So if I were to say 今回 as いまかい rather than こんかい would a native japaense speaker understand me, be completely lost, or be able to get my meaning if they knew the context? Just curious because I tend to think about words in terms of parts that make up the word, so I use the wrong reading sometimes, even though I know both readings of the kanji that make up the word (or more if there are multiple of each reading).
It depends. Sometimes if I accidentally switch the order of two onyomi my girlfriend can still guess what I meant to say. But if you toss in just one completely different reading like that, it probably will be tougher to understand.
For Japanese people, it’s the complete opposite. They first learn the words, absent any of the written context, and then they learn how to write them later. So they’re not doing the same kind of stitching together of readings.
To be clear, by the way, this is how pretty much everyone learns their first language. No baby going “mama” is thinking of the letters that go into the word - sounds come first, then writing.
I think the main point here was that a lot of people on WaniKani don’t learn Japanese that way, and so possibly get a misconstrued idea of how (specifically Japanese) people think in this regard.
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