I am hating this Vocab 上 。Kind of feeling lost

I am just level 2 and already have come across so many readings of this vocab 上

At first it was for the Kanji itself I guess, which was じょう, then as a Vocab, it was うえ, then it was part of some other vocab which meant “to raise” and “to rise” and then it was read as あ

Now another vocab came which means “to climb” and here it is read as のぼ

At this point, I am starting to doubt myself, whether I will be able to memorise all this and even if I can for a short while, can I retain all this.

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The concept of “up” or “above” is very broad, so it’s not surprising that many words can be associated with it. That’s basically what’s happening. The Japanese borrowed this character that means “up” and they did use the Chinese pronunciation in words taken from Chinese (that’s じょう), but then they also assigned their own words to it (that’s the うえ, あがる, のぼる, etc.)

Yes, it’s overwhelming, but 上 is in a minority when it comes to having tons of readings.


Ugh very reassuring. Are you a former level 60? Hopefully, I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed by all this.


yep, and there are one’s coming that have 5 or 6 meanings, multiple chinese readings and multiple japanese readings… and then again there are some where the kanji reading is the same as the vocab reading and it has a single meaning (LOVE those ones!)

it’s just… it’s just what it is…


I am.

Seriously though, there are only a handful of kanji that have a number of readings like this. 上, 下, 生… those have like 10 or so each, and they are the champions. Most have 2 or 3 that you need to know.


There will come a time in the later levels that you do a full set of vocab lessons that all have the same reading as the kanji and you will feel euphoric. They’re rare, but they exist.

Of course, for every time that happens, there’ll be the time time 不 is げ instead of ふ for example :stuck_out_tongue:


basically, wk will some times be

and other times will be

I wasn’t prepared for the emotional roller coaster tbh


Oh man I was getting comfortable with 不 being one of the readings I could consistently guess, and now you’re telling me it’ll join the ranks of all the others that have messed me up? Another thing to dread look forward to in this adventure!


Then 否 boy will enter the scene to bring your ruination

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The thing is, all these different readings are used in different words. There’ll be many times when you feel like you’re guessing a reading, but with continued use of the SRS system, the reading will just stick. I know vocab using 上 (and other kanji like it that have a huge number of readings) can seem overwhelming, but it also means you get to see that kanji being used in many more different ways than other kanji. Over time, the sheer amount of exposure makes it a lot easier to figure out what reading to use.

(And then you’ll have kanji like 太 that have one on’yomi reading you ever need to remember and you’ll consistently get it wrong for six months.)


On the bright side, there are things like phonetic-semantic composition, where kanji with certain radicals have the same pronounciation (basically) everytime. So it does get more and more easy over time :wink:


Yeah, exactly - they’re all just words and although it’s harder than learning the different pronunciations of English, for example, it’s still just something we’ll learn by repetition.


Thank you for this positive outlook of the future.

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You have a lot of company Media san. When I was in levels 1,2,3,4. I couldn’t remember じょう or Jourm prompt no matter what I did. That was one of the early ones I couldn’t answer probably 20-30 times or more. At some point I repeated it so many times now I can recall じょう or Jourm in at least 90% of the cases easily (which is the underlying selling point of SRS.) You need to stick with SRS long enough and it will stick with you. I have a whole lot of words which frustrated me to no end (Looking at you あらかじめ :joy:) . I didn’t get it right even once in the first ten times, now I went through that so many times my mind automatically recognizes the reading and answer.

TLDR - You will be frustrated. It is expected. Keep calm and do your reviews :grin: and don’t forget to have FUN :partying_face:


welcome to Japanese language

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A bit off topic, but what is the reason to reset to the beginning after level 60?


Uh that is nice to hear for sure. I am not alone indeed. Arigato gozaimasu Jiro san.

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Let me introduce you to the most badass thing anybody as ever done on this forum:

I sincerely hope that reading that section of thread enriches your life as much as it did mine.


Wow, that’s a badass backstory :open_mouth:

That’s a textbook case of “Actions speak louder than words” :exploding_head:

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You are welcome Media san :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ll let you in on a little secret :zipper_mouth_face: You secret to success is through the community/forum. It gives you the strength to push forward when things inevitably get difficult. And you will come across wonderful people and nice tricks/tips/hacks and it will make your life much easier and have fun at the same time :smiling_face: (I am glad I discovered the secret in my 2nd month rather than 2 years down the line :slightly_smiling_face:)

I might be a little biased about my favorite thread, but if you are interested you can join us in the below thread :smiley: (You don’t have to aim for Level 21, you can chose a goal of your liking.)