Am I learning Kanji readings correctly?

So, I’ve been learning Kanji for the past few weeks and days, and it’s going alright. However, apart from learning radicals, it feels as if I’m just only remembering what reading to use for what the background is behind the Kanji so “ki” for “tree” if there’s a purple background and “moku” for tree if there’s a pink background (no kana, sorry :frowning:). I understand blue is for radicals, pink is for kanji and purple is for vocab (I think) but apart from that I don’t know when to use the appropriate reading, and sometimes I’ll get confused with rendaku, jukugo (sometimes) and everything else.

Is there a problem with how I learn Kanji (doing a lesson then multiple reviews, multiple times a day) or is it ok?

Sorry if this is in the wrong category, this is my first post :confused:

The only reading that matters in the real world is the vocab reading. The kanji reading will often be something that appears frequently in compounds for that kanji, but it’s not always the highest frequency reading for that kanji.

So think of the reading WK teaches you in the kanji (pink) stage as the first step in the right direction, but that the vocab (purple) are all that matters when you’re actually reading.


The way to think about it is a kanji has multiple readings, but a vocabulary word only has one. However for WaniKani specifically, when you’re reviewed on a kanji, it’s going to want the reading(s) you were taught when you learned the kanji.
Ultimately what you need to know is how to properly read words. Knowing all the various readings of a kanji is just going to help you when you encounter words you don’t know.

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Just keep on learning, with time you will see how the different readings are important. When you get more vocabulary it gets apparent, you need the “pink” reading when you want to read compound words later (most of the time). The purple items either use one kanji alone or a compound, and the reading of kanjis might be different from the pink one(s).

It is a bit messy in WK because the pink reading is sometimes kunyomi and most of the times onyomi, you can see it on the details page. Just go on learning, new vocab will always say “now we use onyomi because …”, just look for the pattern there and you will figure it out over time. Think of purple ones as real words you can say and pink ones just as word components. Good luck!

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