Is Wanikani sometimes overzealous in using kanji in example sentences?

An example sentence for 他所 goes like this:


I figured 家 must refer to うち here (I was lucky to learn the difference between いえ and うち elsewhere, because Wanikani doesn’t explain the difference in meaning between the two words in the 家 vocabulary).

Now, as far as I can tell (please correct me if I’m wrong), it’s pretty rare to read 家 as うち. Googling the idiom 他所は他所 leads almost exclusively to results where うち is spelled in hiragana (or sometimes katakana :thinking:).

Isn’t it misleading to show new learners “他所は他所、家は家”? Example sentences don’t have furigana, so it’s easy to read it wrong (because 家 is usually いえ), and regular people outside Wanikani don’t seem to use kanji in this idiom anyway…


鰐蟹 tends to be a bit overzealous with kanji (as do I!), but for what it’s worth, I frequently see 家 where it is intended to be read うち. Maybe this is a set phrase that tends not to use the kanji, but you will definitely see うち both with and without the kanji :smiley:


Can’t speak for this idiom specifically, but 家 in kanji certainly happens. e.g. in the Natively lv26 manga I’m currently reading, only had to scroll back a few pages.


Now there is probably something to the fact they felt the need to furigana that, when they use furigana relatively sparingly in this manga (and would not have furigana-d it if it meant いえ for example), but it’s far from the only time I’ve seen it this way.


As I understand it, いえ is more like “house” and うち is more like “home”… I might be wrong though :sweat_smile:


This is what I figure too, and as far as I understand, うち is even stronger than “home”: I may be wrong, but it seems to mean “my family home” unless explicitly stated otherwise. In this book the Japanese girl asks her foreign student friend:


In English, “would you like to come home?” would be somewhat ambiguous - whose home? But it seems that in Japanese うち is the speaker’s family home by default… At least this is how I understood it…

Same with 他所は他所、うちはうち.


Not misleading at all and actually a great example of 家 as うち.


Their house, their rules. Our house, our rules.

What makes うち the obvious choice is the fact that the translation is - Our house.

It won’t be the first or last example you’ll encounter on wanikani that is usually written with kana only, but this does not mean that writing it with kanji is wrong. It still exist as a kanji written word and japanese writing is so vast, you’re bound to see so many variation of the same idea written differently both spelling wise and grammar wise, you might as well get used to the idea sooner than later, otherwise you’re fighting windmills.


Thank you! To be fair, I didn’t say it was wrong, I only said it was misleading…
According to jpdb (thank you @Myria for the reference) for 家 the reading いえ is 50 times more popular than the reading うち! For a beginner, a reading that you’ll only encounter less than 1/50 of the times is almost negligible and might not even worth learning yet, or at least warrants a huge disclaimer, I believe.


I think you’re missing the context of the example sentence, it supposed to show you how 他所 acts in a sentence, this is not the page of 家.

The page of 家 gives you the mnemonic for いえ, and うち is the additional reading, because it is important for beginners to learn it is also one of the readings of 家.

Statistics is nice but it’s not a fortune teller, and doesn’t really take beginners into account.
What would the statistics for reading material aimed for beginners would be?
Not based on news papers and novels.

You can always send an e-mail to and tell them you believe they should have added that うち should have an added explanation regarding kana. They’re really nice and they’ll either tell you they agree with your suggestion and they’ll edit the explanation, or explain why they wrote it the way it is.