Sunflower - - 里


#1

There has been a thread on this before, but that is now archived and so I can’t reply there.
Anyway, here I am, in level 5, and I recently learnt the radical 里 as sunflower.
Today, I was out and about and I saw 里 on a menu! Great, I thought, I know that one!
Turns out 里 is not sunflower at all.
I feel a bit let down by WK to be honest. Though this is the first time it has happened.
I know everyone will say “oh, but it’s just a radical”, but it hurt when I saw it in the wild and got it totally wrong.
Can I trust WK?


#2

Oh, I am sooooo with you on that. It’s like, when the radical already exists as a kanji in its own right, why on earth don’t you just use the kanji as the radical’s name? You’re making up the mnemonics anyway, I’m sure you can come up with mnemonics for “village” just as easily as “sunflower”.


#3

Did you bother to look at the kanji page? https://www.wanikani.com/kanji/里


#4

Do I have to check the kanji page every time WK presents me with a radical, to check that it is the right meaning?


#5

Yes, you can trust WaniKani.

However you have to understand that the radicals WaniKani teaches you are purely for the mnemonics, the names are all made up so they can be used for interesting and memorable stories in the Kanji section.
There are a few cases where the radical names do make sense (like 人 for example), but in most cases they do not.

Sure they could have chosen “Village” or “Home Village” as the radical name as well, but that might not have worked well with other Kanji which use that radical. I don’t know, I’m not WaniKani staff.


#6

Also, the radicals WaniKani teaches you do not have any correlation to the Kangxi (部首) radicals, or any other “radicals” you might find in other resources. They are – for the most part – all made up by WaniKani staff.


#7

Yes.  


#8

It was just what WK deemed to be best to learn as a radical – maybe because they thought it’d be easier to visually see it as a sunflower, maybe because it would work better for later mnemonics in new kanji that utilize the radical, who knows!

But regardless, yes you can trust WK ^^

Doesn’t it show you at the end of radical lessons what kanji the radical will be used in? So if you’re really interested in learning a radical “correctly” if they have a corresponding standalone kanji, then you have an easy click to check out the kanji page and see if the meaning is the same or not – and if it differs, you can use the WK Lesson User Synonyms script to add the actual kanji meaning as a synonym so that you can just learn the radical the way you want :slightly_smiling_face:

WK is a tool, sure it may not be perfect for everyone, but it’s definitely efficient and reliable and can be customized to be tailored to what you want from the system should you come across something like this – I wouldn’t ever rely on the radicals for true Japanese meanings otherwise


#9

I actually use @acm2010’s script to fix this problem. During lessons, you can check if there’s a kanji identical to the radical. If so, just add as a synonym.


#10

Oh dear, I can’t believe that I have to check the radicals like that every time.
This is awful. Well, perhaps it’ll help me take the lessons a bit slower. Can’t be a bad thing.
As for scripts and things, I wouldn’t even know where to start!
Thanks everyone!


#11

Im sorry if this is rude, but thats incredibly lazy of you. 90% of the time i see a new radical, and that radical has an identical kanji, it shows in the “kanji that use this radical” preview thing. It takes at most 15 seconds to search for a radicals name and check if it has an identical kanji.


#12

I didn’t mean to be lazy - - I didn’t know it was necessary!


#13

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s necessary – I just never questioned it and only learned radicals at face value, understanding that the radical meanings I’m being taught are not to be confused with actual Japanese meanings because they serve the primary purpose of being used in mnemonics – and I got through the entire site just fine

My suggestions to check the kanji page if you see that the radical will be used as a standalone kanji and adding synonyms were in response to my assumption that you’d prefer that route in this case


#14

Yeah i’m sorry for what i said. No harsh feelings? :frowning: <3 it was pretty mean. I understand, most the radicals do match the kanji meaning in the beginning so it makes sense someone might make the wrong assumption that it always matches.


#15

Yes, thank you @MissMisc! Now that I understand it a bit better, I think your suggestion is spot on, and I’m now actually working through all the past radicals I’ve learnt and am adding synonyms where they exist as stand alone kanjis. Thank you so much!


#16

No problem at all! I simply had no idea at all that this was an issue until I saw 里 today in the wild and genuinely thought it meant sunflower. From now on, I’ll check all the radicals I’m presented with and take them with a grain of salt until I do!


#17

No problem at all! ^^

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#18

Thank you everyone!


#19

里 is not the first WK radical that deviates from the kanji meaning. Had you not noticed the others?


#20

Yes, I was puzzling over “winter” and I knew things like “two face” and “alligator” couldn’t be right (though I guessed they weren’t actual kanjis - I’ve just found out tonight that they are), but it was actually finding, and making a mistake with, 里 today that has brought the issue to life for me. But now, thanks to this experience, and the kind responses here, I know about it and I know what to do to resolve it!