My knowledge of this reading is causing me to fail it

I have been learning Japanese for almost a decade with varying levels of dedication. However, as I try to improve my kanji I keep running into the following issue:

I know that this kanji has two common readings: ニン and ジン. Even so, as I progress into more difficult items I continue to forget exactly what WK expects of me here. The only appropriate method that I can think of for people who want to consistently burn items is to provide two readings for the following kanji.

It’s just been doing my head in every time I get it wrong when I know all of the readings, regular and irregular, but still come against this roadblock.



In this particular instance, WaniKani is referring to this kanji only as the number-counter for people, which if I recall correctly, is always にん. That’s why it has the ~ in front of it. While both にん and じん are correct for the kanji by itself, only にん is correct as a counter.


The ~ means that this is a suffix. That reduces the choices to にん.

I guess there are meanings of 人 that are read じん and could be classified as suffixes, but as far as how WK categorises them, this is the only suffix.


The idea of that vocab is the use of 〜人 as a people counter, as in 三人, 四人, etc. In that case the にん reading is used. It has part of speech “counter” to show that (and a few meanings along that line).

i don’t think so. both じん and にん are a suffix. apart from that, there’s words like 詩人

personally, i don’t worry much about it. i hit override, feed wk what it wants to see and move on, because a bunch of exceptions aren’t worth the stress.

1 Like

On WaniKani? That’s all I was talking about. WK has one “suffix vocab item” for 人, and it’s にん.

I was more giving advice for how to get that review right than for how to read 人 generally, for which I could just link my video again, but I think most people have seen the link by this point.

1 Like

yeah, no idea about wanikani.

why would someone memorize an extra set of rules, definitions and so on for this site? passing 人 when you’re lvl 33 hanging on whether you know what this site wants you to enter strikes me as not helpful. i’d get Override, should fix this kind of problem. totally not worth it failing stuff like this.

This is a level 3 vocabulary and if you check it, Wanikani is using it as “the number of people”, a people counter as noted above by other people. And in this case, the reading is always 「にん」。(Well, except in the cases of ひとり、ふたり).

Think of 三人, for example.

you don’t get to see the definition with the kanji. only the kanji and the input field, and if you’re not exclusively doing wk, 〜人 could be either.

this will be a problem for the definition, too, of course.

〜層 would be similarly treated as suffix, 〜 doesn’t mean “counter” anywhere but wk. while this kanji doesn’t have the same problem, it’s a good example for why someone can get 〜人 wrong.

that’s what i meant with wasting time by trying to learn an extra set of knowledge named “what does wk expect me to enter”.


If you read a book or whatever, and you see 八人, will you remember it’s the にん reading? If yes, you can just ignore-script through it until it’s burned, WK can’t teach you much on that word anymore.


What about 日本人?

I’m just going to have to let my pride go on this one I think.

1 Like

As long as you know the people counter is にん, it doesn’t actually matter whether you get it right or not, so I’m going to agree with @OmukaiAndi here.


As far as I know the 人 after a country name is always pronounced じん if you speak about a person from that country.

Yeah, I think I failed this one too, first time it came up for burn. In the end it doesn’t matter if this item stays unburnt, as long as you have the meaning straighy in your head. I don’t think you can get very far in your Japanese studies and still mess up the 人 counter vs nationality reading, so I don’t worry too much about certain WK leeches


It is really frustrating, I keep putting down ~じん too, because the word 日本人 comes to me earlier than, for example, 三人… I contated WK about this before (plus the fact it doesn’t accept “person” either, while 日本人 could also refer to a single person) but the response was basically that it won’t be changed.

Other than a couple of name enders, WaniKani exclusively uses the ~ notation to indicate counters, not suffixes generally. If you see ~, think counter!


Well, 〜的 isn’t a counter nor a name ender.

And both 〜的 and 〜人 have the other vocabulary word 日本的 and 日本人 but for 〜人 is only the counter (for Wanikani). That’s tricky.

Ooh, I missed that one. For some reason I can’t search ~ :thinking: in any case, where a ~word can be a counter, I believe it always is the counter.

I do agree it’s tricky. I think it’s an inherent problem with flashcards which is difficult to overcome though. There are many words which have, say, two different readings and mean different things depending on how you read them. If they accept both then the risk is that you learn a mismatched pair or don’t realise that the two readings / meanings aren’t interchangeable. If they teach one pair then it irritates people who know the word as something else.


I think you have to type the Japanese version of ~ (which annoyingly I can’t do on iOS).

1 Like