“Shake, try again” vs “Red, that’s wrong” Script request

I thought that maybe it would be less confusing if we learned kunyomi reading first as “Kanji reading” so that we will know that 人 means person and is pronounced ひと. That there will be other words with different pronunciation like 友人 is something to be expected anyways.
If we learn (as we do) onyomi reading first, there is nowhere to attach this knowledge, we can’t say " ‘a’ as in ‘apple’ " as long as we haven’t learned ‘apple’.
But I actually do not ask to change the learning order, change would no doubt have its own shortcomings. All I ask is just option that when I see 人 and answer にん I could get the shake and a possibility to correct the answer. I’m pretty sure I would learn faster to distinguish those two (or more) readings.

PS For those who wan’t to scream: “check the colors you…!” - sry but I do not usually remember which reading goes with which color.

What we learn is the most common reading first. For most kanji, that tends to be the on’yomi, but there’s a great many for which it’s the kun’yomi.

Check the colours. :stuck_out_tongue: It’s not that purple background = whatever reading, it’s that purple background = read it how you would read it if you encountered that vocab item in the wild.


How would tolerating a wrong answer make you learn faster? :slight_smile: With the SRS system the question will just come up again a bit faster. Errors are actually planned parts of the learning, it’s like an adaptive feedback system, where is the harm in seeing 人 != にん a few more times?

Eventually you want to develop an intuition that it is impossible to have にん as the reading of the vocab 人 (as in purple color :upside_down_face:) A punch in the face is more effective than to be lenient.

You can still emulate this behavior with the ignore script. But I think you will find that it’s mainly a low level phenomenon. In the beginning the kanji have concrete meanings and are often even depictions of things, with a strong Kun-yomi connection. This changes pretty quickly. It is better for your learning if you try not to expect “real words” for the kanji readings, but look forward to learn the vocab later, even if it is “just the kanji alone” again.


I understand it’s frustrating to be told to check the colour… but genuinely, by about level 5 it was just ingrained subconsciously for me. You won’t need to “check” the colour, you’ll just make the association naturally.

It’s frustrating to begin with, but you really need a few levels to get it drilled into you that a word is a word, and it’s said a certain way!

To use ‘ignore script’ for that purpose seems like an idea - thank you for that.

Yes, this might be a problem that word will level up too quickly. But I still like to have feedback that my answer has something right about this kanji, then I can compare readings in my mind and learn when do use which. If it just says that i’m wrong, then I may think that I just remembered the reading incorrectly but this is only half of the truth.
Edit: so it comes out ‘ignore script’ is actually not the solution, better would be the kanji’s (not vocabulary’s) dictionary link. So I could over check it.

Although when one learns English one does not start by memorizing that ‘a’ has such and such pronunciation and then linking each of them to the suitable word. So I could learn (like I actually did in this case) that usual reading of 人 is じん by just encountering this reading in words like 日本人 etc.

Right now if I read example sentences I do not know how to read the kanji there anyway (except the word of which this is example of) because without knowing the vocabulary I can’t say is this kanji there alone or not.

Thanks for encouragement.

If you are not bothered by the SRS delay (like “I totally knew that it could be both じん and ひと and just picked the wrong one!”) then the ignore script doesn’t help.

You can see the per kanji readings when you access the kanji’s page by going to the “Item Info” (or press key f) and click on it in the “Related Kanji” area in the left side bar there. In practice you will be asked for vocab including various readings anyway, so you get positive feedback at that point for your “try again” reading.

The good news is, you don’t have to remember any colours. Just see if it is asking for “vocabulary reading” or “kanji reading”.

I totally sympathise with Ants, because at Level 24 I STILL don’t automatically notice or associate the colour (even though I know there are 2 of them) OR the writing (even though I know it says different things) and I still find myself typing the reading instead of the meaning and vice versa. The only thing I have managed to do is (mostly) train myself to check before hitting Enter. But sometimes my fingers just do their own thing, leaving my brain to catch up later… :roll_eyes:


My honest (not rhetorical) question is: “Would it be better, to not learn kanji reading (separately from words it is used in) at all?” If you know 10 words with this kanji - you can already assume which reading is more common and when you meet eleventh you don’t know how to pronounce it anyways until you consult vocabulary. So … my argument goes … if knowing “common reading” doesn’t help you to read but only creates confusion what’s the point?

