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We’ve been moderately quiet about the kanji learning site WaniKani. Since it’s getting close to private alpha time (if you get the 30 Day Ebook there’s a link in there for previously said private alpha) I wanted to shed some details on the project that Viet’s been so hard at work on all these months. Of course, since it’s quite early everything I’m about to say is liable to change, but don’t you want to know more anyways?

All In The Name

wanikani name

Perhaps the hardest part about building WaniKani was coming up with a name. It seemed like every day in January we were just listing off name after name after name, trying to come up with something we liked. Here are some failed names:

  • iheartkanji.com
  • kanjikan.com
  • kanjithehardway.com
  • kanjify.com
  • kanjimaster.com
  • narwhalapp.com

Yeah. Those are pretty bad. On one fateful day, though, I opened a kanji dictionary up to the fish (魚) section (yeah, there’s a fish section, seriously) and wrote down all of the aquatic animal names since most of our stuff seems to be sea-creature themed. I was looking for two animals that had rhyming names. The only two I came across were a match made in heaven: Wani (alligator) and Kani (Crab).

Of course, the moment we tried imagining what the mascot would look like we were sold. CRABIGATOR. ALLICRAB. WANIKANI.

What Is WaniKani?

The idea behind WaniKani is nice and simple. Basically, we wanted to create something that we’d actually use to learn kanji and vocab. In order to do that, we would have to cover five main things:

  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

That’s a lot of stuff, but each item on the list is helped by the item before it. For example, a kanji’s meaning comes from the radicals. A vocab’s meaning comes from the kanji that makes it. Etc. Learn them all and you’ll be able to read Japanese. Although this constitutes a lot of items to learn, our goal is to give people to ability to learn all of these within a year. We’re thinking 50 weeks, actually. That way you can take two weeks off for Columbus Day, or something.

Mnemonics, SRS, & Simplicity

As you might expect, learning kanji on WaniKani involves mnemonics, SRS, and a few pounds of simplicity thrown in for good measure. The mnemonics are all made in-house, and also cover the vocabulary (which, I think, is pretty unheard of). When you’ve proven to the computer monster that you’ve learned a new item (radical, kanji, or vocab), it gets put into your review pile. Once they’re in your review pile the SRS kicks in and then based off your answers it will show you the question more often or less often. We’ll definitely be testing and adjusting the “spaces” part of our “spaced repetition system” too when testing begins.

The most important thing for us, though, was the simplicity and ease of use. There are a few similar things out there, but usually it involves combining multiple (complicated) resources into one giant rat king of kanji learning. While combining multiple resource types into one application is a good start, we also wanted to be careful not to let that over-complicate things. Every time we try to add something (Viet’s very good at this) we ask each other what it will do and if it is actually necessary. If it’s not, we cut it. If it is, we then try to shave that feature down to the bare minimum while not losing its purpose. We want to make WaniKani a pleasure to use, above everything else.

Find Out More!

Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting more about WaniKani, but mostly on WaniKani-related sites (sometimes on Tofugu too, though). If you’d like to know more about this project, be sure to follow us via your favorite following service.

Blog: http://blog.wanikani.com
Twitter: @WaniKaniApp
Facebook: http://facebook.com/wanikani/

You can also sign up for access to the closed Beta (don’t have a timeline for that, but it’ll be after the Alpha) by going to the WaniKani homepage and clicking on the giant 鰐蟹. It’ll then let you put your email in. When the beta is ready, we’ll let you know about it. Of course, if you are dying to get in a little bit earlier, getting a copy of the 30 Day Ebook will give you a link to sign up for the Alpha.

In today’s post, I only went over some of the broad, general details on WaniKani. I’ll be diving into specifics over the next few weeks, but if you have any questions in the meantime put them in the comments below and I’ll answer the ones that I can!

  • http://twitter.com/Musouka Musouka

    I’m very excited to try my hands on the Alpha. This is more sophisticated than I have originally anticipated :)

  • Othique

    LOVE THIS. I’ve honestly been waiting for this since first discovering tofugu, lol… I know, I put a lot of responsibility on you, I’m sorry, I’m a lazy person. But I’m a huge fan, does that make up for anything?

