Do I Need to Think Tacos?

In my enthusiasm I may have missed the part about how particular sounds were always going to rely on a particular mnemonic–I certainly remember mean Mrs. Chyou, and a few others, but for instance I completely missed that “ta” should be tacos, and had come up with other mnemonics (e.g. I thank Kara, the keeper of the treasure house, for letting me visit. Ta Kara!) instead.

I’ll go with tacos for new vocabulary, but is there any compelling reason to have to go back and “rethink” what I’ve learned for old “ta” words? I don’t want it to come back and bite me in future levels.


I just did 宝 (たから), pretty sure the mnemonic didn’t use tacos! It was something about how people with lots of treasure like to boast, they’re real talkers, like the sun god Ra.

It’s a good question, though, and I’d also like to know the answer! When I come up with a different mnemonic than WK’s, I actually sometimes like to learn them both. I figure it can’t hurt, and I’ve found that one of the mnemonics ends up being more “vivid” in reviews anyway.

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The aim of WK is to remember kanji and vocab. Whatever works is the way to go. It can’t be wrong if you walk away knowing the material.

Sometimes I used WK mnemonics if they stuck well. Other times I used personal mnemonics for the same on’yomi sound.


Oh that’s good to know–it isn’t always tacos even for WaniKani. So then it doesn’t need to always be tacos for me (I mean, I like tacos, but there’s a limit to how many I want to think about. Except when I’m thinking about the word “many” …)


At one point, you shouldn’t have to rely on the mnemonics anymore, anyway. That’s why I don’t think you have to worry about getting confused in future levels. If you see the kanji used often enough, you will at some point automatically associate it with the た reading. The mnemonic is more of a device to help you get to the correct reading if you forgot it, and to cement the reading in the beginning, but not something that you’re still going to think about in a few years’ time.


I also feel that at a certain level I started to just get the hang of learning stuff without much help from the mnemonics. I still read them to see if any particularly help stick something in my head but otherwise I feel you will have less and less trouble the further you go.


Oh, one thing I’ve found to work surprisingly well is using other Japanese words as mnemonics! Sounds weird but I think it really does help. For example, I have a mnemonic about a cute (かわいい) girl washing in a river 川 (かわ), her skin 皮 (かわ) wet and glistening. All the words kinda reinforce each other!

Obviously I don’t know the pronunciation for a whole lot of Japanese words yet, but I have picked up a few, and I like to link any new words WaniKani teaches me that have the same pronounciation in my mind. It’s early days, but I’m pretty confident it’s a good method!


Just came here to say that Tacos are always a good idea

But yeah, if that particular mnemonic doesn’t work for you, you can always use your own


Oh I like that, I might try doing that as well!

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@abertssquirrel tacos


At one point, you shouldn’t have to rely on the mnemonics anymore, anyway

I’m at level 5, and you’re right, it’s already the case for lots of words/kanji … I just know how to pronounce them, and would have to exert extra effort to try to remember what weird association I had for them at the time. (And then there are words like “outside” for which I will never, never forget sticking my evening toe outside to see if it’s warm enough to stroll).

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I started with my own for those, but ended up switching most to the default WaniKani ones as its easier to just remember one thing for a sound. Example, TA = Tacos, SHA = Shaman, etc.

However I do use a hybrid of Kyo Kusanagi and Kyoto for the KYO sounds.

Outside is basically Evening + Toe (which could look like a dude practicing martial arts outside). It sounds like GAI from Naruto.

IMO, using the same mnemonic all the time for some sounds mostly matters if you want to associate them with each other in a super-mnemonic. Let’s use れい to show what I mean.

“What a cold spirit! For example, he had zero gratitude after I gave him my ray-gun and just started shouting orders at me!”

Ray-gun : WK mnemonic
Cold : 冷
Spirit/Ghost : 霊
Example : 例
Zero : 零
Gratitude/Thanks : 礼
Order : 令 (This one barely looks like the WK font…)

6 mnemonics in 1, and if for instance you can’t remember if 命 is the めい or the れい of
めいれい, you could remember “fate” is not part of the れい mnemonic.

I know my example isn’t very beginner friendly and しょう or こう would have been better for the beginning levels, but I didn’t want to write a 3-page essay. :man_shrugging:

This is actually one of the few mnemonics that I really needed for association :smiley:
It was introduced with the kanji 他 I think.
I missed the introduction of plenty others as well though, especially with known kanji I skipped through. And some just don’t work for me as non-english-native. Come to think of it, tacos are not something I have tried, nor can I think of a place that sells them off the top of my head.

I got into a car accident once when I was thinking about tacos for lunch. Drove right into a curb…it was an expense fix. Forgot if I ever ate the tacos that day.



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