Readings struggle: Kunyomi....onyomi...and exceptions!

Hello everyone.

I’m currently studying using wanikani, but I’m really struggling with the readings. I really gave up on the whole kunyomi/onyomi thing due to exceptions and exceptions.
I most of the time try to memorize the vocab as a whole (as an example an event is Tai Kai, but why Tai not Dai? I associate it with being an evenT, so it must be with T not D, etc).
I don’t know tho if this is the right way to memorize, and if it will hunt me back at later levels.

I’m already struggling to get good accuracy (although I don’t rush, I make 15~30 new items in lessons per day) and never before finishing all my reviews.
As you can see my meaning accuracy isn’t that bad, although also not that good. I’m bad at memorizing tho, so I try to lower my expectations.

First of all, do you think I should continue doing my lessons, or give my self some time to make more reviews and get that accuracy a little bit high. I use kaniwani, and I started using the leech script just few days ago.

I’m thinking of taking a break from lessons, get my accuracy up to 90~ or something (will take some time def) and instead of new lessons, revise old stuff, leeches, wrong answer in my reviews, make better mnemonics, etc.

Then probably continue lessons with about 10 lessons max per day so that I get enough time and focus, and always keep an eye on my accuracy, if it is falling down, I repeat the same thing. What do you think, and any special tips for people who are extremely bad at memorizing?

I do 2/3 sessions per day btw, one at 8 AM, other at 8 PM. Might do another mid-day if I have the time. I finish all my reviews in these 2 sessions (probably about 70~80 per session) and do my lessons.
Thanks in advance!


That’s what I do as well. I also found it useful to have WK sound out the reading of a vocab as soon as I give the correct reading (available in the settings: play audio during reviews). This has helped me link the reading better to the vocab, and will over time give you a better idea of ‘what sounds right’.


For me personally, i didn’t pay attention to which readings were which until about now, after a while you kind of get a feel for which redings tend to be used when, and which ones are usually taught on Wanikani (usually (but not always) you’ll be taught a reading that the word will take in a multiple kanji ‘word’, then with the vocab you’ll learn that reading and the one used for verbs, and maybe one used for on its own). As you’ve noticed Japanese tends to only be formulaic up to a point.

One of the most notorious examples of this is the rendaku which makes the /t/ sound become a /d/, /s/ become /z/,etc. there are circumstances that make rendaku more likely, but it mainly happens when it sounds ‘better’ with rendaku. the only hard and fast rule is that it is never at the beginning of words. There was an interesting article on Tofugu that helped it make a bit more sense to me, and some of it is just listening to and reading lots of words on wanikani (there are more as you get up in levels). I second @rwesterhof 's suggestion of using the audio if you don’t already.

I honestly wouldn’t worry about your accuracy. It’s not super important, it just means you’re getting things right first try more often and thus leveling them up quicker. Wanikani isn’t a race, your accuracy looks fine as it is.

If you want to take a break from lessons to concentrate on reviews, there’s nothing wrong with that. heaps of people do this to reduce their amount/pace of reviews, becuase of decreased time to wanikani, heaps of reasons. I’m doing that at the moment actually. But i wouldn’t say that you’d have to do it to get your accuracy high, accuracy isn’t as important as regularly completing reviews, which will cement items in your mind better long term. High accuracy (which you have anyway) is good, and helps, but it’s not the most important thing in this marathon.

Most people do do 10-20 lessons/day from what i’ve heard, and if you find yourself struggling to remember things as well due to heaps of items, then there’s nothing that’ll hurt you by doing less. The way SRS works means that things will keep coming back and building up for a long time into the future, so many people start off quickly with heaps, and find later that they need to slow down anyway.

The best advice I can give you is to try lots of different things to try and find what works for you, since every person is different and learns differently. Some people do grammar and use their Wanikani vocab in sentences, others write their lessons down in books, still others make use of API and Third Party Apps, and still others do so many more things, I couldn’t list them all.

I hope some of that helped/answered your questions : )

Also, since this is your first post:
Hi @OmarHadhoud


It’s great to have you here!

If you haven’t already, check out the WaniKani Knowledge Base and User Guide , as well as this topic for any questions you might have. This topic has some information from the all-mighty @crabigator, and here are the Community Guidelines. There is lots of good info here for new users like you!

If those don’t answer your questions, feel free to post something in your own thread like you’ve already done here! Everybody here is extremely helpful and is more than willing to answer any and all of your questions. If you still need help, send an email to

In addition to WaniKani, there are tonnes of other resources available to help you learn Japanese!
You can check out this topic for a wealth of resources to guide the other aspects of your Japanese learning adventure, and this topic for help in starting to read content in Japanese.
You can also join one of the many Book Clubs in the forums for motivation and a good time!

