Why do you fail single Kanji vocabulary words if you put in the kanji reading?

Oh wow, lots of replies so soon. Such an active community <3

@Turok - But our favourite blue creature says, “You gotta go fast!” :smiley: My aim isn’t to do something for a hobby per se. I want to read fast. I’ve wanted to learn Japanese for almost 20 years and literally dropped everything to utilise this tool once I found it. I feel like reading my Japanese manga might actually be possible haha. I know that a lot of it has furigana, but I’ve also got a copy of Itachi’s novels that are straight up no-hands-held kanji lol. One day I’ll be able to read it :slight_smile:

@ chaswrig - Thanks for the welcome! That “mouth” example is also cool. There are lots of nice little features here. I’d just love some love for single kanji words in that case. The saturation of the fuchsia and purple feels so close that I often don’t notice the jump amidst all the blues, fuchsias, and purples. Maybe I just can’t be Sonic :frowning: Public transport also gets me a lot. I don’t realise auto complete put far instead of fat. Super hard to notice when your phone is shaking. I can understand no protection there, though. The hiragana input can be even worse

@ crihak - 日 is another one that’s given me the same experience haha. I can agree with your message for sure, but if the system can give you a gentle shake for putting “mouth” into the kanji reading for “kuchi”, then I really feel like single character words can detect that you’re clearly confused. I get blue, fuchsia, and purple cards in any given order. It bounces around a lot, so I find it easy to get confused. I doubt I’d be confused if given two kanji back to back

The phonetic side of things does also suck though. Like words that have oo or ou but sound the same. I get tripped up with those words all the time

@ GrumpyPanda - If it’s in a sentence then I will easily know it’s to be read as vocabulary.

1 Like

It’s also easy to tell when something’s supposed to be read as vocabulary on WaniKani too - because it’s got a purple background.


I too go very very fast on my reviews and I too remember having this exact problem. Sometimes I typo my answers, sometimes I か when I mean to け (I say the answers aloud as I type to help me focus), sometimes I enter the wrong answer before my memory kicks in properly… anyway, I can highly recommend doing this:

  1. Install Tampermonkey/Greasemonkey on your browser of choice
  2. Don’t install [OBSOLETE] Wanikani Override ("ignore answer button") - heed the wise advice below…

This is not a good case for using the override button. It could mean remembering the wrong reading for the vocab long term.

1 Like

Sometimes my fingers are fat little idiots and don’t type the thing I say even though I say it quite clearly. Maybe I should get little hearing aids for them.

You’re right that genuine misreads should be let to stand… except when I don’t even read the word properly because I’m reviewing too quickly and two similar words show up. (It’s a bad habit.) If I get the wrong answer because I’m rushing but I genuinely honestly know the vocab when I slow down, I ignore that too. Same if I typo okurigana or other kana in vocabulary, or if all my brain can come up with for 不可欠 is “can’t be without it” as opposed to WK’s specific gloss of “indispensable”. If I genuinely don’t know a review though, that I let stand - better I know that I don’t know it. I spend more and more time now looking up items I’ve mistaken for other items (“insurance” and “guarantee”, take a bow).

SRS has its limits even with positive reviews though because lucky guesses are a thing. There’s at least one kanji reading that I wouldn’t really say I know - I’m just good at guessing its reading when it comes up. :slight_smile:

By level 20, you can still count the kanji that are written as おお on one hand. Long o is almost always おう. The exceptions to the rule are pretty easy to remember.


Agreed with @seanblue that this is not the best use for the ignore script – in your case you say it right but typo the answer, but in OP’s case they don’t know which is correct.

At any rate, if you do have to have an ignore script, I highly recommend the Double-Check script over the Override script, because it allows to mark a correct answer as incorrect, and allows you to immediately retype an answer instead of just marking it correct (and thus making sure you really know the answer).