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    oh good! :D

  • Chris Lastnamerson

    You guys do some of my favorite web design, you know. I love all your designs so much! It’s really refreshing to see all this great stuff you come out with looking so good. Will WaniKani be a subscription site?

    I’d love to help out however I can, so I’ll be scanning for entry to that beta. Hit me up if you ever need more hands with site work, too! I’m fairly cozy with front-end, I’ve done plenty with CSS and could figure out HTML5 if needed. I’m a programmer too, but for the web I don’t have any footing with back-end work. And hit me up even if you guys don’t want any extra hands, because you’re cool bros.

  • http://twitter.com/WackoMcGoose Kimura Okagawa

    How long does the confirmation email take to be sent? It’s been 15 minutes and I haven’t seen anything in my Comcast inbox (and I can’t double-check in Thunderbird due to wifi portblocks).

  • Jateku

    When I was reading this I saw 鰐蟹 I did not know it so i looked it up and then…O-O…crab crocodile? 
    I use heisig’s method with SRS and It works well for me^^Also, I look up any new kanji I see any-ware and add it to my Anki deck…It really speeds up my progress!^O^Is this going to be all them put together?

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    the email that confirms you signed up for the list? that one should be pretty speedy, but I’d wait a few more minutes then try again.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    It is – but if you’re already on Heisig’s and deep in that I’d recommend sticking with it. Different radical names and such will throw you off, prolly! Use what works for you, you know?

  • Toms Jensen

    ios support? Something to think about :D

  • Brennan Kulp

    So glad I got the 30日 ebook now!!!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Thanks for the offers! I’ll keep it in mind. 

    Viet’s doing the design on this one. He’s a hero at this sort of thing.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    The WaniKani has been waiting for you, too, Othique.

  • Toms Jensen

    Man, I would buy the e-book, but I have already been studying Japanese for around 30 days, so I’d only be buying it for the closed alpha. To all you lucky people, make sure you have fun in the alpha for me.

  • Popsicle

    I bought the e book a while ago, but I never was able to get into the alpha. I don’t know if I missed something… Help?

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    We’re definitely making sure that the site looks good and works wll on mobile platforms!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550596562 Alexa VanDemark

    So excited! Kanji is my favorite part about learning Japanese, I can’t wait to learn more!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.web Michael Webster

    Looks great! Lots of pink from what I can see ^^.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    did you sign up to the alpha list using the link in the extras folder? If so, you should be on the list, though alpha hasn’t started yet.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    The official color of kanji

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Ebook doesn’t cover first thirty days of learning Japanese tho!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    yay

  • Toms Jensen

    Definitely a plus, but I’m one of those rebels who doesn’t have enough for a data plan >.<
    I was wondering if you guys might make an app in the future.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    We’ve thought about it, but since we require people to type in the answer (recall is better than multiple choice) having to input text for each answer on a mobile device is a bit painful… but, we’ll make sure it looks good on iPad, at the very least, and probably make it look good on iPhone/Smartphone too… though it’s definitely made for the keyboard and computer.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    oh goood!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    It’s possible, but not something we’re ready to think about quite yet.

  • Chris Lastnamerson

    I agree then, he’s great! Also, I’m totally using my Disqus account next time; Google integration didn’t include my profile picture or any way for me to know I got a comment :c

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    oh nose :(

  • Michael

    I’d love to give this a try but… I’ve already learned kanji! :D And by that I mean I’ve learned enough so that any new ones are a piece of cake.  All hail Heisig! ;)
    Anyway, is this site going to take over from the kanji section in TextFugu?  Would you really need both?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1567001652 Jamal Antonio

    Any idea what the pricing will be like yet?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=731397337 Miriam Shimamura

    I was going to pay the $120 for the lifetime account in textfugu, I have completed the free season 1.  Should I still sign up there or as well as this? Will this cost, or will it be a tool available to textfugu members?

  • http://espo.in/ Jonas

    If you need extra developers you know where to ask ;)

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    Been trying to learn kanji for 5 years. If I can learn even 1 from your site, you’ve made miracles happen.
    Till then, kanji is 100% impossible to learn.

