WaniKani Grade Levels and Radicals?


Outside of WaniKani, I’m learning kanji by grade level (First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, etc.), but I wanted to learn grade 1 kanji through WaniKani, but, I’m not sure if there is a feature to only select grade specific kanji.
Also, does WaniKani only do radicals?


Hi Alba!

So, unfortunately no, WaniKani does not have the ability to learn by the standard grade levels. They have made their own unique order.
You can see how much of each grade level you know by each level of WK by going here: https://www.idigtech.com/wanikani/#progress and then clicking on Charts and then Joyo.
Grades 7 through 9 are all lumped together, as those are the kanji Japanese people learn in Middle School. 「中学」

WaniKani will teach you your first kanji after you’ve gotten your first radicals correct 4 times (each). This is called “Guru”-ing your radicals. You need to get them to the Guru level to unlock the associated kanji. You need to Guru 90% of your kanji to unlock the next level. Please go read the FAQ and Guide again for more answers. ^^

You can also see this thread: New People Questions! ~~~<3 [Lost?! Confused?! We're here to help!] It has links to both the FAQ and Guide, and answers to other questions you may have.


But why? Grade order is picked by complexity of meaning, a worthless notion to anyone that’s more or less at that high school level. WaniKani structures by ease of learning and construction while other sources like Anki/Memrise often target the frequency of usage in sources (which coincidentally starts with more simplistic kanji most of the time). Consider reading this article: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/kanji-learning-mistakes/

The only excuse I could think of for doing this is if you wanted to challenge graded readers. However, you will learn most of the kanji used in those by naturally progressing through sources like WK or Genki, ect. The rate of doing so is so quick that through consistent use of a those resources you will probably struggle with the grammar/vocab more than the kanji.

If you want to check by yourself the idigtech site AnimeCanuck linked above has an interactive chart on the progress page that shows the proportion of Joyo kanji learned at each WK level. By WK lvl 5 you’ll already have grade 1 almost entirely complete and by level 10 it’s all of grade 1, almost all of grade 2, and around 75% of grade 3. Depending on your pace that is as little as 2.5 months to teach yourself the essential grammar/vocab.


Also, you can jump directly to the chart without having to enter your API key:


Ahh! I was unaware of that. Handy! :slight_smile:
*bookmarking for future use*


Thank you for the reply, this is extremely helpful!


You’re welcome!
Is WaniKani making a bit more sense to you now?


I’m trying to get used to WaniKani too… I studied Japanese in college and I’m going for the N2 this December and having something to keep me on a schedule is really helpful. I guess it’s a good review of the starting kanji, and meanings from some radicals that I didn’t know, but it’s still hard to get used to going so slowly with things I already know!


Keep in mind that the radicals WK teaches mean nothing, they are just used as mnemonic devices


Yes it does! Thank you. :3


Great! I’m glad. :smiley:


It will pick up fast I promise. I am in the same boat as you that I studied Japanese for 4 years in university. My grammar and vocab are developed already compared to others but Kanji has always been my weakness. I have tried Heisig and Anki but WK seems to be the only one that has stuck to me the best.

Give WK a chance and you will get what you want from it. My Kanji recognition has been way better and me reading articles now has improved so much after only 6 months of WK (I had WK on vacation for almost four months LOL)


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