How do YOU remember when 日 is にち or じつ?


EDIT: I’m not sure how this ended up in the API section, sorry about that. I swore I was in the Kanji and Japanese section.

I know sometimes you just have to memorize things because they don’t have a solid underlying reason (although, linguistically, I’m sure everything had a reason at some point). Just curious if anyone knows or has put together a context that you can think about logically to determine when じつ is used vs. にち. Here at level 6, I’m getting vocab like 毎日 (where it’s にち) and 休日 (where it’s じつ) and I keep messing up reviews because I’m like “OK, THIS one is じつ!” and most of the time, it’s just にち.


I think this is something that will come to you from practice outside of Wanikani. When you’re actually using these words in speech, the ones with nichi are just so much more common, and since you’ll use them so often, you won’t have any trouble with them.

Unfortunately that’s not a good mnemonic, but once you start looking at native Japanese materials, you’ll see that many words in Wanikani are actually not used much at all.


Personally, one usually “feels” right to me, and it’s usually the right one. I’ve taken 2 years of Japanese a few years ago, though. I think it comes with time, even if I’m not right 100% of the time. Like, I didn’t know 休日 was a word until Wanikani, but きゅうにち doesn’t really sound right to me (though my IME does make it 九日 despite it usually being ここのか so there’s that).

The same comes with determining whether a new verb you just heard is Godan or Ichidan (う or る), while you can’t always tell when a verb ends in る, a lot of times conjugating it incorrectly just sounds wrong instinctively.


I find that essentially all of the ones where it’s referring to actual days are にち, like every day, everyday life, diary, etc. and the ones that describe what kind of day it is tend to be じつ, like both days, same day, weekday, holiday, etc.

There’s no hard and fast rule to knowing which reading is which, though.


Learn the words?


Since there seem to be fewer words with the じつ reading, (during reviews at least) I just quietly think to myself ‘Yeah, a ninja does (whatever the word is)’. For some reason it works cos it always just sounds right… yeah not particularly helpful advice. You just have to encounter them a lot and get used to it, I’m afraid.


I do it by sound like Jsor. I say きゅうにち and I instantly know its wrong.


Yeah, I figured out which sound good and which sound wrong pretty quickly. Like, by around your level. Trust me, you’ll get the hang of it. Now にん vs じん, that’s waaaaay tougher.