I would say about half of the time when answering the reading for a kanji in which I’ve learned both the on’yomi and kun’yomi I answer with the wrong reading. This tends to get worse if it’s been a while since I’ve learned them and no longer have it in my head that purple is this reading and pink is that reading. How do you keep track of on’yomi and kun’yomi? Is this something that will only ever make sense contextually?
Certain things are far more likely to be one or the other, so you do get used it it over time.
あらわ for 表 can only be a kunyomi, because it is 3 mora long (onyomi max out at 2 mora). The 2 mora readings that end in う, like しょう, こう, ほう, のう, じょう, ろう, とう, etc, as well ones that end in ん, like てん, ほん, もん, げん, えん, etc… are quite typical of onyomi and you can usually rely on them being onyomi.
So over time you’ll have a hunch without even being told quite often.
Here are the most common onyomi, by the frequency with which they are used in the joyo kanji. I bolded ones that end in う and ん like I mentioned. You can see ending in い is also common.
I actually think this gets a little easier as you learn as you get more exposure and learn more vocabulary.
Let’s take 水 for example. Might be hard to know at first if すい and みず are respectively on and kun or the other way around or what.
But… as you start to see more vocabulary, especially multi-kanji words that tend to use onyumi readings it’ll start to be more apparent. 水曜日、水道、水星、潜水艦 or whatever all use すい so you it’ll stick that that’s the on reading.
My personal rule of thumb is that every kanji review asks for on’yomi. Assuming you know which is which this should give you a pretty high correct rate. (I think)
I don’t know whether this holds for levels above 9 or 10.
Here’s some data I pulled from the API recently:
So whilst kanji reviews do predominantly ask for on’yomi, it’s by no means uncommon for WK to teach a different reading. It often does this when the on’yomi is one you are unlikely to meet except in very advanced study.
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