What's the point of radicals in the new system?

Before the recent update radicals made absolute sense, they help you learn parts of the kanji you will learn in the future. But since now the lesson batches are mixed, is there really a point in radicals and the whole guru system to unlock the next kanji? I wonder if it’s somehow regulated in the algorythm of the new lesson system. I get kanji and radicals at the same time, which would have never happened before. Just wondering how it all works ^^

To clarify. In level 5 I get my first lesson mixed with kanji and radicals from level 5 at the same time. Maybe the lvl 5 kanji it’s showing me uses radicals I learned in previous levels? Even if it’s that way I feel it kind of kills the “guru to unlock further content”, what do you guys think? Overall I really like the new system :slight_smile:

The new system changes nothing about the necessity or non-necessity of radicals.

It has always been this way. Certain kanji are unlocked when you start a level (because you’ve already learned their radicals in previous levels), and others are locked behind new radicals because they use those radicals.

You were also always able to get radicals and kanji at the same time, they just weren’t “mixed” like they are now. If you had a 5-lesson batch with your last 2 radicals, you would also get 3 kanji that were already unlocked to fill the 5 lessons.


But you are not going to see any kanji before you have learned the radicals which it uses, same as before. When you see kanji and radicals in the same lesson batch you are seeing kanji that you have already learned the prerequisite radical(s) for (either an earlier level(s) or an earlier lesson(s) in the current level) and new radicals which are prerequisites for kanji will you be seeing lessons for later (later lessons in the current level or later levels). Nothing in this respect has changed.


Yes, that’s exactly the reason :slight_smile:

Nope, because you only have the kanji unlocked where you already gurued the radicals in the previous levels.

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I think it’s also worth noting that radicals aren’t a WaniKani thing. Sure, WK makes up some of its own radicals and names for them, but the concept of radicals as “building blocks” for characters exists in Chinese (and by extension Japanese) too, and many of the radicals WK teach you will overlap with that (I’m not 100% sure if WaniKani teaches you all of the “official” radicals by level 60, but even if not, just familiarity and practice with them helps a ton).

Knowing about the basic building blocks of kanji and getting a feel for how to recognise them will make recognising kanji a lot easier and lets you search for them in dictionaries even if you don’t know a kanji you encounter in the wild.


Actually, sometimes you learn the kanji first, learn some vocabulary associated with that kanji, and on more advanced level you learn that kanji as a radical. Why? Because as levels progress so does the complexity of the number of strokes of the kanji, and they only teach you kanji as radical when you need it for the kanji it builds.
In some cases the radical is a hint to the reading of many kanji it is part of (like 羊 for instance).


How is a sheep related to the western style lol

Some questions are better left unanswered.

That was a bad example though, I was blanking. is a better example - you see how many of the kanji it builds are either せい or しょう, or better yet , so many kanji with こう reading.

When it comes to meaning is a good example for a radicle that a lot of the kanji it builds has to do with something with body organs and the body, as you can see in its found in kanji list.

Just go over the list of radicals and see when there’s a high recurrence of the same reading in the found in kanji list.

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Oh, sorry, I missunderstood you :sweat_smile: I thought you were talking about the meaning, not the reading, I should have read more carefully :sweat_smile:

Regarding the reading, it’s checks out then with (よう) I guess :sweat_smile:

月 is a good example for the meaning, though. Another one is the sick radical

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Oh I see! That makes sense, thank you so much for your help :smiley:

That’s cool, I was hoping it stayed like that.

I’ll keep in mind the importance of radicals, thank you!

Hey @RedCalcifer, you can answer to several people in one post, either by typing @ which opens a collapsable list of users in this thread, or by adding a quote from their thread (marking the line you want to quote the choose “quote”). It’s a nice trick that will save you time and space.