WaniKani has officially stopped responding to my emails

I’ve been emailing WaniKani pointing out typos, grammar mistakes, and translation mistakes as I work my way through the content on the app. Early on I asked if they wanted people to point out these mistakes or if it’s just a nuecense to them, and I was told (by two different employees) to definitely keep pointing out all the little flaws I noticed because they really wanted to fix them and it was great to have a fresh set of eyes to help find them all.

Well, after pointing out about 20 errors over the span of 8 months, they have finally (apparently) decided to stop fixing them - and even stopped responding to my emails altogether. They seemed to be getting more and more passive-agressive as I pointed out flaws, almost as if they were taking it personally (I won’t name any employees here). They would try to explain to me why it’s not actually an error, or how I just misunderstood what it was trying to say (when in reality it was a completely malformed sentence with no true meaning), or how it was “always that way” or things like that. As if that typo was somehow put there on purpose and it hurt their feelings that it was being pointed out.

Well, after getting passive-agressive responses to 3 bug reports in a row (and subsequently having the reported bugs go unfixed), I finally ended up getting no response at all. I pointed out that “product” is marked as an incorrect answer for the “products” radical, and that it should probably be fixed. Been 2 days now and no reply, when previously they always replied within minutes.

And the reason I’m saying this is because I know people have a lot of complaints about WaniKani management lately, and I’ve seen people say stuff like “Well at least if you email them they’re obligated to reply, even if they won’t acknowledge our complaints on the forums.” well, clearly that’s not true! Here sits a lifetime member, somebody who’s given $240 to WaniKani just to use their online service, and they won’t even respond to the emails that they told me to send them. :+1:

Another win for WaniKani’s ability to prioritize. Lifetime member giving helpful feedback? Nah. Disabling features for 11 months straight and never bringing them back? Sure thing!

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Can you give any examples? Are you sure they’re errors? I’ve been on this app for about 5 years and personally I’ve never noticed any typos or grammar mistakes. Not saying they aren’t there, but 20 sounds like a lot.

“Product” being incorrect for “products” is definitely intentional, they had to specifically add “product” to the blacklist for this to happen. Whether or not you agree with that choice is a different thing.

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Just went and checked my email and for some reason only some of my submissions are there (and for the ones that are there, some of them have the conversations cut partially short - either showing only my comments or only WaniKani’s - or have multiple conversations smashed into a single thread. Not sure what’s going on there.), but some of them are still there so I can still give examples from those ones:

  1. There was a bug with the audio for the 早く vocabulary item that was confirmed and fixed.
  2. A sentence reading as “Why did you mix one woman into group with a bunch of men?” that I pointed out is missing an “a” which was later added
  3. A sentence reading “How many candles will you placing out?” which I pointed out was missing a “be” (also later fixed)
  4. The 楽しい vocabulary word saying “This is a single kanji with an い on the end” when it actually has しい, not just い (also fixed as a result of my email)
  5. Pointing out that when you get an item to “Englightened” status, the tooltip popup said “Enlighten” instead of “Enlightened” which was also fixed. I then later pointing out the same thing for “Burned” incorrectly reading as “Burn” which they for some reason decided not to fix.
  6. An example sentence using これ and then the translation saying “that” instead of “this” which was also later fixed.

Those 6 are the only ones I can find record of in my email but I know I’ve submitted many more than just those (for example, my 3 latest submissions are all missing for some reason). But those 6 should be enough examples to illustrate my point. And yes, I’m obviously sure they were errors lol.

I don’t think this is correct. I think the reason “product” is excluded isn’t because it was intentional, but rather because the “product” Kanji is made up of this radical, and so it automatically says “We want the meaning of the radical, not the Kanji” when they, in fact, share the exact same meaning. It would be silly if they intentionally make you type “products” for the radical, but then force you to type “product” without the s for the Kanji that is literally made up of that one single radical.

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There’s a thread here where mods get special request block words for certain vocabulary as it’s close to the real meaning, but inevitably wrong.

There’s also a thread here with suggestions for different words where someone has been compiling a whole bunch of words with definition suggestions for months.

I’m not sure that emailing is the easiest way to get confirmation from the mods, but they are busy people, if each email is one small thing, it can take a while to get back. At least here if you mention in these threads, you can get a completely different person saying “Oh they mentioned this here for these reasons” “Oh, many people agreed it was confusing so they decided to change it to this” and you can also get people who can help back you up if you say you read it this way, it sounds wrong “Oh me too! I’m not alone!”.

When there’s just one on one direct messaging in this way, it becomes a “he says, she says” type of conflict, and it can seem confrontational even if we don’t mean it to be. The community has lots of people who can help offer reasonings, and also help add support. I think you should try these places next time instead of an email if you’re up for trying it out. (I also don’t know what speed you were emailing them at, maybe you accidentally set off a spam flag if you sent a lot in a short amount of time?)

