Hi everyone.

I maybe wrong as a newbie, but I really do not understand one thing.
Why should I type こんにちは as the reading for 今日は?!
It is not pronounced this way! We say こんにちわ! although in writing ha appears.

Could you please comment?

Thanks a lot in advance.

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The は in こんにちは is the particle は, etymologically speaking. That’s just how spelling goes in language.

You know, the same は as in わたしは がくせいです。

You will occasionally see Japanese people spell it こんにちわ, but it’s roughly the equivalent of writing “gonna.” You will be marked wrong on a language test.



Moved this thread to a more appropriate category :slight_smile:

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It appears in writing, but in readings I type reading (pronunciation), not writing. Am I wrong?

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Wanikani is about teaching how to read kanji, not necessarily how to pronounce words. Even if it sounds like こんにちわ, it’s incorrect nomenclature. Leebo makes a great point comparing it to “gonna”. Another English example might be spelling “though” as “tho”.

Also just to point out, the は particle is right there in 今日は.


Yes… there is correct and incorrect spelling in Japanese.

わたしわ がくせいです is incorrect as well.


Hmm, when we talk about the ‘reading’ in this sense, it doesn’t literally mean “the way you say it out loud, converted back into hiragana”. It’s talking about the underlying “spelling” of the kanji / word. That might be where you’re getting tripped up.


This isn’t the only time that you can write something in a way that would be pronounced correctly, but would be wrong because that’s just not how it’s spelled.

Take something like 手作り (てづくり)

Even though てずくり sounds the same (caveat: I’m aware there are dialects in Japanese where it’s not the same, but this is about standard Japanese) it is an incorrect spelling. This is because the 作り part is from the word つくる.


This will happen not super often but often enough in Japanese that you have to be aware that the reading doesn’t always fully align with the pronunciation. Other particles for example を being pronounced as お, へ being pronounced as え and as a word 洗濯機 being pronounced せんたっき

EDIT: oops replied to the wrong person, sorry radish.


wait what? :thinking:

You read based off of writing, but writing follows it’s own rules and it doesn’t always give you cues on how to read properly.

Thanks. Now I do understand the idea:)
I know about the particle, but this alltogether confused me a bit.

Thank you! Now things seem clearer!:slight_smile: from now on I will distinguish reading and pronunciation.

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Yes. You’re right. That was my mistake! I thought these were same things

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Though, Just to add I wouldn’t get use to reading 今日は as こんにちは(outside wanikani). If you see if elsewhere, it will likely be spelt using hiragana and if you do see 今日は it would likely be きょうは for today (which also sounds like わending - like a topic particle included [as for today])


another couple of things to note:

First, as far as “the reading” is concerned - it’s not asking you how to phonetically pronounce it (as has been mentioned before). Try to think of it more as “how is it spelled”

Secondly, if you know english, you definitely run into this problem WAY more than in japanese. Take the word knife for example - we all know it’s pronounced NAIF, but speaking in terms of learning the language, you would never ask someone to write it out the way it’s pronounced … rather, you would ask them how it’s spelled so they get used to writing it correctly.

It’s not about phonetics, it’s about using/writing the kanji + particles correctly


True! I asked my Japanese teacher in Kobe the same thing very early on when learning Japanese. He confirmed that “Hello” is always spelled in Hiragana. According to him, 今日は means “today” without exception.


Or 雰囲気 (ふんいき) is typically pronounced “fuiki” and people usually say attakai instead of 温かい (あたたかい)

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I don’t think those are quite the same as the particle pronunciations or the ず versus づ issue that Leebo brought up. If you choose to pronounce 温かい as あったかい and were asked to spell it in kana, you’d actually spell it as あったかい, not あたたかい. Same for the 洗濯機 example, which can be pronounced as either せんたくき or (apparently) せんたっき. You’d still spell them in kana the way you were pronouncing them.


Thanks! I know English, well, I speak it although it’s not my native language. But I can easily read the roman letters) so this question never occurred to me before.