Struggling with Kun’yomi

I just recently got through a massive slow down in my learning through wanikani, and am now more focused and ready to work my way through it but I think I’m running into a problem. Up until I hit Level 5 I was only really looking at the On’yomi reading of words and never really looked at the Kun’yomi, now I am getting more vocab that uses the Kun form of the word that I should have learned. But when wanikani shows the kanji in reviews it usually takes the On’ form so I never really bothered with the second reading but now most of my vocab is using the second reading, will I just have to go back and try to review the words for there second reading or is there a different approach I could take since I have burned several that are giving me problems now?

Any help is appreciated I’m still relatively new to learning language and am trying to find ways to make things go a bit smoother.

I learn the primary reading when shown a new kanji, and learn second and tertiary readings in vocabulary. Doesn’t matter whether they are kun or on. You’ll learn which is which eventually.


To keep things simple, WK teaches the most common 1 - 2 readings (either On or Kun) with the Kanji, and then introduces the other readings through vocab. You’ll almost always have vocabs with the readings you didn’t learn with the Kanji. WK acknowledges this and tries to give mnemonics for the alternate readings when you first encounter them with vocab. Definitely keep an eye out when you hit the vocab and work with those mnemonics or make your own, it’s invaluable.

Additionally, you may want to start using KaniWani if you haven’t already. It’s a reverse-recall site that focuses on vocab, and will help drill in those additional readings.

Maybe I just need to adjust how I go about it then there have been quite a few times we’re wanikani has said if you know the kun reading for the kanji you can already read this, it is mostly those one I’m struggling with since I never actually paid attention to the second reading, if that makes sense.

I will have to look into use if that then and maybe pay more attention to the description screen.

Hmm, if it says this, then it means that was the reading you learnt with the kanji: the primary reading, whether it happened to be kun or on. You will have had to answer that reading in order to level up the kanji to Guru and unlock any associated vocab.

Is it possible you’re talking about words where WK presents two primary readings (again, whether on or kun)? There are a few of those, and I also tend to focus on just one in order to level up the kanji. There’s no need to panic when you hit a vocab word which uses the one you ignored: just go back to the kanji, check the mnemonic, and perhaps make up your own mnemonic for the new vocab.

Now that you mention it that, it does sound like that’s what I’m doing. Since the reviews will take either of the readings to be correct I use just the one. I have never really been good at using mnemonics or coming up with them I can’t seem to get them to stick. I’ll give it a try, other wise I’ll just have to get them wrong about 10 times till I finally start to figure it out haha.

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