Why don't vocabary lessons count towards level

I end up having a million vocab lessons of my previous lsvel even though I’m a level higher.

This is, in my opinion, a design oversight of wanikani and I think that the functionality of the lesson reorder userscript should be baked in by default to some degree. The people I have converted into using this script to divide daily lessons between kanji and vocab to complete both at a consistent pace have agreed that it is a more effective experience.


Hi, so I’m obviously also a newbie to Wanikani, but here’s one explanation from a previous post: https://community.wanikani.com/t/vocabulary-not-fully-completed/31779. My understanding is that Wanikani doesn’t want to overly hold its users back on completing levels, and it wants to embrace the speeds of different users. That’s why you only need to Guru 90 percent of the kanji on a specific level to get to the next level. Because vocabulary can be particularly difficult (for me at least lol), it’s deliberately not included in leveling up and just releases once you hit a specific level. If you don’t like this set up, I’m sure someone better acquainted with Wanikani can suggest an add-on that will improve your experience!

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Why don’t vocabary lessons count towards level?

Because this is a “kanji reading” learning site. Vocab only exist to help you learn readings of kanji. There might be useful vocab in there, but learning vocab isn’t the main function of them. You’ll need to go outside of Wanikani if you want to learn basic vocabulary. Wanikani alone is never enough.


Since it’s just as important to learn the different readings for the Kanji, I too think that the vocab should be parts of the levels though.
And I agree that the vocab itself is not nearly enough since you don’t learn many basic words that don’t use Kanji.


What’s the script’s name? It seems quite useful.

Yeah, but what’s the difference? I just get a congrats message because I “passed the level” but still have 40 vocabulary lessons left.

WaniKani Lesson Filter

Can you specify what you mean on “what’s the difference”? I assumed you meant leveling up once you Guru 90 percent of the kanji vs. leveling up once you Guru 90 percent of the vocabulary. This makes a huge difference for me personally. I struggle a bunch with the vocabulary, probably because the memorization tricks aren’t as good for the vocabulary. If I had to get 90 percent of the vocabulary down, I’d be stuck on so many of the levels I’ve already passed. I also think that getting lessons for the difficult vocabulary and the (for me, easy) radicals at the same time helps me by having both hard and easy lessons simultaneously! Overall, it doesn’t really matter; you’re still getting the same content, but it does really allow you to choose your own pace and decide the number of lessons you want to or are capable of doing at any one time.

For me, I have problems remembering some kanji, yet I found that as I progresses to higher levels, the vocabs on the higher levels somehow helps me remember the earlier kanji. Also as I use other materials for reading practice, having seen some vocabs in the higher level also helped me memorize them better.

And I would probably get overly frustrated and quit if I get stuck at the same level for too long …


I was frustrated as well. I wanted to “level up” once I passed everything for a level. But as is, I still struggle with vocab and kanji several levels back. Also, you don’t even level up by finishing all the kanji - just 90% of them (I think) which is a little confusing.

Now I view a level as two parts. The first part is reviewing all the vocab from the previous level. The second part of the level is the actual new kanji. It’s a change in thinking that leads to the same place. Moral of the story, don’t worry about levels. Rather, focus on getting your reviews done in a timely manner.

Cheers! :smiley:


I have definitely had that experience! I often find myself comparing the readings of kanji and vocabulary, which helps reinforce both.

While probably not a true solution, I find Lesson ordering (in Settings) to be relieving of some frustrations; like no need to learn some new Kanji yet. (while also no need to finish all lessons at once)

I really like doing the vocab as they get unlocked right when I hit guru on a specifi kanji. It helps so much with being able to read things out in the wild. As strange as it sounds my intuitive understanding of when to use kun’yomi or on’yomi is better when keeping up with the vocab.

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