Meaning and reading visual difference

My mistakes aren’t memory mistakes — I keep typing the meaning for the reading and the reading for the meaning, because there’s no visual difference, and my brain just continues whatever the last question was. It’s unfortunate that what’s keeping me back has nothing to do with memory or learning. I wish there was a visual hint that you’re asking for a meaning or reading.


There are actually a few visual differences. For instance, the color of the bar above the input area is black or white depending on whether it’s a meaning or reading question. Additionally the input area’s background text is in English for the meaning side and in Japanese for the reading side.

But I suppose there could be more cues, because we get topics like this now and then.


The color of the input area is black or white depending on whether it’s a meaning or reading question. Brilliant! That’s all I was looking for. Now that I know it, I’ll see it… for people who think visually, it’s a really important thing. I guess, if you gave one “hey look at this” hint about that in the beginning, you could help people like me, and not have to add anything else. Thank you!


That black and white bar isn’t enough for me. I still have to backspace out half of my answers and start over.

What actually works is once I get mad after too many of those, I start reading that line FIRST, before I even look at the item it’s showing me. Every time I advance to the next item, I put my eyes on where that word is going to be, reading or meaning.

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This is also what happens to me all the time. My brain doesn’t connet the color difference with what to do. That is why I use the Override script and its beautiful lol
([OBSOLETE] Wanikani Override ("ignore answer button"))

That being said, I don’t recommend using it if you’re likely to cheat yourself. I really only use it when I make a typo or when I mistake reading for meaning.

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Just a small comment, but the double check script is much better than the override one.

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Oh, thank you! I’ll check this out!

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This used to happen to me all the time and I found it very frustrating. Now I use Reorder Ultimate 2 on the web and Tsurukame on iOS to force reading then meaning ordering with back-to-back (or 1x1) mode. This makes it more predictable and consistent across devices too.

@konekush thanks for pointing out Double-Check, I may switch to that from Override + Lightning Mode.


OK - I think there’s an obvious solution to this. When you type the on’yomi and they wanted the kun’yomi reading, the screen says “we want the other reading”… so, can Wanikani do the same in our situation? When you’ve obviously written the correct meaning instead of the correct reading, can’t the screen say “we were asking for the reading”?

This would solve the problem. Today I had 61 reviews, and the only ones I got wrong were because of this issue.


There’s nothing stopping them from doing that from a programming perspective. I assume it’s just a matter of how they want to handle answers.

When you answer with the “other reading” on a kanji item, you gave a correct answer. They just want you to also answer with the other one before moving on. For some kanji, one of the readings can be very obscure, and requiring the one that was taught in the lesson ensures that you still remember one that isn’t obscure.

When you switch up the meaning and the reading, that’s just a wrong answer. It’s a wrong answer that is understandable and frustrating, but it’s still just a wrong answer in that sense.

Omigosh THIS.

I honestly wondered this same exact thing when I started getting meaning/reading mixed up. Since I saw @Leebo’s post the other day about black vs white background, I’ve been trying to use that, but… Like @ctmf and @Rmn13 said, it’s just not enough of a visual cue.

Even just including an icon next to “Meaning” and “Reading,” something visual that my brain can immediately recognize without having to process what it’s seeing. I think because it’s already deeply engaged in processing the kanji, it’s extra hard to also have to think about whether I’m answering with the reading or the meaning.

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There’s two ways to look at that I suppose. I think giving the meaning “horse” when the meaning should be “power” is a wrong answer. Giving the reading “chikara” when the answer should be the meaning “power” isn’t a learning mistake, it’s just a confusion of the question. Wanikani’s purpose isn’t to teach us how to take tests better.

Learning kanji is so difficult anyway - the fact that I remembered “chikara” was the reading for “power” is a small miracle, not a wrong answer. hahaha

Well, since we don’t say “chikara” in English, it’s not the “right” answer either, but I get why it’s frustrating. :slight_smile:

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hahaha. Okay.

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