Can we get some mnemonics for jukugo words whose kanji have multiple readings?

I’m talking about you, 人. Sometimes it’s read as じん and sometimes it’s as にん. 人 is in a billion vocabulary words so it keeps coming back, and it feels like a coin flip guessing which reading it’s going to be this time.

And then when you type in the wrong reading for the nth time and check the reading explanation, you get this cheeky little text:

This is a jukugo word, which usually means on’yomi readings from the kanji. If you know the readings of your kanji you’ll know how to read this as well.

Unfortunately, I do know the on’yomi reading. I burned that kanji a long time ago, and I’ve burned a whole bunch of words made out of it, too. But there’s absolutely no way to remember which reading new words use without straight memorizing it, wherein lies the problem: there’s no explanation or mnemonic for any of them! So I ask, can we get some mnemonics for jukugo words whose kanji have multiple readings?


If you search for nin and jin, etc, you will find days of reading material on the subject.

As far as mnemonics go, you could email with general ideas as Kristen is in the process of overhauling them.

Don’t know if this is useful for most people but I find it useful to make sure you read the words out loud when learning them, that way you connect the sound with the word itself. When you try to recall the word you can test both readings and hear which sounds right and which sounds a bit off, and distinguish them that way. Alternatively you can make up a mnemonic for both じん and にん like the “jeans” and “nintendo”, then add that one into the mnemonic for each word containing 人.

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When I was learning:

兵士 へいし (soldier)

I heard a chime and then a voice said “I’m listening”. It took me a few reviews to work out that this word was activating Siri. I had never used Siri before.

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