下さい mnemonic problem

I searched around but didn’t see anything that matched… And please, know that I offer this criticism in a genuine attempt to be helpful.

I regularly get the reading wrong with this word, and it’s entirely the mnemonic’s fault. WaniKani’s mnemonic is to use the phrase Coup d’état [ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː] to remember the reading ください.

When I first encountered the word here I thought, “hey this word sounds familiar! I’ve definitely heard characters say this phrase in anime before! It will be easy to remember!” And it is, except that it’s so often rushed through in dialog that my auditory memory makes that second syllable sound like “duh,” not “dah.” Schwa rather than a pure vowel.

So I rely on the mnemonic to get me the proper sound for that second syllable. Unfortunately following the mnemonic makes me type “くでさい” almost every time.

The dark side of SRS is that if you learn it wrong initially, it’s very hard to UNlearn it, and this mnemonic has led me astray for this word. I don’t know if there’s an alternate mnemonic, or if some sort of “heads up” would have saved me from this…

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Well, you will hear this word approximately 11 billion times as you study Japanese, so you’re not going to have issues in the future, I’d imagine.

The mnemonics are really there just to jog your memory and get you on the right track.

Cue 'da sigh every time you see it come up for reviews…

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きゅうださい? :wink:

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:stuck_out_tongue:

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I understand. Of course I will learn it correctly. Having opened this topic may be all it took, in fact. But I have so little else to complain about, so I thought I’d air this mild annoyance.

And really, much of it comes from the fact that the d’e is highlighted in the mnemonic, as though it matches the word… kudasai

Thanks @Saruko! That actually will help a lot too!

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Interestingly this one seems like it might work better in British English, where (according to Wiktionary) the pronunciation is /ˌkuː.dəˈteɪ/

Either way, I understand why the highlighted it, and I also don’t mind that it’s not an exact match for the Japanese pronunciation, because it’s almost impossible to get an exact match most of the time.

But I guess hearing that from level 49 doesn’t mean much.

Probably! It usually does help to complain about it.

And if you keep on with Wanikani you’ll probably find a lot more to complain about - just as Leebo was saying, due to the phonetic differences between English and Japanese, some words are just impossible to create a perfect mnemonic for.

I end up making my own mnemonics for a lot of the items that I have trouble remembering. Sometimes it’s just a little tweak to the Wanikani story, other times it’s something completely different.

The point is, do whatever works for your memory!

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When the mnemonic doesn’t click for me I usually just create a new one too.

There’s a memory master guy called Mathias Ribbing that says that the best mnemonics are usually the one’s that come first to mind, even if they are crazy or senseless. It’s like your mind it’s remembering a path that you have already walked. You don’t really need to come out with something clever, just go where your mind leads you.

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