Update beneficial or detrimental for higher levellers?

though I didn’t like it at first (meaning more reviews and all), I must say that the radicals are more standard now, so it’s easier to put some sense into them.

Specially since more than the mnemonics I’ve been using the phonetic semantic compound script for quite some time, and now it’s easier to relate the radical with the related kanjis.


Hey sergiop, drama has actually existed on Wanikani since before the update. Just looked at the page to check and I unlocked it in June '18. I think the level in which it appears just got changed (since I wasn’t level 17 this past June).

I also remember Geck from when I learned that kanji/group of words - that’s not a new mnemonic. It’s a silly one, but not the update’s fault :slight_smile:

Definitely worth it where I am at. There’s more reviews, but I literally feel responsible for less material because of how I’m not actually “relearning” any radicals or mnemonics since they intrinsically make far more sense than the old ones.

Like, what’s the opposite of a leech? That’s what these are.

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Those 70 Radicals affect about 1000 words

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I tired googling Phonetic semantic compund, but I could figure out How to use that script. can you explain how the script works please? or link me to somewhere I can find out?


It is specially useful, since it’s pretty much how Kanjis are taught in RTK (I did some months of that before WK)… you can somewhat infer the readings of many kanjis once you notice what part of the Kanji is there for the meaning and which one for the reading :+1:


Thanks :slight_smile:

Do you know if there is a plugin like this for anki?


They do effect a lot of kanji, you are absolutely right. And if one has the ambition to learn all kanji with the most recent radical composition/meaning it would be very stressful, indeed.
Or if you run some sort of anki deck, that now needs changing, I can totally feel your pain.

However I believe, that once you have commited a kanji to memory with the help of mnemonics, you don’t need them anymore. For example 行, I don’t remember the mnemonics for this one anymore, but I still know the meaning and how to read it.
But if my logic is flawed, feel free to point it out!


You make a really good point. When I forget a kanji I can usually glance at the story and remember it.
but If I have never read the story before, I’m not sure It will be the case? and may to have read the entire story to make it stick? And maybe mentally draining and more stressful. I don’t know how to do things halfway, it’s like 100% or I’m just worrying. at the moment I can figure out if I should learn the new readings or not, I’m spending way to much time looking about both the old and new readings as I just levelled up. but I’m like hesitating. The reason why I liked wanikani is coz there wasn’t much to think about it was straight forwards and felt clear I could just steam through the lessons even when tired coz, I knew if I just push through I will level up,. But now I have the feeling of wait what if I level up ten more levels then relize I should of done it the new or the old mnemonics… All though I’m quite stressed about it now, I feel stressing about it now till I find a solution as to what I should do, would be better then going with the flow and just picking one or the other, only to wonder why I’m lacking in a certain area . theirs just too much choice to something so important, I realise if I picked either route I would level up now, but ultimately I may not reach as far as I could have.

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i didn’t relearn any radicals, and i set the system to show me the old mnemonics. i’ve seen some of the new ones, many are the same thing, just rephrased, which looked like change for the sake of change.

i’ll learn all the new stuff with new radicals and stories obviously, and the overhaul is still too fresh to see if the mnemonics work the same (or less/more) as before. i’m also not high enough level to comment on the impact on 40/50ers, just barely knocking at the half-point door.

i think though that some things didn’t need a change (can hardly call stalin a “pop culture reference”), while others did, but didn’t get it.


The update apparently makes it possible for me to reach level 60 a week sooner and otherwise doesn’t matter to me since I’m ignoring the update to the extent possible, so… beneficial :wink:

This update wouldn’t have made any difference to me even if I wasn’t 60, because I stopped using the mnemonics altogether before level 10. The updates are undoubtedly an improvement though, because the new names are closer to the true etymologies now. They also don’t rely on cultural references, which, regardless of your opinion of them, would only become more and more dated over time.

Just remember; every missed review means an opportunity to learn that item better :ok_hand:


Too soon to tell how it impacts me personally. But for the long-term benefit of the site, I think the change was a smart move.


Thanks for the clarification! I assumed was a new Kanji because suddenly appeared at a level that I had already reached.

At level 60, the only thing that really affected me was that some of the kanji that used the kun’yomi now use on’yomi. Other than that, not really anything.

So far… honestly, I don’t feel like it’s made much difference. I glanced through the name changes, and most of them are intuitive so I don’t even know that I need to bother “learning” the radicals again.

My kanji lessons have gone fine so far. Occasionally they use a new name, but it either makes sense already or I just incorporate the new info as I go.

Looking at the mnemonics for things I’ve got wrong, they’ve either been the same, the rewrite hasn’t been significant enough to make any difference, or it’s just given me a fresh perspective on something that was a leech anyway (so clearly I wasn’t remembering the previous mnemonic!).

So I think it’ll take a couple of weeks to get used to things fully and then it’ll probably just be better (because it does all seem more consistent). I’m concerned that there’s been an overall shift towards less ‘impact’ in the radical names, but the mnemonics so far have seemed good, and it’s probably balanced by many of the radicals being closer to their traditional meanings.


I’m going to be the odd one out here.
I don’t use the mnemonics at all, I basically just brute force the kanji until I can remember them.

So I guess for me, the three new vocab is nice?

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Mostly beneficial. I rarely use WaniKani’s mnemonics, preferring my own ways of remembering kanji, mostly through association with words, meanings, differentation from other similar kanji. Beneficial because many radicals got closer to kanji identical to them, which have established meanings, same for everyone, and thus mnemonics are more useful. Many radicals also had their names changed to what they are in most other places, to what Japanese use now as radical meaning or to the original meanings from when kanji were invented. It’s less of what Kouichi had in mind at the moment when he prepared the first version, and more of what can be useful to average kanji student.

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I switched back to old mnemonics.

I’ve been away for some time due to being busy elsewhere. Obviously I forgot a lot of kanji since I missed so many reviews. The point of radicals and mnemonics is to aid memory, so a familiar old one is better than a new one, even if the new one is improved.

I’m glad WK has changed, it will be better for new users, but I wish I could turn the whole thing off so I don’t even see the new radical names.

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