Shake Animation and Messages for More Scenarios

Hi everyone :wave:

You know the shake animation and messages you get if you enter a different reading for a kanji, or accidentally enter a word’s reading into its meaning review? Soon, we’re going to be extending the shake and message to a few more scenarios, including if you accidentally enter:

  • a kanji meaning for an identical radical
  • a radical meaning for an identical kanji
  • a vocabulary meaning for an identical kanji
  • a vocabulary’s meaning into its reading field

That means that instead of marking these answers as incorrect, you’ll see a shake animation and have another chance to answer, with no consequences for SRS stages. The idea is that we don’t mark an answer as incorrect if it’s a slip-up, and not related to your Japanese knowledge.

Update: All of the following changes are now live! Read on for full details of what has changed.

So what’s new exactly?

With this update, all the following actions now trigger the shake animation and a warning message, in both lesson quizzes and reviews.

Entering a kanji meaning for an identical radical

If you accidentally enter a kanji meaning for a radical that is identical to that kanji, it will result in a shake and a warning. For example, if you enter “again” for the radical “stool” (又):

Entering a radical meaning for an identical kanji

Conversely, if you accidentally enter a radical meaning for a kanji that is identical to that radical, it will result in a shake and a warning. For example, if you enter “stool” for the kanji “again” (又):

Entering a vocabulary meaning for an identical kanji

In cases where vocabulary consists of a single kanji and nothing else, you’ll now get a shake and a message if you accidentally enter the vocabulary meaning for the corresponding kanji. For example, if you enter “tip” for the kanji 先:

This will also work for single-kanji vocabulary that includes a tilde (〜). So if you enter “boy name ender” (the meaning of 〜君) for the kanji 君:

And in case you’re wondering, we also added a shake for the opposite case, so if you enter “buddy” for 〜君, you’ll also get a shake.

Entering a vocabulary’s meaning into its reading field

Accidentally typing the meaning when we are asking for the reading:

This shake is designed to catch errors that come from going fast and not noticing that we’re asking for the reading rather than the meaning. Please note that you won’t get the shake if you use backspace or modify your answer some other way (e.g. by selecting it or copy and pasting from elsewhere).

For example, if you type にね instead of きゅう for 九 you will see the shake and warning. However if you then delete all the contents and type にね again, it will be marked as wrong. Similarly, if you type にね and delete then retype the ね, you won’t get the shake.

Adding “to” to the beginning of a kanji meaning

We always ask you to type “to” at the beginning of our verb meanings for vocabulary, and we’ve had feedback that this sometimes accidentally carries over to kanji meanings, which never have that “to” on the beginning. We don’t think you should be penalised for this, so now you’ll have a shake instead of being marked wrong.

So for example, if you type “to go” instead of “go” for the kanji 行:

Typing too many "n"s

Typing one too few "n"s in a Reading answer field already triggers a shake and message. Now the same thing will happen if you enter one too many "n"s.

For example, if you type せんに instead of せんい for 繊維:

The message is a little less explicit here, because we want to make sure it was definitely a typo and you do in fact know the correct reading.

Impossible kana combinations

If you accidentally type something into the reading field that doesn’t exist in standard Japanese, you should now get a shake. For example, if you type “sshita” instead of “shita” and end up with っした for the vocabulary word 下, you’ll get a shake:

We’ll be refining this last scenario over time, but we hope it will already catch quite a few more typos and give you a chance to show that you really did know the answer.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or questions, let us know below or send us an email at






About time! This has caused me so much frustration in the past and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t do reviews from the default web app but use Tsurukame instead. I am glad it is finally the default behaviour. Maybe at some point also the issue with burnt items will be resolved… one can hope🤞🏻


I’d argue that this should just be allowed to pass as correct. If someone is remembering the kanji meaning for a radical, then they’ve likely integrated that part of the kanji and no longer require the radical for mnemonics. (Or they may be using the kanji meaning as a mnemonic.)


That’s a very nice change. Kanji/radical mixups in particular have been a source of frustration for me at times.

This is kinda related, but will you also be adding a message if an answer is blacklisted? Since that information isn’t surfaced anywhere that I know of.


