How to know which reading the app wants?

Ok so ive been using both Wanikani and Kaniwani lately… and im starting to notice that I make 60% of my mistakes by typing the RIGHT reading for a word, and YET the app wanted the other reading.
Which is very frustrating because I was RIGHT, just not what the app wanted.
For example last time I had the question for circular… and I wrote MARU… and it was wrong because it wanted MARUI.
Fast forward to next review, I got the EXACT same question again for circular, and I wrote MARUI… guess what it was wrong… this time it was MARU… This is very frustrating

This doesn’t sound right. Next time it happens can you take a screenshot and share it?

Are you talking about an issue in KaniWani solely, or an issue in WaniKani? One issue with KW (last time I checked) is synonyms where you can’t tell which instance of a word it’s asking for. (Although まる is “circle” and まるい is “circular.”)

The creators of WaniKani are not the creators of KaniWani, so you’re likely better off reaching out to the KW folks directly if you’re looking for advice.

It gets really frustrating with KaniWani. I keep getting various forms of “girl” wrong… :crying_cat_face:

I recommend using KameSame if you find it very annoying. There they tell you “nice, but not quite what we wanted - try again” (paraphrasing). It’s a much nicer experience.


this is the most frustrating thing about wanikani!! i think it’s the background color & the difference between the meaning & reading, but i don’t know which is which. with the 丸 example, the reading could be まる while the meaning is まるい. one background is purple and the other is pink
i wish it would just tell me if it wants onyomi/kunyomi instead of making me guess like that. or, pull a quizlet and let me say “i was correct!”
90% of my incorrect answers are typos and misunderstanding what WK wants.
quick note: 丸い and 丸 are different words in WK, but i wanted 2 use ur example

This isn’t true. まるい is 丸い.

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yeah, i know. i was using OPs example, dude.

Except their example was talking about KaniWani. Since they said they were prompted with an English word and being asked to give the Japanese reading. That doesn’t happen on WK.

ok? it was just to point out the way WK asks for on/kun

Except even that is still wrong. Pink != always on and Purple != always kun. The sooner you break that hard connection, the easier it will probably be. For example, 本 uses on for both kanji and vocab and 川 is kun for both. As you mentioned, 丸 is also kun for both kanji and the vocab.

How you should be thinking of it is, kanji lesson (pink) is the reading I was taught in the lesson (mostly on but not always). Purple is the reading of the kanji as a word (will often be kun but isn’t always). What WK does in the kanji lessons (pink) is to teach what is the most ‘common reading’. It does not always mean it will be the on reading.


One way to tell them apart is that WK doesn’t have audio recordings for pink items. Because the reading depends on the usage in an actual word, you won’t get any recordings for items other than vocab (purple).

Let me start off saying that like many derivatives of WaniKani, KaniWani is a hobby project and I appreciate the developers’ efforts on building a reverse solution, but there are better ones out there (like KameSame).

I quit KaniWani pretty much for your mentioned reasons at around level 25. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be if I got back into it now that I know even more words. To be marked wrong on something that was technically correct, I eventually got fed up. If you do continue using it, I suggest you pay attention to the part of speech tags that come with the prompt; it’ll help, though it’s still not foolproof.

As for WaniKani and how they teach you readings, I recommend you read this blog. It explains their methodology. In general though, while readings for pink items can be a mixed bag based its frequency (no hard rule in WK about learning kunyomi or onyomi), purple is how you’d expect to read something in context. Take 一つ for example, there is only one way to read this and that is ひとつ. If you answered 「いちつ」instead, you should (rightfully) be marked wrong.