Ways in which WK has disappointed me, personally

I am not that good at technology :joy: no clue how to do that but I have a friend that can maybe help. Thanks!!

I am from the “Soviet Russia” and I could debate that Stalin did much more harm to Russia than whatever country you are from. I think that the number of Russians/Ukranians/Belorussians/whatever post-soviet country’s citizens who genuinely would get offended by his name is so negligent, so that changing good mnemonics that would make 99.99999% or so of your users remember words/kanjis easier to please that negligent 0.000001 % who could somehow(which is also completely beyond my understanding) offend that small number, is beyond ridiculous. I has never been even aware that these mnemonics used to have Joseph stalin instead of Jourm. No wonder 4/5 of mnemonics here are one of the worst I’ve seen. Oh well, at least we don’t offend anyone now, do we.


Ah, make no mistake, I wasn’t implying that WK shouldn’t add that feature at all, I was just letting them know that there is a Userscript they can use until then.

I am still relatively new to WK – only on level 6 – but I look at typos as a mistake and that I wasn’t paying enough attention.

I think an oops button could become a crutch for some users. How many times do you hit the oops button before you just admit that you’re consistently spelling it wrong?

If you consistently spell it wrong, you might actually be pronouncing it wrong too.


Just once. If it is a typo you will get it right the next time.


How nice of you to dismiss all the harm that he has done to my people. But I’m not preventing you from using him in your mnemonics, am I? Go ahead and do, for all I care.

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I don’t think we’re in a position to have a conversation from this point onward, but I’ll just reiterate my first point that I’m assuming you don’t have the lived experience of a gay person or a woman, so you don’t know how it feels to see those mnemonics from that perspective. Just like seeing/hearing the n-word doesn’t affect me the same way it would a black person. Best of luck on your journey in kanji and through life. May you find more love, and unlearn some of the toxic ideas you’ve come to perpetuate :v:


I don’t think they were dismissing the harm, they were just pointing out that the harm that dictator has done to his own country was huge as well and possibly even bigger (but even if it was, it doesn’t in any way diminish the harm done to your people).
Anyway, politics is a very delicate subject.

As for offending mnemonics, well, to be honest, it is a very delicate subject as well. Unfortunately, the borderline here is very hard to pinpoint… Often the same person can be offended by a t-shirt another’s wearing and yet would completely fail to understand why someone else would be offended by their own t-shirt… All we can do is to try to understand one another and to show mutual respect to each other’s feelings…


I’m gay and old enough to remember real oppression as well. So you of all people should see how a character like Hard Gay makes it easier for straight people to call us perverts and justify beating us up and such ¯ \ _ (ツ) _ / ¯

I’m not saying users were going to suddenly become homophobic because of Hard Gay. I’m not saying that seeing his mnemonic triggered panic attacks for me. But it was frustrating to know that WaniKani was telling users that it was okay to laugh at queerness as a non-real identity, and teaching us to remember the Japanese language through that humour at our expense.


Sure, and I have friends and relatives in Russia whose family were killed and imprisoned too, so I do understand that point that Russian people suffered perhaps more than, say, people in East Germany under the watchful eye of Stasi. However, that doesn’t make the history any less painful and it’s the casual dismissal of it in favour of some people’s convenience that irks me.


“Christmas” only still exists because the people demanded their pagan festivals remain after Christianity came to their lands.

Christians rebranded it as “Christmas” but it’s still the celebration of the Winter Solstice.


Yeah, I’ve been told this countless thousands of times, not least in this very thread. Yet the fact remains, Christmas (Christ’s Mass) has celebrated the birth of Christ for two thousand years. If you wish to have a pagan festival, great, that is brilliant, I’m happy for you, just please don’t call it Christmas.



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Quote yourself all you like; there’s no contradiction. When societies converted to Christianity they adapted their old customs, made them into Christian ones, and gave them new names.

If you, thousands of years later, want to celebrate the old pagan customs (and good on you if you do) why not use the old names too? Why would you want to use a Christian name for your non-Christian festival?


Well yeah, but many of the arguments you’re making could easily be made the other way. For example, the trees and the yule log and the presents and such are all pagan customs.

In any case, this conversation has sharply drifted away from the topic at hand. This is one of those times where it’s ok to let someone be wrong on the internet. Mostly because there’s no right answer.


Funnily enough I was just thinking about this before I noticed your post !

My thoughts on the matter -

First of all I think aspects which you consider a ‘failure’ on behalf of Wanikani, might actually have value to users, either directly / individually, or on a more meta level.

