreading over a week and a half. to accomodate the load as i’ve said, my srs setting is agressive, meaning I’l have 100+ reviews daily, but they’re quite fast since it’s just radical meaning I need to remember\ re remember. retention is 90%+ atm.

I can share my anki deck , It has mnemonics added to cards where it only says “this radical meaning is the same as the kanji” copy and pasted from the WK website. plus maybe some mnemonics I’ve made for things that made less sense.

I think Kanji damage vulgarity and insanity + shorter mnemonics work better , plus there are only 214ish radicals with that… but I’ve all-ready committed to WK so I’l work with what I have.

What I am wondering now, is whenever for my Chinese studies to use “remembering the hanzi” by heisig, or just use WK radicals , not sure which will get me less confused lol.

anyhow, I’ve put a ton of stuff on the backburner so I think itll take me a week till I get some quality time watching anime and learning kanji that way , and probably only in a month from now find an efficient way to create cards with audio from the anime. What I will try though, Is to finally work through my genki books again and nail all of genki 1+2 kanji now that I can create mnemonics or just check out WK and get a card.

I’l be doing WK lessons and reviews daily on top of that, and using the Anime sentence API so we’ll see if i’l really have time for that.

What is of immediate use is for my chinese, I’l try to learn the hanzi I need for uni with the radicals of WK. (and in the future try remembering the hanzi… as I believe learning meaning first is very valuable.

that’s it for now.

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Thanks for the update, I’ll attempt 50 per day then but I won’t have the time to get started until mid-June. I’d love to get your anki deck then:) I usually make my own meaning mnemonics but i really enjoy WK’s recurring mnemonic shorthands for readings so I try to incorporate those in my own mnemonics, or stick to or modify WK’s when I think they can work for me.

as for finding an efficient way to create anki cards with anime audio - maybe Vanilla’s setup described in this post/video might be interesting to you (you’ll have to go to the post to see the vid):

He says the setup should take about an hour to get running.

I think the slight differences between hanzi and kanji may trip you up a bit with some of the wk radicals, at least they do for me when I see kanji rendered as hanzi online:p

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Thanks for sharing that mining setup! sheesh that’ll be very useful soon.
If you’re allready making your own meaning mnemonics then hopefully after getting down all the radicals you’ll be flying faster on your own while reading etc.

for hanzi, I think I’l use heisig anyway because I think learning the meaning without reading will be easier and less demanding + there are built decks allready. My uni demands aren’t high and Japanese is my 1st priority so better cruise with that and spend more time on jp.

i’ve exported the deck, but won’t share it on ankiweb because I’m not sure If i have permission for that, (though anyone can use wanikani search, still not sure)

share through drive? dunno

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I’m pretty sure that everything WK have come up with should be considered their ip and not shared publicly. But sharing it among us paying customers is probably okay, maybe @Mods can weigh in on this?

This is what we’re talking about (+ the radical mnemonics):

If it is alrigh then drive works:)
edit: btw I’m going to sleep right now so I won’t be around to answer for the next 9 hours at least.

Hi , updated the post :slight_smile:

wanikani vocab sentences are getting interesting now

here I can on the fly create mnemonics for new kanji I find interesting , when i’m doing a study session.
this is cool because I know that later on when I’l see those kanjis or hear the words they’ll stick much much better.

I’l be able to do “serious anime kanji mining” probably only a month from now , but I’m still very happy I’ve learned all the radicals as it has some utility allready. mods didn’t replied about sharing the deck ey?


No, I thought they might chime in instead of letting the two of us advice each other on WK copyright policies but in the absence of any official clarification I think sharing it with me, a life time sub, should be okay.

Is there a PM option? I’l send a drive link

No I don’t think Discourse does PMs, or maybe WK disabled it in the past (I think I remember something like that). Anyway, here’s a workaround: - YouTube

Unlisted yt vid, you could drop the link in the comments and I could make it private afterwards?

Sup. I’ve commented the link, leme know if it works.

I have an update :

I just finished learning all the kanji and radicals for a new level , in one sitting, and fast - and it’s thanks to knowing all of the 484 radicals before hand.

