Why is WaniKani worth using beyond lvl 15-20?

I guess the quantity of context-less vocab is a necessary evil then on the path to copious amounts of Kanji.

Nope, JLPT just seemed like a worthy goal if Wanikani shouldn’t be used for studying vocab. I was asking why I should bother using it once I’m able to absorb Kanji through my topic of interest.

links to and vocab cards with context sentences:

It sounds like you may have some misconceptions about the difference between kanji and vocab?
Kanji by themselves are not vocab words, and cannot be used by themselves in a sentence.
There ARE words that are made up of one single kanji, but this is not the case for every kanji.

EDIT: formatted in a way that doesn’t take up the whole page


Though many of the words are useful in conversation, WK claims to teach you to read Japanese text quickly.


A section saying “____ is commonly used formally/informally and in this topic and this topic would be a good start”

I think I know the difference between 電気 and 電力, for example, but saying that the former describes power while the latter is more for describing a power source would be useful.


Alright, so shouldnt I start reading kanji as described here between lvl 15-20?What level can I start reading books?

No I understand the difference, I am just using those for examples. Context for Kanji would be useful too, but I think the issue is more for vocab.

I don’t mean to sound rude, but that’s what the context sentences are for. By reading the context sentences, you should be able to grasp the differences between those words and the different contexts that you would use each word in. If that isn’t enough then further research is necessary, but I disagree that WaniKani doesn’t provide this information already


All vocab words have context sentences to go along with them. I believe kanji cards also have a few examples of words that contain that kanji.

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It was Cure Dolly for sure, not sure if the video is right though.
Yeah basically. If the remaining 5000 provide less benefit then why not delay them while focusing on sentence-mining?

(bolding is mine) Not sure I understand that last bit – you only need to advance the kanji and radicals to unlock the next level, right? Or has something changed recently?

No an internet forum isn’t a source by academic standards, but I’m not writing an academic paper. Not to mention it’s the same Wanikani forum where high level users gave their advice.

It wouldn’t be my intention to cut out direct study, but rather to directly study kanji and vocab as they are being used.

You seem to take for granted that above levels 15-20 you can learn Kanji in an easier/more pleasant way to you than using Wanikani. If this were the case, of course it would be wise to do it, every person learns in their own way.

I can only tell you about my experience: I started reading with the Wanikani beginner book club when I was about level 9 and I am reading my second book now. First of all I have to say that the people participating in the book clubs are immensely helpful and thanks to them I can read and put some of the kanji and words I have learned with Wanikani into practice.

I have noticed that when I encounter a kanji I haven’t learned yet it is much more difficult for me to remember the word than when I already know the kanji but not the word. What I want to say is that I’m finding the knowledge I’ve acquired with Wanikani very useful for reading. And through reading I expect to learn much more.

Edit: Just corrected some typos.


Painful? Absolutely.
But would it be so much less painful at lvl 15 as lvl 30 that I should wait?

Technically your right, but I hate to leave things unfinished and vocab happens to be one of them

You can start reading at any time, doesn’t have to be one or the other. But as someone else already said, you can’t take a forum post as gospel. It’s advice based on personal experience, and will be different for different people. Your WK level does not correspond to Japanese ability across the board. Some people come into WK with N3 or higher grammar, others come in fresh off the tofugu kana tutorial, with no other Japanese study done.


That makes sense. But that’s your preference, it’s very different from claiming that WK has locked this content away from everyone.


It is possible to go full speed while doing all the vocab. And if you want to finish in two years, you can do that at 15 lessons a day. You can spread vocab out over a level and end up with 0 lessons every week.


I suppose this is the statement I find most odd in this post. How exactly did WaniKani mislead you? It says it will teach you 2000 kanji and 6000 vocab in 1-2 years, and that’s what it will do. Just because you don’t find all the words “useful” doesn’t make this statement in any way misleading.


To offer my opinion to the discussion,

since the frequency of use and general “usefulness” of the Kanji are taken into consideration, the higher level Joyou-Kanji here do appear less often in novels and such. That is not to say they do not appear at all.

At level 40-ish i felt relatively comfortable reading Light Novels that are on the easier side when it comes to vocabulary and complexity in general, such as " *Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear" (which is great by the way). It uses a few Kanji that are not included in wanikani, but most of them are.

In my opinion, knowing all these Kanji helps a great deal when reading, because even unknown vocabulary is easier to learn if you are already familiar with the kanji that are used to write it.

The greatest Perk of WaniKani for me is the fact that SRS does all the work for you. If i had had to organize all of this myself, it would have been quite chaotic or me.

Regardless, if you prefer to not learn the less frequently used ones (albeit you might end up surprised by how often they actually appear in novels and such) or learn them by yourself, level 20 is too early for that in my opinion. The Kanji between level 20~ and 40~ are still very, very common ones.

Then again, WaniKani is what gets you started anyway. It’s not like i feel competent at all right now, so i plan to acquire a lot more vocabulary via reading and such.

There is no rule that states you have to wait for level 60 to learn beyond the WK-Schedule, after all :upside_down_face: