"WaniKani is looking for the ... reading" for a kanji

I’ve had it a few times now that I tried to enter a reading for a kanji, and it gets rejected with the message “WaniKani is looking for the kun/on’yomi reading”.
I’m starting to wonder what even the point is to require a very specific reading, when both of them would be valid readings for a kanji.

I think it would be more helpful to accept the reading, and give an info message like with alternative meanings, or spelling mistakes. Unless I’m missing the reason for the decision to require one reading over the other.

I know that they are supposed to be the more common readings, but for me they usually only start to stick once I’ve encountered one or two vocabulary items with it. And for some of them I vividly remember some of the vocabulary readings from before I’ve reset my progress.

Any thoughts?

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I do think there is a system to this, where basically on’yomi is what you get taught first. Kun’yomi usually comes with the vocab. To be able to make better guesses when confronted with new vocab in the wild, it’s good to be able to instinctively go for the on’yomi reading as the starting point. :thinking:

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They want to emphasize the memorization of one reading of a Kanji, to prepare for learning of vocabularies. Mnemonic / memorization done right, I may say.

Nonetheless, imo, even to remember On readings first, for items with multiple On readings, both On readings are not equal. Some are more important than others. Also, WaniKani sometimes doesn’t teach enough vocabularies to cover all major readings.

A while ago, I made a script to allow answering of multiple readings of a Kanji, including ones not being looked for (but one looked for has to be answered too). It may help reviewing Kanji after already knowing several related vocabularies.

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I disagree. To make better guesses, you should assess which reading it’s likely to use based off of what you’re looking at.

There are a handful of hints that help you guess readings that I feel like it would be a notable waste to assume onyomi. If it’s used with a body part, suffix patterns, hiragana in the middle, hiragana endings, if it’s alone, and the tendencies of individual kanji all are very helpful in determining which reading is most likely.


…and you can get all that intuition for guessing readings for free by learning vocab, without needing to study kanji readings explicitly, IME.


And I would even go as far as to say the same goes for meanings as well!


Only if it’s part of a compound kanji word.

I never really thought about it, but it would make sense to be able to put in either reading.

In fact, an even better system, would be to ask for a specific reading. i.e., “Please type the KunYomi reading for 〇”, but alternate between on and kun readings at equal intervals.
Would raise the entry requirement and put off beginners though.

Or to take it a step further, when I use Anki, I’ve setup two textboxes to input both readings for each kanji card.

Well, that would demand for people to know which is which, and that’s not usually the case. It takes a while to develop a sense for what sounds like onyomi or kunyomi.

On some levels, it doesn’t matter that much what it is Kun’yomi or On’yomi. Also, for not only multiple On’yomi, but multiple Kun’yomi too, not all readings are equal. Some are more useful than others. And sometimes even, some On’yomi are barely useful at all, especially after separating On’yomi types.

For me, On’yomi does sound foreign and not much of a word; but there are exceptions. So sometimes, On’yomi can be a word.