系 (lineage) and its associated radical are taught at levels 30 and 31. 係 (connection) uses this radical, but it’s taught at level 16. It only has two vocabulary associated with it: 関係 and 係わる. I propose for 係 and its vocabulary to be taught after lineage. It shouldn’t be hard to come up with a mnemonic for leader + lineage → connection (in fact it’s probably less of a stretch than its current mnemonic). Does anyone else agree?
It would bring down level 16’s kanji from 33 to 32, and vocabulary from 115 to 113. The kanji could be added to the second group of kanji to level 30 to bring it up to 34, and the vocabulary would go from 110 to 112.
E: In fact, it might make sense to go the other way, too: the vocabulary taught with lineage all use kanji learnt before level 16.
I don’t have an answer to your question, and I can’t say exactly what was the motivation for the ordering of kanji in Wanikani.
However, just looking at some frequency lists for words containing 係 and 系 as well as the frequency of the kanji themselves, I can see that 係 seems to show up more frequently than 系.
I would bet that if 系 and 系 containing vocab gets taught before 係, someone will show up and complain asking why they are having to learn a less frequent kanji before a more frequent one. The crabigator just can’t seem to please everyone.
That being said, I totally see your point. My weird mnemonic for 系 was actually something like “the leader died but we still have a connection 係 to him because of his lineage 系”.
But my brain is weird like that.
wkstats lists 系 as frequency 567. There are a few dozen kanji at lower (>567) frequencies which appear at earlier levels.
If we’re going to argue about frequency of use, then 系 should be brought down to level <= 16 (i.e., keep 係 where it is, teach 系 earlier) because of its usage as a suffix; those won’t show up on vocabulary frequency lists. As I wrote, bar 系譜 (56), 的 (14) is the latest kanji you need to know to learn 4/5 of the vocabulary taught with 系.
Honestly I think it should. One of my biggest gripes is when there’s a perfectly good kanji to use in the mnemonics but wk insists on breaking it down to the tiniest radicals. Mnemonics using more than about 4 components just get too convoluted.
This kind of thing is my main problem with the kanji ordering in WK.
Personally, I would prefer to learn 良 before 食, and 是 before 題 as well… though I do understand that WaniKani’s order is generally based more on frequency and grouping kanji in the same level that have a lot of shared compounds.
But definitely agreed on 系 in particular.