Lingodeer telling me 登る、wanikani telling me 上る

Are these the same? I just realized I can get both with the romaji keyboard “noboru” spelling. Both mean climb? whats going on here? whats the difference?

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As a general rule, the easy, very broadly defined kanji can often function in place of more nuanced kanji in verbs. 上 is “easier” and “broader” in meaning than 登.

At the core, you have のぼる, the original verb that is from the spoken Japanese language of old, and it means “to move from a low area to a high area” generally.

Then you can apply kanji (borrowed from Chinese) with different nuances if you choose.

登る (WaniKani level 12) is climbing only in the sense of moving up a tall thing like a tree or a mountain.
昇る (WaniKani level 27) is for things climbing into the sky, like the sun, or for using an elevator.
上る is any kind of climbing, so it includes mundane things like going up stairs, but it can stand in for the more “difficult” kanji if the nuance isn’t so important.

There can be exceptions in set expressions, but those are the basic ideas.

For another example, みる (to look, to watch) can be
観る (more like “to spectate” or “to watch for entertainment”)
診る (to look at someone to check their health)
as well as others
but you can also just write 見る for whatever if you want to.


ahhh perfect, ありがとうございます!
昇 is also used in promotions right? I think I’m starting to understand why japanese is considered hard haha. The sounding of words is easy, but the kanji are like 10 dimensional. you put a bunch of them together and you get tensor products lol


I’m not sure I can speak to that, but kanji are indeed very versatile. They’re why I’ll never stop studying Japanese.


Yes! It’s 昇進 and introduced in level 27. Kanji are fun

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