Synonym kanji in the same level?

For some levels now, I’ve noticed a weird pattern.

WaniKani often teaches two synonym kanji in the same level. Here are some examples:

  • Level 11 : 戦 (war) / 争 (conflict)
  • Level 13 : 情 (feeling) / 感 (feeling)
  • Level 14 : 技 (skill) / 能 (ability)

Is there a reason for that, or is that just a coincidence? I find it makes it harder to learn the vocab (especially when using KaniWani) because I always end up mixing the two kanji at one point.

I don’t know if it’s deliberate, but I think you’d mix them up at some point anyway if you’re going to.

Personally I like to know upfront that there are two similar kanji / words that I’m going to be taught. I immediately know it’s going to be a problem, and make sure that I nail down the difference before it can confuse me (or at least, that’s the theory :sweat_smile: ).

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Those all make common words with each other


It makes sense to teach them at the same time to teach those common words.

Two kanji that share the same (or a similar) meaning is a very common way to make compounds.


Ok, I’ve been Leebo’ed

I was checking if that type of pattern had a specific name, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

Yeah, I thought of that too. The other approach is to say “Let’s learn all the words that use the first kanji. When you’re used to them, let’s introduce words with the second one.”

Guess it makes sense, though the compound word can also be taught later on, when the second kanji of the pair is taught.

On Kanken level 5, one of the sections requires you to look at a compound and put it into one of four categories, though I don’t think these are actual linguistic terms. Beyond level 5 there’s another one where the first kanji negates the second, but I forget the name.

対義 - kanji of opposite meanings (強弱)
類義 - kanji of same meanings (進行)
修飾 - the first kanji categorizes the second kanji (国旗)
目的 - the second kanji acts like an object of the verb form of the first kanji (消火)

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Right, those are names I was thinking about.
I had a vague recollection of seeing something like that recently. It makes sense if it’s from kanken :thinking:

The best answer in the link I posted said that there’s no official name for that pattern (I don’t know about the other ones). I don’t know how trustworthy that source is, obviously.

I reckon for the extra confusion fun, they should be teaching 社会 and 会社 at the same time. I got them in different half-levels though, so their reviews always come up a different times…

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