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oh boy, unfortunately, this way of keeping the radical and kanji as separate words will continue into later lessons… It’s either best to add the synonym or accept it as one of the site’s little quirks

Edit to say: Not that that doesn’t really suck and is annoying, it’s just going to keep continuing. I have a few leeches due to this silly way of doing things (let’s take the line up vs in a row words for example…) essentially to me the same meaning, but they separate em. So I add synonyms or just a completely different word, like “a”, and just take a hit there, rather than brute force the really small inconsequential things

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It’s not keeping them as separate words that’s the issue at all - it’s the fact that they’re the exact same words, but one is just plural and one isn’t. That’s clearly not intentional.

Also you can just add user synonyms for the examples you gave, or use the undo script, which is what I already do. It’s not like it’s an inconvenience to me and I want it fixed for my own sake - I’m just pointing it out because it’s a clear flaw that can be fixed in under a minute and that is hard to catch, so I figure it’s helpful to have someone pointing them out.

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Sorry, I just added this part to the message so I’m reposting it here.

I see, sounds like you pay more attention than me haha, cool that you got those things fixed.
Though honestly I am more curious about what they said weren’t actually errors?

Oh this is not the same as being marked incorrect, because the “We want the meaning of the radical, not the Kanji” is just a warning. This warning was a relatively recent addition–I’m not sure if they even have a system built in to make exceptions for it? Maybe they’re taking time to respond on this specific request because it’s not something the content team can easily handle on their own. I agree that “product” should be accepted in this case personally.

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Also, just adding on, in my experience, the content team on Wanikani is way more responsive than the tech team. Mentioning that because this seems like something tech would have to fix rather than content.Or maybe they’re just attached to “Burn”, who knows lol

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It’s not necessarily intentional, unless they confessed themselves with their words. They might be fussy over a little thing, or they might just really be silly.

It is certainly possible to suggest them to remove some blacklists. Some complaints in the past may lead to adding seemingly improper blacklists. Sadly, afaik, they disagree with displaying blacklists (outside the API).


Giving exact contents in the emails would be for the best. I can’t deny it is confrontational, but complaining on a forum or social might move things a little.

Very slow replies are certainly possible. Sometimes I would re-email them, but still…

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I can only remember 2 of the 3 that they said weren’t errors, and since they’re for some reason not in my email I can’t get exact quotes, but I can recall them to the best of my ability.

The first was a sentence reading “At least all there is is up now, right?” which I sent in and pointed out was confusing and should probably be rewritten. The response I got was “It’s supposed to mean there is only upside from here going forward.” (which is in itself a nonsensicle sentence) and nothing else. It was then not fixed.

And then the second one I can remember was that I said one of the meaning mnemonics was confusing because it was contradictory (which made it hard to remember the item.) It was for the “original” radical, and it is “See that cliff? The white, small one? That’s an original cliff, one of the first cliffs that ever existed. You can always spot original cliffs because they’re white and small. They only became big and colorful many years later.” ← this is confusing because at first it implies “it’s small because it’s old” and then says “it’s small because they only get big when they’re old” But the response I got to this one was just argumentative, stating “The mnemonic says it’s one of the first cliffs that ever existed, not the very first. And original cliffs are white and small. hey only became big and colorful many years later. They*” ← this reply does not address what I stated at all and to me just reads as “you misunderstood” when in reality it was them who misunderstood by not putting in the effort required to actually understand and properly reply to my email.

Then the next one I sent in (a few days later, about a different bug) was just outright ignored.

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English is hard and it’s easy to accidentally read an intention that isn’t there, especially if you’re communicating across cultures or something. I struggle with that a lot.

So I think my brain glazed over while trying to understand this so I’m just going to rephrase: the original cliff has to be old because it’s one of the first cliffs in the history of cliffs. So just because they’re small and white (and old) and original, that means they can’t get big when they’re old because they’re already some of the oldest cliffs out there.

Is that what you meant? It’s possible the wk team didn’t realize this either.

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My understanding is that this means “It can only get better now.” as in “Once you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up.”
Doesn’t sound like a mistake to me.

EDIT: I’m not a native speaker though.

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Would you mind sending this one in again or letting us know here? It’s possible that your message may have slipped through the cracks but we would definitely want to address the issue if there was one.

It’s worth noting that issues may not always get addressed immediately, even if it would be a quick fix, as the content team tends to wait to fix issues in batches. Working on issues in batches rather than one at a time allows them to work on other projects in the meantime. If there are any issues you have reported that have not been fixed yet, do let us know but it’s likely that the content team just hasn’t gotten round to them yet.

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I appreciate you reaching out! And no worries about it not being addressed immediately, it was moreso just that it got no reply at all that has me confused. I totally understand the need to take time to work on issues but in this case the issue hasn’t even been noticed yet - you’re probably right that it just slipped through the cracks.

My assumption was that it was intentionally ignored as the trend in my later emails had been more and more “we’re not going to fix that” → “you misunderstood” → straight up ignored so I just assumed it was intentional, but perhaps that was an unfair assumption on my part. I will try waiting a couple more days to see if it eventually gets noticed and if not will resend it. I appreciate your time!

