Can somebody help me understand?

FYI this is probably a very basic question about this site. Sorry, I’m still a beginner. For the first couple levels I was just associating by color (pink “Kanji” versus purple “vocab”) and mindlessly memorizing that way. I’m a visual learner so it was easy to get lulled into that. Now I’m realizing I don’t actually know how to differentiate my kun’yomi from on’yomi :frowning:

So I started to look back and try to find some kind of way to figure this out in my learning. Maybe I’m just not understanding how this is set up, but it seems like most of the “Kanji” pink characters are on’yomi readings, but I’m feeling frustrated because this isn’t always the case. So it feels like it’s up to me to remember what words presented in pink are actually kun’yomi. I hope this question is making sense.



The reading taught for kanji is the one that WK thinks is the most common. At the end of the day, it’s not important whether it’s on or kun. You still have to remember the kanji reading when they combine into a word.

Eventually, yes, Kun On no important, just remember the vocab. Try to read it correctly. If you encounter a new vocab not found in WaniKani, try to guess the reading correctly. There are enough example vocab in WaniKani for this purpose.

Also, even if you do know which reading is on and which one is kun, there are usually more than one on and/or more than one kun. So just knowing that じん is the onyomi reading of 人 doesn’t help much because there is another onyomi reading of 人, which is にん.

Also, it’s possible to have lots of different combos.

on-on - 人口 (じんこう)
kun-kun - 子犬 (こいぬ)
on-kun - 金玉 (きんたま)
kun-on - 草地 (くさち)
exceptional readings - 今日 (きょう)
ateji - 寿司 (すし)

So I wouldn’t get too hung up on it. It can help to know, but it’s also not foolproof.

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