Remembering long o spelling

How on earth do you remember the hiragana spelling of long o readings? Specifically readings that have おう and おお. Most readings seem to default to おう but the exceptions like 大きい and 氷 are killing me. Is there a difference in pronunciation that I’m not hearing? Or am I going to have to brute force the hiragna of these kinds of words.


おお spellings only occur in kun’yomi readings (as far as I know). Other than this rule you’ll have to remember the readings individually,


There are relatively few of these おお spellings in my experience, the ones that come to mind are 氷(こおり), 炎(ほのお) and, of course, as you pointed out, 大 and in various words.

Those words are all fairly common so they’ll just “stick” eventually through sheer repetition.

Beyond that as you point out the long o is almost always as おう (or のう、こう、もう etc…).

So yeah, you’ll have to “bruteforce” those exceptions but the good news is that there aren’t going to be many of them.


Also 通る and 遠い, and also 頬, though WaniKani doesn’t cover that one.

But yeah. Long O is almost always ~おう.


I actually didn’t know 頬! 通る/通り and 遠い are indeed super common too.

十日 is another one


Japanese counting is just a prank for newcomers, there’s no point in learning that.


What do you mean by this? I would think counting common things like days and people is pretty imporatant.

I’m joking because Japanese counting is super irregular and annoying.

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Might be worth making your own mnemonic for those, if wanikani’s aren’t sticking. For 氷 for example, since I don’t know anyone named Corey, I just go with coriander instead (imagining someone really drawing out the o). Anyone interested in some frozen cooriander?