Allow people to rate mnemonics 👍👎

Good idea!

In this case, judge the mnemonics value by the % passes and fails on a given card? Perhaps a flawed system, but I can’t think of another alternative. You’re right, people may abuse the button.


What happens when people hold WK responsible for when they memorize something or not?


As many researches have shown asking people about their behaviour doesn’t correspond to their actual behaviour.

In this case, I think, the only performance metric for the quality of a mnemonic is: does the mnemonic help you remember the reading/meaning.

Rating mnemonic at the lesson stage will be less helpful than asking people if they remembered the mnemonic after they give a wrong answer during their review session. Imagine an optional yes/no question popping up after your answer is recognised as wrong: “Do you remember the associated mnemonic?”

So, then WK team can see the average item review scores (I guess split by level-based or time-since learned user chorts) and if people remember the mnemonic.

In addition, they can provide an extra survey for those who don’t remember the mnemonic. It should try figure out why they mnemonic didn’t work. Maybe it used some rare or culture-specific concept. Maybe the reading mnemonic didn’t make sense in the accent spoken by the learner.


What if the mnemonic was only rated after the item was burned? By that time, the mnemonic either worked, or the user came up with their own. At that point, it no longer matters and there may be less subjective influence from emotion in failed reviews, etc. I think a user could more objectively rate a mnemonic at that point. Rather than a thumbs/up down system such as:

  • Did you use this mnemonic to learn this item? Y/N
  • Did you find this mnemonic helpful? Y/N

In reference to providing feedback on an item’s mnemonic after a failed review/early in the process (Guru 2 or before), I agree that this is an interesting question to ask. However it should also be noted that most people forget mnemonics after a while, so I feel depending on the time point when you choose to ask the question the meaning of the answer can vary significantly.


That’s the problem with mnemonics :slight_smile: It’s like a crutch, just assists you temporarily.

Maybe it makes sense to check it effectiveness until you reach Master?

After that we assume that you forget the mnemonic and your ability to retain this item is directly related on your reading outside of WK.

Hi, everyone. I’m new!

I reckon that the data on how often people forgot the item is all that’s really needed here. I suppose there’s the possibility that a mnemonic is partially redundant and people remembered based on the first part of it but the second part was not needed. That’s a matter of optimisation but it wouldn’t help retention rates in that case.

Another thing to consider is how much the presence of the rating UI would affect the user’s concentration and retention during lessons and reviews. I always try to minimise distractions while studying.


How I wish this feature will be implemented :sob:


Fair argument. That’s the reason I did suggest to keep it as much simple as possible, even if it’s not the most accurate data ever.

For retention, sure. But it doesn’t say anything about people enjoying the mnemonic or not. It can also lead to false positives. Everyone knows 勉強 because that’s a pretty common word, so who needs the mnemonic either way? But for those that do need it (for lack of exposure, etc), the mnemonic can be bad.

I think both the data from accuracy and the data from user approval could be useful. It would also allow the user to add their 2c. A sense of contributing as a community is important imo :slight_smile:


I would really love to see this as a feature.

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The WK team is usually allergic to these kind of suggestions, because they don’t really want to rewrite mnemonics. It’s a difficult and thankless job, because no matter how good the mnemonic is, you can’t please everyone. Also, they have a long to-do list that hasn’t been implemented yet. Not saying this is a bad suggestion, but the possibility of this being accepted is about nil.


Like any other suggestion… the 42+ thing was also viewed as something that wasn’t going to happen and it did… :man_shrugging:

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I guess. But the 42+ thing was relatively easy to do. This takes a lot of hours and brain power, and not just for one mnemonic but it’s an ongoing project.

I… Like this idea but I feel like all the data is in the system already for WK people to be able to figure out which mnemonics are good and which ones are less good. It’d be fairly easy (albeit rough’n’ready) to algorithmically rank intrinsic learning difficulty for each item (for kanji, is it the same meaning as a learned radical? for vocab, are there new pronounciations and/or rendaku?) so that could be used along with the amount of time taken for the average user to burn (or enlighten) that item in order to guage the quality of the mnemonic. It’d be nice if the powers at be would do that, and gradually replace the worst-performing ones.

What I’d really like would be to have a choice of user-generated mnemonics during lessons so we could pick one which really speaks to us. The most popular of them could be offered as a default. To get them into the system we’d each have the option of allowing our own custom mnemonics to be used by others (selected individually, not as a a global on/off). There’d need to be a flagging system to take down offensive ones, and perhaps a user whose mnemonics got flagged more than once or twice could be automatically banned from sharing them for some period without too much manual moderation having to take place.

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I like this idea. There are some mnemonics that don’t really stick in my head, but the ones that really tell a story are the most helpful


I like this idea. Alternatively, perhaps a feature to add your own mnemonics, explanations/notes would be helpful too.

For example, in one of my recent lessons, I came across the kanji 海 where it said the radicals were “tsunami” + “gun” + “window” (side note: if someone can teach me how to type radicals and/or if there is WK-specific way to link kanji back to its lessons/databases, that’d be great! :smile:), but that to me was not so great at remembering this. No matter how I look at this, it looks like it’s radicals can be “tsunami” + “every” and it’d be easy to put these two together to come up with ocean (“Every tsunami comes from the sea/ocean”). It could be that it’s because I have not year learned the “every” radical (if there is such a thing, and so WK needs to resort to their current explanation instead), but just having a custom notes section would be nice for these situations.

Edit: nevermind, there is actually a way to add notes. I use Tsurukame on iOS and it does not seem to support that feature. It wasn’t until I dug around the website to see that you can add it :sweat_smile:

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deletes reply that was in the making about that :wink:

Glad you found it, but unfortunate that the app doesn’t support such a feature. O: A lot of people use it.

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Yes… sometimes I too felt the need for providing culture neutral mnemonic since I couldn’t relate to the explanation at all. O have to come up with my own variation… or end up memorising which isnt very helpful at all.

when i first saw the thread title, i thought: what a fabulous idea, this will really help to provide feedback on an individual-item level about which mnemonics work and which could be improved! but the more i thought about it, the less i think that ratings would be useful.

what would be most useful, it seems to me, are actual, publicly available statistics on which items have the highest failure rates. people might subjectively believe that a mnemonic is good or bad, but the real proof of the pudding is whether people are actually getting the item correct or not. and at this point, WK must have a huge sample size to draw from in determining which items fail more or less frequently than others.

these statistics should be public, if for no other reason than to alert users that if a particular item tends to have a high failure rate, it’s one that probably needs more than the usual amount of study from the outset. moreover, it would help identify the items that would really benefit from a new mnenomic on WK’s end. for example, there are a number of reading notes that say something like, “well, this reading combines the on’yomi reading and the kun’yomi reading, but if you already know both of those you should be all set.” that is completely not useful; and, yet, probably less likely than a “Hard Gay” mnemonic to actually be voted down. by simply being transparent about which items are actually causing users trouble, we could crowdsource better ways to beat these leeches, or find other alternatives to mnemonics that are providing suboptimal results in practice.


I got to level 10 maybe a couple of years ago, and now I’m almost 10 again. I want to say Sheep instead of Charlie Sheen is fine but Saber instead of Hard Gay for Sei is a definite downgrade.