What determines the order kanji are presented in WaniKani?

I’m asking because compared to the order kanji are taught in Japanese schools, WaniKani seems all over the place. For instance, I’m currently on level 17 (not sure why it says 16 here) and have just been presented with 虚 (void), which according to Jisho.org is taught in junior high, and yet in the same level I’ve also learned 原 (field/original), normally taught in Grade 2. What gives?

I believe Japanese schools tend to teach conceptually easier kanji first, because younger kids would have a harder type understanding complex abstract concepts. However, most learners on WaniKani are adults that are already fluent in at least one language, so abstract concepts are not a problem. Instead WaniKani tries to teach kanji that are simpler in terms of construction first. That’s my take at least.


^^^ What @seanblue said, plus Wanikani is structured by shared visual features of kanji to maximize your rate of learning to recognize them.


Even so, in terms of construction, 原 is a lot simpler than 虚. Or 警, also taught in the same level.

With over 2000 kanji they can only do so much. Sometimes more and less complex kanji will be in the same level.

Aye, and sometimes they promote frequently-used kanji (like 私) higher up the teaching order.

I believe your level shown on the forum is taken from the level you were at when you last logged in to the forum. If you log out and log back in it will show the correct level

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I would argue that 警 isn’t complicated, if it’s ordered correctly, because it’s just two elements. The main radical is 言 and the phonetic element is 敬. So yeah… You have to learn 敬 first for 警 to look simple, which I don’t think WK does, but that’s how I always think of the character. Well, that’s how it was conceived of as well, it’s not a coincidence.


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