Any items you can't seem to burn? (And solutions to overcome this?)

Typically I’ve been having some difficulty remembering vocabulary that feature the sun kanji, because I keep getting my “jitsu” and “nichi” mixed up. I’m on level 11 now, “What Day” (which I think might be a level 5 item) is still in guru purgatory because I keep saying nanjitsu instead of nannichi.

Do you know how to count days of the month?

ついたち (1)
ふつか (2)
みっか (3)

とおか (10)
じゅういちにち (11)
じゅうににち (12)
じゅうさんにち (13)

Once the day counter becomes regular (11 and on) it ends in にち. Since 何日 is asking what day it is, it uses the same counter you’d use to count the days. Therefore 何日 is なんにち.


I found that one tripped me up as well, but one way to remember this is that generally if you are counting days, it’s [number]-[nichi], not [number]-[jitsu]. So it goes tooka (ten days), juuichi nichi, juuni nichi, etc up to hatsuka (twenty days), then back to nijuuichi nichi.

So if you remember and answer, it will help you rmember how to ask the question. I remember it as “what day? day 11” - Because juuichijitsu sounds wrong enough to my ear that I will always remember it’s juuichinichi, and from there, it must be nan nichi.

WK only gives you some of the day counting terms, which I think makes this one a bit harder to spot.

1 Like


Good to know! I’ve just failed this one this morning

A couple of low level guru items for me are: 一本気、何千、本来、土地、人数、発表、口調、算数. A couple of those the problem is rendaku, others it’s meaning. For now I don’t do anything with them. I just do them when they come up, and if I get it right, great.

1 Like

I tend not to worry much about words I failed repeatedly in WK or now in Anki, where I currently do all my vocab. Though I might put more care with cards in Anki, since those I add based on new words I find in the wild .

There’re those words, specially in WK that I’m just not seeing yet , neither in my readings nor in the media I watch (and I’m watching a lot)… So if the only place it’s appearing is WK for now … Well then it’s just fine to fail those. This is especially true for irregular readings. When I bump into those words then it’s easier to remember the reading in upcoming encounters.

1 Like

This is something I did previously


Personally I associated the “what” part, or なん with Nietzsche, as he is always asking What? with his philosophy.

You can find more here

1 Like

My answer will be a bit less upbeat than the previous ones, but I there are items that I have not burned in years, I find it supremely irritating especially since I’m fluent in Japanese.
I see 2 reasons for failure:

  1. Sometimes items seem designed for failure. You’ll have a radical, kanji and vocab be visually identical, and the meanings will be synonymous instead of just being the same word.
  2. Wanikani is not a silver bullet. There are things that I will simply never remember with this method, no matter how many times I see them.

I’ve built my own app to experiment with 2 and try to find if there is a silver bullet, based on my own experience. Some things work, other don’t; I’m still looking for a good combination of exercises!

1 Like

I think worrying about the burn in the gamified sense vs worrying about being able to read it is getting the priorities wrong, in that I think your problem would be fixed by extending your study to grammar etc, as time and date counting (and thus asking “how many x/what day” etc) is something that tends to be taught pretty early. If you aren’t doing that already, that is.

The one I get mixed up sometimes is 場、with two readings that seem to be applied at random. So i have 2 different mnemonic triggers to help me remember. If a vocabulary word has a mnemonic related to "Jo"seph Stalin the I know the reading is じょう (eg Stalin is coming to inspect the theater, 劇場 is therefore read げきじょう) and if something takes place in the local "ba"r i know the reading is ば (eg when im at my workplace, all i think about is hitting the bar afterward: 職場 = しょくば).

My advice is come up with a bulletproof consistent mnemonic for each reading and apply it for any word where the two readings are often switched up. I didn’t really make trigger words for 日 because it has a bunch of different readings so I’d use a specific mnemonic if I hadn’t seen the word in my normal studies.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.