    BTW, I have never understood the whole “what does this kanji mean” and the answer is in English. Isn’t this as bad a habit as using romaji as a crutch?

  • Toms Jensen

    I was told before (by Koichi) that TextFugu members will still have to pay for WaniKani, however they will get a sizable discount, and also that WaniKani won’t cost that much to begin with.

  • Toms Jensen

    TextFugu does wonders ;)

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    I’ve had Textfugu since it launched. Hasn’t helped a bit.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Could you elaborate on what you mean about ‘what does this kanji mean’ and how it’s not helpful? Just want to make sure I understand first before I respond! tytytyty

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I’d say WaniKani’s more like a supplement to TextFugu. Kanji ordering will be a bit different on WaniKani (and more so as time goes by, I think) and it’ll focus only on kanji / vocab. So… it’s hard for me to say for you, but TextFugu is more like the thing you can use to learn Japanese on a whole. WaniKani is more like the tool you use to take care of the most difficult part of learning Japanese, kanji and vocab.

    TextFugu members will get around a 40% discount on WaniKani, though. We’re planning to make it less than $10/month, too, though we haven’t figured that out quite yet… still debatingggg.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    nah, you wouldn’t really need both – but the experience will be way better on WaniKani, just because it tells you what to do, has everything in one place, and we’ll be collecting data on ‘problem items’ so we can change them and make them better for people to remember.

  • Toms Jensen

    I’ve always been confused as to the differences between the reading and the vocab, but it just turned out to be a the-more-you-do-it-the-more-sense-it-makes kind of thing. Anywho, knowing what the kanji means is exactly the same as knowing what a Japanese word means, it’s not really a crutch at all. Kanji really just is something you need to practice, and then practice, and then practice some more.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Looking to do $10 or less per month. Most likely less.

    Yep, Viet coded it all.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    thanks dood!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    WaniKani might not be good for you, then :(

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    The screenshot below “Mnemonics, SRS, & Simplicity” shows a screenshot of a kanji and asks “kanji meaning?” The answer is in English. 

    I guess I’m wondering why the answer isn’t in romaji or kana with a Japanese word.

    Wouldn’t learning kanji with English meanings make it much much harder to read? If I saw that Kanji symbol and my first thought was “below” instead of “shita” or “した” isn’t that a problem?

    I don’t want to be reading kanji and only seeing English in my head.

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    Granted I get frustrated and jealous of people who seem to have no problem at all learning Japanese, so I’m sure it’s partially a mental block on my part. I haven’t looked at Textfugu in like a year (other than than Dashboard), so granted, I should give it another chance.

    I think my biggest problem is I need to ask LOTS of questions and I can never find a single human being to answer them.

    Unfortunately I learn best in a classroom setting with a teacher where I /can/ ask questions, but Japanese is not taught anywhere near me (Scranton, PA).

  • http://www.vietamins.com Viet

    You are tested for both the English definition (meaning) and the kana (reading). English definition is latin character input for obvious reasons. Kana reading will be answered in Japanese hiragana or katakana with our built in Japanese IME input system.

    Answers are purely based on keyboard input. We aren’t firm believers in the multiple choice methods. You should be able to recall the answer, not by process of elimination.

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    I don’t see how this answers my question at all? My question is (basically) why ask for English at all? Isn’t this only hurtful to the learner? Shouldn’t learning kanji be about learning how to read the Japanese?

  • Toms Jensen

    Is there also gonna be a ‘forevah’ subscription because monthly payments are my worst enemy.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    So, what is the meaning of した then? It can’t also be した, otherwise it has no meaning. Same with 下. It has both a reading and a meaning. You have to learn them both otherwise you’re just learning how to read something, but you don’t understand what it means.

    Does that make sense?

  • http://www.vietamins.com Viet

    This is in response to

    “I don’t see how this answers my question at all? My question is (basically) why ask for English at all? ISn;t this only hurtful to the learner?”

