Alternative readings are marked as an error

Wanikani should not mark alternative readings as wrong. If it wants a specific reading it should say what reading it is expecting or it should not accept alternative readings as an answer (it should prompt for another answer rather than accept it as incorrect). The screenshot below is the Android app but the same behaviour is on the parent site.

This is especially confusing because you will learn one reading one day and the next you will learn a new reading and the old one that you learned will be incorrect, so unless you’re keeping track of the most recent one you learned, you don’t know which one you’re supposed to enter.

But it’s not an alternate reading. 日 as a word you were taught is read as ひ. Anything else is wrong.

It does tell you the specific reading it wants when you do the lesson.

Just to double back, kanji as standalone characters can have multiple valid readings. Single kanji as words tend to only have one valid reading.


As a word all by itself, it’s pronounced ひ, the other readings are used in other words where it’s not all alone…

EDIT: hah athomasm’s answer got longer! :slight_smile:


日 alone could be read as にち, but then it would be a completely different vocabulary item (one which is not included in WaniKani). It would be an abbreviation for Sunday (日曜日).

WaniKani only teaches the word 日 read as ひ. It has no alternative readings.

You’re thinking of the kanji 日, which can be read in many ways depending on which word it appears in. This is a point of difficulty with the Japanese language generally, not WaniKani.

But this word 日 just has the one reading.


Thanks for all the replies.

So if it’s purple and says vocabulary, I’m supposed to give the reading of the word and if it’s pink it’s the reading of the kanji and those do have multiple readings?

If that’s the case, it makes sense. I just didn’t realize this is how it worked.


Yep, pretty much nailed it! Purple = vocab, which is an actual word, and has a right and wrong answer.

Pink = kanji, which can have many readings. It’s like the “root” for that concept, instead of the word.
This is also why if, say, you were to enter ひ for the 日 KANJI item, it would shake and say to enter a different one. Because it is a potential reading of that kanji, just not the one WK wants you to focus on for that particular item. Usually kanji (pink) items are the on’yomi, but really it’s just whatever WK decides might be more useful to learn first.



I’m loving this app.


Yep. And this is a much better way of thinking about it than when people do pink = on reading and purple = kun reading. Even if true in general, it’s prone to quite a few exceptions. 本, 川, etc. being examples early on.

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