Why did Wanikani leave so many synonyms but yet different words?


I’m not sure I am being clear.
Some meanings are so close to each other and yet, différents words are used for the meaning.

Why is that ?
Is that because the Japanese terms are so precise that it has only this meaning, and all other synonymous are not correct, or (but I can’t imagine that) maybe Wanikani haven’t noticed them ?

Therefore I use the synonym fonction to add the same meaning to close words, but I was just wondering about the reason.

Without some specific examples it’s hard to comment on anything.

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The meaning of words doesn’t 100% overlap (this isn’t specific to English - Japanese, this happens in all languages).


Unfortunately you’re not going to find any answers asking the users of the forum. The Wanikani team do what they do, they don’t usually explain why. Their stated goal is to teach you kanji, and they include vocab to reinforce what they consider the most useful the kanji readings. You’ll have to ask them directly if you want to know how or why they did something.

Yeah I guess. I was hoping that maybe with all the talking around here that some people could know some things around this ahah. Or maybe people who were there in the earlier versions

I’ve been on this site since 2014 and I have no idea why they do what they do. :joy:

You could email them and ask (though there’s no guarantee you’ll get a reply)

I’ll maybe do it ahah.
If I get an answer I’ll update this thread ^^

@Leebo’s post above was intended to elicit a specific example set of words you were struggling with from you, so we could hopefully highlight some of the subtleties in meaning.

For example, 上る, 登る and 昇る are all read のぼる, and mean “to climb”, but their usages are different. 上る = small things like stairs or ladders, 登る = big things like mountains, 昇る = the sun climbing into the sky.


We could indeed provide educated guesses on why certain things are the way that they are, that’s true. But definitely do need specific examples.

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Actually I don’t have any in mind, I just know that is something that I struggled a lot with. I’ll provide some when they come :blush:

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