Onyomi v kunyomi readings

So the Kanji reading is randomly chosen by Wanikani, so it’s either a kunyomi reading or an onyomi reading? Or is there another category for this reading?
Sorry, still don’t get it

It’s usually an onyomi. A small percentage of kanji overall have their lesson reading as a kunyomi.

Not random at all. I believe it’s what they’ve decided is the ‘most common’ reading based on wording I’ve seen from the Unofficial FAQ. I would expect they are using data related to the frequency that a reading appears not that they are just rolling a dice to choose a reading.

This does mean it will mostly be on’yomi readings, but it is not always the case like かわ being taught in the kanji lesson for 川 which also happens to be the same reading as vocabulary.

Because you seem to be overcomplicating things. Stop trying to fit the colors to always mean one reading type or the other. Pink can be either depending on how they’ve chosen the ‘common reading’ and purple will always be the reading of the word from a dictionary. As Leebo mentioned, the vocabulary reading can be on like ほん for 本, kun as 川 like I mention above, or a reading that is neither like きょう for 今日.


Yeah, for 川, the onyomi reading of せん is used in only one WaniKani vocab word, and it is taught in level 47 (川柳, comic haiku… a word that doesn’t even have an obvious relationship to rivers anyway). So if you taught せん in level 1, most people would have burned it ages before they encountered a word that used it.

Of course, you could argue that 河川 would have been a good word for level 26 at the introduction of 河. Still would have been a long gap for せん.

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Okay that’s a reasonable explanation. So the pink or Kanji reading is the one Wanikani has determined to be the most “common” and then the purple or dictionary reading is whatever reading of the kanji we may have learned onyomi or kunyomi otherwise, if I got that right?
Thanks for explaining. I literally would still be associating pink with Chinese reading and purple with Japanese forever on this site ( ≧Д≦)

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Kanji are individual separate isolated characters, and vocabulary are actual words that use the kanji, actual real words.

The pink quiz is for the character. Those can have multiple readings depending on the vocab they appear in. You learn a “main” reading for it, but it won’t mark you wrong if you answer another, it will just not accept it.

The purple quiz is for the words. Words typically (99% of the time) only use one valid reading. Words are more strict. It’s the actual words that Japanese people use from day to day, not abstract characters. That’s why they’re more strict.

Just to clarify a bit more.


I see thank you that’s really helpful!

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Misunderstanding by early Western visitors to Japan which never got corrected. The whole politeness “Mr Fuji” explanation is further confusion from Western visitors. (Confusingly, “Fujiyama” is also a reasonably common surname, though as a name it’s spelt 藤山.)


If you read the Britannica article I linked above, it used to actually be called ふじのやま in old government records. That seems to be a more likely source of the Fujiyama name.

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But you said it was derived ved from an Sinu word for fire? 藤山 seems to be straight up Wisteria Mountain. I think the connection is only superficial. Though I haven’t read the article you linked.

I’d rather not. The page is displaying a banner ad where a column ad should be, which is reducing the with of the actual article to a column just a few words wide, so it’s tedious. :stuck_out_tongue:

That said, (name)-no-(type) is a common way things were written back in ye ancient times in Japan - like kami-no-michi instead of Shinto, for example - but its use in a text from the eighth century hardly validates the misunderstandings of western visitors in the eighteeth century, especially since just dropping the “-no-” from the name isn’t something you can do.

(Weirdly, searching Google for “Fujinoyama” yields links to several dictionary definitions which read “an extinct volcano in south central Honshu that is the highest peak in Japan; last erupted in 1707”, which is weird, because Fujisan is still active. They’ve all got the same wording, though, so I suspect they all copied from the same source.)

What? I was the one who brought up 藤山. Mount Fuji is 富士山.


Yes but @athomasm said:

in reply to you, so I made that comment.

I think this line meant “Fujiyama” name for the mountain, not the 藤山 surname.

Okay, this isn’t an onyomi v kunyomi example, but it has boggled me, and I did get a screenshot.

What did I do to get this wrong? You can see the pronunciation I entered and the correct pronunciation at left and right. What is wrong here?

I’ve been doing better at readings, primarily by just trying to remember the last one WK showed me (which often is the reading I learned first, so still confusing!). So, improving. Thanks for your help!

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ろくがつ is correct so it is most likely a bug.

I don’t see anything wrong with your answer either. An extra space should have triggered a shake instead of a wrong answer, so that won’t be it either.

Hi, just wanted to let you know that this appears to be a bug in the app. It looks like you typed the answer exactly right, but for some reason the app doesn’t agree. I’m doing my best to find out what went wrong, but as far as I can tell this is not because of a mistake you made.

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Thanks for popping in! I still love the app, it’s really useful for keeping up with reviews (as on my flights yesterday)!

What app is that anyway? Looks pretty crazy.

Looks like this: