Wanikani for non-native English speakers

i don’t get the connection between north and kindergarten ^^ even the reading of north is kita. the german meaning of “kita” has no logical connection to the japanese 北。

Kita is short for Kindertagesstätte, no? Sure, 北 is pronounced differently but it still sounds somewhat similiar.

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Hiya, another German native speaker here. I’ve made it a habit to add the German equivalents to every Kanji and vocab item during my lessons. Sometimes I’ll think of the English version first during reviews, sometimes of the other, so I can type in whatever comes to mind first.

I use this userscript to add synonyms during lessons.

I stick with English for almost everything, except for some mnemonics, when Wanikani is too convoluted and I can think of a better one in my own language.

But yes, be prepared to learn new English words. I was fairly confident in my English vocabulary before starting wanikani, not anymore :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, I think for non-native English speaker the ignore script is probably much more important… I would have quit wanikani a long time ago if I had to suffer the countless setback due to my English imprecisions, like wanikani expecting eating instead of eat, abandonment instead of abandon, letter of introduction instead of introduction letter, rear entrance instead of back entrance etc etc

yep, also i’m german too. but to accociate two words just because of the “same” pronunciation, but completely different meaning. :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile: welll live and let live :slight_smile:

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sure thing, that’s why I came up with a ridiculous story to connect these two things, just like wanikani does sometimes. I thought about christmas elven moms, sending their kids to the kindergarten while theyre at work. I know that it sounds stupid, but ever since I came up with this I had no trouble remembering the pronunciation of 北 anymore. That’s all that matters to me.


I pretty much always use English without much trouble. The whole Wanikani system is in English so my brain is in “English mode” to start with. But there are exceptions: for reading mnemonics I often use my native language Finnish because it makes more sense to me and sticks much better.

Something I’ve had a little trouble with lately has been words that I think are synonyms in English but turn out not be (in Wanikani at least). Like getting “to talk” and “to speak” mixed up.

Also, I don’t know if this applies to your language, but sometimes certain Japanese vocabulary or grammar concepts translate much more naturally to other languages than English. For example transitive/intransitive verbs work the same way in Finnish and Japanese, so it makes sense to me to think that concept through Finnish grammar instead of taking the long way through English.

Indonesian here.

I stick mostly to English.
Although sometimes I end up adding some synonyms in easier-to-understand words for unfamiliar ones such as deter, cleat, eaves and so on.

With WK, you can learn both Japanese and more english at the same time.
But sometimes some mnemonics WK gives don’t really suit my thoughts when using those unfamiliar words for examples, so I end up making my own mnemonic and adding synonyms to compliment it.

Native Polish speaker here. I use WK without much trouble, as my English is rather good, so when I use WK my brain automatically switches to English. And you can also learn new English words, which means that you learn two languages at the same time :wink:

But sometimes (very rarely) there are some words or concepts that are easier to understand when translated to Polish.

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Omg that is so accurate. I’m not a native English speaker either (I’m from the German part of Switzerland), but my English is pretty much native now as well, or at least I thought so - until I encountered geoduck. And from there it was a downwards spiral of words I have never even heard of (I’m joking, it wasn’t so bad, but I do have to look up a word every now and again).
Anyway, sorry for the wall of text, but good to know I’m not the only one with that problem :joy::joy:

Oh and just to actually be useful: I use WaniKani completely in English as well. I have so far based most of my Japanese learning on English resources, meaning I learn Japanese from English rather than my mother tongue.

My native language is Russian. And although I speak English pretty good, there are moments I need to use an Eng-Rus dictionary. But as I do like Wanikani’s meaning and reading mnemonics, I stay with English. Translating would add unnecessary confusion I suppose. But there are cases when I see a kanji (or a radical/vocab) and an alternative story appears in my mind. Then I remember the reading associated with my native words.

And I also think that translating might be “dangerous” while working with meanings. For example, you see a kanji and its English name. You translate it into your native language and remember that word. So during a review your brain will remember the translation, and then you might not remember the exact English word.
Especially when it’s abstract. Not something straightforward like, say, “exit”.

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