Hmm. I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading recently, and adding words I don’t know to an SRS (FloFlo!). I can assure you that it is about 23x harder to learn words where I don’t already know the kanji.

Learning the kanji and then learning the vocabulary makes it so much easier. You have building blocks to work on. Otherwise you just sort of vaguely learn the general shapes of the kanji, which over times becomes a huge problem as lots of them look similar.

And knowing the most common reading is hugely helpful! When I learn vocabulary, I can guess how it will be said over 90% of the time, I’d say.


No, it is very very helpful to learn the most common kanji reading first. That gives you a base, a foundation to stand on, for every time you encounter that kanji. It is much easier to learn new vocab once you have a most common reading ingrained in your head. And it’s easier to deal with exceptions too, because rather than memorizing words individually and having to figure out patterns yourself, you have a ranking in your head from the very beginning (most common on, most common kun, exceptional readings).

If I’m reading a text and I come across a word I don’t know, but with kanji I do know, the first thing I do is try to read it through defaulting to what my brain knows as the most common reading. And believe it or not, in the majority of cases my first instinct would be right. It’s much easier to see a new word and think “this is the most common reading for this kanji, this is the most common reading for that kanji, combined you get this, that sounds right”, rather than think “which words have I learned that use this kanji and which readings did the kanji have in those?” Do you see the difference? One is based on knowledge of the kanji itself, and one is based on knowledge of vocabulary using that kanji, and the former is much more useful when encountering new vocabulary.


Thank you Radish and matildar.

I never thought that learning kanji meaning is useless, I talked only about reading. And its good (motivating) to hear that you say that knowing ‘common reading’ is very useful.
I still want to have some word to attache the reading to. But yes, when I learn new reading I can use “the words this kanji is used with” open up one of them in a new tab and try to learn it with the kanji.

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I think this is also part of why kanji has quite a steep learning curve, because the simplest kanji (low level WK such as 人, 女, 木) usually have multiple on and kun readings, while higher level kanji (such as 快, for example) have much fewer readings.


I understand :slight_smile: Once you start learning more and more words, I think you will have the same experience - you will be grateful that you learned the most common reading first. It’s really exciting the first time you can read a difficult word you’ve never seen before because you’ve learned the kanji well from the beginning. As an example, recently on SatoriReader I read a story that used the word “睡眠時遊行症” which looked incredibly difficult at first but I realized I could read it perfectly and understand exactly what it meant because WK had taught me all of those kanji with those readings.

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Lol, for sure. Knowing which reading of 人 is correct in any given word still gives me headaches. And the frustration when it’s a burn review and I answer にん when it’s supposed to be じん or vice versa. God! Compared to more ‘difficult’ kanji that pretty much only use one on reading and you’re virtually guaranteed to guess correctly.

We need to develop a natural feeling over time with exposing to language.

I was watching Overlord recently, and it was such a great feeling when realised I knew all the kanji in「最高支配者」and so could read it and figure out what it meant (well, the meaning was mostly from context) :smiley:

I do sometimes think that WaniKani could do better with the reading vs. meaning thing.

If I type the reading when it’s asking for the meaning, it could shake and say “WaniKani is looking for the meaning, not the reading”. Much like when it says it was looking for on’yomi instead of kun’yomi.

However I seem to recall that Koichi said that he left it like that so people stayed more awake and more receptive for learning.

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I completely agree. It’s super motivating to be able to guess a reading correctly for a word you’ve never come across before, and it’s letting you do from the beginning exactly what a native speaker would do – guess the reading based on the most common readings for the kanji it contains. Even if the reading differs, native speakers will probably be able to guess what you meant (and hopefully correct you!) because they can understand the process that lead to the mistake.

Even at only level 5, I feel like I’ve started to be able to be able to guess between on’yomi for kanji like 日【にち、じつ】when I come across new vocab that contains it. The way WK does it really does help to build up an intuition, and I can recommend sticking with it, even if it’s frustrating at first.