    I don’t see it being hurtful to the user at all. If you don’t know what a kanji means, then how would it be useful to you as a user? If I see the kanji 犬 and only know the reading いぬ, how are these two pieces of knowledge useful to me by themselves? Only when I make the connection that they English definition of ‘dog’ does it become useful.

    It’s akin to being able to read, but not understanding what you are reading.

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    Hmm, I guess this goes back to my root of why kanji is so hard for me. There are multiple readings (also maybe meanings?) for every kanji right? So how do you learn them all and when to use them?

    How do I know when 下 reads as shita or when it reads as one of the myriad other ways?

    If all I associate 下 with is “below” I’m afraid I’ll never understand all those other readings or uses or whatnot. Learning a single kanji is just so so complex in my eyes.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    There’ll be a yearly that doesn’t recur with a discount, but not a forever I’m afraid.

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    I guess this is how I learned the Japanese I do know, I assume that people know that “inu” means dog before they ever learn the kanji for dog. I thought vocabulary usually gets learned in kana first, then you learn the kanji. So if you already know inu means dog, then when you ask what the dog kanji means, I would think to answer “inu” not “dog”.

    Like if I were to ask a foreign learner of Japanese what does “&” mean, I would expect them to answer “and” and not “と”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1567001652 Jamal Antonio

    Oh cool, at that price I’ll deffo sign up, are you thinking of a lifetime membership like textfugu too? 

    +Props to viet!

  • http://twitter.com/hello_peep ジェシーアーン

    God I love you people! I seriously cant wait for this! Thanks for all you do!

    Looks like I’m going to have to start pimping this out in my Japanese class like I do for Textfugu. XD

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    So, you have to learn both. And you have to learn multiple readings. You can blame the Chinese and their shifting language for that.

    Best way I’ve found is to learn the meaning of the kanji and then use the meaning to learn the reading. It’s about connecting one memory to the next memory.

    On TextFugu / WaniKani I cut down the readings you have to learn by quite a bit, usually limiting it to one on’yomi and one kun’yomi. Then you only have to associate one with the kanji.

    You just have to get used to it being this complicated, I’m afraid. It’s a very different kind of reading and writing system, and requires a lot more time, but when you put the time and effort in you get a lot back in the end, I think.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    There are a lot of kanji out there. I think it’s probably safe to assume that people learn いぬ before they learn 犬… but the better you get hte more often that you learn words via kanji instead of kana. There are too many synonyms in Japanese to learn via kana effectively. Kanji is the way to go, and you should do it as early as possible otherwise it’ll hold everything else back.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    D’awww, thank you!

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    Ok, I just need to dive in and give it another solid attempt and not let my mental block of “this is too hard!” stop me!

  • Xsuna

    YES, just yes, you guys are friction’ gods. I couldn’t get TextFugu, and learn the kanji in the order you gave then, so this is epic.

    PS. Will there be a cost? I’m kinda too young to pay for stuff online.

  • Reptic

    For the kanji meaning thing, I think it has something to do with the fact that each individual kanji has its own intended meaning not associated with the exact word used in Japanese of the same meaning. For example, one could say the kanji “女” means woman in Japanese, but it means woman in Chinese as well despite each language having its own word for “woman”.  So “女” doesn’t intrinsically mean おんな, it just means the concept of woman/female. For native English speakers its easier to understand this in English. There’s probably a better explanation out there, but this is just how I see it.

  • isocracy

    Stoked for this –  especially as I get to Alpha stage it!  See Anki.. It’s ok – i’m sure it’s a proven SRS and everything, it’s just a bit.. boring..
    Pretty much everything that comes from the hand’s of Koichi&Co is usually pure gold!
    Massive anticipation for another way to fill my head with all that Kanji goodness! ^_^

    Although.. I expect Mister to want this as part of his textfugu membership already :D

  • isocracy

     Thats ok.. you can just send me your money and i’ll… “pay for you”

  • Jateku

    Well, I’ve never really had a problem with Kanji…My problems have been with the listening comprehension side of things…
    Have you ever heard of this (http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/10000-hours-building-listening-comprehension) I’ve been using this method for listening comprehension(You should write a post about it o0o) 
    Anyway, Like you said the secret to learning Japanese = A bit of hard work and dedication(And maybe a 鰐蟹) Lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=731397337 Miriam Shimamura

     Thanks Koichi.  I’ll probably still do the Textfugu, and see how that goes for me, then perhaps add the Wanikani too.  I do like your conversational style of teaching, keeps it interesting, which is a key part of language learning I’d say! I haven’t made this much progress in a long time ^_^

  • ZXNova

    This is very good, Will Wanikani teach all the Jouyou and Jinmeiyou Kanji?

