On'yomi overkill

So it finally happened… I now officially struggle to remember the correct on’yomi. Kun’yomi are fine since they are a lot more unique and the kanji-meanings are “okay” to memorize as well (thanks to the mnemonics). But the sino-japanese readings just won’t stick anymore.
Up until level 20 on’yomi were already the hardest part to remember, but now I feel like my brain literally short-circuited. My retention rate fell from above 90% to approx. 70%…

Do you guys know any quickhack or structured approach for remembering the on’yomi?


Have you seen the keisei semantic-phonetic composition script? A lot of kanji get their readings from one of their components, so if you learn those patterns, there’s a lot less you have to memorize. It doesn’t apply to all kanji, and for some of them, knowing their composition is less helpful than others, but it’ll still help with many kanji that you encounter, both inside and outside of WK.

Thanks to this script, I have a much easier time with on’yomi readings than I do with kun’yomi readings.


In my mind, 90% of on’yomi is こう so I usually answer that when I don’t remember. I’m right more often than not.

Not sure this is a helpful answer, sorry :slight_smile:


This is weird. I think the Kunyomi is often A LOT harder. More syllables, parts of the Kanji with the same Onyomi won’t help you either.


Not much of a problem, what will stick will stick, what doesn’t leech script helps with most of them. I just take solace in that some readings will be much harder to get used to but I’ll get there eventually, it’s a part of the journey.

Use leech script and/or put leeches in another SRS and pound them regularly. Eventually it’ll stick.


I’m with you there. On’yomi are short and sweet (repetitive) much of the time. There are over 40 Kanji with しょう as the reading!

It’s the unique Kun’yomi readings that kill me. A jumble of kana that gets pulled from who knows where. Level 11 truly was ‘painful’ in that regard.


Provide incorrect answers so you get frequent and numerous reviews.

Seriously, that’s the best way.

If I think I know the reading but I’m not absolutely certain, I’ll sometimes intentionally answer incorrectly just to ensure I get more reviews. This is especially important if you think the item might be at stage 7 or 8 (mastered or enlightened).

You are paying for a service that gives you more repetitions for items you find difficult. The only way it knows what you find difficult is with incorrect answers.

This isn’t the fastest way to get to level 60 but I honestly believe it’s the lowest effort way to memorize a lot of stuff well. The goal is to get the easy stuff out of the way so you can get more reps with the hard stuff (which then become easy).


Sometimes I Just Connect The Two Mnemonics of the onyomi and kunyomi readings .
But I Dont Do this often much . If I dont get it I usually do what @Rrwrex said above .

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You may want to consider not taking on any more lessons for a few weeks. Keep doing all of your Reviews and give your brain a bit of time to organize everything while taking a deeper look into the things you’re consistently missing.

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