Kanji - Ko U / Ku

Hi I have just started using Wani Kani and very confused as why many Kanji in early Level 1 use - Ko + U or Ku ? Sorry it’s in English !! Am I missing something ?


This is just how it is, the reasons for why the kanji use the On’yomi readings that they use lies in China

There will be a lot more coming up later on that use the same (On’yomi) reading, especially the readings こう, しょう and し seem to be very common.


Thanks for your prompt reply :slight_smile: … how then does one differentiate between the kanji if the reading is the same ?


I’d say it isn’t that important to differentiate kanji just by their readings, as the actual words that you use to speak/write Japanese are the vocab, and most of them have different readings (unfortunately not all, though).


When you’re actually speaking, what you hear are full words, so two individual kanji having the same reading isn’t that relevant.

工場 and 購入 are two words that both start with こう, but the first is こうじょう and the latter is こうにゅう, so the fact that they are two different varieties of こう isn’t really relevant to parsing the meaning.

Now, if two words are fully the same pronunciation, then context will have to be what sorts it out, but that’s no different from any language with homophones.


You don’t really need to be able to recognize kanji by their readings. Remember kanji aren’t words on their own, so although 高 and 行 iare pronounced こう, you’ll usually hear them in 高い、高校、最高、行く、直行、etc. You’ll hardly ever hear こう and have to pick through the hundreds of kanji that use that reading trying to find the right one.