Creating better mnemonics for radicals

Am I the only one who thinks @Leebo would benefit from a long break from the forums? I mean, lots of things and posts seem to annoy and stress you a bit more than they should. And I know you know that you’re known for sarcastic and sometimes rude responses. Maybe a break would give you some new perspective. Also, you don’t have to reply to all the threads. I know I shouldn’t care but I’m actually a bit concerned about how much time you spend on these forums as your replies are almost always one of the firsts. It’s ok to take a break and come back freshened. Sorry if I’m stepping out of line with this but ya know, I care too much.


You’re talking about the mnemonic for remembering a radical? Kind of a different issue than the mnemonics made up of radicals. I’m on my phone and that link doesn’t work and I’m getting lazy so I haven’t read it.

Of course I am. まだれ is also a radical. This is the entry for ト, which talks about a toe sticking out of a totem pole.

Note that the name of this radical is not “toe sticking out of a totem pole.” It is “toe.”

By analogy, my example need not necessarily be “stoner on a cliff.” (Though that would be far more amusing.)

But we were talking about the mnemonic for 麻… Not まだれ…

No we were not. I’m sorry if you got that impression.

Go have a second look. My mnemonic was for 麻垂れ, not for 麻. The connection to 麻 was deliberate, of course.

Then the whole thing makes no sense… Because your argument is about the mnemonics that use the radicals, not the ones for the radicals. That’s why they have their names in the first place so they can be used.

This entire thread is about radical mnemonics and nothing else. I think it’s time for bed. :slight_smile:

I edited my post. The radical names only matter in the context of how they get used in the kanji mnemonics. You asked for the radicals to be given different names to reflect their real names. That is related to the mnemonics you would have to write for them, but would have a much bigger impact on the mnemonics written with them.

I’ll just point out that I don’t even meet the requirements to be considered a “regular” user here, based on read time and post count, etc.

the only thing i have noticed so far is that i am getting wrongs for typing the reading instead of meaning amd the other way around.

that is slowing me down a bit. But it will teach me to pay attention.

trying to change the subject …

How exactly is “stoner on a cliff” help to discuss kanji with Japanese people, or closer to the original meaning? It’s basically the same weird-ass stuff we already have.

Apparently he didn’t intend for that to be the name of the radical. He wanted the radical name to be cliff, but it was confusing, because he was relating it to 麻 by adding the thing about the stoner. I don’t know that that really helps anyone, since there are dozens of kanji that use the まだれ radical, and the vast majority are not related to cannabis.

Huh? You what?

I mean, I’m too lazy to read through the rest of this, so maybe this got addressed…but still. Exactly how many people who use this site do you seriously think this applies to. What’s your definition of “high level”? Most people on here just wanna read/watch weeb shit in japanese, so I really don’t think learning actual radical names is all too important for 99% of people on here.

So say the 音訓. Need to tell them you are talking about 舞, but dont know the kunyomi or any radical names (I actually dont), just say 乱舞の第二漢字 and they will understand. Forgot the onyomi for 曲? Ask them about 曲げるの ”ま”'s onyomi。There are so many ways to get around it, I see it as a non-issue.

Correct. The thing about cannabis was crazy and contrived, yes, but the entire point was creating a radical which more closely matches the meaning of the radical’s name. Remember? You put it up as an example of a radical name which doesn’t actually have a real meaning. I gave it a go because I thought it would one of the more challenging, and thus more interesting, examples of how to deal with tricky radical names.

Anyone wanting to live in Japan for any length of time, for starters.

And your workaround only works for describing kanji to others, not for understanding their descriptions to you.

This is exactly why, to put it in a broader context, it is not enough to be able to express yourself in Japanese; you must also develop the ability to understand what Japanese people say, because, as you rightly point out, circumlocution as compensation for knowledge gaps is extremely easy to do, and comes naturally to all of us.

(It’s also why casual conversation classes are a very poor lesson structure for foreign language acquisition, their popularity–in both Japanese and English–notwithstanding.)

And that disproves my point about 99% of people on here not needing it how…?

You literally just proved me right. Changing the system to fit a very small percentage of users seems smart?

So let’s say someone goes to Japan and they want to describe something with 土 in it to a Japanese person or hear it described to them. Let’s imagine they don’t have cell phones (as odd as that is). WK still teaches つち is the meaning of 土, so what’s the problem?

The Japanese person isn’t going to say earth, or grave, or any other English word anyway.

99% of all Wanikani users have no intention of ever living in Japan? That is an interesting statistic. May I ask where you got it?

It’s not a problem, not for つち.

Then what are we trying to solve here.

Just as an aside, the typical Japanese person you meet doesn’t have all their radical details memorized either, they’re unlikely to describe a kanji exactly the way the Kanji Kentei wants you to. They’ll just use the obvious meanings of parts or descriptive things “like the left part of [some other kanji]”

Sure, for elementary school kanji, they probably have everything down pat, but then again, we rarely need to have discussions about those common ones.

There are several different dimensions you could go for.

  1. “Real” names. Useful for browsing a paper dictionary. Useful for describing a kanji (in my experience people here use compound words and say which kanji they mean)
  2. The “interpretation” of the radical. 广 would be a publicly accessible building (Syphus may want to destroy that one later).
  3. Memorable mnemonics.

I just easily learned the “real” name 麻垂れ yesterday, because I know the kanji involved. Information I always wanted to have? Not really. In the WK you have to learn about the “real” radicals yourself, but for most people it is important to get started first.

Personally I would like to see more interpretations of the radicals because it is really helpful, but the benefits only start after let’s say 500 or 750 kanji.