On/Kun yomi for Kanji studies seem arbitrary..?

I guess this is more of a question than feedback, but in today’s lesson I studied 氷.

As you know, the first time you see a new kanji (pink background) you are usually taught the onyomi. Then in vocabulary studies (purple background) you are taught the standalone word/kunyomi for the kanji.

Why are we shown こおり instead of ひょう at the pink stage?This also happened before with 犬, with pink stage teaching you いぬ and seemingly completely ignoring けん… Not to mention making you study こおり twice for both pink and purple stages…

Now I happen to have studied these two before starting Wanikani, therefore I know the skipped readings, but this is likely not going to be the case in higher levels, which sort of bothers me. Does at some point further in the studies the system return to such skipped readings, perhaps in more advanced vocabularies?


It is a very small percentage where this happens, but basically the WK team chooses what they consider to be the most useful reading of a kanji. Usually that is an on’yomi, but sometimes a kun’yomi.

Personally I would also like to be offered more on’yomi readings in kanji lessons.


The onyomi for 氷 is taught later, in the word 氷河. The onyomi for 犬 is taught in 猟犬.

They don’t have anywhere where they explain their thought process on any individual kanji, but they just generally say that they try to teach the most “useful” reading, in their estimation, in the kanji lesson.

I think one reason for 犬’s is because 猟犬 is the only word on the site that uses the onyomi and it’s in level 52, since you need to know 猟. That would be a 50 level gap from teaching the onyomi to using it.


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