Whats with the example sentences?

Why does the example sentences are kinda difficult to read? I tried Torii application and the example sentences were more natural? Regular? Understandable? Also I think the sentences should have furigana.


They have plans to add more sentences, like the ones that were added to levels 1-20. They just haven’t gotten to levels 21+ yet. They would be simple sentences that don’t use kanji you don’t know, as is the case with the first and second sentences on the earlier levels.

They have a habit of trying to give the sentences the feeling of being “Tofugu sentences” and not just regular example sentences. I guess for some people that isn’t going to be what they want.


Tofugu Sentences sounds like a bad idea for me. I mean you want to learn sentences that you would like to hear in regular life, I don’t understand what’s the point of having examples if there are going to be too complex


That’s not the product they are selling, I guess. I personally don’t want to always see stuff you’d see in regular life. The language used in novels and games can be pretty weird too.

You can still usually use the English translation to get important information, such as distinguishing synonyms. Sometimes the sentences could do a better job of that, and if there’s something particularly confusing, they’ll usually fix it if they are contacted about it.


I find them relatively easy to read.

For example:

Koichi is my benefactor. He rescued me when I lost my head over bacon.

I understand “benfactor” might not be a very common word but even if you are unsure of the meaning you can see from context that emporor Koich is the most virtuous and kind and merciful individual.


Agree re: the example sentences.

Generally speaking, they seem like mostly a waste of time/space… but perhaps they were originally written as just a joke before WK became bigger…? and they’ve never gone back to make them… useful?


I think the example sentences are easily the worst part of WK. The Tofugu ones require you to invest in an obtuse storyline. Setting that aside they pay no attention to what kanji you have actually learned up to that point, so they don’t reinforce past lessons.

Compared to something like Kanji in Context, they’re a huge missed opportunity. It’s a shame.


Agreed. Especially when I was starting out, some of these sentences were full of kanji I wouldn’t learn for another 20 level, making them quite useless. Plus there is a tendency for the sentences to use secondary meanings of the words, when really I just want to see a run of the mill usage within relatively basic grammar. The sentences really are a missed opportunity.


Hey Wanikani, I would suggest you put furigana on the words we don’t know yet and the words you don’t teach and at least put 1 simple and understandable example sentence. お願いします

I’m still at level 3 but I’ve already seen a lot of sentences that barely make any sense. I guess they could be part of some surrealistic fantasy novel or something but I can’t help but feel that sentences that would make sense in real life would be more useful in the context of learning kanji and reinforcing their meaning in our memories.


Yea, thats what I was trying to say when i said I wanted sentences to be more “ordinary”.
I stopped reading the sentences because theres no point in them. They don’t feel useful too me.

1 Like

As I mentioned in the first post they’re doing this. They’re just not done.

1 Like

I don’t mind the quirkiness of the sentences. My problem is that many if not most of their English translations don’t use any of the English “meaning” words given for the vocabulary they’re trying to illustrate! I read them and really feel like I’m being gaslit!


Hard to say without an example of such a sentence, but translation is difficult. Unfortunately, words are not equivalent to units of meaning, so doing a natural translation but keeping the words the same is basically impossible except in trivial cases, and a more word oriented translation wouldn’t be helpful without annotations.

Personally, I can’t think of any sentences where the meaning of the sentence and the meaning of the kanji item have been inconsistent. That’s good enough to get a feel for how it’s used/what it means, which is the point right?

1 Like

This is the kind of thing that bugs me. The translation of the only context sentence for 勢い (FORCE / VIGOR) uses neither force nor vigor, yet it could, and would be more useful if it did.


Our dog always bolts towards the milk-bone even though he isn’t racing anyone.


Personally, I think it’s fine. It gives me some context as to how it’s used, and it’s clear to me what 勢い is doing in this sentence.

How exactly would you translate it to be more useful?

I’ve been coming across more and more of these too since level 20…

Opportunity, Chance

“Would you like to come to dinner on Saturday? I’m going to make Fugu-wellington.” “I’d like to, but I have a meeting. I’ll take a rain check."

I read on another thread that WK has plans for something better than example sentences, but until then I’m not sure how to use these…especially given there’s often only one sentence…

1 Like

I would use the word “vigor” or “force” or find another sentence.
Currently, I have absolutely no idea which word in the English translation refers to 勢い .
Is it “bolt” because bolt is a verb, while Wanikani tells me that 勢い is an adverb or noun.
They could say “vigorously run” instead of bolt. That would make it easier to relate to.
Or is it not bolt, is another part of the sentence? I don’t know.


I dont think this is better translated literally as “forcefully moves towards” rather than “bolts towards”. They have made this sentence sound natural by substituting a fitting verb. If anyone was talking about an animal, they would in this case use “dash” or “bolt” etc.

1 Like

Okay so I’m probably the exception here but this is the aspect that I really like about the context sentences. Japanese words aren’t going to be one-to-one with English words, which is why you’ll see a lot of vocabulary with more than one accepted answer. The best we can really do is try to approximately map them onto English concepts, but it’s never going to be perfect. The context sentences will very often expose additional meanings that aren’t common enough or concise enough to be included as an accepted answer. If the authors limited themselves to words and concepts already introduced, a lot of that additional meaning would be lost.

I’ve actually been trying to read all of the context sentences right from the beginning, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot, both about the vocab words themselves and the way Japanese is structured. Yes, it’s certainly frustrating when there are words and kanji that haven’t been introduced yet (and there will be a lot of this at low levels) but it’s good practice for trying to read real Japanese. Content in native material isn’t going to be dumbed down to my level, so I like getting the chance to try to figure out what a sentence means from the core elements and guessing about the concepts I don’t know. Having the translations available along with the sentence allows you to easily practice and see if you’re reading it right or wrong. Since I’ve started this I notice I’m able to read longer and more complex sentences than I was at level 1.

This isn’t meant to be a criticism of anyone in this thread, I just wanted to share my own personal opinion on the context sentences and my journey in trying to read them all. The funny sentences aren’t for everyone, but they try to inject a little humor and fun into the thankless task of trying to read sentences you aren’t fully equipped to understand. My personal favorite is one where someone’s secretary wins the lottery, but on twitter he posts ‘secretly’ by mistake and confuses everyone.