First time user very confused on the readings

I have just got to my first kanji lesson. I don’t get how to type the readings during the review. They kind of just throw you in without explaining it. So the kanji for river they give you the the reading and to remember it by cow. But then what am I supposed to be typing?

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The important question is … do you know how to read 平仮名 (hiragana) ? Because if so you just write the fonetic translations of each character か = ka つ = tsu … and so on. If you don’t you should really look into learning hiragana first … because wanikani is more of a kanji learner … than japanese learner. … if that makes sense.

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Actually, the makers of wanikani have a guide for hiragana, which should be your first step, as Carve said: Learn Hiragana: Tofugu's Ultimate Guide

Also, it’ll help to read the FAQ and guide. Should be a link on the dashboard for new users, but if not there’s a “Welcome to WaniKani” thread pinned at the top of the forums that has the link.

I’ll give you the link to the FAQ and guide here since I had to check to make sure it was in the place I thought it was. This should give you all the answers you need. FAQ is the top link and the guide is the bottom.

For future reference, there’s a “new people questions” thread that you might want to look at as well.

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The ‘cow’ thing is just a mnemonic for the sound of the reading. You have to enter ‘kawa’ (かわ) which is the actual reading. But that is just one reading for the kanji, they will have multiple ones in many cases, but to make it easier Wanikani will give you one first and then introduce others with the vocabulary (so make sure you don’t neglect vocabulary lessons when you get them).
But…as others have said, do you already know the hiragana (and ideally also katakana) syllabary? If you don’t know how sounds work in Japanese it’ll be much harder.

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