Problems with writing out the on'yomis and how to read them

Hello there! After some postponing I finally decided to sit down and learn some Japanese in WaniKanji. Learning the radicals has been fun and easy, but now that I am learning the on’yomis for the kanji , I don’t know how to write the meaning of the kanji or how the mnemonics are related.

Example for the 人 kanji reading, there’s a little story about being the only person at Nintendo that wants to wear jeans. So in my understanding one reading is :
Nintendo( にん) and the other on’yomi is jeans(じん).
Right so, in the lessons review when it asks for the kanji meaning(when what you write changes to Japanese IME) it’s asking for にん or じん.
Well, when I write Nintendo it doesn’t come out like にん and I don’t know how to read it either. So i don’t know if it’s really saying Nintendo, or if I am supposed to memorize にん. I can memorize it, but I don’t know how to write it.

Sorry if I am just too dumb, but I really don’t know if にん reads out loud Nintendo, are the on’yomi the pronunciation of these Kanji? I am pretty sure I am understanding something wrong here.

The ‘Nintendo’ or ‘jeans’ are just supposed to be mnemonic devices that provide a similar sound to the Japanese reading to help jog your memory. You don’t actually type Nintendo and にん is not pronounced Nintendo. All you need to do is type just n-i-n and you’ll get にん.

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Have you studied hiragana before starting WaniKani?


As @athomasm says, a mnemonic is purely to make it a little easier to remember things. They don’t represent the Japanese reading.

And knowing hiragana is indeed a prerequisite in order to continue WK past the point of the starting radicals. :slight_smile:

It’s covered in the FAQ, where they also link to a nifty Tofugu guide to learn it.

wags finger

Don’t say such things about yourself. We all have to start at the beginning, and learn new things as we go. Not knowing ≠ dumb.


Thank you so much for your replies and help @Omun , @athomasm and @Leebo. I’ll get right away with learning hiragana! I’ll give it my best in learning. I knew there was something I was understanding wrong. Again thanks for the help and kind words guys!


No problem. Good luck on your studies.