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Will be doing monthly and yearly (yearly doesn’t recur automatically though). I think we’ll probably do yearly with a month or two off monthly or something like that.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I’m glad to hear! :D

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Really? Should send out one a week automagically for a few months at least

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    First level’s free, after that I’m afraid it paid :(

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    kekekeke – I hope it’s entertaining – very simple at the moment, though! Hoping to add more crazy stuff as time goes by though… like unlocking comic book pages of the WaniKani backstory, etc… one step at a time…

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Joyo = yes (with some adjustments and changes to the list that I think make things more useful).

    Jinmeiyou = Not now, but someday, perhaps, because they are really hard to learn but very useful. It would make up some kind of separate / advanced section or something after the Joyo, I’d imagine.

  • Mrgotswat

     Will Wanikani have all the joyo kanji in it or will More kanji be added in later Through updates?

  • Francesca Murphy

    Any chance of a color that doesn’t blind you or give you a headache? I am looking forward to trying WaniKani, but that shocking pink will probably keep me away.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I don’t really know the answer to that, but there are other colors too… I kind of screencapped all the pink parts, for some reason…

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    updates. But we’ve got it timed out where we’ll always be staying ahead of the SRS, so that way you don’t run out until the joyo kanji run out.

  • H1273190

    i dont want to offend/ upset someone. I like tofugo and its content. Maybe someone could answer my questions please.

    What makes Textfugu and wanikanji so good that people prefer it to eg. Anki + Kanjidamage from the tokyo damage report and pay subscritions? Its a free market and everyone has to pay his rent. i dont critic the price system. im just interested why the users/ betatesters use it instead of a free alternative. ty

  • Toms Jensen

    Maybe add a function that allows you to change the color of the site in your user profile section.

  • boxie

    I’m a complete newb when it comes to “anything” kanji wise, so would wanikani still be good for me? 
    p.s. I really want to put that wanikani on a t-shirt.

  • Hen BanKeN

    This seems great. I’m SO excited about the idea!

    You guys, are awesome =) thank you so much~

    And greetings from Chile!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I think those are all good, and I think all of those work well for a lot of people. I’m going for a better experience here, is all. 

    Better mnemonics (at least I think they are, but mnemonic quality can be left to opinion) + everything together + simpler experience = faster learning.

    That being said, I think it’s just going to come down to preference and what people consider a better experience.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I hope it will be – first level will be free, so you can find out.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Yay! THanks!

    P.S. Why’s your country so long? Stop that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1567001652 Jamal Antonio

    Ok sweet, thanks koichi. Kanji is the hardest part of the language for me, but I do like them :) So this website will be great! I’m looking forward to it!

  • Hokkaido Kuma

    I want this.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Awesome! I really hope it ends up helping a lot! :D

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Oh, and I also really want a tshirt of this… what a good idea…

  • Saikou

    My biggest problem with the Tofugu Kanji was how arbitrary a lot of the radical names seemed to be, as though you just made up names based on the shape and stuck with it.

    That’s a completely fine method and it works from what I can tell, but I think it would be better if the names actually had some relations to what they meant in the context of the kanji itself.

    I use the book “Kanji ABC” for my kanji mnemonic needs, and the nice thing about it is that a lot of research has gone in to the origin of the strokes and the meanings that each radical has. There are a few leaps in logic for certain kanji meanings but for the most part I find they make quite cohesive sense, and most importantly, the meaning seems to be consistent, almost to the point that I could make a good guess towards the meaning of new kanji based on the radicals.

