Remembering which Pronunciation

hey! this is pretty much my first forum post, so sorry if i’m repeating something!

as i get up into the levels, a lot of old kanji come back with new pronunciations – especially stuff with 月 or 日 in my case. is there any small tricks or rules you use to remember if its がつ vs げつ or にち vsじつ?


Sorry, 日 will also take the にっ and ひ (rendaku’d to び) sounds in other words too.

For 月, @MissMisc has some good advice.


Ignoring kun’yomi:

Months in general, and moons: げつ (今月, 来月, 月末, 月曜日)
Specific month: がつ (四月, 五月, 何月 - see that this is typically a suffix, although the relationship doesn’t work the other way around)
And rarely there are exceptions like 年月日, 毎月 (まいつき is common instead of まいげつ; 月末 can be read as つきずえ)

And maybe other oddities but this is a pretty solid pattern since がつ actually is a thing.

There isn’t as easy to see a one for the other ones you gave though, imo. You can search jitsu/nichi using the magnifying glass icon for other people’s ideas. The more experience you have, the more intuitive it will feel? There are patterns based on meaning and the different period the reading of the kanji was introduced (’yomi_(Sino-Japanese_reading)) - while there are plenty of exceptions, some things just start to make sense in different contexts more than others. Realistically you will just passively memorise this stuff and get better at guessing.

I’m struggling to word this, hence the vague description. Because it is not hard and fast. But some readings are more common with a literal or specific day (which is tied closely to the concept of a sun), and some readings are more common with the idea or concept of a type of day. Some can appear as both and I’m sure you could argue there are plenty where this doesn’t apply. But it might help. You should develop your own feeling, and realise there are always going to be words where you can’t develop rules for, and also sometimes it’s futile to develop meaning-based rules (imagine, for example, trying to make perfect rules like this for cognates in English when sometimes it’s just that we borrowed from French instead of German or Greek instead of Latin).

The more you practise new words and see them, you will just get used to it. So that is one thing - language isn’t just pure memorisation but also usage. You have a feel for what sounds right and how to spell right in all languages you write properly, even if it’s not perfectly honed.

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Related to what OP is asking, I wanted to know the difference between the kanji and vocab reading. Is one kunyomi and the other is onyomi? Or is that unrelated?

I understand that there are different readings but it doesn’t exactly specify the difference, it just says “you already know this one” and gives you a different reading with a different mnemonic.

Also I’m pretty early in learning kanji, but every time I’ve tried to read the ones I know, it seems like I can’t ever get the correct reading. Guess it will just take practice.



PINK Kanji Reviews: Most kanji have many possible readings, but WK is asking you for the reading that should be most likely to help you read the kanji when you see it in an unknown word. (This reading is usually the kanji’s on’yomi, although the choice is fairly arbitrary so you get second chances to answer these.)

PURPLE Vocab Reviews: These purple terms are actual words. When you see these in a sentence, ~99% of them have only 1 correct reading. Therefore, no second chances like what you sometimes get for providing alternate readings in pink reviews.

BLUE Radical Reviews: I just want to mention that all of the radicals right now come with 0 synonyms built-in, so I would recommend adding them liberally— especially to radicals that have identical kanji with wildly different meanings assigned to them.


Thanks that is really helpful to know. I must have missed that information somewhere along the way.

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