Skipping radicals (probably for the 100,000th time already)

Yes, but the point is not learning the shape, the point is learning its name, as i said.
The shape in itself is useless for building a mnemonic (story), without its name.

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The “shape” was kanji shapes.

You use the radicals (and their names) to learn how to recognize kanji (which are distinguished by the shapes they consist of).

The OP already knows how to recognize kanji by looking at them, so the mnemonics are just busywork.

i don’t get your point. For mnemonics, you need to give radicals names. And if you don’t use WK’s radical names, all of WKs mnemonics are useless, and so WK is basically useless, other than being a decent SRS on its own as OP said

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Hence why the OP wants to skip radicals…

Do people here actually bother to learn the mnemonics for kanji they already learned elsewhere?

yeah, i still don’t get it. My whole argument was that it’s a bad idea to skip radicals (and their WK names).
I gave a simple method to half-skip radicals above. (auto-fill their names in reviews with a script)

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And my point is if you already know a kanji (which the OP said they did) then learning a mnemonic for it is just busywork.

ok, i didn’t realize that was your point. Well, for one, as i said, i don’t know much about chinese, but i don’t think you can recognize all Kanji from their simplified chinese counterparts, and i think many Kanji’s meanings are significantly different from their chinese counterparts. Radicals and mnemonics help with both issues.
I already said above that i’m not sure this is an issue for chinese native speakers, but my intuition is that it likely is, and skipping radicals may well be a trap in that case.

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We don’t know what Chinese the OP speaks. They might not use simplified characters, they might use traditional. The exceptions are things they can tackle as they arise.

All you’re getting by using mnemonics to generate an English meaning is one piece of the meaning of a kanji anyway. Even if the main meaning is different in Chinese, that’s not that unlike what we end up with here. Many kanji have many meanings in Japanese, but we only have to answer with one keyword. The OP has keywords for the vast majority already, in Chinese.

Still, they aren’t going to be able to actually cut out the wait time and I don’t fault the creators for that decision.

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Sure, but chances are they’re one of the 1.4 billion people in mainland China (or from Malaysia or Singapore apparently) who use simplified Chinese characters.

It’s true that a Chinese native speaker probably already has about the effect of WK’s meaning information for a kanji, which is a rough keyword, so here radicals aren’t that useful.
But don’t forget that there are also mnemonics for readings, which also use the radicals, so without WK’s radicals a lot of those are also useless.
Also, there are only about 6 radicals per level, so i’d argue the effort is worth it.
They’re really easy to learn.

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Do they? I don’t really recall at this point. I thought they used the English meaning of the kanji and then just introduced a word that sounds like the reading.

People often say they create their own mnemonics, even if they are English speakers, using the notes section of the kanji pages. That’s an option as well.

Though again, they’re not trying to learn them from scratch, they’re trying to overwrite their current knowledge with what often amounts to nonsense.

Admittedly, i don’t know how many kanji on WK use radicals for reading mnemonics, but here’s one:
福 (level 13)

You want to check the scarecrow to make sure your recent luck is coming from it福

I know, but as others have said, knowledge of Chinese could often also be a hindrance, as with Onyomi that are similar but of course not the real chinese readings.

Also, i think the ‘WK radicals are nonsense’ argument is really a very weak one. Of course it’s nonsense, it’s created to be the most memorable memory aid.
And as i have to repeatedly tell others, there are no “real” radical names anyways.

You don’t need to tell me that there are no official names for radicals in Japanese, but there are accepted names that usually describe the shape, point to the meaning, or refer to a kanji the radical appears in.

I don’t know how radicals are taught in Chinese.

But if I already knew them in some other language, I wouldn’t want to learn stuff like triceratops and scooter, just because the site was made with English-speaking beginners in mind.

It’s not an argument for changing how the site works, because we’re talking about a very different use case here.

i didn’t mean to tell you specifically, just wanted to add to the point, hence the “tell others”, but i admit that wasn’t very clear, sorry.
I know a bit about the (214) Kangxi radicals, but i think it’s a bad system, because they use the same name for multiple radicals, so it’s not very good for mnemonics.

I personally would learn the second set of radicals, because otherwise, you may have to create your own set of mnemonics for a whole bunch of readings, which may be more work than just learning 6 radicals per level. But i understand that people don’t like learning “made up stuff”.
though then again all language is made up

I think we both made our point, and i like a lot of your perspective. Still, i think learning the radicals is extremely easy, and a very small part of your WK use timewise, and probably worth it for a chinese speaker, even if just for the reading mnemonics.


To be fair, this happens here too. ネ is called “spirit,” but they use it for radical that appears on the left side of both 神 and 初. It’s not a bad keyword for the radical in 神 (shimesu-hen), but the one in 初 (koromo-hen) is a different radical altogether, with a different meaning and associations.

Could always be better.

My kanken book has names for the radicals, and that’s about as close to actual names as you can get. So, while there are perhaps no government recognized names for radicals, I disagree with your point practically. They all end with “ben”, as far as I can tell (I haven’t studied them so there might be exceptions).

Perhaps it is an argument that Wanikani is not suited for Chinese speakers, and that perhaps another site or naming scheme is required.

“hen” or “ben” is the type of radical that shows up on the left-hand side of a kanji. So any other types, like in 門 in 問, or 山 in 嵐, etc, will have some other type of name.

“hen” radicals are pretty common though, yeah.

Yeah, I’m at that point in Japanese where I don’t know everything (are any of us at that point?) but I know enough to be dangerous and hold my own in a conversation such as this. I can always learn more.

I do think that, as (I assume) native English speakers, most of us really aren’t all that qualified to speak with absolute certainty on any aspect of the language, and most of us probably don’t understand the unique challenges a native Chinese speaker might have with this site. I do think there are suggestions that can be made to make the transition easier, and it mostly has to do with mindset, and as I pointed out, I think the language chosen here is confusing. But that’s a topic for another thread.

I do think that if the OP wants to use Wanikani, they’ll have to take it for what it is. Personally, I don’t actually use the radical mnemonics - I’m more interested in the onyomi mnemonics. I have a very visual mind, so it’s not too hard for me to remember what a kanji looks like, but how to say it is a challenge. So I find the radicals themselves to be of not much use to me, but I do them anyway, because the onyomi and vocabulary is worth it to me. I imagine it must be harder to have to override one’s already known knowledge though. Which is why I question if Wanikani is suited for a native Chinese speaker who isn’t willing to learn an entirely new set of primitives, for want of a better word.

Anyway, thanks for the engagement and remaining civil, much appreciated. :slight_smile:

we don’t always get what we want. wk is aimed at international (actually: murican) people, not at chinese, who stumble into thIs with some partial idea.

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Yes, but it’s just a very small deviation that doesn’t matter for mnemonics. It’s practically the same radical, at least for WK’s purposes.

Sure, but that’s just what your kanken book/test defines. Different dictionaries sometimes use different radical names. It’s purely arbitrary, other than being based on an 18th century chinese dictionary (Kangxi). The Kanken doesn’t even ask for the names, does it? In any case, if it helps you practically, that’s great, but they’re still made up, probably by a company, and no less artificial than WK’s radical names.