Wanna just hang out in the community and get to know your fellow Wanikanians? Hop on over to the POLL thread and Campfire.

Good luck, I look forward to seeing you around!
(sry for the novel (^u^')>)


That’s probably a good plan. I’ve found that I can comfortably do 15-20 lessons per day for Radicals/Kanji. Amy more than that and my accuracy suffers horribly. But I can do 20-30 vocab items easily. So I’ll usually pace myself slower at the beginning of a level and faster near the end, but making sure to keep my apprentice items around 100. I’m ok going over 100 for vocab but not Kanji.


I like what @Midnight_Doragon wrote. If you are not overwhelmed by reviews, and your accuracy is over 80%, I’m not a fan of slowing down. A lot of the readings will start to make sense the more you read, listen and use the language. Moving forward and being consistent is more important than having high accuracy.

Keeping your apprentice items somewhere around 80-140 (depending on your preference) is a good idea, though.


First off, I think your meaning accuracy if just fine. :+1:

But, as you’ve already noticed yourself, getting better at nailing the readings it where you need to put in a bit of more effort. You might wanna do a bit of leech training to just beat the correct answers in there, just as you’ve started doing. It’s sometimes hard to know which meanings/readings are hard to learn, they just are, and for those, you’ll have to bring some extra effort. 頑張って!

But, you don’t really need to have 90+% accuracy to be successful using WK, I just want to put that out there. Around 85% means you’re still making good progress without having to redo reviews too much as leeches. So, don’t stare yourself blind looking at your accuracy.

You might wanna give @prouleau 's Item Inspector script a try as well as the Self-Study Quiz. Both of them are good tools for identifying the specific items that you’re struggling with, and training them until they stick! Failing items are the ones you need to work on, while the majority can be left alone (just do normal reviews).

I wish you the best of luck with your studies! :slight_smile:


I didn’t know this feature existed! I have been playing it manually every time :smiley:

Thank you for taking the time to reply :smiley:
Yeah I noticed some patterns, like the rendaku, so yeah I think I will stick to this way and get a feel for it.
I’ll probably take a break or at least lower my lessons per day, maybe 5 items per session and that’s it. I’m glad my accuracy isn’t that low tho. I was afraid I was doing it wrong. I’ll probably do as you said and experiment though, still level 5 and still long way to go so better find what suits me.
Thanks once again for the warm welcome :smiley:
I’ll definitely take a look at those helpful links, thanks once again. :smiley:

1 Like

I have about 115 apprentice items, only 24 of them are Kanji, 40~ radicals and the rest are vocab. 340 items Guru though, I think I’m having lots of leeches going up and down between apprentice and Guru.

I’m kinda overwhelmed to be honest, but what really made me more upset is my accuracy which I felt was kinda bad. Not gonna lie, the replies made me realize how decent it is and that it isn’t that bad. Surely there’s room for improvement, but I might just decrease my lessons rate instead of stopping completely.
I have about 115 Apprentice items, 340 Guru, 200 Master and 120 Enlightened. I think my main problem are items going back and forth between Apprentice and Guru.


Thank you! I think your reply agrees with everything other people said and looks like I’m gonna focus more on reviews but not gonna stop lessons completely. Also I’ll try not to be obsessed with my accuracy and aim for 85+% as you stated.
I’ll also definitely take a look at those scripts and study items that are not sticking. Thank you :smiley:

1 Like

Your accuracy is not bad at all, but I do think your worry is justified in the sense that you might have leeches going on from guru to apprentice and working on them would make your life easier (and your accuracy go up).

I advise you to use these 3 scripts:

If you’re using another SRS platform to learn vocab not on Wanikani, I advise you to actually add your leeches as cards there. This will give you a 2nd chance to learning them and it will feel like as fresh start. For me, this was what worked best when it comes to working on those items you’re struggling with.

Good luck :slight_smile:


This is probably the best way to do it. For me, it was you wear a tie (tai) to an event!

1 Like

Nah, those aren’t leeches yet. You’re still learning them, which is fine in the beginning. Items that keep falling from Enlightened to Guru and below are going to be your leeches.

I have 105 Apprentice, 778 Guru, 708 Master, 1931 Enlightened, and 3020 Burned. Your numbers look fine to me.

What I think you’re running into is what you stated before. You haven’t found a reliable method of using the mnemonics, so you’ll remember an item long enough for it to hit Guru but blank on it when it comes around. Spend some time working on that and keeping track of what things are memorable to you long term. :slight_smile:


I have been using confusion guesser, but I’ll also start using these other 2! Thanks for help!

1 Like

That’s a cool one!

Good to know I haven’t faced those leech monsters…yet! I will try to come up with better mnemonics and make use of it. Thank you! :smiley:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.