This is getting ridiculous

Well, the way they teach you man is a combination of the “rice paddy” and “power” radicals. The radical man is probably taught at a higher level because you’ve stopped thinking, “Uhhh, rice paddy…power…man!”. You can look at 男 and read it now, so now it makes sense to teach it as a radical, a single unit, instead of something made up of smaller pieces.


Why is learning that radical keeping you back? You are learning it with other new radicals, right? So all of those kanjis get available at the same time, asuming that you learned all the radicals at the same time. Unless that specific radical was the only one for the level I don’t see why it’s keeping you back. and you can always miss at least one kanji to get over the 90% level, so why do you say it’s knocking you back 4 days? :thinking:

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Because OP had 87% of the kanjis available from the get go (as in, not needing any new radical). One or two more, and it would have been a 3.5 days level. As it is, they first needs to guru the radicals to get ALL kanjis before being able to level up, so 3.5 more days (rounded up, reasonably, to 4, as OP probably does not do their reviews in the middle of the night).

What was annoying to them was that some of those kanjis (this one for instance) rely on the radical 男, which, obviously, they learned before (level 4, I think?) as kanji. So, yeah, they are basically delayed for no good reason in term of the standard explanation of how WK works.

EDIT: I’m not saying the delay is a bad thing, by the way. Just that it seems very artificial (and thus frustrating) in that specific case.

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Spending an extra 4 days catching up on past reviews is never a waste of time!

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People have addressed most of what needs to be addressed so I’ll just add - why are you just sitting around? It’s been said many times that WK isn’t enough itself. That time you have away from WK is important too. Learn a new grammar point, do some skill-appropriate reading, chat with someone on HelloTalk, etc. There are a million ways to efficiently use that time. You have lifetime anyway, so even if you want to go fast, there’s no reason to get so worked up that you can’t go even faster. Even at a 7 day/level pace, you need to do between 20-30 items per day to not fall behind (which is really hard to keep up with for every single level). Your level 15 load is likely very light. Kanji get more complicated and you’ll start getting lots of enlightened and burn reviews hitting you alongside the others.

And even at my level, there are thousands of common vocab words I didn’t learn from WK. If you like SRS, you’ll really wanna use another SRS app alongside WK (also there is of course Kaniwani).


That wasn’t meant to be taken literally. I don’t actually sit around waiting for the review, I do study grammar from a variety of resources and practice speaking, vocab, and writing. Not to mention I have other hobbies and things to do. The point that really I am trying to make is that if it is ok for me to learn 29 kanji at a time and then have all their vocab unlock at the same time, then yes holding one radical back does slow things down, but it doesn’t actually manage workflow very well. If I learned about half and half of the kanji I would totally understand this approach for managing workflow but learning 30 then 3-5 seems like a odd lopsided system. I gets 4 days of a lot to review and then just a couple things are added and the next days are light.


Thank you for being the one person who seems to understand where I’m coming from. Yes I understand and believe in the wk system but this one instance does seem artificially frustrating.


I know this is a really unpopular opinion on the forums, but I really don’t like the way wanikani does radicals in general anyway, so sometimes I’ll study their proper name and meaning and use those to create my own mnemonics or I just skip them outright. Some of them are ok, though.

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Then spread the kanji out. As long as you do the last batch before radicals get guru’d, you will still level up in the fastest time. And if you don’t plan to ignore vocab, you will need to keep a high pace of items per day. Many people think they can keep a strict regimen of x/day every day, but most people, at least at some point, fail with that. For me, that point wasn’t until level 55, but it still happened. Do like 10 kanji/10 vocab per day and that will set you at a near-perfect rate.

Understanding where you’re coming from and agreeing with you are two separate things. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they are wrong and can’t understand you.

“This is getting ridiculous” - my thoughts precisely :wink:

The reason is that for WaniKani (the way it teaches you, and the way it’s probably implemented in programming code), a kanji is composed exclusively of radicals. And a vocabulary word or sentence is composed exclusively of kanjis. So they can’t teach you a kanji that’s composed of other kanjis: these must become a radical first (to fit in the system).

This also simplifies learning a bit: to know the meaning of a kanji you must only remember radicals, never other kanjis. Well, some kanjis do become radicals later on, but I guess not all of them, so that reduces the search space. (though this is just a consequence of the way it’s implemented, it might not be a real benefit after all)

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Because it’s probably better to learn 憾 as fish stick + feeling than as fish stick + drunkard + creeper + heart.


If you wanted to learn a new kanji that consisted of man and something else, you don’t want to have to remember 3+ radicals when you can plainly see the 2 combined to make man. Also, at least in the beginning, kanji were organized by minimal number of strokes which means that the man radical must necessarily be taught later as it will be used in higher stroke count kanji and in total is a higher stroke count radical than its 2 component radicals. To skip the radical would be inconsistent with the goal of the SRS and undermine the system.

Also without trying to be rude, if you know the radical already it likely takes more time to post about it than to just answer it and move on.

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First time I’ve quoted myself. Yay for me! (I guess :thinking:)


@Lowrey really said it well when explaining why this actually works when the kanji gets more and more complex. Putting two/three radicals together to form a bigger radical makes it easier to remember in kanji. But for this to work you need to know it well, which is why it’s a bad idea to include composite radicals-based-on-kanji from the start.

Anyway, is this really a problem though? I don’t know what the stats are, but from what I can remember from level 10-20 the first batch never gave you 80+% of the kanji. If it’s something like first batch 25 kanji + second batch 7 kanji, then one kanji wouldn’t make much difference. And imo it makes the work load quite balanced when you consider the vocab. Say the first batch is 70% of the kanji, then it lets you do 70% of the level’s vocab before you level up. If the kanji had been split 50-50 then you’d have a lot of vocab to do right after levelling up, and that would be quite annoying at least to me (since I like to focus on doing the new kanji when I level up).

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I actually don’t think you’ll go that much faster. I’m at level 10 and just got the 曲 and 買 radicals, which were previously introduced as a kanji. But those are the only radicals I got that are also a kanji. And since I need 90% of the radicals to continue leveling up, just those radicals won’t make me level up faster. Maybe I could have learned some other radical with that time, though. But the way I see it, I’m actually happy that I have to learn (just a little) less :-P. It’s like a small bonus, a small relief from all the hard work. Similar to when you learn a vocabulary that has the same meaning and reading as a kanji. It reinforces that learning. I also compare it to a video game level that’s rather easy after a quite difficult one, to give you a small breath.


Yes, and that would be fine for OP. Except it’s not their situation.
I’m not going to reply individually to all the previous people missing the point, but OP, from what they said, are fine with 男 being a radical.

The problem is that it’s blocking them from having a 3.5days level. Agreed, not everyone want that, but they do. Which also means that they had guru’d most of the kanjis (like 87% or something) in the first batch, and now have a very light workload for the next 3.5 days.

Agreed again, some people (like you apparently) like a break. But others do not want a break. I don’t feel telling them to just kick back and enjoy is going to make them fill better (or less angry at the system).

The correct answer was “yeah, that radical should have been moved one level back”

The radicals on this site are not even real. Just change them to something that helps you remember better.

I mean thats technically true, but “real” to what? They’re certainly real to wanikani and the way this website teaches you and structures every kanji composition. If you were to change the Hat radical to uhh Bed Sheet, literally none of the mnemonics wanikani has made for every kanji going forward will make any sense. and for each kanji you’ll have to make up your own mnemonic and then whats the point of paying for a service that does it for you?