Basically now when I hit a new level, I get to the kanji lesson asap, because I blast through the radicals in like 3 mins. and the same will be during reviews. the time saving means I have much less of a workload, and I always felt like I didn’t have enough time during the week to sit and do all the lessons, and spreading them felt like It’ll take forever to lvl up. I decreased my work load even further :
I use Reorderomega addon to get radicals first and then kanji. during lessons, if I have more important things to do today , I simply won’t learn the vocabulary. and with reviews i’l always start with radicals and kanji with low srs, this way I know I can get whats important to lvl up asap, without risking missing out if I leave mid session. I do not worry about vocab, as I know that I’l get that much faster, much more fun , when I’l watch anime having a strong kanji base.

I started using Ultimate timline API , which can show me on a grid my review times, but I set it so I can see things by srs lvl . this means When I see a bulk of apprentice items coming up, I’l put and alarm clock, or know I’m reviewing again. if not, I don’t bother. I couldn’t care less If I miss a review by 1 day for words like - neptune , mercury, human habitation, etc… this again, means I i’m less stressed if things pile up.

On another note - I got HW from my teacher to read and discect an article. it had many kanjis I didn’t know. Knowing the radicals I confidently made cards for new words, and got like 15 new kanjis pretty fast, with 90%+ retention. this helps not feeling overwhelmed. I also don’t bother with learning both onyomi and kuniyomi at the same time - I learn the reading I need in order to understand what I read right now. When i’l see another reading at another time, I’l learn it , no point adding more load than nessesary to be practical and read what I’m dealing with at that moment. this way I can get more time reading and listening rather than making cards for words I did not learn in context…

I think my next step would be, to focus intensley solely on adjectives :

There has to be alot less adjectives than nouns, and verbs. but they’re also everywhere. If I’m watching a show in japanese, It’s hard to pick up new words and relate them to the english translation, when you don’t know 90% of the sentence. so I think getting alot of adjectives will help reduce the amount of unknown info in a given sentence, and help pick up new words more naturally. since adjectives take major part in some sentences, and they’re not as abundant as verbs and nouns -
I think I’l deliberately make a deck exclusive for adjectives, and look for lists, decks, etc , to get as much as I can.

I’d also think that first focusing on adjectives, would help create more effective mnemonics or memory for verb or nouns, as I can attach something to it, or create a reading mnemonic for a noun by using the reading for an adjective I think fits…

I also try to listen to Japanesepod podcast in the morning when I make meals etc before studying , helps with some learning anxiety, and the workload is minimal. thought i’d share that.

I’ve been introduced to a chinese learning site that works like Satori reader- and It’s brilliant.
Sites that have graded reading with furigana ,voice acting, and option to quickly create a note in a built in srs system - don’t provide mnemonics , so I think knowing the 484 radicals I’l be cruising hard using a reading site like that. when I’l have more time finishing the semester, I’l check it out.


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It works, thanks :pray: :blush: the cards look quite good too :ok_hand:

Congrats on the speed-up :tada:

I do do all vocab before I start a new level so in terms of level up speed knowing the radicals will save me about three days at most, which is quite good for me. The main advantage of course is being able to easily learn new vocabulary and kanji outside of WK.

I think focusing on learning a bunch of common adjectives early can have some merit, though personally I’d take a period and learn x times as many adjectives as other word classes since there are also a lot of adjectives and I’d get bored from not studying anything else I think :sweat_smile:

I usually de-stress by listening to 99pi or Sawbones before studying, my Japanese listening comprehension isn’t at a point yet where it can serve that function for me:/

Good luck with your studies


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I saved 99pi, it sounds interesting, thanks. the learn japanese pod is mainly english explanation and breakdown of very short dialogs\sentences, you don’t need a good listening comprehension. the dialog is a repetition of a certain sentence structure with the changing of verbs\nouns\ adjectives only.
they’re abit cringe on the first episodes, but it subsides later.

btw how did you quote only parts of my message?

Adjective wise : I have homework in genki and other materials and wani kani on throat , I think I’l cap the adjectives at 484 to make it symbolic.

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I might try it then:)

After you start writing you can highlight text and click “quote” and the quote is added to the bottom of your post (where you can then copy and paste it to wherever you want in your text).

Sounds sensible, I’ll consider emulating that.

Btw I meant to quote the whole first part of your post, not just “sup” but sometimes the quoting function doesn’t work properly if you adjust the highlighted text before quoting

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