Specify which reading is intended

Why not just indicate whether to answer with kunyomi or onyomi instead of saying “kanji reading” or “vocabulary reading”?

In “real life” it won’t say that. I think the method works because then you can learn the rules about when it is usually the onyomi/kunyomi reading (like all kanji = (usually) all onyomi).


Sometimes vocab uses on’yomi, sometimes it uses kun’yomi. That wouldn’t really work.


And sometimes the kanji reading will ask for kunyomi! Not all kanji have both onyomi and kunyomi readings, so I think this is a more consistent way for them to make the program. Also, who doesn’t love color-coding?


Kun-yomi and on-yomi are real concepts, there is no such thing as a vocab-yomi outside of WK


Sure there is. Noone’s looking at 川口 and going “hmm, is that kun’yomi or on’yomi?”. They’re just gonna go “ah, that’s かわぐち”.

According to Leebo, they don’t even learn the difference until several years into their schooling.


But in that case it’s all vocab reading, lol


Yeah, 3rd grade is when they start telling kids about onyomi and kunyomi. Before that they just tell them the readings with no more info. Officially anyway. Some teachers might acknowledge it.


yeah i guess i’m just talking about single kanji, without context.

i’m not suggesting the distinction is crucial to learn right away, but if for example i’m shown 日 on its own and told either “kanji reading” or “vocab reading” then i am already being made to memorize a distinction — so why not learn the distinction that actually exists in the language, rather than the distinctions created for the app?

eventually i’ll remember that “kanji/pink” wants にち and “vocab/purple” wants ひ, but i’m frankly still rarely sure which pronunciation is on- and which is kun- (so therefore can’t even begin to decode the “rules”) and it simply feels like a missed opportunity.

That’s just how it seems to me, and anyway I appreciate everybody’s input!


I kinda see what you mean, my guess is that there is so many exception that it would be a hassle for them to change the categories. Looks like categories are well hardcoded into the whole system by now. It would also mess up many scripts and API-using websites probably. the best remains to remember the exceptions which at worse trains your memory.

Feels. It takes a LONG while. I’m still getting tripped up sometimes remembering to notice if it’s pink or purple. It’s a learning curve, but it’ll get there.

I might not be that helpful but I would personally not care about on/kun’yomi at all and just try to remember vocab readings one by one. Naturally, you’ll begin to notice on’yomi and kun’yomi patterns as you learn the language. I at least never cared about whether a single kanji word was on/kun. I just learnt “this is how you say the word”.


now that i’ve been at it for a little longer and have gotten to know the system, i’ll share an update about pinpointing the cause of my confusion. It all comes down to a simple distinction:

Kanji lessons teach you parts of words (so read them as if they were in a compound).
Vocabulary lessons teach you words (so read the word).

Knowing that going in would have prevented a lot of frustration, as it wasn’t the material but the format that was so baffling. At first, most of the Vocab words consist of single kanji so it looked basically identical to the Kanji lessons, and the choice of readings seemed arbitrary.
I didn’t realize that the Kanji lesson wasn’t teaching words! It was Kumirei’s comment about “it’s all vocab reading” that got me thinking about Vocab having something to do with encountering words in context, and it wasn’t until the Vocab items got more complex that the pattern showed itself, and now seems painfully obvious. It probably WAS obvious to most people. Looking back, everyone’s comments make perfect sense, but at the time it seemed totally arbitrary.

Not important, just wanted to update and thank everyone for their help and patience (and also humbly suggest making that clearer in the introductory material).


Yeah it took me a couple of days to handle the concept. I believe a quick 10 minute tutorial (showing step by steps clicks and voice over with 2-3 sample scenarios) would do wonders for new joiners.

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