Rofl. You’d think it’s that easy, but I honestly don’t notice the colour change all that often

Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately I use WK on my phone ~90% of the time, so I won’t have access to stuff like this. It would take extreme discipline to not just hit that button. I’m hoping the frustration of failed reviews will translate into my brain going “oh hey, this is purple, buddy. BE CAREFUL!”. We’ll see though haha

I’ve heard a lot of sadness around this on the forum haha. I think I read somewhere that the insect radical confused someone because they recalled it as bug but got failed. I’m going to have a lot of fun trying to figure out the when of saying something. I’ve currently got two kanji for past in my review stack. I’m sure I’ll learn when to use them over time

All languages do have these weird things after all. I guess it’s the equivalent of gnome and knife lol


The double-check script seems pretty handy. I sense I will be using WK on my computer more often as the kanji gets harder, so these tools will be beneficial

I think What are radicals, kanji, and vocabulary? is the more relevant knowledge base article in this case.

Kanji usually have at least two readings: the on’yomi reading and the kun’yomi reading. Both of them are correct, but we only want the one we taught to you as “the reading.” If you type the kun’yomi reading, but we asked for the other reading, the text box will wiggle and ask you for the on’yomi reading.

This doesn’t count as a wrong answer, and you’ll have a chance to try again. (Try to get it right the next time!)

Unlike kanji, vocabulary only have one correct reading (with a few exceptions). So if you see the purple vocabulary word 生 and type in せい, you will be marked wrong.

No wiggle here, because せい is not the vocabulary word for a raw. That’s なま and only なま. It’s important that you pay close attention to what we’re asking for when you start learning, because it minimizes confusion and mistakes later on.


Thanks for that :slight_smile: So it is indeed deliberate, but it’s just a pain to deal with this for a single kanji. Maybe it’s actually “Vocabulary” and “Kanji” that need to be bold. I know a black bar means “reading”. A black and greyish bar have a huge contrast difference, so it’s very easy to see what it’s after.

At this point it just looks like pain I have to deal with haha. Frustration is good. It means I’m invested


Pink and purple backgrounds are a pretty big contrast too. :slight_smile:


The Tsurukame app will let you mark an answer as correct even if you got it wrong. It’s helped me for all those times I kept spelling the meaning of 円 as yenn because I get so used to doubling n’s. :wink:

I know the ones you mean! Here it helps to do extra memorisation for the word and not just individual kanji.

Since you like to go fast and you may not know yet: you can type si instead of shi to get し, tu instead of tsu to get つ and ti instead of chi to get ち. (Not sure if there are longer ways to type づ and ぢ than du and di respectively.) Very handy to know for words like siatu I mean shiatsu.


Thanks for the tip! I do it from time to time but I don’t want to form bad habits haha. I remember chatting with Japanese students while I was at school, and it was so weird to see them writing chi as ti when typing things in English :stuck_out_tongue:

I randomly checked out your bio site and saw that you use Blender. That’s awesome as! It’s another tool I want to learn but I’m just so busy with other stuff right now. Ugh. I haven’t really done any modelling in pretty much a decade :sob:

All the time I used to spend on 3D stuff I spend on Japanese these days! I can find time for one or the other but not both. Especially not when the sumo is on.

1 Like

That is one of the things I am finding irritating about this course. Simple mistakes where knowledge is proven but penalised by holding you back for further lessons.

When I do my reviews I do them with speed as a priority. For example I like to type it out as quickly as possible to prove accuracy and sharpen my retention. If I do not know the answer then I will deliberately type a wrong answer just to move on and force it into another round of reviews.

Now that I am finally on level 11 it is proving more interesting but going through levels 1 to 10 for someone already certified with Japanese was just plain torture being held back and deprived of lessons based on typos and instances like you describe above.

1 Like

It’s not “suffering” if an item is demoted and you have to answer it again. It’s the learning process.


I think it is because as simple mistake on a Kanji can prevent the unlocking of other vocabulary and stepping up another level. For example you could know that Kanji off by heart and it could be impossible to forget no matter how much you drink or how tired you are, yet one wrong key stroke at the wrong time is enough to enact an incorrect answer thereby preventing the unlocking of other lessons.

I’m not sure about ぢ, but you can type ‘dzu’ for づ. ‘Dzu’ best reflects the kana’s pronunciation.