Why no voiced pronunciation for kanji lessons?

Why don’t the “pink background” kanji lessons speak the kanji? I’d find this helpful.

Is there some underlying philosophical reason why WaniKani doesn’t do this, or is it just “They didn’t implement it.”

I believe the bonus levels 51-60 have this and it is a feature they plan to implement to all kanji in the future.

1 Like

Kanji don’t really have pronunciations, they have readings. Specific words have pronunciations, including pitch. But the pitch used when a kanji is in a word may differ from word to word, so it doesn’t really make sense for an individual kanji. That’s my take on it at least.


Cool point of view.

Not all kanji are words by themselves. For the ones that are, WK should have most of those words along with the audio.

I’ve also sometimes thought that audio for kanji would be helpful, but pitch accent is a big reason why I changed my mind and don’t think they should add it. Depending on the word that a particular kanji is in, its pitch accent can change.

@seanblue just mentioned this, but let’s go into more detail. For the sake of giving an example, here are screenshots from Dogen’s pitch accent series (highly recommend!). All credit goes to him, I don’t want to steal his work.

Take the kanji 登 (のぼ, climb). Its two mora are の and ぼ. Two words that use this kanji are 登り (のぼり, climbing) and 山登り (やまのぼり, mountain climbing).

The pitch accent for 登り looks like this:

But, the pitch accent for 山登り looks like this:

In these two words, the pitch accent between the two mora の and ぼ changes. The first goes low-high, and the second goes high-low. So when you learn 登 (のぼ) as a kanji, which one of these should you follow? It doesn’t make sense to pick one way or the other, because it can change depending on the word. This happens for a ton of kanji across the words they’re used in, so that’s how I came to believe audio for kanji would be more harmful than helpful.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.