    Will Wanikani’s radical names be based on their meaning for the sake of logical understanding or their shape for the sake of mnemonics?

  • Tom

    Buy the book anyway. Lots of good info in it, even if you’ve already been going for more than 30 days.
    I have no affiliation with this site, btw.

  • http://twitter.com/PinkStarhime シドニー

    So looking forward to this! It does remind me just a bit of readthekanji :D 

  • henderson101

    The name “wanikani” disturbs me, as it sounds like “wanker”. 

  • Merodi

    This makes me incredibly ドキドキ

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    So, some of the radical names I use do come from the 250ish original Chinese radicals (which I’m guessing Kanji ABC) uses. When I’m able to, I do that, but a few things keep me from doing it always:

    1. Sometimes the meanings of the original radicals are very broad and difficult to use in a mnemonic. For mnemonics, I generally want to use nouns when I can, particularly nouns that are very unique, so they don’t get mixed with anything else. So, if the original doesn’t come close to meeting those criteria, I change it to something else based on the shape. I want the radicals to be easy to remember and use in mnemonics above anything else.

    2. A lot of the radicals I use aren’t in the original 250. There’s a lot of radicals in kanji which aren’t covered, so I’m creating something entirely new that doesn’t officially exist but shows up a decent amount within various kanji. So, when that happens I just have to make something up anyways.

    So, it probably won’t fit what you want in terms of how radicals work, but I can at least offer an explanation as to why I do it this way and not the other way. Other way has perks too, but this happens to be the way that works for me the best!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    It’ll be pretty different. I’d say they actually would go fairly nicely together with only minimal overlap.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Sounds like I’ve done my job, then. *dusts off hands*

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    … and every time someone clicks it, a new moving gif of a unicorn appears to offset the dulling of colors? I. Want. Thisssss.

  • Erick Reilly

    I love the illustrations! And I’ll definitely look into WaniKani the Web site!

  • http://twitter.com/shollum Shollum

     It won’t let me reply to your last comment, so I’ll put it here.

    My advice, if you’re having trouble remembering everything about a kanji, is to just screw the readings. They’re inconsequential in the long run. Though it can be helpful, I think it’s easier to just learn readings via vocabulary. You have to learn that vocabulary word anyway, so why not skip the horrible kanji drilling.

    Another big thing for if you are learning kanji the way you do with Textfugu, WaniKani, Heisig’s RTK, etc. by learning the simplest forms first and building from there, is that you just keep trucking. Don’t stop forever to drill that one kanji. When I was segmenting my study like that, it made me feel like I just couldn’t do it.

    Since these types of programs are meant to build off of what you already know, you will be reviewing as you move forward. I’m not saying that if you just read RTK cover to cover you’ll know the kanji just like that, but if you allow yourself to get caught at one spot, then you’ll never move forward.

    Also, focus on one thing at a time. Until WaniKani is released, you’ll have to learn readings of most every kanji on your own. Don’t waste your time finding the most common reading or learning all the readings. Focus on the meaning first. After that, you can start vocabulary where you’ll either pick the readings up naturally (eventually) as you learn new vocabulary or be forced to look the reading up anyway.

    Like it’s stated in this sites review of RTK1 (quoted):
    “Even though I say it only really covers around 10% of what you need to
    know about each kanji, it doesn’t mean that 10% won’t normally take you a
    long time. That ten percent can be blasted through in a month using
    this book (versus years using traditional methods)”

    Oh, and apparently, multitasking makes you even less efficient at tasks than being under the influence of marijuana. So take things one at a time.

    Sorry for being so long winded, but I don’t want to see someone quit before they’ve even really started.

    Good luck on your studies!

  • Roentgen Del Mundo

    looking forward to see this one, I’m a busy person and I find it hard to enroll myself in a decent japanese language school. Excited much hehe

  • Litchickuk

    Looking forward to finding out more in the future

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    I just wanted to thank you very much for this comment. It has done a lot to convincing me to give kanji another try. I just need to stop thinking that associating kanji with English meanings is somehow bad. 

    I see people repeatedly praise RTK, so why I stubbornly have avoided it all these years is just plain silly of me. Learning /something/ about these kanji is better than literally nothing.

