Backround violet? Single Kanji - Hey, it's Kun'readin - no it's not


the Desktop Version of W doesn’t show if you are looking for the kun or the on reading. I try to remember - hey it’s pink - so use the on reading, hey they use violet - it’s a single kanji, so the Memo text often speaks about …“You have to use the kun reading”.

Yeah, right, but it’s not straight in the program…

…for example 市 - single kanji, violet background … meeeep - on’reading.

That’s very annoying and even I am at the beginning … it’s even more annoying. The Android app works better and I wish, there would be some change in the desktop Version, too.


Just as a point off the top, the apps are third party. People can make them however they want, even if it shows you more info than the creators chose to on the main website.

Secondly, yeah, kun and onyomi rules of thumb are just rules of thumb. There are no absolute rules. There are exceptions to everything. That’s Japanese.


That’s every language*


Violet background usually is how you would read the kanji on its own and not compounded alongside other kanji. If you see 市 in a sentence with no other kanji around it, it will probably be read as し. Although in this case city names will have kanji in them and often be next to it, but it is still read as し which I believe is the reading taught with the kanji :joy:

Not Esperanto.


Japanese is especially bad. I took 4 years of french and dont remember there being nearly as much.

Also OP, with kanji it doesn’t matter since they give you another chance if you enter in the wrong reading. With vocab, there is only one correct way and there is no reason for them to provide a crutch. That would only harm your studies.


Boi, did you conjugaison des verbes du troisième groupe much?
Being French, I’m glad I don’t need to prove to anyone I can do it, 'cause I’d probably fail at this point.

Edit: the last grammar change should have made it easier, though. But I never learned the new rules, so I’m in even more troubles now.


Irregular verbs were bad, but I still feel like overall japanese takes the cake by a pretty big margin. My memory of what I learned is pretty faded, so maybe thats contributing to a bias. Who knows. Japanese may not have that many irregular verbs, but I find having to remember -る verbs as being 一段 or 五段 equally annoying.

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Violet background denotes a word. Pink background denotes a kanji. There is an important difference in wanikani.

If the background is pink, the system is asking you for the onyomi or kunyomi of the word. If you answer with the wrong reading, it will warn you and not count the item as wrong.

If wanikani presents a single kanji with a violet background, it’s asking for a Japanese word. This is often the kunyomi but there are lots of exceptions. If you present the incorrect response but a correct reading for that kanji, the system marks it as wrong because it it is not asking about the readings of a character but about the pronunciation of a given word.

Try not to think about the onyomi and kunyomi too much. It should become intuitive with a bit more experience. Same with rendaku and when to replace segments with っ.


市 threw me the first few times - surely even when it’s standing alone, it’s read as いち at least as often as し?

There’s no way Japanese outstrips English in terms of irregular verbs, right? Think about how many commonly used verbs actually follow the “-ed” ending rule. And that’s just for past-tense.

Irregular kanji readings abound, though. But then that’s not so different from all of English’s phonetically nonsensical spellings.

Every language is terrible and we should never speak or write.


I vote for all future communication to be undertaken via mime and interpretive dance!


The app wont tell you to use an on or kun reading in this instance anyway because it’s vocab, not kanji.

In both the app and the desktop if you give the wrong reading on a kanji it will tell you it is looking for the other reading and give you a second chance. You don’t get a second chance with vocab because there is no alternate reading. It’s just the word, you got the word wrong so you have to do it again.

Emoji only for me. We’ll keep a decent amount of complexity.


Be careful with the rendaku, though.
It’s :laughing::rofl: not :laughing::smile:


Japanese has exactly two irregular verbs: する and くる.

いく doesn’t quite play nice when forming past tense, but it still counts as a godan verb.

So what you are saying is that esperanto is the… exception? :smile:


There are a handful of verbs that aren’t in one of the regular classes and aren’t する or くる

問う would be expected to be 問って but is 問うて
Several other verbs that end in う do this as well.
The polite verbs いらっしゃる, おっしゃる, くださる, ござる, and なさる all have a thing where the り you’d expect in their ます stem is actually い.

So, “there are exactly 2 irregular verbs” is not something that I think can be stood behind.

But Japanese’s regularity within the verbs is a welcome change of pace from everything else in the language.

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Huh. 問う is not a verb I’d encountered before. Freaky. Decided not to mention those polite verbs.

Still, thems are all funny exceptions rather than irregulars. All the verbs you’ve mentioned are godan (or possibly yodan) verbs with one or two special conjugations. The golden rule in Japanese: all rules have exceptions, including this one. :slightly_smiling_face:

Well, sure if you just ignore the irregularities, then yes, there are only two irregular verbs!