Confusing mnemonics for reading, example

I’ve noticed a few mnemonics for the readings that seem counterproductive. Here is the latest - regarding the reading for 粗い (coarse) -

The most coarse thing you can think of is a rock (あら). You rubbed it on your face and it was really rough and kinda painful. You probably shouldn’t be rubbing a rock on your face, actually.

If i recall ‘a rock’ i would naturally recall the reading ’あろ’’ ? Or maybe Americans pronounce it ‘Rack’ ?

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The vowel sound in “rock” is definitely more like あ than お to me.

Isn’t this basically the かく and “cock” thing again?



I found another…

まぼろし mob/mahb of roshi

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Oh ok ! out of interest, are you american?

Yes - I suppose it is - and 挟 reading mnemonic

Probably even more of a problem for be, because I also have a regional accent !

Yes, I am.

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There’s way too many examples like that.
When that happens I just don’t even bother with the WK mnemonics, which is honestly probably most of the time.

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This is a problem for non-English speakers as well.

Like you, I do skip a lot of mnemonics like this. I wished there was some way around it, but I don’t see how (considering how many different countries we all come from here on WK…>_> ).

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When I find a mnemonic like that I just memorize cock == かく and this gets the mnemonic back on track. Memorizing such equivalences is easy enough for me.


Speaking with a british accent, I have this issue too. I just pretend I’m a hollywood actor, and pronounce accordingly…


not an American, but I thought it was pronounced sa “rack” too

I got focused with mnemonics for りょう too, since WK used row for that. I read row as “rou” and never as “ryo”. Please enlighten me if some accent actually read row as ryou or close to that

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I think it is close enough to be useful, what I find problematic is that they also use rock to recall the りょく reading.

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Yeah - I guess if I put on my best american accent - I kind of get it now. ha.

Yep - another one which is a bit of a stretch - although weirdly I don’t seem to get ryou and rou mixed up :thinking:

I do think it would be useful to stick to one English word equivalent per meaning maybe. But i guess ‘ryou’ is a bit of a tricky one ! I find myself using characters alot, and also people I know. For instance any ‘jyou’ relates to a guy i used to know called Joe, and any ‘jyo’ relates to my former bosses wife, of the same name.

I immediately changed that Jourm farmer to “Big Joe”! Personally, I don’t have too much trouble recalling “over-pronounced” words (if that is a thing), like row=ryou, joe/jourm=jyou, go=gyou 'cos I usually remember that I have to add something (and in these particular cases, there is a pattern). But it does happen to me with some mnemonics that I don’t remember if they refer to the spelling of the word or the way it is pronounced, and it is worse if, as with this case of the rock, they change “the logic” between two items. Many can definitely be improved… But well, if they bring you close to reading, I think that’s fine.


from what i could find online it seems that in american english rock, mob etc is pronounced with a long a sound, while in british english it is pronounced with an o sound (according to a few dictionaries and googles pronunciation tool) so that seems to be a BE/AE thing, and since WK has a largly american audience it chose the american pronunciation (I’m not an English native speaker, but have been learning British English basically since i was 2 years old, so these examples are really annoying for me, and when I’m finally able to recall them correctly, I usually do that by remembering that they DON’T sound like the mnemonic says they do)

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First thing that comes to mind is 保つ. The kanji is read as “たも”, but because the story talked about tomatoes, I instead remembered it as “とま”.


My accent is closer to British than American, so I would face the same problem.

Why not come up with something on your own? It’s pronounced あらい, isn’t it? You can use expressions of surprise (and anime memes) for this:

You reach out to touch the shiny snout of an orca, expecting silky bliss. However, it was rough.「 あら!」you shout in surprise.「あらーーい!」

Sorry if this sounds really otaku, but with this mnemonic, you strengthen your memory of a Japanese expression and you memorise a new vocabulary word too. Who needs English anyway? :stuck_out_tongue:

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yeah - same here ! I actually just had a strong flashback to the old mnemonics for 客 -

‘Another part of the guest ritual is to eat Kia cookies (きゃく). Yes, Kia cookies. Kia, the Korean manufacturer of cars makes cookies. Now you must eat them.’

that was a weird one ! haha

Haha - i like this ! maybe that is the one for me. I have failed the first review for this, but hopefully the next one i do, this will help :slight_smile:

As for making up my own - yeah, in fairness i tend not to rely too heavily on the provided mnemonics nowadays. Generally i have my go to English words / names / concepts with correspond to each sound, and fit the story around that. A rock for あら just seemed especially far fetched - but now i know its the fault of my northern English accent :rofl:

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I just associated 粗い with 荒い and remembered it this way. Many of WK’s mnemonics on later levels didn’t work for me.

The worst mnemonic for me is “saw” for さ. Really? Do Americans read saw like that?!

(I think it sounds like そう)

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