Wanikani: learning kanjis *less* painfully

As most Japanese language students, I’m struggling with Kanjis. On my quest to make the learning process slightly less painful I recently discovered Wanikani.


Wanikani is web-based tool to learn:

  1. Kanji Radicals
  2. Kanji Meanings
  3. Kanji Readings (we narrow it down to the most important one for you so you don’t have to learn a million readings per kanji)
  4. Vocabulary Meaning
  5. Vocabulary Reading

(The list was taken from this page, check it out for additional information on Wanikani).

There’s no way around it: the are thousands of Kanjis and you gotta learn them all. The basic approach Wanikani is using is :

Radicals –> Kanjis (made of radicals) –> Vocabulary (made of kanjis)

On top of that, the memorization process is based on SRS principles (Space Repetion Software) which is basically a way to space the testing and validation of the content based on your test performance on said content.



So you get tested for everything you’ve learned and as your memorization performance improves, the interval between the tests widens. Furthermore, all the content (lessons) is grouped in levels which are unlocked progressively as your performance improves.




The first two content levels are free to use (I’ve been at it almost two months and I haven’t completed level 2 yet) and the following ones require a monthly $8 or yearly $80 subscription.




Overall, even though it doesn’t make learning Kanjis neither fast nor easy, it provides a pleasant gamified approach to it and I’ve been enjoying so far.

Also, Wanikani is related to Tofugu, an online japanese learning method which I haven’t tested yet so I can’t comment on it.

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