The system is made so that you learn it over time.
If you mean that you always get it wrong, no matter how many times you encounter it, then there’s a problem. Otherwise, not so much.
The system is made so that you learn it over time.
I’m sure others will come along with more helpful tips than mine, but a couple basics spring to mind.
- Write stuff down. A lot of people don’t, but I like to. I find writing helps commit things to memory a bit better.
- Do fewer lessons at a time. You didn’t say whether you do all them at once, but maybe you do. If you take it slower then you can take the time to remember each word better.
- Use the mnemonics. That’s what they’re they’re for
I’d just make sure to really focus on the mnemonics that WaniKani provides, especially at level 1. You’re gonna get a lot of kanji coming up that you’ll be seeing many many many many many
many times. No pressure though, the system is set up to help you, so if you’re having trouble I’d slow down on lessons (assuming you did them all at once) until you can get into your groove.
No matter how quickly you learn, you will learn. That’s what an SRS system is all about. Looking over everything after lessons might help, and there’s self study scripts if you think that will help, but make sure once you get into the longer periods between reviews (once you get an item right 4 times in a row it will be more than a few days until you see it again) you aren’t still looking over them. The SRS doesn’t work if you do that.
I’m only level 4-5, but one thing I’ve noticed lately is: I no longer rush through the lessons, rather I take a full minute+ to thoroughly read the memomics/explanation and let it soak in… This helps dramatically.
Lastly, when you end up on a review you forget, don’t skip it right away… Take a minute or so and you may recall, this helps as well.
I make notes in the bottom section on every single item. It helps me think about it and memorize them as I do it. I usually type the pronunciation, onyomi/kunyomi, part of speech, translation, and mnemonic in my own words.
Use your own mnemonics. It helps the info to stick better. Good luck!
Hey! I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with remembering what you learned. I know a lot of people have mentioned mnemonics, and that’s really key for me too. However, a lot of the level 1 mnemonics aren’t that creative or helpful, or they’re introducing new characters (like Jourm) who will come up again later, but mean more memorization for you right now. Whenever possible though, i try to act out the story that goes with the mnemonic, physically, and feel whatever emotions the story might lead me to experience. I also will try to embellish them to make them more bizarre, and hopefully more memorable.
For example, for the “big” kanji, I imagine myself bouncing into the enormous, tie-died shirt-wearing belly of a really, really big man. Then i physically tilt my head up to look at where his head would be (really high up, cuz he’s so tall) and I put a scared expression on my face (because this guy is big and he might be pissed off that I ran into him). I also imagine that this is taking place at a carnival (seemed appropriate, with tie-die) and that he is holding an icecream cone. When I knock into him, the icrecream falls off the cone.
You could expand from there or change things up, but I hope that this idea of really interacting with the mnemonics helps you!
Definitely use the memorics. It’s important that you make the mental connections in you brain.
The “crazier” or more “unique” you make it, the easier it is to memorize because we tend to remember what is STRANGE. But it also works well if it is easy to remember because it is obvious.
word insect is read “mushi”…In German the word “mushi” has a different meaning (-> female genital). So I think: Insects like to bite the “mushi”… There you go, its strange.
The word foot is read “soku”.
This is a memoric by WK. The obvious connection is that socks and feet always go together.
There are SOME memorics provided by Wanikani that dont work so well for me, so I come up with things I associate the word with what I do know very well.
For example, if you learn the word “red” and the reading is “aka”, i think of the red colour of the “AKAtsuki members” (Naruto).
If you are bilingual, chances are you have certain words or pronunciations that are similar but have a different, weird, meaning. You can use them to make your picture of the memoric stronger. What works best for me is, if the memoric is set up in a way that interests me the most.
Most times I associate, especially readings, with fictional characters I like; and I think of the meanings as special character traits.
For instance, the word “early” is read “Sou”. Soul from Soul Eater likes to sleep in, so SOUl does not wake up early.
I found myself remembering almost nothing in the first set of reviews, becuase just one quick test after a lesson doesn’t really leave any lasting impression on my memory. (And it didn’t really improve in subsequent reviews of those items, because the first SRS interval is too long.)
Now I do a bunch of lessons (10-20 depending on how much new information there is to actually remember) then use the self study script to repeatedly test myself on Apprentice 1 items until I can remember them. I make sure I re-read the mnemonic every time I get one wrong. That seems to get me to the same state as most people are in after lessons, i.e. the stuff is actually in my short term memory. YMMV!
(Use the “re-quiz” button at the end of a round to repeat only the ones you failed.)
This is my suggestion as well, @jrsun4. SRS is cool and should be trusted, but there’s some powerfullness in doing some repetition after lessons. 1 time during the quiz isn’t enough (at least for me it wasn’t at all).
If I had a dollar for every time you have recommended Self Study script haha
I do love that thing though. Works wonders
And my guide for WK… and Kitsun
Without it I would have failed half the kanji on the first review post lessons. It completely changed my game
Try to apply the kanji you learn in random places. Like your phone number for the number kanji, etc. And mnemonics help a ton.
On the topic of vocabulary, you can often make an educated guess about the meaning if you remember the kanji in them, so there’s that.
Don’t worry just believe in SRS power. Radicals and mnemonics will help a lot.
As for vocab, you will need to study it in sentences so you would know the difference between similar words. It’s going to be a lot of similar ones.
I use that mnemonic too! It’s just a little hard to get out of my head when doing other things where thinking of insects kind of kills the mood. Use with caution
In addition to crazy mnemonics, I would also suggest that you do a small relaxation exercise before and during practice. The brain is much better at learning when you’re relaxed and are having fun. The more you strain yourself, the slower you learn. Try to enjoy the reviews. I always remind myself that I get to see a word/kanji again when I get it wrong. That makes me feel better and remember it faster.
After a review, I go through all the items I got wrong on the summary screen until I can remember them for at least a few seconds. That also helps.
That being said, it’s really hard to learn something completely new. The brain is much better at learning something when there’s other similar things it can be related to. That’s why mnemonics work so well because you can attach something new to something familiar After a while, you’ll know enough Japanese that your brain will do that automatically. I often need to see a new English word only once and remember it without even trying. I’m sure your Japanese retention rate will get much better over time too.
Here’s a simple breathing exercise that you can do to calm yourself.
Depending on how your mother tongue pronounces あか, you could go with the fact that an あか－４７ makes things go red, just like the country it came from heh
Haha! Great, found a like-minded person XD
I think about stepping on a bug, and then it’s “mushi”.
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