Question from a Noob

Why does WaniKani sometimes teach the Kun’yomi version of the word first, and not the on’yomi? For instance, “ball” is taught as “tama” and not whatever the heck the on’yomi is. Thanks for the help!


Wanikani tries to teach you the most common reading with the kanji, whether that’s kunyomi or onyomi. The goal with this is that teaching several readings at the same time could overload users (they make sure to teach the alternative readings through vocab later on).


Just to add to that, the WK team has been making updates to improve consistency across the site, which includes having more and more kanji being taught with a common onyomi first before any kunyomi are taught. Which means that if something is taught with the kunyomi first, then it’s likely to be extra useful, and the onyomi is possibly rare or nonexistent (not necessarily the case, but an indicator at least).


And for 玉 in particular, all of the vocab Wanikani teaches incorporating this kanji involve the reading たま.


And I’ve personally never actually seen a word using the onyomi of 玉 in real life, but it’s apparently ぎょく

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Words I’d nver even think of using.

It says it’s JLPT 1, yikes. (Ignore the edit, apparently I can’t be bothered to read whole dictionary definitions, lol😅)

Hm, I’ve seen 玉砕 once or twice, in spite of my meager reading pedigree (can’t remember where, though), so I thought it was quite common… but apparently not. :thinking:

Only word I’ve ever seen that made sense for me to learn with the on’yomi is 玉座 (ぎょくざ) = throne.


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