Rendaku indicator during lessons

so many of my mistakes in readings are either because i forget a rendaku, or (at least as common) i am so sure i am going to forget a rendaku that i put one in where none exists. i started keeping a tally of each rendaku’d vocab word in a separate file on my computer, and that has helped a little; but i still feel like i make a lot of rendaku-related mistakes.

what i’m wondering is: is it possible to write a script (or even have WK themselves implement a change) so that vocab words with rendaku somehow appear differently? maybe the background color is different; maybe the screen flashes for a moment; maybe a Rendaku Durtle* parachutes down from the top of the screen on a little umbrella, bald but for two little tufts of hair in the shape of a dakuten. it sure would be helpful if there were some visual stimulus at the time of lessons that helped drive home which vocab items had rendaku and which didn’t.

*a durtle, presumably, being a rendaku’d turtle.


Are you just talking about during lessons? It would be a mistake to rely on something like this during reviews.

I recommend instead you look up some general guidelines on when rendaku is likely to occur. I don’t have any reference to share, but I’m sure they’re out there if you search.

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There’s actually a very nice Tofugu article about it, covering the broad strokes, the regular exceptions and the exceptional exceptions:

The accompanying podcast episode is a fun listen, too.


yes, during lessons. i’ve read a number of articles – including the Tofugu one – that try to give insight about when to rendaku; but it mostly becomes a chicken-and-egg problem: a student becomes skilled at anticipating rendaku only after one has already developed a critical mass of prior experience successfully memorizing rendaku. it seems like WK (or a userscript) could streamline that initial learning process by providing better cues during the lessons phase.

i mean, i suppose i could also go the lo-fi route and just use a little finger-puppet to dance around whenever there’s rendaku. but in light of this being such a common source of error for many beginning students, it seems like a more thoughtful approach could be taken.


Lessons usually mention when there’s rendaku, no? And you can see it from how the reading it spelled out.

The information is there. I’ll certainly admit I struggle with it at times as well, but it’s part of the learning process…

I tried listening to that a while ago and just couldn’t get into it, honestly. Seemed like a lot of faffing about without getting into the meat and potatoes of it. Like way too casual.

If they have other podcasts that are more information dense and to-the-point I think it’d be way more engaging, for me anyway.

The interview podcasts are more to the point, but the ones that are more like companion podcasts tend to have a lot of about-faffery, to be sure. Definitely a matter of taste, but I really enjoy it; I enjoy their sense of humor, and it doesn’t feel artificial like the banter in language podcasts often does.

However, I’d recommend thinking of it more as educational entertainment than entertaining education. If you enjoy it, that’s great, but if not, there are better uses for your time.



otherwise known as the 親子丼-problem

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obviously, no one is suggesting that rendaku’d vocabulary is being kept hidden. the point is how to improve the learning process, concerning an aspect of learning that virtually every student of Japanese struggles with.

indeed, the very point of WaniKani is to try to improve the learning process by not simply presenting students with a bunch of kanji and expecting them to memorize each reading by rote; but rather, by coming up with a whole set of silly radicals and outlandish mnemonics, filled with characters such as Hard Gay and the dastardly Mrs. Chou; Koichi in his construction hat with his awful teeth; those wacky narwhals; etc. the premise is that these are a far better system for learning than just being presented with a reading and being expected to remember it by rote memorization.

and yet, when it comes to rendaku, that’s exactly what we’re still asked to do. it seems like a pretty clear area for improvement; and there are some non-complicated possibilities to do so, as i suggested in the initial post.

I just make a different reading mnemonic for rendaku’d sounds

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