Wanikani adding updates:

wanikani: we’ve added kana-only vocab words and added a feature that congratulates you when you finish a level!

me: cool! while you’re at it, could you stop using kanji i haven’t learned yet in context sentences?

wanikani: did somebody say something?


They actually do that for the most part.


they add kanji i don’t know to context sentences or they don’t? (i’m bad at interpreting things sorry)

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I have seen a few cases of the opposite as well. Words in context sentences that are in hiragana only when that word has already been a vocab learned in an earlier level.

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oh, really? haven’t seen that yet

and for almost every context sentence i’ve gotten from level 4 and onwards there seems to be a word i don’t recognize!


so i’m talking to a dev about this rn and this is the conversation so far…



Think of it as practice for your real world reading. When you are reading things out in the wild, those things are not going to be written based on what kanji one has personally already learned :slight_smile: You are going to need to look things up. The important part of the context sentences is to demonstrate how the word is used in various ways which one can get from the translated version. You will also find some words used in the context sentences which are not taught here. They do often use kanji that has been learned, so it is good practice to see if you can guess what a word is based on the kanji.

Edit. Just read the previous post after hitting submit, did not purposely repeat the same thing.

Especially early on, it can be pretty hard to come up with sentences that adequately demonstrate the context with a very limited set of words to use, without resorting to “Spot is a dog. See Spot run” sort of stuff.


yeah you’re probably right. sorry for getting frustrated for no reason.

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I think the solution would be to add a toggle switch for Furigana, only showing furigana for unknown kanji up to that level would be a bonus. Or even do it the way that Takaboto jisho does, and have all the words in base forms listed under the sentence’s.


Bunpro does that. You can import your progress from WaniKani and it will show Furigana for words you haven´t learned yet. You can still see Furigana if you hover the word and if you click it you can go the defintion. Very useful so I don´t have to interrupt my studying when there is a word whose Kanji I don´t know or a completely unknown word.

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It’s funny that sometimes they don’t use a kanji that was already learned, and sometimes they use kanjis that we didn’t learn.

Some instances of this are surely caused by moving around kanji between levels and not adjusting every context sentence on the entire site because of it.

To be fair

  • That info should be in an intro to WaniKani so it’s clear to users and not buried in a Discord chat with devs :joy:

  • Context sentences can be made level-appropriate. It would be possible to at least replace not-yet-learned kanji with kana using a script.

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That’s absolutely not the right place for that though. The point of example sentences should be to clarify the meaning of the words and give a feel for how they’re used in context, not confuse the learner with complicated words and slang. I’ve found example sentences that don’t even showcase the meaning of the word that’s being taught!

I completely agree, but the website is explicitly anti-furigana: Furigana | WaniKani Knowledge

I actually agree with them that furigana-by-default is bad when you practice reading (including “furigana only for kanji you don’t know” IMO), but having furigana on click/hover for example sentences would 100% make sense and I think they miss the mark on this one.

I think the “mixed” spelling that example sentences use where complicated kanji are removed and replaced by hiragana works well for natives who can already speak the language but makes absolutely no sense for learners. If us foreign learners can’t read 綺麗 then we almost certainly can’t read 綺れい either.


Don’t need furigana if you have audio recording of example sentences


Yeah that would work too.

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To be fair, it’s not only in Kanji or in Kana, though having only learned Kanji might be the best idea.

Perhaps Level 1-20 should use N4 grammar and vocabularies, with either Kana or commonly seen Kanji forms. One of a sentence might be N5 equivalent.

Lack of Kanji in the first few levels can be supplemented with spaces between words.

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I’ve been using bunpro side-by-side with WaniKani from the start and never could get wanikani integration to work the way I wanted to so I just disabled all furigana on bunpro and just click the word if I want the reading. I would 100% recommend this approach to newcommers. I ended up learning many words and kanji that way, long before I encountered them on WaniKani.

As I mentioned in my previous comment I really don’t think that removing the kanji achieves anything for beginners because the vast majority of the time if you don’t know the kanji you won’t know the kana word either, and even if you do you can just hover the word to see the furigana and eventually you’ll remember what the kanji looks like by sheer exposure. I learned many common words that way including 誰, 彼, 勉強, 綺麗, 冷たい, 機械, 飛ぶ, 頼む etc…

I find that it makes WaniKani more enjoyable too because this way when you finally encounter the kanji here you’re already familiar with it and it makes memorizing it a lot easier.

The experience may be different for somebody who already has solid bases in Japanese and is using WaniKani purely to improve on kanji knowledge however, but I suspect (without any evidence to back up that claim) that it’s a minority of users.


haha, that’s exactly how i’m learning a lot of kanji right now