Wanikani useless to anyone wanting to learn just vocab

They have the format down and everything, and it’s lovely, but its absolutely completely useless in any other scenario than ‘havent ever seen a kanji before’.
Just add a permanent choice to begin with, ‘Beginner mode’ or ‘supplementary mode’, so that a beginners’ inability to handle the responsibility of customization doesn’t remove all the potential of the platform

If someone has picked up Heisigs’ or Kanjidamage before coming here, make it possible to rewrite the radical meanings to what they have learned before, it shouldn’t be difficult to do. Make it possible to skip a kanji entirely.

Now go around advertising that wanikani is a great supplementary platform for learning a lot of vocabulary, too, and rake in some more money, because no one but a total beginner should want to deal with wanikani’s control-freak-esque approach to proper learning


Rewriting radical meanings would not work. All the mnemonics on the subsequent Kanji and Vocab would break.


Hi there! It is already possible to rewrite radical meanings. For each radical, there is a page, where you can add a “user synonym”.

Just looking at the number 1, underneath your avatar, I can see that you have only experienced the first level of the system and you are not a paid subscriber. I am not sure if unpaid users can add “user synonyms” and “name notes”.

As a paid subscriber, I can assure you this is already implemented.

I have been using Wanikani since September 2016. I already knew about 100 kanji when I started. The first seven or so levels covered kanji I already knew. Beyond that, it has become increasingly challenging and at times, the new information has been overwhelming.


It’s useless for anyone wanting to do… anything other than learn how to read kanji. I’m outraged!

I want to learn how to play shougi and it’s not telling me. Does it unlock at level 61 or something.


WaniKani’s vocab order is something of a combination between the JLPT official list and stroke complexity. (By level 16, you know all of the N5 and pretty much all of the N4 Kanji, plus a llot more) The kanji you read on the first levels are far more simple than the ones ahead. The vocab they teach you is meant to reinforce the kanji, and while I agree that some of it can be hard to use in real life, they still serve the purpose to reinforce what you know.

Just trust the order and see where it takes you. I’ve been able to read a lot of stuff! And if you don’t like it, well, no one’s forcing you to. There are several resources out there.


You don’t like it you don’t buy it.

If you want total control of your deck use Anki.


Don’t be discouraged if you already were following another method. Wanikani it’s a great resource, both for vocab and kanji.

I came here after 2 months of RTK and about 300 kanjis that I was able to remember be sight. I tried for some weeks to do it alongside WK… Not recommended in my opinion. Besides two mnemonics for a given kanji it’s a waste. And even though you can add your own in WK, it’s better to use the ones provided (except for those ones that make no sense, which I suggest to replace for one that suits you better).

Now I’m just doing WK for kanji, but the kanjis I learnt with RTK are much easier to remember, so I just focus on the readings there.
For vocab I’m doing the core 10k . And it’s also very useful when I already know some words with a given kanji , so when it pops up in wk the readings are really easy to remember.

Anyway. There’s a 3 level free trial, no harm in trying :wink: … It’s been 2 + months for me, and I can only recommend it :+1:


How can you say it’s completely useless when you haven’t done a single kanji or vocab lesson yet?

Also, WaniKani very clearly states that its primary goal is to teach kanji - the vocab is a “bonus”. And it really is: even though it’s not exhaustive and I have to learn vocab elsewhere, I’ve learned about 3000 words from WaniKani thus far and I don’t find them to be at all useless.

The fact that you can’t skip ahead may be frustrating to intermediate or advanced learners, but there is good reason (exhaustively discussed in this forum), and for a fully customisable experience you should just use Anki.

The basic promise of WaniKani is that “if you do your lessons and reviews in the order we tell you, you will learn 2000 kanji”, and that’s true.

That being said, if the system’s not right for you, just don’t use it. What’s the point of complaining about “raking in more money” when you haven’t paid anything, and don’t have to until you’re 3 levels in?


You know, the other day I came across 稿料, a word I never thought I’d see or use in my life, that I learned from this site. Probably less than 1% of the words I’ve learned here are words I’ve never seen or used. I always find it dumb when people say the vocabulary here is useless.


Things seem useless if you don’t have the enthusiasm to understand it.

You don’t just say these useless and money-raking words to WaniKani. Developers had worked on this probably for years and they know better than us. Idk but I feel offended by your words haha it’s sad that you judge something based on your mere understanding. I know we all have different learning techniques, if it doesn’t work for you, UNINSTALL THE APP. There’s no need to tell us that we are wasting our money for “control-freak-esque approach” app.


I knew about 300 kanji when I started and I’m still quite enjoying this system. It’s making things stick better for me than anything else has ever done. Also, I personally disliked RTK. I didn’t like that you only learned meanings (or rather, a keyword) and that you’d legitimately have to go back and relearn the kanji with readings once you were done. Kanjidamage is fine, I just like that this site spaces them out in a good way and makes me type in my answers instead of lying to myself about how well I do or don’t know a kanji like I had a tendency to do before.


Dammit, I’m at level 52. Why did nobody point this out before? Still you have saved me the bother of the last 8 levels I suppose.


LMAO :joy:

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I’m level 1 in WK, like you, but I already know a lot of kanji and vocabulary compared to a total beginner, like you apparently do too. However, I don’t think this method is useless at all so far, although it is a bit early for me to draw a real opinion. In fact, early on it’s been a nice review tool and the mnemonics are entertaining and helpful for readings that even a more experienced learner forgets or confuses from time to time. Also, the pace and selection is supposed to be “controlling” for your benefit, as it caters to the idea that there are ideal intervals for max kanji/vocab retention. I’ve learned plenty of things a certain way in the past, yet there is room in my brain to supplement my original education. In fact, I am curious to see if I remember better and faster this way as it progresses, aren’t you? It’s just different than what you’re used to. Be more openminded and patient, perhaps?


I’ve learnt about 1000 kanji meanings previously, by using RTK (at 20 Kanji a day) and at about 30 Kanji but 100 vocab per level, I’d say WaniKani is in fact mostly about vocab and still very much worth my money, and I like the fact that readings and kanji are reinforced by learning vocab that uses them.


No shit Sherlock. If you haven’'t received the news, this app is for learning kanji.

I don’t go to the local bakery and ask for a bottle of Jack Daniels.


There are ~8000 vocab words on the site and ~2000 kanji. And if there are many of those words you do not know, you can learn them by fighting through the kanji. If you are not already the expert of all 2000+ kanji, and all the possible readings, it’s likely you will benefit from the kanji part too. If you are already the expert of 2000+ kanji and all their readings, this site will likely not help your vocabulary much.

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Yep, 100% useless for vocab. I’ve spent the past 16 levels frustrated over how it keeps on teaching me these weird symbols then smashing them together. Like what’s that all about? You call that a word? Obviously just a marketing ploy.


Wait, you aren’t meant to do that? Is that why all the bakers in town hate me? I thought I just smelled funny…


I don’t get it, therefore it is useless.