On'yomi vs Kun'yomi Reviews

Something I have noticed when doing reviews is that if you answer with the Kun’yomi reading of a kanji (pink card) it will tell you that WaniKani is looking for the On’yomi. Very helpful. However, it doesn’t do the same for single kanji vocab words (purple card). ie, if you use the On’yomi when it wanted the Kun’yomi you will just get it wrong. Is there a reasoning behind this? Why have it one way but not the other?


This has been covered recently and I’ll try to find that, but essentially:

Single kanji vocab is a word, so wrong reading = wrong answer. If you put the wrong reading, you’re effectively spelling the word entirely wrong.

On the other hand, when you’re reviewing a kanji, the reading it’s looking for is the one that was taught (usually kun’yomi, but not always) so if you enter the other reading, it’ll tell you that you’re not wrong, but it’s not the answer it’s looking for.


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The reason for this is that there can be multiple ways to read a kanji. For instance, the kanji 人 can have multiple readings, like にん, じん, ひと, and some more. So if you enter ひと for its kanji review, WK says “Hey, that reading is correct, but we’re looking for the on’yomi.”

When you get 人 as a vocab word, WK is asking what THE reading is for that word (rather than asking for one of the kanji readings). Typically there’s just one, and in this case when you see 人 it’s going to be ひと because the vocabulary word 人 is read as ひと.


You can also install the DoubleCheck script which allows you to retype wrong answers, if you want to give yourself the option of a second try when you inadvertently mistake a single kanji vocabulary word item for a kanji item.

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