    Again, thank you for this desperately needed motivation boost! :)

  • http://twitter.com/WackoMcGoose Kimura Okagawa

    Uh, I applied to the beta list a few days ago, but tonight I used the alpha link in the 30-day ebook download (finally got Dad to cough up for the ebook! :D), using the same email address as the first time (at least Paypal didn’t get confused about that, since the PP account is my dad’s with his email)… Did I just confuse the WaniKani system by having both a beta and alpha subscription, or will the alpha one take precedence?

  • http://twitter.com/WackoMcGoose Kimura Okagawa

    Does that include the Alpha testers as well, or do we get it for free because we got in the alpha with the ebook code?

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    you’ll probably just get an email about alpha and then another about beta later on. Two separate lists, so they shouldn’t cause any problems, other than you’ll get more loving emails from me.

    Ty, btw!

  • Lagolden

    Clicking on the giant 鰐蟹 is not working for me. I put my email in etc. but don’t get a confirmation email.

    This sounds better than having to work with Anki.

  • http://twitter.com/RainSprite67 RainSprite

    I’m really looking forward to this. I’ve been studying Japanese for 2 years at a USA university, and Kanji is the main thing I have issues with. I can’t seem to retain kanji very well. I just took my final, and I’m pretty sure I did horribly on the kanji part.

    Approximately what time will WaniKani be available for use? I signed up for the e-mailing list thing. Maybe sometime in May, or June?

  • Marcobach_bios2003

    Hi!, i really like the kanjis and I’m waiting very excited for this proyect jejejeje question… spanish version?? I’m from mexico and i offer my help to translate to the latin language, tanks!

  • Jon E.

    Is that a kappa and a farting-scroll fox?

  • TripMasterMunky

    Awesome. I’ve learned so much with Textfugu so far, and the Kanji teachings are great. This will be a great way to study instead of loading up Anki all the time.

    One thing though, why do you hate darker interfaces so much? The white on tofugu/textfugu hurts my eyes sometimes, and now pink? Am I the only one that finds a darker interface easier to read during extended periods of studying?

  • http://twitter.com/RainSprite67 RainSprite

    I can handle white, but I think the pink might be too much if I were planning to study for prolonged periods of time.

  • Kage Kitsune

    I shall wait for this one in anticipation!!!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I have come to love the pink (and other colors) the more I use WaniKani. I hope others will too :p

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Only English version – mnemonics are too English language based for translations, as well, I’m afraid.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Alpha for sure in May, hopefully Beta a bit later, but hard to tell that before seeing what happens in alpha time!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    hahaha – 1) yes and 2) I hope so

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Shoot me an email koichi@tofugu.com and I’ll check to see if you got on the list or not.

  • http://twitter.com/RainSprite67 RainSprite

     ah, I see, awesome :)

  • Michiko617

    I’m in full support of this – can’t wait for the release!

  • あいちゃん

    Hey :D
    I got a closed beta invite for Wanikani, but unfortunately I forgot my password. ^^° But when I try to get my password back by writing my e-mail address into that blank space for ‘Forgot your password’, I always get the message ‘Username or e-mail can’t be blank’. ^^° I don’t really know what I should do now. .__.

  • Jon E.

    Still not available, even for textfugu members? I can’t wait much longerrr ! :-o lol

  • Koichi no otousan

    Koichiben! Why the intense eye-blinding pink colour?

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.nguyen.5855 Elizabeth Nguyen

    I really love wanikani! Great job on beautiful new layout! I am also doing textfugu with wanikani. Since the kanji is out of order should I just learn kanji with wanikani? :c

  • metoob

    Man this is amazing….. y’all really are so dedicated to making japanese easier and fun even (am i alone here?) to learn. but one thing. when should i start useing wanikani? i’ve just gotten to the end of season 1, and as i am broke i need to start studying from other resources, no matter how much better TextFugu is, until i can get some money. but like in what order should i do things until then? i’m assuming kanji is next cause thats what season 1 ended with….

    but is there in general a certain order i should learn things in?