Total Beginner: Yomi-kun vs Omnomnon'yomi?

I am loving WaniKani so far, but I have a quick question. For a complete beginner, should I memorize which readings are kun’yomi vs on’yomi? Or is knowing the situational (vocab) reading enough?

For example:

I know that 三 is read as さん, and 三人 is read as さんにん, and 三つ is read as みっつ. But, that being said I have no idea which one is a kun’yomi or an on’yomi.

My goal is to (eventually) be a very proficient speaker and reader of the language. Should I go back and memorize which reading is kun’yomi and on’yomi? or is it basically trivia and I should really just know the readings for the vocab in context?

Thank you for the help!!

WaniKani in general teaches you the reading that is most useful to know when it teaches you the kanji and then reinforces other common readings with the vocabulary. It’s useful to know what on’yomi and kun’yomi readings are, but not essential to remember which is which for a give kanji.

There’s a great article on Tofugu (WaniKani’s parent site) about readings:

Also, since this is your first post…

\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}

welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you, like:

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!
The New And Improved List Of API and Third Party Apps

I hope your Japanese learning journey goes well and that you enjoy your time with us on the forums.


I wouldn’t make it a priority as a beginner. If you find it helpful and interesting, there’s nothing wrong with looking it up though. Japanese children aren’t even fully explained this concept until they hit like 4th grade and know hundreds of kanji.



Today’s episode of Learning Japanese with Cookie Monster.


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