For most radicals, the window where you might be confused is pretty small, since you’ll learn the kanji a few days later, assuming you’re doing your lessons regularly. There’s a couple exceptions, where the kanji comes many levels later…
After the mid-teens, a lot of the radicals are from kanji you’ve already learned, rather than vice versa.
I’m too lazy to look for it (I just know @Leebo seemed frustrated to say the least), but in one of the endless complain-about-radicals threads Koichi explicitly states that they don’t go with the “official” radical names because it’s pointless and easy mnemonics are more important.
Isn’t there also the issue that each kanji is traditionally only associated with one radical? I think I remember seeing you say something to that effect before anyway, @Leebo. If WK tried to tie them to other traditional radicals, that would possibly cause future confusion when trying to use a Japanese-only dictionary.
Yeah, that’s true but it’s not necessarily what prevents an “only kangxi radicals” list. Take 休
for example. In that, the radical is the left hand “ninben”, but " ki" can be a radical as well of course (when it appears in other kanji). But some of the parts aren’t ever kangxi radicals. Or kanji on their own.
I think you actually want the Keisei script, @jprspereira always mixes up those two
It will show up on radical pages as well so you can directly see if it is also a kanji in WK. The main purpose of the script is however to show which kanji give you hints how to read them, so it is still possible that the script will just show “This radical is not considered a phonetic mark!” even if there is a kanji in WK (I don’t know if that actually happens).
Using the script is not so hard, you have to install the Tampermonkey browser extension/addon, and then click on the download link.
I don’t know if this was covered in the help pages, but also be careful when using Tampermonkey. It is not only useful for WK, you can find scripts for any webpage on sites like https://greasyfork.org, but you don’t want to just use any random script you find on the internet .
When you install scripts, you are shown the script for a reason. At the very least look in the beginning that only @includes (places where the script is used) of the sites you expect are there, and not something like @include *:*.
Should be // @include https://www.wanikani.com/ or similar.
It may be a problem in the very beginning, the radicals get more like “you already know the kanji” on higher levels. But for example https://www.wanikani.com/radicals/enter and kanji 入 are not linked by Keisei.
There’s another reason to add the real meaning as a synonym to radicals. Because once you’ve learned the meaning of a kanji that looks exactly the same as a radical, you (or at least I) tend to forget the WK name of the radical.
Just today, I was given a review for the radical 文 which is from level 2 (9 levels ago for me). So I answered “writing”, since I had long since internalized the meaning of 文 as “writing”, and furthermore, I’ve long since learned the word for “doll” which is nothing like 文 (it’s 人形). So of course I got the big red WRONG sign, and I went back and added “writing” as a synonym.
I think Wanikani could benefit from a bit more consistency in regards to how radicals are named, because right now, some radicals-that-are-also-kanji share the meaning of the kanji (say 山 as an easy example) and others like 里 and 文 do not.
I also have found this practice annoying in several ways. After I learn the kanji, I forget about the mnemonic “meaning” (as pointed out above), and then always get it wrong when it comes up in my queue. It also means we have to learn two things when we could have just learned one. In some cases where the radical really looks distinctively like something I can understand the utility, but 里 hardly looks more like a sunflower than a home village.
You’re going to have to learn a lot of Kanji, a LOT and many look so alike you have to grow a keen sense. It’s better off to get into the habit of embracing these problems and learning ways to take on as many as you physically can. The “don’t want to know two things instead of one” will probably be an overall detriment to the mindset of learning Japanese.
Me too. I learnt it as a radical as “sunflower”. I can see a sunflower in it. And so when I saw it in the wild I naturally assumed it meant “sunflower”. But it doesn’t. I’ve since learnt, here on this thread, that - though you can trust WK - you must not trust the “meanings” WK gives for radicals. You have to check them each time in case their kanji equivalent actually means something different. And then you can add a user synonym to the radical if you like. Not perfect perhaps, but the consensus seems to be that it works.
If you think this is frustrating now, wait until you’ve used the hometown, home village, village meaning for awhile with 里 and it’s vocabulary and then when the radical comes up for enlightened or burn you answer hometown instead of sunflower.
Fortunately there is the “Add Synonym” function and I highly recommend it for any radical that is not using a more useful meaning.
I do the radicals 5 at a time and after the lesson check each one for whether the meaning is useful or not.
When it is one of the actual radicals, I tend to use that meaning as it is more likely to have something to do with the kanji it is later used in. When It’s a kanji, I go with that meaning. When it is neither a actual radical (nor very close to one) nor a kanji nor a katakana, then I’ll look were it is used and if there is a common pronunciation to go with that. Finally if all that fails, I’ll often come up with my own meaning that I’m more likely to find useful.
For the radical 丁 I have street and ward
For 干 I use Dry.
For 丷 instead of horns, this is actually a variation on grass and plants
Those two above help make 平 (Flat) a lot easier, big flat field of dry grass.
If you learn 艹 as grass and/or vegetation instead of flower, later kanji make better sense. https://www.wanikani.com/radicals/hick hick does nothing for me, but if you look at it, you see a dot upon a cliff, and you can also see twenty (two tens, also called two hands or folded hands), so this is twenty upon a cliff or twenty atop a cliff because TAAC is easy and quick to type. https://www.wanikani.com/radicals/cleat becomes small ground, ⺍ is a variation of small. If you look at where it is used, it’s easy to picture most of those occurring in a small spot on the ground.
⻌ is an actual radical, walk or advance (instead of water slide), and most of it’s usages have that connotation.
殳 is a weapon, not a furniture store, and weapon fits it’s usage better than cheap desks. https://www.wanikani.com/radicals/clown is bai because 4 of the 6 kanji in WK using it have bai as a reading (bu bou bai if you want to keep something clown like and cover all the readings).
It’s slower, but taking a bit of extra time on the radicals and how they are later used in the kanji will give you a head start when their kanji roll around and hopefully help prevent bad radical meanings from tripping you up later.