Is there a way to make a rule for these particular rendakus?


I just cant get them right. I have been having a high % of success in the past 5 levels even with all previous Kanji that used them, but the following readings in particulars are destroying my associative skills. Its frustrating. Any hint or should I just sing them out loud for 3 days in a row until they stick?


Not exactly what you’re asking, but one thing I found is that 何 seems to favor readings that begin with N. なんにち、なんにん、 なんねん.


When I learned them in class I just had to go over and over them via various flashcards (in different formats so I actually learned them, not just memorized the card itself). Writing the kanji and then hiragana by hand while saying it out-loud was also helpful, but yeah, you’re just going to have to learn them (especially the こう ones)

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I think I recently read a similar question and someone said がつ was more commonly associated with numbered readings, such as いちがつ、にがつ、さんがつ, etc. なんがつ is asking “what month?” so you would answer with a numbered month so it reads as がつ as well.

I suppose you could also answer “what month?” with next month, but “next” and “every” I would say are frequency words, so maybe that is why they use げつ. I’m not a professional though. :slight_smile:


You mention rendaku in the topic title, but none of these involve rendaku…?

Rendaku is like how とき + とき = ときどき, or how 会社かいしゃ becomes がいしゃ if it follows something else, as in 航空会社こうくうがいしゃ.


I think he meant jukugo, which often have rendaku. I can understand it can be hard to get familiar with the terminology. I don’t remember Wanikani giving explicit definitions to these, I inferred the definitions from context.

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Yeah, just making sure there wasn’t something else he wanted to know about.

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Thanks, yes, that’s what I meant.

I do know about actual Rendakus like Hito Bito 人々 - ひとびと, I named my examples incorrectly.

Thank you, yes. When it comes to counting months its very easy, its just がつ.

However I have been unable to identify a pattern or rule with my samples.

Seem like I will just need to memorize them.

This hint may be too late for these examples, but maybe for the future:
Whenever I learn a new jukugo I try to guess it’s reading first. When it’s different I’m (moderately) surprised which helps me remembering it.


Believe it or not singing will help your memory. My professor wrote her dissertation on learning language through song. If all else fails, belt it. XD

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がつ is actually only for the names of the months (January, February, etc.). The month counter is actually ヶ月, read かげつ. (I don’t think WaniKani ever teaches the latter.) I actually found knowing this to be helpful in remembering how to read 何月, since it must be asking about the former rather than the latter since the ヶ isn’t there. (You might notice a pattern that in 何~ words, 何 is used in the place a number would go, leaving reading and meaning of the rest of the word intact. In addition to giving reading, this is also the unmentioned trick to knowing which of what/how many/… 何 means in an particular word.)

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Thank you! Can you be a bit more specific on how you were able to differentiate the what, how many with 何 ? So far I have been using how many for day and year, and what for month, but only from memory.

Yeah I will try to create a song with them. Thanks for the advice! (starts humming)

Since there are pretty simple words that get a lot of everyday use, I wouldn’t be too worried about patterns you can identify, but rather try to experience the language a bit more through listening or watching Japanese.

They will start to feel familiar and natural to you pretty soon, and you won’t have to worry about them ever again.

If you always study by speaking the words outloud as you read them, learn them, and review them, it’ll also become more natural faster over time.


Having the same problem. I can nail some of them every time, but the getsu vs gatsu trips me up constantly in more than just the examples you’ve listed.

The fact that 日 has 2 on’yomi readings is due to importing words from chinese in different time periods. にち came first and then じつ. To me, the words that use にち seem to be simpler concepts as opposed to じつ but I don’t really rely on that fact. I usually just learn them by heart.


Interesting, thanks for the context!

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Sure! Some examples:

何月: if you saw (number)月, it indicates a month of the year (rather than a count). The number tells you which month of the year you’re talking about. So replacing (number) with 何 means you’re asking “which month?”

何回: if you saw (number)回, it means (number) times. The number tells you how many times. So replacing (number) with 何 means you’re asking “how many times?”

何年: the number before 年 indicates which year (e.g., 2001年 means year 2001). So replacing the number with 何 means you’re asking “which year?”

何時: the number tells you what time it is, so replacing the number means “what time?”

何度: the number tells you how many times or how many degrees. Thus the question becomes “how many times?” or “how many degrees?” (but in English we’d phrase the latter as “what temperature?”, usually)

何 can replace things other than numbers, too (e.g. 何曜日, where 何 is replacing one of the seven kanji indicating the day of the week), but the above reasoning will still hold in those cases - whatever is replaced indicates the question being asked. 何 basically asks “what information would the kanji I am replacing give you?”*

*An exception taught on WaniKani is 何千, which means “thousands” rather than the expected “how many thousands?” This follows the thought that referring to large numbers can mean “a lot” rather than an actual number. (Another example of this is 万人, which read literally would seem to mean ten thousand people (and it can), but also means all people/everybody.)

**Sometimes the 何 can also ask a question other than the one indicated through the above reasoning, but I think it’s always the case that AT LEAST the “what kanji am I replacing?” question is a correct translation.

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Honestly if you are having trouble with remembering which pronunciation to use for different words, making a song is the best way to remember, in my opinion, usually in the form of a nursery rhyme. Singing it aloud will help a lot more than reading it. There’s a reason why children are taught songs to remember long lists: we are a rhythmic creature due to our hearts beating. :slight_smile:

Twinkle Twinkle Little Day

  • なんにち how ma-ny days
  • にっこう sun-light on my face
  • ま い に ち ev’ry day
  • きんじつ soon we can play
  • どうじつ on the same day
  • Now I know にち じつ
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