Multiple Readings in WaniKani

Hiya, I’m new around here. Before I got too far into this I wanted to clear up a minor question I’ve had since I reached my first Kanji in the program today.

In the program, 七 is given the reading しち. Which confused me a bit because I thought なな was a more common reading? I know both are correct but this felt a bit weird to me, especially that it wouldn’t even mention the other reading. So, does WaniKani teach other readings? And how are the readings they do teach selected? Is it by common use, simplicity, or some other criteria?

This one usually. Or rather, for kanji, the common readings in compounds. (なな) the vocab should take なな


Yes, you’ll get the other readings for them soon. Those are listed as vocabulary items.

They teach readings by what’s most common, I think. They don’t really make it a big deal on what’s On and Kun, and despite how it sounds, it is quite effective.


Thank you! I remember reading smth about the vocab teaching other readings so that makes sense now, was a little unclear at first. And I did look at the actual definition page for 七 and it does list なな as a kun reading. Its in a very low contrast grey so little hard to notice but it is there now that I look a bit harder.

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Yes, on the page itself they tell you what is on and kun but when you’re seeing them in lessons, sometimes they don’t mention it at all. You’ll get a natural feel for which it probably is eventually so it’s not a big deal. Too many compound words use pure kun too, so it’s best you’re not rigid on having a rule for when to use kun and on

I have a question related to this. If I input a correct reading for a kanji, but not one of the readings that were given during the lesson, would the answer be marked as incorrect? For example, the reading given for 引 is ひ, but what would happen if I input いん?

For Kanji items, if you put in a different reading than what Wanikani is looking for, but is still a valid reading of that kanji, it will not be marked wrong. Instead, the box will shake, and it will ask you the reading you were taught with that kanji. For example, for the kanji item 山, if you entered やま, it would ask you to input the on’yomi reading. This is because kanji have multiple possible readings, and Wanikani doesn’t punish you for giving a different correct answer than what they’re looking for, but they still want to check that you’re learning (what they think is) the most useful reading of that kanji. You’ll know it’s a kanji item because it will say Kanji Reading, and the background of the card will be pink to remind you.

On the other hand, for vocabulary items that consist of only one kanji, if you put the wrong reading for that word, it will be marked wrong, even if that reading is a valid reading of that kanji in compounds. Again using 山, if you entered さん for the vocabulary word 山, that would be incorrect. This is because, unlike kanji, words (typically) only have one possible reading. You’ll know it’s a vocabulary item because it will say Vocabulary Reading, and the background of the card will be purple to remind you.


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