Studying Kanji outside of WaniKani?

I’m definitely going to try out kaniwani, and bunpro looks interesting for when I get a bit of vocab under my belt.

I’ll just stick it out and attempt to achieve for 0/0 since that’s apparently a thing for later levels and hopefully that gets a bit more difficult

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The “WaniKani is so slow” → “Shit i quit because i burned out”-trap is real though :stuck_out_tongue:
If you do 20 lessons every day and do all your reviews every day, you’ll eventually end up doing over 200 items every day. More if your %'s are low. Miss a single day and it’s 400.
Don’t underestimate WaniKani. It’s not that easy, especially considering that by the time you start burning things (aka the highest workload), you should (already) be doing stuff like grammar outside of WaniKani.


Yeah, I think Level 5 is the first time you start seeing kanji from Level 1 again, and if you miss a lot of those your reviews can really start to pile.

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As a reference, I’m currently doing WK at a pace of 7 days per level, which is a few hours off of the fastest possible level time set by the SRS. On a regular day I usually have 150-200 reviews. On midpoint and level up days that number is usually closer to 300. If you stick it out a few levels, the pace really picks up.

That said, the wait time is sort of the point of an SRS learning platform, as that supposedly helps you make the biggest gains. If you really hate the wait time and would prefer to just study a few here and there when you have time, WK is likely not the right tool for you.

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I’ve been sticking with it 2-3 times a day, and thanks to getting behind on a weekend trip where I just did reviews and no new lessons (and usually just 1 or 2 times a day), I now have more lessons than I can keep up with! I’m doing 2 lessons per day now and slowly cutting down on the queue while keeping reviews above 50%. I do want to learn some grammar sometime soon so I can figure out how to actually put some of this vocab to use, but I think I’ll wait a few weeks on that. I’m still not too fond of the radical lessons though. I can typically recognize kanji by sight and it’s remembering the (typically) weird reading of that kanji in the context of the vocab that is the hard part. Honestly see little point even in the kanji lessons beyond learning the meaning, as it seems like 90% of kanji are read differently in the context of vocab thus far… Maybe that will change though as I advance

@earlz @Crimson_Chin @Crouton

You guys may be interested in this app. It allows you to study a variety of combinations of WaniKani materials separated by level in an Anki card format, but isn’t connected to your SRS. You can read more about it in this thread.


The reading taught in the lesson is usually onyomi, but occasionally they teach kunyomi if they feel the onyomi is particularly less helpful to know.

Generally speaking, the onyomi is what you’re going to encounter most often in kanji compounds you see in the wild, so regardless of how many compounds use it here, you can rest assured that it will appear a lot in those you see off of here.

Kunyomi readings tend to be unique to specific words, so as a percentage of vocab learned here they will seem to be even or more common maybe, but there are usually far more words that use the onyomi than the kunyomi. They just don’t bother teaching you dozens more words that all use the onyomi since you probably get it down fairly quickly.


I use the Kanji Study app on android, and made custom groups for each wanikani level.

Also that app works as a kanji dictionary, vocabulary examples, and you can track your progress by JLPT levels or Japanese Grades.

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Thank you for the tip! I will definitely look into as I really like reviewing in WK, and just want to do more like that, hence why I started KaniWani. I know the SRS method is to space things out but I honestly like doing reviews.

It seems pointless and/or just confusing for certain words though. Take the simple kanji/vocab 人 As kanji, it’s pronounced にん while as “vocab” it’s pronounced ひと and finally in usage like 二人 it is rather pronounced り … It’s rather weird to have to pay attention to which color the background is to figure out which way to pronounce it, and I’ve yet to see any point in learning the ni-nn reading. It seemed like WaniKani prided itself in only learning “the most important reading” yet here I am early in the game and already confused by multiple readings based on if they are “vocab” or “kanji”

There are lots of exceptions early on when it comes to vocabulary readings. These become easier to internalize as you progress in your Japanese studies, and are also common words whose readings will eventually stick due to how often you encounter them (as long as your studies are decently well-rounded, anyway). There are pleeeenty of words you’ll encounter over the levels with the にん reading. And there are plenty of kanji whose initial reading you learn is used in a ton of different vocab here. So don’t worry, as long as you continue with your studies stuff will make more sense.


This is just Japanese being weird with readings. Especially with counters.
You’ll have to learn those eventually, might as well learn them as vocab on WaniKani.

Also, since WaniKani uses the vocab to teach you more about the kanji, you’ll run into lots of exceptions.
But then again, it’s just the way Japanese is. Some times it’s such an unnecessarily complicated language and then it’s beautifully simple and elegant.
The ups and downs of language learning.

I second this, don’t let those irregularities let you down!
Maybe a rough guess, however, I think that in most languages out there, the most common words related to people and motion (being, doing, coming, going just to name a few) will turn out to be irregular in some way.
History usually does its job before anything is regulated :slight_smile:

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There are 671 words on Jisho that have にん as the reading for 人.

And actually it’s infinite, because while, yes, the counters for one person and two people are irregular, every number after that uses にん. But you don’t want to have to do infinite vocab lessons, I assume.

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Yeah, because you haven’t learned many words. Just randomly off the top of my head I think of 人間, 人気, 人形 and 人数 that all use a にん reading. And those aren’t obscure words. There are also many more.

And for じん there is 人口, 人工, 人生 that are all learned early on in WK.

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For some counters, you have to treat them as major exceptions. This is one of those exceptions.

This Tofugu article has a ton of useful information: The Japanese Counters Guide: Beginners Start Here

But the gist of it is that things like “two people” existed in the original Japanese Wago and then the Kanji was tagged on. So they just use 二人 as a stand-in for the word ふたり instead of the actual readings for the kanji themselves.

But again, as an exception, that’s only for one or two people. The rest follow the normal pattern.

I’m late to the party but yeah, Japanese is full of exceptions and a lot of common words are written non-phonetically. I recently learned the kanji for alone, 独, and found out that 一人 and 独り are both read hitori. Seems to me that the term “hitori” was just a commonly used word so it ended up being associated with 一人 even though it doesn’t make phonetic sense. I’ve come across other words like 台詞 (serifu, speech) where the kanji seems to have something in common with the meaning, but no relation at all to the pronunciation. Also, there are many kanji contractions like 割引 (waribiki, discount), which would be 割り引き if you were writing the words out. I’ve decided that kanji is often not phonetic, especially if you start considering rendaku’d syllables as non-phonetic, but it’s often close enough that you can get a hook into it. I imagine it’s a lot easier for Japanese kids to pick it up when they already know how a word should sound.

All words of Japanese origin “don’t make phonetic sense” with the kanji’s original Chinese pronunciations.

When just one kanji gets associated with a Japanese word we call that kunyomi.

When more than one gets associated, as with words you just mentioned, that’s called jukujikun.

But there’s no fundamental difference between kunyomi and jukujikun as far as origins are concerned. The difference is just with how many kanji are assigned to the word.


Cool, I hadn’t heard of the term jukujikun before. I’ve only learned onyomi, kunyomi, and atteji (phonetic kanji like sushi 寿司). It was cool to learn that contractions are a thing, too.

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