This is getting ridiculous

For the past few levels I’ve been noticing a trend where I learn a radical for the first time that I have already learned the kanji for. Yet somehow the radical did not have to be taught to me before I originally learned the kanji.
I thought the whole point was radical first? It seems like the only reason to introduce the same shape with the same name as a radical after it has been learned as a kanji is to slow the whole learning process which makes no sense. Here is just one example although the same thing has happened in like the last 5 levels it seems
I just got to level 15 and 87% of the kanji are open to me, but one of the radicals I have to learn is Man which I already learned in level 4 and is enlightened at this point. SO WHY AM I WASTING TIME LEARNING IT AGAIN? I have to take 4 days to guru this radical when it is enlightened as a kanji? And if this were not so I could progress to level 16 in half a week but apparently wanikani doesn’t want that it works VERY hard to make sure every level takes at least a week.
I bought the lifetime membership I feel like at this point I shouldn’t be subjected to needless time wasting. What’s up?


I actually kind of agree on this one. Especially with radicals that are taught to have a different meaning to the kanji you’ve already learned. But even so, I would hardly call it time wasting when each level (after the first few levels) will only have a few radicals.

EDIT: Also, if you look any kanji’s page, it will give you the radical combination that make up that kanji. Therefore it is helpful to have a radical for each kanji that is a constituent of another kanji. But this is just the way that they’ve made the site however. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the learning.

Not to say your concerns arent valid but to look at it another way

Radicals are learning tools, that are just pieces of kanji. they fit into mnemonics to help you memorize new things. So in the long run youre not relearning things you already know, youre learning a new piece of something that fits into larger things you will learn.

Does that make sense?


Just because there are fewer radicals doesn’t mean time isn’t wasted, as I said If I just did not have to relearn Man as a radical since I have it enlightened as a kanji this level would be done in 4 days instead of 7-8
If they trust me to learn 29 kanji at once why not 30? It seems like the carefully preserve the percentage under 90 to slow the learning process.

Not really, it seems like they should have either taught me that man was a radical before they taught me it was a kanji or that they should trust me to make the connection myself, because come on it’s not that difficult.


I would say to compare the difference between the time you leave your reviews sitting there even when you’re able to do them (i.e. the time spent putting them off) to the time it takes to answer the radicals in your reviews. Unless you spend more time doing radicals in your reviews then you do procrastinating, I wouldn’t recommend complaining.

Also you’re not really relearning it, you’re just being tested on it again. I’d agree that they should either move things around or tweak the system, but I don’t think it’s that huge of a deal.

This isn’t meant to come off as rude by the way. Also, if you do your reviews the second you get them, then I guess this is invalid (Speed on, you speed demon).


It’s not about having a lot of radicals to deal with its about wanting to speed through (lol yes I try to do new reviews as quickly as possible to get to the next level) and seeing how just one radical can knock you back 4 days, then I look back at the last few levels and think this has happened at least a few other times and it adds up to a week or two that I feel like I’ve wasted, because I’m just sitting around waiting for that one radical to pop up.

Thanks for your thoughts, btw :slight_smile:

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I recently got a load of radicals that were enlightened as kanji which seemed odd to me as well. Look on the bright side, at least you know them already.

Reading your posts though you sound like you’re in a hurry. That kind of stress doesn’t help the learning process. We’re progamming the building blocks of another type of logic into our minds. It should be fun and free of any kind of time pressure.


It’s just WaniKani’s method of letting you know they’ll use mnemonics of kanji you already know as radicals for more complex kanji.


^^ This was a better way of saying the point i was trying to make


I think it’s because they only ever use radicals to create the mnemonics. So if they want to use a kanji in a mnemonic later on, they have to make a ‘radical’ of it. If they did the radical first for all of these examples, you’d probably have to learn a ton of radicals before learning many kanji, which in reality would be frustrating and actually slower.

It seems strange to look at it as ‘slowing you down’. You already know it, so you don’t have to learn it again. And you either have to do the kanji first or the radical first, so overall it will still take you eight days in total (or however fast you go) to get both to Guru in sequence.


Sort of what Glias said, but basically combining radicals so that in the future, you reduce the number of kanjis that consist of a ton of radicals


I think of it as valuable to recognize certain learned kanji as radicals. I also don’t want to go at max speed. so I am not too concerned about this “forced pacing”. However, I do see how it can be frustrating for someone who wants to go fast.

If these radicals weren’t considered “blockers”, then I think WaniKani would have a lot more short levels. I don’t remember which level it was, but there was one recently where I had 29/33 kanji guru’d (just short of 90%). If there weren’t radicals like this as blockers, that would’ve been a short level.

They could skip the extra step and start using kanji directly as radicals, but this is a way to reinforce those kanji so they can serve as a building block. Otherwise they’d risk the review coming up and having some users go “ooh, this is tsunami + … what’s that other one again?”

Also, skipping this step would mean that basically every level after 15 or so would be a fast level, which could lead to many more users burning out, which is undesirable for the business.

As with many other issues that are often questioned, this is about WaniKani taking the iPhone approach: control the user experience entirely so that people can’t ruin it for themselves.

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I think they should do this.

However, doing this interferes with the SRS of those kanji.

Not that I could ever say with any certainty, but I was under the impression that the SRS was just for the most efficient learning, and that with the exception of intentionally looking up kanji’s right before a review, additional reviews doesn’t really hurt…I mean the SRS is already affected by vocab reviews, and any reading you might do outside of WK…


Sure, I agree with you. But having extra reviews of virtually the same item in the same SRS system is different from encountering those kanji when reading real content.

I’m starting to understand why all the regulars get pissed at threads like this.


I showed up on community at first and was like…why are all the regulars so aggressive with the newcomers. But then literally every day, there are 5 new people who have complaints about unimportant stuff, and I was like Ooooh. I still think it is better to be nice though.

Also, to the OP, it takes the time it takes because it should. Just accept it. You paid for this so put a little trust in the system. Countless people as smart as or smarter than you have used wanikani and done just fine following this system and realized that it is better this way. If you rush too much, you will learn nothing and crash and burn. Learning new radicals is useful and takes almost no time especially when they are from kanji that you know. The week rate is good, (even a bit fast for some) radicals are good, that has been my experience and the experience of a lot of other wanikani users. If you really want to learn at your own rate with your own system, there is anki. Not trying to be salty, but just realize there IS a reason for this. It is not time wasting. It is the system that has worked for a lot of people to learn a ridiculously large amount of information in a relatively small amount of time with minimal pain and suffering. :sparkles::upside_down_face::turtle:

 Yours truly,
                    The Red Onion Turtle

Even anki has a big fat warning on it not to go too fast or you’ll end up learning less than if you take your time.

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