Best resource you've used for drilling specific one's your struggling with?

I know there’s the “recent mistakes” tab but I find that doesn’t help as much. Especially when it’s cases like maybe 体 & 休, I know one means body and one means rest but I’m forgetting which one is which specifically. Or 当たる & 当てる, maybe I know one means to guess and one means to be right but I can never seem to remember and need something to drill those two in a more controlled setting. Is there any resource that’s good for drilling stuff quickly and without much hassle? I know I could obviously get this done in Anki but typing everything in and sorting them into decks and potentially making mistakes myself when putting in the info, I’d rather use an already made resource.

If there’s nothing else out there I’ll do it, I just figured I’d ask if someone made something like this already aside from a basic flashcard app.


From my experience it more helpful to understand the principle your missing behind the items you can’t pin point which is which than to drill them, that way you’d be able to use the same principles for future pairs.
With verbs reading The Definitive Guide to WaniKani's Transitivity Pairs may help you identify the meaning using the verb structure.
Combine these with a phrase that is meaningful for you which will put it in context and you’ll be able to use it every time you see a verb. It can be something someone says in an anime, a tv show, a song, a book whatever works for you. Better than drilling, since it gives meaning and purpose to the structure itself.

As for the 体 and 休 and other similar to kanji, the problem usually stems from either not taking enough time to pay to details when doing the lesson and perhaps not clicking with the mnemonics, or not being exposed to enough Japanese in the wild. If you look at those particular couple one has the book radical and one has the tree radical, the different between the is one little extra stroke. So the question is what will work best for you - associating the difference to the number of strokes, the radical meaning or perhaps a word that one of them build and you do remember. Some leeches need more attention to details, some leeches will sort themselves while you read some leeches won’t and that is also okay.
Drilling without exploring if there is an actual reason for your inability to distinguish similar looking words/kanji will cement bad learning habits something that many independent language learners suffer from myself included.


Honestly, I don’t think there’s really an answer to this resource question, as I think it’s pretty personal. After all, no one else can cram information into our brains for us. So it has to be us finding a way to do that for ourselves, and what’s memorable to one person is forgettable to another. So I just go one by one and work at it until I find something that sticks.

Your example is a really good one for a lot of reasons:

While I agree that it’s helpful to see these “in the wild”, recognizing that one is “body” and one is “rest” in the context of everyday usage doesn’t necessarily mean we really know them (there will usually be “clues” surrounding them: I can recognize a common word in one place, yet not recognize one of the same kanji in another); and, I’d argue that, for the purposes of learning kanji in general, deep-diving on these and others that are visually similar at a glance will pay off in the long run.

My approach would be something like this (at this point – your mileage may vary):

体 = 人 + 本

Just on its face, a person and book suggests something tangible, which may be memorable enough. But In Japanese, I see and hear this word a lot:

本人 (ほんにん)

That’s something like “the person themselves”, which even more directly suggests…a body.

On the other hand, there’s a significant difference here:

休 = 人 + 木

Rather than a book there’s a tree with the person. Personally, I imagine someone leaning against a tree to rest in its shade.

Now, you may be thinking all of this sounds like a lot of time and effort (and long-winded explanation!) to differentiate between two kanji, but…that’s actually kind of the point: you’re much less likely to forget after this, because your brain is repeatedly being exposed to more varied information about it. Also, paying attention to the tiny difference in this case will apply to many others as well. :wink:

WaniKani is great, and you’ll likely find that for some kanji, seeing them over and over is enough for your brain to remember them. But increasingly the differences will be more subtle, so it’s helpful (and perhaps critical) to slow down on ones you’re having trouble with to soak up more information. WaniKani has great example sentences and other detail for each item already, but other resources may help with particularly un-sticky kanji. I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

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