Out of curiosity, will a vocabulary word that’s a single kanji preceded with a tilde (~) be considered identical to the kanji? I’ve definitely put “boy name ender” as the kanji meaning for 君 at least once before (and had it marked as wrong). Would that be a mistake or a shake under the new changes?


I can’t ascertain whether adding Kanji meaning as a synonym over than same warning list, would be marked as incorrect, or marked as correct.

Tried with 各 (Kiss), but Each and Every are already in white list. (i.e. does not warn at all)


Great stuff! (why are my likes gone right now :crying_cat_face: )

Plz have this



Hi @ShinySand, we’re working on that as part of a separate update!

Hi @ewokonfire, those cases aren’t included in this update, but I’ll look at adding custom shakes for them.

Hi @polv, user synonyms should override the warning list, so if you have the kanji meaning as a user synonym it would be marked as correct. At the moment, though, we’re working on fixing a bug that causing a user synonym to be marked as incorrect if it is also on the allow list. For that reason, we’ve temporarily added Each and Every to the allow list for 各 (Kiss).


Hi @DelvinWolf! Sorry I missed this earlier. You make a good point, and we do sometimes add the kanji meaning to the allow list. In general we’d prefer to leave it to users to add it as a user synonym when they don’t feel like they need to remember the radical meaning anymore, though.


So long as during these updates you finally fix the bugs that make this basically not allowable for every kanji-radical pair, then I would say it’s fair. However, if it’s going to take longer to fix the bug than to make this shake change (which recent experience with WaniKani support and development suggests it will), then I’m still arguing for allowing kanji meanings for radicals.

Basically, either the issue needs to be fixed in the bug fix before the shake changes are made, or the shake changes can just be the fix. (I’m sorry if this comes across strong, but I can be very opinionated when it comes to development.)

P.S. There’s also been a number of people I’ve seen mention that their radicals ready to burn dropped an SRS stage because they put in the kanji meaning, instead.


I would urge you to consider allowing the full range of meanings for radicals that are introduced after the (identical) kanji. Because it seems that you usually pick a single meaning for radicals, and then it feels like you are being punished for having correctly associated other meanings with those kanji.

For example, the radical for night (夜) is introduced at level 32, and only lists “night” as an acceptable meaning. But we learned that the kanji meant “night” or “evening” all the way back at level 6. So it feels strictly counter-productive to have to unlearn that. Especially since a lot of these “radicals” seemingly aren’t used outside of WaniKani.

It is even even worse when radicals have meanings that are not valid for the kanji, which IMO should never be allowed to happen.

It’s also annoying to have to keep the distinction in mind when it’s the other way around (single meaning “radical” first, then kanji with multiple meanings), but in that case you’ve at least gotten used to a correct meaning and can build on top of that.


Hi @DelvinWolf, do you mean the bug that causes a clash between some shakes and user synonyms? We’re working on fixing that for all cases, but I want to stress that this update makes it somewhat better rather than worse, because user synonyms only clash with “custom” shakes (the kinds that we create manually), not the rule-based shakes that we’re introducing more of with this update. The original bug absolutely needs fixing, of course, but I wanted to point out that this update will not make it worse. Let me know if I have the wrong end of the stick or you’re referring to a different bug!

Thanks for the feedback @ShinySand! I’ll look into this.


I’d love to see a rendaku shake implemented some day. Would be very useful for those pesky rendaku readings!


Hi @conquerator2! Do you mean for kanji or vocabulary reviews? I think for vocabulary, rendaku falls into the category of mistakes that would need more practice, so it would make sense for them to be marked as incorrect and be bumped down the SRS to provide that extra practice. For kanji, it’s less clear-cut and a shake might be a good solution. Either way, I’ll make note of your feedback so that we can look at how to deal better with that pesky rendaku!


Hi again @ShinySand! If I’ve understood your concerns correctly, I think this update will address them, at least partially. You should now get a shake in all of the scenarios you describe. You also have the option of adding a user synonym, which would override the shake.


@ewokonfire I talked this through with the team and we found a way to include vocabulary with tildes in this update. So now if you enter “boy name ender” as the meaning for the kanji 君, you’ll get a shake :slight_smile:


This is a really cool update, thanks WK team!


Agree 100%