Wanikani not really useful without Kaniwani?

Yeah, just recalling the words isn’t that useful.

As far as I remember, the whole process is more subconscious than conscious, and requires taking a lot of input before really producing.

Judging by my personal experience with English - most of the words I use weren’t added to my active vocabulary consciously, except maybe the very first basic words.

They just sort of “appear” after I’ve seen enough of them, and the brain silently suggests which words to use without any translation going on in the head. The more I used English, the smoother these new suggestions appeared. Even if I have never actually learned them by translating from the corresponding words of my language.

The same is happening with Japanese, although on more primitive level.


I’m not trying to hate on KaniWani, but pretty much any E->J solution is, at best, a stopgap measure in my eyes. Even with the help of sample sentences and dictionaries it’s difficult to pick up on natural usage of words when learning in that kind of environment. The synonym problem on KW is a pretty good example of this. English has a ton of similar words as well, but most of those have a specific intonation, period, or usage case.

There are other tools like hinative, italki, lang8, ect. that all let you practice forming complete Japanese (at your own pace) with native feedback, so I think it’s a little better to consider doing that instead.

The WaniKani experience has been exactly what I expected from using it. It’s a great tool for learning to read [kanji]. If I had any problems in the process it would be with my shortcomings as a student. (I would appreciate getting more general/kana vocab and common names under a related system, but I’m not allowed to complain about that until level 60).


Honestly, Kaniwani can be useful at times, but once you reach the higher levels, I think it would have outlived its usefulness. Once you get more and more used to the language, you stop having to rely on rough English equivalents and start to learn new Japanese words in Japanese. It isn’t all that necessary to always tie them back to English. Plus the sheer number of synonyms gets pretty confusing. If you find it useful then great, but I don’t think you need to plan on using it forever, especially if you feel you’re burning out.


Depends on your goals. I only want to be able to consume, not produce, so something like KaniWani wouldn’t add anything for me. I’m never going to be looking at an English sentence and thinking “how would I say this in Japanese?”, it’ll always be the opposite.

But that’s simply my own personal goals/needs. I’m only level 9 and I feel like I’m already recognizing a good deal more words when reading manga in Japanese. I also feel like I have an easier time looking up words I don’t know if I know the kanji readings as a starting point (looking a kanji up blind takes me forever).

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I think WK is useless without reading. English equivalents, like said above, isn’t really the best way to progress since you aren’t really learning their proper usages, naunces etc.

Read a bunch and you will remember the words you are learning here, passively pick up on more vocab & grammar too. I think having a decently sized passive vocabulary is helpful before turning it into active vocabulary, but if you want to practice that aspect then use something like HelloTalk or italki and chat with actual natives.


Can you use your same account for Kaniwani? It says I need an API key to make a new one and I don’t know wth that means.

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From your Dashboard:

Menu (top right) → Settings → Account tab → Public API Key

You’ll probably want the value from API Version 1 for the moment. I don’t think most apps will have switched to the just-announced API version 2 yet (unless the site specifically asks for it).

No. One of the reasons I do EN->JP is to focus less on the Kanji, and focus more on the sound/Kana; after all, there are too many exceptions in the Kana readings. When I answered in Kana correctly in WaniKani, it is usually because I have heard of the vocab somewhere. --> but this is more impossible in higher levels without some kind of additional drills.

And I think good comprehension in Japanese is strongly tied to listening/vocalized reading; so better than EN->JP would be something like Sentence Audio Quiz, or Vocab Audio Quiz. I tried to do sentence quizzing too.

Better yet, go active. I believe it helps raise passive recognition accuracy to a new level.


I might be misunderstanding what Kaniwani is. I thought it was purely backwards Wanikani, which doesn’t sound like it would provide the kind of practice you’re describing. Does it have other features?

Also I shouldn’t have said “won’t add anything” without qualifying “…relative to the additional time investment it would require.” Naturally, the more methods you can use at once, the better off you are. But there’s just no way I can fit more than Wanikani into my day.

About the audio quiz I mentioned, it is not possible in KaniWani.