I do think that potentially some of the rigidity of the system may have benefits beyond the individual user. For instance maybe by keeping some of the rigidity of the system is to the detriment of some individuals, but perhaps there are more users who actually end up learning more in the long run as a consequence of designing the system in the way it has been designed? or maybe the ‘net amount of learning’ is larger this way? if that makes sense.

I suppose it depends on the goals of wanikani. For instance if the primary goal was -
create a learning system which was the fastest possible way an individual could learn 2000 kanji


create a learning system which will result in the maximum amount learnt information across all users. — _

I can see how these two goals might be achieved in very different ways.

Also intrinsically I think the goals of TOFUFU are different to those of individual learners.

Lets say for the sake of my post, generally an individual learner using WANIKANI has the goal of learning the meanings and readings of the 常用漢字 in as short a period of time, whist also retaining the info in the long run. Regardless of whether this is the goal of every learner (It probably isn’t actually, as everyone has different motivations / goals), we can at least say that every learner has a clearly defined goal tailored to them as an individual.

Now TOFOGU on the other hand have very different goals, although there is some overlap. Let’s say TOFUGU need to -

  • provide an effective way to learn kanji
  • provide a method which works for the the largest possible number of people
  • provide a service which is differentiated in a competitive market (ie makes money)

You as an individual can think of an optimal way which wanikani could be set up which would provide maximum benefit to you - simples.

But wanikani will never be able to provide a system which is optimal for every user - or at least wanikani will never be able to provide a system which is optimal for every user whilst also ensuring that they achieve there goals.

So hence we have the balancing act.

I do believe that the Tofugu team listen to feedback - and where a suggestion will be of benefit to a significant number of users, they make a change. Or in reality - as every change made by Tofugu has a time cost, and therefore actual cost - the change they make must result is either AN INCREASE IN USERS TO JUSTIFY THAT COST, or else PREVENT A EFFLUX OF USERS.

SO there you have it, an opinion you never asked for.

But having said that, on your points -

This doesn’t really bother me - but I can see where you are coming from. There are systems out there where this is possible.

I have a script installed which allows me to edit the ‘visually similar Kanji’ on the info page.

absolutely agree which this - i find that quite frustrating. almost feel like a backwards step to have to learn a kanji from radicals, then have to break that kanji down when is a more complex kanji - and results in overly obtuse mnemonics. IMO.

Some of the mnemonics are certainly heading towards ‘trash’ :rofl: however the simplest solution I think is just to create you own, where the wanikani ones don’t work. Again what ‘works’ will vary user to user. FOr instance some of the mnemonics that i have created i’m sure others would consider trash. :rofl: :rofl: (and incredibly offensive)

Again agree - I think it is possible to worry TOO much about not offending anyone. Equally, I think if one of the mnemonics if offending alot of people - there can be no benefit to Tofugu to keeping it really?

Any way - that’s my view.


Additionally (ごめんなさい!!) - after writing I went and looked at the Wanikani ‘about’ section - and it states Wanikani has ’ the goal of teaching you around 1,700 kanji and 5,000 vocabulary words in about a one to two years.'

it would be interesting to look at the user stats and see whether they suggest that goal is being realized.

OK - rant over.


I agree. Getting something wrong by mistake - either a typo or misremembering - only means I will know the item better in the future, because I will be exposed to it more. And that sounds just fine.

I wish that more vocabulary and remaining Joyo kanji were added to WaniKani, but I’m not disappointed with it at all.


As if to illustrate how overly verbose my post was, In the time it took me to write it - the discussion had gone from criticisms of Wanikani - to the origins of Christmas, and the crimes of Stalin. :flushed:

:sweat_smile: :sweat_smile:

edit - oh no wait - i had just not noticed that was already the case. haha. my bad.


YES! I wish wanikani had the option to instanly view similiar looking kanji when you get it wrong. I use to have an external script for it, but It quit working a while ago sadly.

Don’t quite agree with you here. One of my faviorite features are the default mnemonics. I think most of them are very good. The ones that are terrible especially stick in my memory, becuase they are so bad. For the average ones, I come up with my own memonic and I’m sure lots of peope do as well. There will never be a one size fits all memonic set.

100% Agree… but that’s the sensitive world we now live in, we’re everyone lives in thier safe bubble not being able to deal with outside opinoins or conflict. Not really WaniKani’s fault, this is a much deeper socail issue.

Nice post, got to procrastonate for a good ten minutes… thanks ^_^.