I have the most trouble with readings, can I disable them for now somehow?

I have the most trouble with readings, can I disable them for now somehow?
I would use japanese mostly for reading only anyways, and this is slowing me down alot and also demotivating me as I have hard time remembering them.
Any advice? Maybe how to disable them or something?

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if you’re not learning the readings of words then you are not learning Japanese


Hi! Sorry to say; it’s not possible to disable readings. WaniKani’s lesson and review structure is so that both have to be tested for a word to pass through the SRS.

Are you very new to Japanese as a language? Make sure to cut yourself some slack in adapting to something so different from your linguistic norm. It won’t happen at once, but your brain will “learn to learn.” You’ll get into a groove of daily/frequent learning, Japanese will feel more natural, and it’ll all start falling into place if you stick with it.

In the meantime, perhaps devote more time to reading through the mnemonics? Reading them out loud can help, and I’ve read others say they close their eyes to truly picture the mnemonic for a while.

Other than that: how often are you doing reviews? I, and many others, find that words stick better if you review as close to the SRS intervals as your schedule will allow. So, whenever possible, really review a new word after four hours, when it becomes available for review. Then really try to hit the next review eight hours after that.

Be patient, and good luck! I hope things will click soon!


I dont think there is a way to disable them. If you really want to prioritize knowing the meanings only and want to use WK then you can always use a cheatsheat with only the Kanji/Vocab and the readings. Imo the process of making it and referencing it alone will have some side benefit.


Since it seems that youre in a rush to read a lot of Kanji, I would suggest using Kanji Garden or BasicKanjiPlus (iOS) or something else where you can just look at the Kanji. Using WK as a reinforcement/review/test tool.

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I think you understand something wrong, we don’t learn kanji hear to speak, we learn it to read. And that exactly is what you want, reading
Understanding only the “meaning” of kanji isn’t helpful alone at all. Why? Well, that’s because there are many vocabularies that use more than one kanji (a combination of kanji), and the meaning of that vocabulary may or may not be related to that. For example 大丈夫 (daijoubu) uses the kanji Big 大 Sturdy 丈 and Husband 夫, but the vocabulary itself means “all right”
You see my point? Kanji reading is as important as the meaning if you want to be able to read Japanese


Dammit Kazuma, Aqua is supposed to be the useless one.


Another approach you could take is to use the notes field on the readings page for each kanji to make your own mnemonic. For me, some of the WK ones stick right away, while others just don’t work for me so well. More and more, I just make my own and usually that helps. Personally, I like “one-liners” so the story isn’t complicated so sometimes I just reword the WK mnemonic in such a way that it’s shorter and simpler.

As others have noted, it can help to really visualize the scene. Make it super bizarre. The crazier it is, the more likely your brain well remember it. It does take some extra time and mental energy to do it this way, but that time pays off later. If you just read over the mnemonics, they usually won’t stick.

Give it another shot; hopefully with these tips you’ll have a better time. Learning the readings is something you can’t avoid forever, so it is better to just face it head on. Something I really appreciate is that the creators of this site care a lot about not just teaching you, but also you learning how to teach yourself. Using their techniques will teach you a lot about learning that you can even apply in other areas of life. Anyway, best wishes!

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Hey, so it might sound like everyone is jumping at you. I think sometimes we all just forget how little we knew when we started so don’t take people’s tone the wrong way. :sweat_smile: That said, you really need to learn the readings if you want to be able to learn Japanese. Everyone is right on that point. It is my primary interest as well at this point (reading, that is). I can tell you for 100 percent sure the readings of the kanji are super important to be able to read. Even if that sounds crazy right now, just embrace it, get to level 20, and you will be like “Woah, that strange onion-turtle that gave me advice on the interwebs was right!”

In terms of remembering the readings, it takes a little time to get used to mnemonics, but they can be a really powerful way to remember the large amounts of info involved in learning Japanese (readings included). Anyway, I really hope to see you at level 60 some day and fluency some later day! Best of luck! :slightly_smiling_face::turtle::upside_down_face:


Learning takes time, don’t feel the need to rush, and knowing where your difficulty lies is good because it means you know where you will need to practice and work most. Eventually it will get easier once you’ve done that for a while.


If you don’t learn the readings you aren’t actually learning to read. So you need to learn the readings especially if you encounter the word when written in kana which will happen in real material. Also, a number of the words you learn here are commonly written in kana only so knowing the reading is gonna be the only way to figure what the word is supposed to be.

If you happen to encounter the following kana さまよう in writing how will you know it’s 彷徨う if you never learned the reading of the kanji?


It may seem like a daunting task to learn the readings but, without the readings you’re not really learning anything besides pictures. If you go through this not learning the readings then you’re not even really learning japanese, so stick to the whole program and I promise it will get somewhat easier to remember the readings.

Sometimes I even remember the readings before the actual meaning.

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I was having a lot of trouble remembering which pronunciations to use for certain kanji that have more than one commonly-used reading, for example 大 (だい、たい). I finally made myself a chart of words using だい in one column and たい in another in order to be able to remember them. It helps if I do NOT study both columns at the same time. I had to do the same with 人 (じん, にん, and ひと). My upper middle-aged mind needs all the help it can get. 笑

I also write down every new radical, kanji or vocabulary expression, with its pronunciation(s) and meaning(s). If I hadn’t done this when I started learning Japanese using Duolingo, I would soon have run screaming for the hills. Writing all those words and sentences down and writing their meanings beneath each word or particle really helped me make sense of things. Writing kanji forces me to notice tiny differences between them, as in 大, 犬 and 太. I hope this helps.

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To me, reading is still like speaking in a way. If you don’t know how to read a word, how will the voice in your head “speak” it? I can’t imagine learning English or any other language with letters that you’re used to without knowing what they sound like, and trying to go just by shape. It’d be so slow. I believe if you struggle through it now it’ll pay off with speed in the long run.

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