Allow people to rate mnemonics 👍👎

Mnemonics have always caused some trouble, either because they’re the best for some people or the worst for others. Some love political correctness and others love how daring they can be. Some mnemonics make a lot of sense, but others just make you go “Whaa…?”.

Here’s a solution:

Allow people to thumbs up/down mnemonics during lessons/reviews. This way, you (the Wanikani team) will actually know how your users feel about them and better able to adjust your work towards that. You’ll be able to know which mnemonics need adjustment and which don’t. It makes your work a lot more focused.

Let the community help you.



Y-you’ve always caused some trouble!

… This is a fantastic idea. I really hope this gets implemented. It’s the perfect cross over between WK curation and community made. :+1:


Please, no more mnemonic overhauls. :weary:


They’ve said they’ll continue improving mnemonics. This way, they’d have an idea of which ones actually work and which don’t. If there’s a mnemonic with 90% thumbs down and 10% thumbs up, it needs fixing. They wouldn’t touch a mnemonic that has 70% thumbs up and 30% thumbs down, for example.

In a sense, good mnemonics would be protected.


Great idea

What could also be great is to share mnemonics with participants from your own or other language / culture. Sometimes the mnemonics used are too far away from my culture, I need other ones.

Besides English, I speak German but none of them are my mother tongue. In some cases I used mnemonics in French or German when the sounds are better or make more sense

I would love to hear from the other participants tips either in French or German.

For some tricky ones having the choice between multiple stories would certainly help


I keep making mnemonics in German. I’d love to have a way to share them.


Mnemonic ratings are definitely a good idea.
As for sharing custom mnemonics, there’s a script that someone made to share them, with a +1/-1 rating system (I think this is the one I had installed), but it didn’t have many. And I assume there are even fewer at higher levels. That script hasn’t been updated since 2015. Maybe there’s a newer one somewhere.

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I agree. Apparently it’s too offensive to have Hard Gay in mnemonics but the WK team has 0 problems having Jesus in them, not to mention that most are not really nice.
I like mnemonics that are funny or shocking, that way it sticks with me much better. I’d be cool also, if they stopped with the extremely complex mnemonics.
I think this rating system would improve wk experience.


I agree, or at least having a secondary mnemonic if the first one doesn’t stick. Sometimes the mnemonics don’t really stick with me because it doesn’t make much sense, and I can’t think of one myself.


I like it.

I would make the information of the rating not public (only for wk staff), that way users do not get distracted or conditioned with the mnemonics rating instead of trying to make the current mnemonic work.


It could be possible for users to suggests mnemonics, users could rate them, and they could be classified by language. Sometimes I find mnemonics that sound (to me) so much easier in other languages, but they would make no sense in english.




I often use koohii for their mnemonics as some of the WK ones don’t work for me (although hard gay did work lol) Having a spread sheet with alternatives would be nice, that way I could hop over and use another one if the WK doesn’t work. As I’m not easily offended, I prefer rude and un-PC stories as they stick better for me


The fact that many people like or dislike a mnemonic (or most other things) don’t make it more or less effective. I would link the need to change a mnemonic more to statistics like how much an item is guessed incorrectly on average.


Wouldn’t that simply order items by difficulty? For example, I’m pretty sure 行う will always be missed more than 行く, no matter how great or terrible their mnemonics are respectively.

I do agree that a meaning I dislike isn’t necessarily bad though. Some people make giant mnemonics from kanji with the same reading. All those kanji with the い reading with that “eagle” mnemonic can be used in some long story, so that they all evoke the same image. That’s way too confusing for me, but I can’t really say the mnemonic is bad if they’re for a studying method I don’t even use.

Do we have a thread dedicated to posting personal mnemonics? There are some scattered in random threads but I haven’t seen a thread to group them all together. Maybe it could be a wiki, or simply a list of links to forum posts containing the mnemonics. Then add categories like #German, #RTK, #NSFW, #WKmeta, #useless, etc., for quick searching.


I think the analytics might be a bit oversimplified with just ‘like/dislike’. I’ve found that the mnemonics I like and the ones that are successful do not always correlate so I think the ‘why?’ helps.

I’d prefer a very simple rating scale they can understand the community response (perhaps based on the qualities you mentioned in the first post). I think some successful mnemonics got tossed in the last overhaul. Contrary, there were references that were not universal enough for all community members and were appropriately overhauled.


I agree. I visualize this as simple thumbs up and thumbs down icons, nothing else. The data is for the WK team to enjoy, not us :slight_smile:

In here, I’m more supportive of the idea of making the mnemonics based on Japanese words. For example, きょう readings will be related to Kyoto mnemonics. In other words, WK would start by introducing mnemonics in English and then introduce JP mnemonics based on already known JP words. This is a long-term project though, and I think that with the apps and redesign… they have enough on their hands for now xD

It was my intent to make it easier on the user. People that don’t care won’t vote. People that love/hate it will, presumably.

I do agree that an integrated system on WK for any reporting would be so much better. Kitsun has it and in seconds I tell a deck creator about typos, synonym suggestions and anything you can think of. No emailing involved.


An interesting idea. ^^

The only problem I can think of is that I don’t know right off the bat what mnemonic works for me.

I mentioned in the past how some mnemonics made me shake my head at how weird or convoluted they were, but then they ended up sticking. In part because I spent more time on mentally criticizing the mnemonic.

It’s likely I would have rated those mnemonics poorly, even if they end up sticking. And doing 20-40 lessons a day, I wouldn’t be going back to try and amend my ratings if it turns out to be unexpectedly effective.

So if something like this is implemented, maybe only present the rating option at Guru or higher? :thinking: At that point, you actually know whether or not it is sticking.


As I read the first half of your post this was also the suggestion that popped into my head.


I would think the WaniKani team would already have aggregate data on all the responses (meanings, readings) and how well the community on the whole does with them. I was thinking about that today actually, that it would be interesting to see like the top 25 easiest and hardest cards out there.

That’s going to be vastly more data that’s always available rather than getting people to start rating.

Besides, I think there’s a difference between whether or not a mnemonic is effective and whether people like it or not.