What's something you wish Wanikani had explained to you?

I would have loved it if Wanikani had explained the patterns of transitive and intransitive pairs. E.g. that ones ending in す will always be transitive, and if the pair ends in える and ある, える is usually transitive and ある is usually intransitive.

I know Wanikani is only for kanji, and they don’t claim to teach grammar, but knowing this sooner would have prevented a lot of headaches.

What’s something you think Wanikani should teach its users?


That seems more like Bunpro’s area of expertise.

Honestly, I’m completely content with that Wanikani does now: teach Kanji.


Something I really wish they taught was phonetic-semantic composition of kanji. There’s a great userscript for it, but I wish this was just part of Wanikani’s explanations.They even mention it in the Tofugu Podcast iirc so it would make sense to include it.

Along those lines, if a kanjj is made up of two kanji (regardless of whether it’s phonetic-semantic), I think WK should use those kanji as radicals instead of combining a bunch of smaller radicals.

I guess what I’m saying is that I wish etymology played a bit more of a part in WK’s kanji explanations.

I’m a bit split on whether or not Wanikani should explain these.

On the one hand, I think WK is best as a kanji site and they shouldn’t have to teach grammar. WK shouldn’t be people’s only resource. On the other hand, Wanikani does place a lot of focus on transitive/intransitive pairs, to the point that I agree it would be beneficial to have a little something about it in a few of the meaning explanations. Maybe in some of the first pairs, like 上げる・上がる or 下げる・下がる.

Personally I’m fine w/o the explanation because I was already aware of transitivity rules before WK, but it would probably help with a lot of people’s leeches.

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Preach! I can’t agree more on all points. that would indeed be an improvement of WK. Plenty of people have made posts regarding how annoying it is when more complex kanji get broken down into tiny radicals, when we’ve already been taught the kanji component that is another kanji.

The phonetic-semantic composition of kanji is another part that’s a true game-changer for how to learn kanji. It both helps with the similar-looking kanji issue in learning as well as showing you how to correctly guess the reading of kanji from seeing their radicals.

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I thought wanikani did do something like this? Although it isn’t very regular, there are some vocabularly words which give hints such as this.


I wish they explained why they made the community logo so big that now I cant click back to the dashboard/lessons/reviews pages.


They probably didn’t do it, Natively too as an old version of their logo.

I suppose it was an update from whatever forum framework they’re using and it largely out of their control.

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later on you will see there is no pattern for transitive and intransitive,

memorizing will be your best tool :sweat_smile:


I… never heard of phonetic-semantic composition before. I’m checking it out now, thanks for opening my eyes!

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While I don’t really think WK should be responsible for teaching grammar concepts, I found it easier to remember what some vocabulary items meant after doing some fundamental grammar studies and learning a few things like how you can transform an adjective to an adverb using its く stem, how you can use a verb’s stem form to get a noun-like version of the verb or make compound verbs, the subject marking が particle seen in complete clauses (eg. The 仕方がない and 運がいい vocabulary items), etc.


Let’s not forget that Tofugu has a whole website dedicated to a variety of topics on the Japanese language. WaniKani is one tool in that umbrella.

They have articles. We have the forum. There is tons of material out there.

“Don’t be a fool, use the tools!” (⁠^⁠∇⁠^⁠)⁠ノ⁠♪

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Hmm here’s the top of this thread page at 500% zoom on Microsoft Edge. I can still access all of the lesson/review pages:

Are y’all using bad browsers?

The crabigator has, for whatever reason, deemed that using kanji as radicals is blasphemous, even when that would be advantageous.

Hmm? There are plenty of radicals and kanji that are identical. Or do you mean that they don’t use multiple kanji combinations as radicals?

(As I’m quite low level I don’t really know how things work later on.)

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Probably a long, detailed explaination how SRS and WK works, how to optimize it and understand it. This would save so much headache.

They mean that an item has to be introduced as a radical item separate from its kanji item to be used in a kanji mnemonic.

I’m guessing.

I wish WK did a better job at differentiating between usage of vocabulary words that have the same English meaning, and also clarifying the use when the English translation picked has multiple possible meanings/uses in English but the Japanese word only covers one of those.

For example, both 諦観 and 辞職 are taught in level 22 as “resignation” but 辞職 is specifically resigning from a job or position and 諦観 is specifically the feeling of being resigned to a condition/situation (i.e. “resigned to one’s fate”) and also carries an additional possible meaning of “clear insight” into something.


Do you check the alternative meaning, explanations and example sentences? Most of the time you can get a good idea which English meaning the word cover by looking at them.

辞職 resignation, quitting

If you quit your place of employment, you are quitting, aka putting in your resignation.
My boss told me flat-out that I was disposable, so I left the company.

諦観 resignation

When you give up and just try to enjoy the view, that’s resignation. You know things aren’t going well, and you know you can’t do anything about it now, so you resign yourself to what’s to come.
You are too young to be resigned.