Switching from RTK to WK

Hey there,
I’m quite sure I’m not the only one here who has given RTK a go.
My original study plan was to work through RTK over a few months to just get them in my head, (knowing I would only relate a key word in english to each kanji) and then move on to WaniKani for more comprehensive study.
I knew not to try to do them at the same time, because that makes no sense.
I’ve gone through roughly 700 kanji in RTK. I found myself referencing kanji koohi quite a bit because the Heisig mnemonics could be either too ridiculous to remember or plain disturbing at times.
I’ve found that what he calls “primitives” to be just as hard to remember as the kanji themselves sometimes, and it all just started to feel like a waste of time since I wasn’t truly learning anything.
I figured I should jump in to WaniKani now.
I did take away a few things from RTK though, the basic idea that kanji are constructed from smaller parts that have their own meaning, and whether or not mnemonics actually work for me (which they do, I just need better ones to reference)
I’m enjoying this study program so far. I’ve decided to integrate it with an app I found on google play called Kanji Study, made by Chase Colburn. I was using it with RTK and liked the writing practice and space to make notes.
So for now, I’m making custom kanji lists to coincide with WK. Writing really helps it stick with me.
When I hit the vocab portion, I’ll probably use anki as well.
I’m going through the Genki textbooks and doing listening/ speaking practice with pimsleur. Also watch anime to catch sentence patterns and casual Japanese. I have some phrase and grammar books I like to thumb through whenever I’m bored or in the mood. No pressure on those things, just absorbing what I can when I can. I know it stays with me if I don’t try to hard and subsequently stress myself out, haha.
I originally took an interest in japanese about 10 years ago, and studied on and off, but life got in the way for a while and I’ve recently decided to really go for it.
So anyway, I hope that sounds like a good beginner study plan. Any thoughts?
Thanks for reading!


It looks like you’re already subscribed, but in case you didn’t know, the first three levels are free. If you’re still level 1 as your badge says, you can email WaniKani at hello@wanikani.com and they will probably refund your payment. Unless you just really want to give WaniKani a little extra money by subscribing early, in which case you can ignore me. :wink:

In any case, welcome to the community. :slight_smile:


Well, hey, maybe paying from level 1 can be a way to stay more motivated during the first 3 levels :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I subscribed at level one too, but lifetime, so time didn’t matter :wink:

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RTK is the reason I found WK and wanted to try it!
I LOVED RTK when I first started, but after a while they stop giving you mnemonics, and I just couldn’t “surprise myself” enough…
Also the fact you had to finish all 2000 before learning reading… I’d rather learn one by one, actually know how to use it!

I quickly found I MUCH prefer the WK mnemonics! Also their ways (learning meaning + reading) and all the vocab to help you practice! Actually learn words to help you better learn and understand the kanji!

I think I was just about the same place on RTK. 600+ or there about. Bought all three books and the full flashcard set (physical). WaniKani is so many times better though, and the SRS is worth it! Very customisable too with scripts =)

My very first topic way back when I first started was about RTK too: https://community.wanikani.com/t/can-using-rtk-conflict-with-wanikani/16400

And now with experience I can confirm, switching to WK was easy, those I knew from RTK went faster and I am SO glad I made the switch! I haven’t gone back, RTK has not been used since I started, as WK covers it all so much better there is nothing to gain from RTK.


Haha, yeah I remembered that after I subbed. Ah, well. I like the tofugu team and don’t mind contributing a few bucks lol.

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This is good news to me :grin: so far I feel pretty good about the switch. I’m looking forward to getting in to the vocabulary portion. The idea of scripts is pretty cool, I’m gonna have to look into using some.

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Hello, I finished RTK a few years ago, went on a studying hiatus for a little over a year and now am getting back in to it through here. So far all the meanings are cake and if you’ve gone through 700 you should have no problem with them for a while either. Genki is awesome, great choice there. My only advice is it sounds like you’re doing a lot at once so be careful not to burn out. Sometimes taking things slow (like wani kani does) is better in the long run but if you’re confident you’ll continue then keep it up!

Also how far into pimsleur are you?

Thought I’d share my experience with kanji learning through books. While I’ve never used RTK, I have a copy of KKLC, which I actually find quite good.

Before starting on WK, I was trying to learn kanji through a book (any book). The idea behind the method of RTK simply appalled me… I could not fathom the “benefit” of learning only the meaning behind the character with no readings or vocabulary (at least in the first volume?) being taught whatsoever. That’s why I picked KKLC (which I still use in parallel with WK!) because the book provides mnemonics + readings + vocabulary examples + stroke order.

WaniKani is my primary learning resource for kanji because the SRS system is perfect for this and it has all its cool appeal :joy:. After each level is completed, I still use the book to consolidate the kanji and vocabulary I’ve just learned, and I find it’s a good way (for me) to diversify a little in my studies.
But RTK… yeah… to me, it never seemed very good anyway. :man_shrugging:

Good luck with your studies!

Yeah, one of the reasons I gave up on rtk was the pace, I was feeling burned out and WK seems like a much better way to learn. I’ve gone through Pimsleur Japanese 1 a few times, and gone about 5 lessons in to the next level. I review them a lot since I dont live in Japan and need a lot of extra exposure in the listening and speaking areas. I like the japanesepod101 YouTube videos too. I subbed to their paid service for a month but for the cost it just didn’t feel worth it.

I’ve heard good things about KKLC, I’m probably going to have to add it to my pile of study materials. :laughing: it would be cool to have a physical book to go with wk. Any and all reinforcements are welcome. My brain needs its hand held LOL
I’ve got some sumi-e ink and brushes too, might have a bit of fun with that

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I’m personally fond of having a physical book along. :slight_smile: But I’d say it’s not necessary at all (WK is enough really). In the end I already had a copy of KKLC before starting WK, so I might as well use it! ahaha So I use it as a “reviewing” method moreso than to learn per se.

(Arguably morally conflicted hint: one can easily find a PDF version of KKLC through the most obvious Google search. :zipper_mouth_face: :shushing_face: Maybe you could take a look before buying a physical copy (if that’s the case) to make sure you like the content and that it’s what you expect!)

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