Vocabulary different than kanji, why bother?

I’m going to pretend this wasn’t a typo, and in fact means “a puzzle that is a hassle”.
Also, a good name for a cute polar bear.


Just learning a vocabulary with the on’yomi reading, makes more sense now :slight_smile:

I made the assumption based on what i was reading (including some topics on the forum) that i wouldn’t use the on’yomi reading, like ever. Hence my question :slight_smile:

Makes more sense, thanks.
Although english is easy to learn compare to my native language (french).

That’s basically how i started japanese a few years ago with rosetta stone, unless my memory is playing tricks on me.

By learning vocab before the Kanji?

Basically what they give you is images + romaji/hiragana, and once you get to lvl 2 lessons they replace hiragana by kanjis. At that point you already guessed a bit of vocabulary.

Never heard about efficiency?
As a software engineer learning new languages (computer ones) on a daily basis i find that perfectly normal.
Why bother learning something if you don’t need it?
Learning takes time and time is of the essence.

What is inefficient about learning how to read Kanji compounds? WaniKani’s stated goal is to help you learn to read kanji, and that means in all their readings, with vocabulary (which is what you actually want to read!) demonstrating most of the common ways a kanji can be pronounced. When you read Japanese, you don’t read individual kanji, you read words. Here, you learn kanji individually as a building block on the way to learning words.

Please give an example of something you find useless?

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As a software engineer you should have heard “premature optimization is the root of all evil”. If you don’t know exactly what is needed and not, you should trust what your “teacher” is giving you to learn. You will use the different readings a lot. And quickly too.


There is nothing wrong about questionning/challenging either your teacher or your learning ressources.
That’s actually healthy imo, to a certain extent of course.

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It’s inefficient if you never use them, hence my question.
Since i don’t have enough knowledge on the matter at the moment.

WaniKani doesn’t teach you enough vocab (vocab associated with Kanji), nor do Core 10k or any flashcard decks.

If you want to learn vocab through reading native materials, you must be able to guess Kanji readings to some extent. I find myself guessing the vocab’s reading using both Kun and On readings, that is, guessing twice.

So, knowing multiple readings have its advantage.

Kanji-in-the-wild learning pattern (outside WaniKani) --> I said in this topic… yes, as further as my journey in WaniKani goes, I tend to learn vocab (associated with selected Kanji) before the Kanji itself. Still, it counts as “studying selected Kanji.”

But it’s a different approach from learning vocab without regards to Kanji (like studying an English picture dictionary).


Of course it is healthy to challenge your teacher if you have an argument. If it’s like “I spend about two weeks with this, looked at about 2% of the content, and have no clue about Japanese, but please stop wasting my time” it is not that convincing.


Especially since @tirrorex has not given any examples of what he thinks is useless.

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You might be willing to spend two years studying with materials you have questions about and shut those questions out but i am not.
Better be safe than sorry.

Because i never said that perhaps?

No worries, Wanikani is the most effective way of studying Kanji that’s available :slight_smile:


You seem to just not want to put in the work and masking that by wanting to be more “efficient”. This is human language. You’re going to have to work hard at it for a VERY long time. If you’re going to keep that mindset, then you might as well not even bother learning it in the first place. You could spend hours researching materials, perfecting your anki decks but at the end of the say, you’re going to have to chow down for any result. The biggest bottleneck is your brain. If something in human language was inefficient, it would’ve been phased out through generations passing.

You can’t find ways to be more efficient without understanding all of the tools at your disposal and utilizing them, as useless as they may seem to you, there’s a reason it exists


As polv said, WK doesnt teach you enough vocab to read fluently, neither does a 10k deck, and neither does a 20k deck. You will be seeing new words for a long time so its best you get used to it. By knowing the kanji that make up words, your learning of the vocab consisting of them will be more efficient.