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I’m not sure what you mean by this, but yeah, the reason it’s confusing is because it’s contradictory. Initially saying it’s small and white because it’s old, and then saying it’s small and white because it’s not old enough to be big and colorful yet. Those two statements can’t go together, and so when using it as a menmonic you basically just have to pick one and try to forget the other one so you don’t get confused. But I guess the employee responding to that email missed this part and instead of noticing the issue, they just repeated the same exact contradictory statements.

Your understanding is likely correct (it’s my understanding too), but “All there is is up now.” is an improperly formed sentence that doesn’t really convey any true meaning. The only reason we can understand it is because it’s similar to a common phrase and so our brain fills in the gaps, but the actual sentence itself turns out to be a grammatical mixup. It’s equivalent to saying “All we have remaining is in.” A likely better alternative would be something like “At least things can only get better from here.” or something similar. Saying that something is “up” doesn’t convey a complete idea.

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Hey there! Just dropping in because this mnemonic actually makes sense to me the way it is. I didn’t understand it the way you did.

For me it’s like this:
Say the original cliffs are from the year 0. All cliffs that started to form in year 0 and in subsequent years are small and white.

“They only became big and colorful many years later.”
I read the “they” as meaning cliffs that started to form later on. So it’s not the same cliff.
For example: Cliffs that started to form from year 500 onwards got to be big and colourful because that’s the way they formed then.

I don’t mean to say that my interpretation is the correct one, just that there is a way to see this as not being a contradiction :blush:

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Both the original and the explanatory reply make sense, I can’t really see what your problem with them is in terms of meaning. The sentence you complained about isn’t going to win any literature prizes, but it’s not meaningless or ungrammatical.

Again… Well, how about: Did you know that originally cars were small and slow, but now they are big and fast? That makes sense, right? Individual cars aren’t changing, but cars are produced differently.

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Ah I see, so the confusion was over what “they” was referring to. I assumed “they” was referring to the subject of the previous sentences: “original cliffs” but they were actually using “they” to refer to a concept that had not yet been mentioned in the entirety of the previous statements: “cliffs in general” Now I see how I misunderstood, although I still thing that’s completely the fault of poor writing. You can’t just throw a “they” into a sentence when it refers to something that has not even been mentioned yet. “My cat is really sweet. They’re usually very mean.” ← Certainly you can see how that’s not an acceptable way of writing that thought. People will assume “they” is referring to the cat that was just mentioned, not “cats in general.” Pronouns need to refer to things that are already clear from context. Introducing new concepts for the first time through the use of a pronoun is poor writing and leads to confusion like what just happened. I do admit I misunderstood what it was trying to say but I also think I was right to point out that it needs to be corrected, because even now that you guys have explained to me what it’s supposed to mean it’s still very confusing and needs a rewrite. I appreciate the explanation though and I think your interpretation is correct and mine was not.

Actually it is meaningless and ungrammatical. If I said “Everything in front of us is up.” does that convey any meaning whatsoever? Nope. It’s a meaningnless statement. It’s an incomplete predicate. Using a relative preposition like “up” without a noun to be relative to makes for a completely meaningless statement. It’d be like if someone asked me “Where do you live?” and I said “Left.” That’s not a complete statement. “Left” is relative and needs something to be relative to. “To the left of the convenience store.” would complete the thought, but “left” by itself is meaningless. The same applies to “up.”

Yes, as I said above the confusion was in the improper use of the pronoun. In your sentence it works because you used “cars” as the subject, so the pronoun “they” refers to “cars in general”. If you rewrite your sentence to be “Did you know that original cars were small and slow, but now they are big and fast?” then suddenly you can see why the mnemonic is confusing. Now “original cars” is the subject, and you’re applying both statements to “original cars” while expecting the reader to magically discover that the pronoun “they” is not referring to the subject of the sentence, but rather an entirely new concept that has not been mentioned yet: “cars in general” Hopefully now my point is clear. :slight_smile:
“originally cars were” is an adverb + noun + copula. The adverb applies to the copula and leaves the noun broad, making “cars (in general)” the subject of the sentence.
“original cars were” is an adjective + noun + copula. The adjective binds with the noun to form a single noun phrase, making a specific type of car (“original cars”) the subject of the sentence.

Again, it’s not like I care for my sake. By the time I’m reporting these errors I’ve already learned the item in question and will never visit that page again. I’m only reporting it because it takes less than a minute to fix and makes the site slightly better. There’s a big difference between going through a list of 9,000 items and finding 50 small errors (no big deal at all), vs going through that same 9,000 items and finding zero errors. It adds a whole extra level of “wow, they really care about their product” and it takes a minute for me to report it and a minute for Tofugu staff to fix it. It will not benefit me whatsoever. I only do it because it’s nice to contribute. So to be met with people trying to explain to me how I’m wrong instead of just hearing me out… Yeah, it’s kind of annoying. Especially because I’m not even wrong and people just enjoy arguing (apprently lol). Some of the people in this thread were very helpful and I appreciate it a lot. Others were just outright “no actually you’re wrong” with nothing to back it up. That’s just a waste of time.

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Perhaps, but that’s certainly something that I’d say in the real world, if I were being casual. Or obtuse.

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