The easiest way would be [Userscript] Self-Study - Quiz Edition with Listening Quiz. The harder way would be in Core 10k Anki.

Sentence reading and quizzing is now only possible in Anki. There is a deck for WaniKani context sentences too.


I think polv is basically getting at the fact that on WK you are asked to generate a reading. You can look at a word and cobble the correct reading from knowing the two kanji readings on their own. Even if you had forgotten the word. But with KW you have to generate that word with no kanji prompt, which means you really must know the word and not merely how to pronounce the constituent kanji.



There are several words I usually confuse in WaniKani, such as (my current struggle):
就職 (しゅうしょく) : finding employment
就業 (しゅうぎょう) : employment
職業 (しょくぎょう) : occupation

and I feel it doesn’t really help if I cram what these words mean just on wanikani. Instead, it’s better to see them in their natural habitat amongst other words and with elaborate context, then I’d be able to differentiate between them properly.

I did KaniWani for about 2 levels then stopped, when I was like 10/11, and I didn’t feel it was useful imo.

EDIT: added meaning of vocab.

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Thanks for introducting me to Kaniwani!

KaniWani is alright, it helps and doesn’t take up much of my time, but I take a very relaxed approach toward it. I don’t zero my reviews religiously as I do with WK, and I ignore wrong answers all the time, since it doesn’t work well with synonyms (how many words for soon can there be in Japanese, I wonder?).


You seem to have a habit of asking questions that have been answered in FAQ/About or in other forum posts. I suggest familiarizing yourself with the resources already available.

I’ve used KW everyday alongside WK since lvl 3. Synonyms can be frustrating, but depending on how similar they are, I might add my own (KW does this for some automatically, but not all). Thus, I count on context to help me discern nuance. If you have the time to do both KW and things like lang8, then sure. I think most people agree that it’s not going to be a negative impact on you, for the most part. So then it’s just a question of whether it fits into your schedule or will replace a perhaps more beneficial tool.

Wanikani is taking me 3 hours a day. I can’t handle doing KaniWani too.


I have found wanikani to be amazingly helpful. I took a class years ago and tried to keep progressing in Japanese but had a terrible time with learning new kanji. I knew less than 100 when I started wanikani last October and I have about 750 at guru+ right now. I’m not claiming this to be fast, but relative to the casual effort I’ve made, I have seen tremendous results. Japanese used to be more of a novelty hobby for me than anything, but now I feel confident enough that I use my phone, computers and many websites entirely in Japanese. I’ve gotten some raised eyebrows at work when coworkers noticed that my PC language is set to Japanese.

Immersion has helped me a lot. If I just do rote reviews over and over, I don’t retain words very well. But when I start seeing them in news, Japanese language groups or other media, it really helps to reinforce my ability to recall them. I also avoid the English mnemonics on wanikani and try to relate kanji together mentally by reading and/or meaning when possible. For instance, 定 and 提 which share the 音読み てい

Or 低 and 底 which also have てい as an 音読み and what seems to me to be a similar meaning. Those are two examples. This is probably also a flawed approach but I try to use the language to learn the language where possible. I’ll ask my phone 「何何の意味」 where 何何 is some word that I don’t know, and see if I can understand the definition.

Of course there are also sources like NHK easy news, and I play games in Japanese when I can. I am playing the new Zelda on the switch entirely in Japanese.

These have all helped me a lot to immerse myself and I do feel like the language is becoming far more natural for me, particularly in that I don’t always have to mentally translate my English thoughts to Japanese words anymore. I also disable furigani on sites and etc when I can; if I really don’t understand a character and need to, I look it up on Jisho by radical, but if the furigana was there I will naturally want to read the kana as it is easier than kanji, since I’ve been able to read kana for over a decade. So I try to get rid of the crutch.

I’m not claiming that any of these are the right approaches, they’ve just been working for me and it is gratifying to see the tremendous progress that I have made without overtaxing my time, interest and capacity to learn the language.


You’re in luck! Kaniwani 2.0 allows you to add your own words to the SRS system. :slight_smile:

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