Typing kanji readings with English keyboard

I’m slightly confused. I jumped from 48 hours of waitsville to learning new kanji words, learning how to read them, learning two (for now) different ways of reading them, memorising how they’re all written in kana AND stupidly failing to type these with an English keyboard??

Did I miss something? Am I doing something wrong? Or is the above actually the case?

Sigh. Feeling extremely demoralised :sweat::pensive:

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Sounds about right, so you’re having trouble figuring out how to type the Japanese readings, correct?

The site uses a built-in IME that automatically converts the English letters to the corresponding kana, I’d recommend checking out this guide to learn how to use it


Am I wrongfully assuming you might not have learnt Hiragana and Katakana yet? Tofugu, the website sampled above, has some good articles on learning that.

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Here’s the WaniKani specific link for typing in Japanese with the English keyboard:


I have, actually. Months ago :slight_smile:

Can you tell us exactly what you’re inputting, on what card, what’s its background colour, and whether the card is asking for meaning or reading?

(Screenshots would be best)

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So it does seem like all that I’ve mentioned in my original post are things I have to memorise from now on, which seem awfully excessive as the next level after learning 26 Kanji words! :open_mouth:

And nowhere does it say that you have to memorise so many things at this point. It wasn’t until I did the first “Guru” quiz that I noticed I’m being asked about 3-4 more pieces of information, in addition to just know what does each Kanji mean.

I feel like learning ~2,000 Kanji is challenging enough as it is for a single phase, without having to learn the two different ways you can read a single Kanji, memorise how they’re written in Kana and learn to write it in a specific Romaji way.

The first phase was a great way to learn (except from the excruciatingly long waiting times between reviews) and I was thinking of buying a membership, but now I’m thinking I might come back to the website on a later date. Time to tune down to Heisig’s simple system and just memorise the meaning of the Kanji words.

Thank you all! :slight_smile:

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You kinda lost me here. Each item has 2 things to remember at most. I wouldn’t count “typing in romaji” as a thing you are being asked to remember for the items… if you already learned how to read the kana, it shouldn’t be an issue. This romanization system is basically “type how they sound.” It’s not like the Japanese kunrei-shiki or anything.


Do you mean that English isn’t your first language, or for some other reason romaji isn’t intuitive to you? If that’s the case I can see learning to type kana on an English keyboard being difficult. If you are using a smartphone to do your reviews, I believe you could download a Japanese keyboard and input with that instead. (Correct me if that doesn’t work on wanikani—it does on kaniwani). Then you’d only need to recognize the kana, which you said you’ve memorized already.

If you’re using a desktop computer, though, I’m not sure if there’s a solution to this. I believe even Japanese people use romaji to type kana in that case, but I could be wrong. Does anyone know of a way to type on a desktop without an understanding of romaji?

If none of this will work though, I think it would be worth your effort to take a break from wanikani to study up on how romaji correspond with kana. It’s actually very simple once you get the hang of it. It follows basic phonetics.

あいうえお = a i u e o, and so on with consonants attached.

By the way, how did you learn the sounds each hiragana and katakana character makes without romaji? Did you listen to them? I’m not being sarcastic or anything, just curious.

If Heisig works better for you, that’s totally fine. He does advocate learning all the meanings before learning readings as a way to quickly learn kanji. I believe he says essentially what you did — that it’s too much to try to learn everything at once.

However, I tried that method, but for me I felt like it didn’t work because I was learning kanji in English when it’s not a writing system for English. I was missing the nuance of the Japanese meanings of the kanji, which you learn by learning words they’re used in and seeing them in context. So I came away from months of studying still completely unable to read (and I remain that way today haha). I find I fundamentally disagree with Heisig’s argument for this reason. I believe kanji should be learned in Japanese as much as possible, not in English.

I started wanikani about a month ago and I’m finally, FINALLY feeling like I’m getting somewhere. I’m recognizing some kanji I see, and not only understanding their meanings but reading the words. For instance, I knew the words 外 (そと, outside) and 外れ (はずれ, extremity or ‘miss’), but had no idea they used the same kanji. When I learned that kanji and then associated it with those words, as well as words like 外人 (がいじん, foreigner), which I already knew, I gained a deeper understanding of what that kanji really means in Japanese than I would have had if I only knew an English translation for that kanji as “outside.”

My situation may be very different from yours, though, so just take my experience for what it is. I have about an intermediate to upper-intermediate speaking level (despite being illiterate), so once I learn a kanji, I immediately recognize its Japanese meanings and associations because I know them already, if that makes sense. As a beginner, I don’t know if this would have worked as well or not.

I also tried the Heisig-RTK method with Anki, and while I had no problem memorizing the single Heisig “meanings” for each kanji, I personally found it sort of backwards comparing to the WK as it doesn’t teach you the multiple readings, and the vocabulary usage for each kanji.

You’re supposed to learn the readings/vocabulary by yourself afterwards. There’s a whole context to the use of the kanji that you’re missing and you’re going to have to look it out and learn it by yourself for it to be useful. In a way, that can be slower and more work than the wani kani.

Maybe the RTK works better for some people, it is pretty popular after all, but personally I’ve been enjoying this method. It also helps me to do a little work everyday, so it’s like a study guide.

Maybe try to limit how much you take from each learning session?

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