As a native English speaker, I learned my vowel order as AEIOU. As such, for the longest time I would get the meaning response wrong for 五十音順 on WaniKani. I could never remember AIUEO and would write something incorrect like “AEOIU Order,” or something else equally wrong. Until now.
I finally realized I just need to remember that it all starts with “love,” AI. And then there’s an “on top,” UE. Knowing that it begins with two simple Japanese words, I just add the O at the end. AIUEO.
It was a longtime leech for me. Maybe this will help you, if needed.
Not stressing any longer because I’m getting the correct answer every time. It works for me and might work well for others hence the tip. A user synonym wasn’t practical, however, because I’d have to input 24 different combinations of AIUEO (e.g., AUIEO, AEUIO, AOUIE, AEUOI, AIUEO, etc.). This mnemonic, for me, at least, was a gift.
Thanks. At the moment for me, it only matters for my WaniKani reviews. It was disheartening to have the flashcard for “五十音順 - AIUEO Order” languish in Apprentice when it should have been in Master on its way to Enlightened by now. I always input the reading correctly, but 80% of the time would mess up inputing the meaning because I wouldn’t type in AIUEO correctly. I’d occasionally get it ranked up to Guru only to spell it AIUEO incorrectly again and have it drop back down to Apprentice. Never again, lol!
This is one use case, along with looking things up in indices at the ends of books that use that order. But another thing it can be used for is just recognising numbering styles in other sorts of books, because gojuuon is one of the two major orders for kana – the other being the iroha order – and kana are used for ordered lists just like how we use the alphabet for that in English. Just worth knowing, I guess, even if it’s not that important in other circumstances. (OK, you can actually use it to remember some aspects of Japanese grammar, but that’s technical stuff that not everyone really studies.)
I kinda ‘just’ remembered after a while because I kept hearing Japanese people saying things like あいうえお or らりるれろ when explaining pronunciation on YouTube. That aside, I have this tendency to remember things by ‘warping’ something I already know as correct, so in this case, I just told myself AEIOU is the English/French order, and if you were to try to transcribe the letter names with kana sounds, well, I guess E sounds like い. That made me remember that the whole thing starts with AI, and everything else fell into place shortly after.
I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you though!