Do you all use WaniKani's Mnemonics?

As I’ve been progressing further in WaniKani I’ve found that I have used fewer and fewer of WaniKani’s mnemonics, instead relying on my own. I was wondering what other Wanikani users are doing on this topic.


I usually do but only for the first few reviews. After that I rarely go through the whole story in my head.

Never used them. No idea who Mrs Chou is :rofl:


I use some of them. I almost never create my own mnemonics; I’m too lazy for that. But because the kanji is more complex in the upper levels, I find I’s easier for me to distinguish them by shared radicals rather than Wanikani’s mnemonics (such as 速 and 束). Sometimes I already know the kanji from knowing how it’s pronounced from a vocab word too. Otherwise, though I use wk’s mnemonics.


I use WK mnemonics most of the time. Sometimes a mnemonics doesn’t suit me and I create my own.


Well, Mrs Chou knows who you are.


I used to a lot, but lately not so much anymore. Lately the readings for most kanji start to ‘make sense’ (I probably learned some phonetic-semantic compositions subconsciously) but sometimes I still use them. Especially for exception or some tricky kun’yomi readings. It’s not uncommon for me to have my own mnemonics either, given that those usually work better for me.

Ultimately, I don’t think it really matters that much. All that matters is remembering the readings, mnemonics are just way of helping you do that.

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Some times I do and they stick in my head about 50-70% of the time. When the first real review comes around if I don’t remember the Mnemonic or virtual image portrayed by it, I make my own image/scene/Mnemonic


I’m still just getting the true hang of things, but I’m probably 50/50 - I find that it’s usually pretty clear right away whether or not the WK mnemonic is going to work for me. If it doesn’t feel right then I’ll just come up with my own, which I do feel like leads to better recall as the details of the mnemonic tend to materialize as something more personal and relevant to me.


Sometimes. I don’t need them however if i encountered a vocabulary i know. There are helpful more than not i guess.

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Just speaking about reading reviews here, because meanings tend to be easy to memorize for me.

Probably about a third of readings I already know a word for from all the anime I’ve watched (but I didn’t know the kanji spelling for that word). For those readings I just remember something like 勉強のべん for example. Another third or so I can work out from 形声, or sometimes just by chance a kanji sounds like one of its components even if it wasn’t strictly formed using 形声. The last third I skim the reading mnemonic and just associate the key words to the kanji. For example the word 際 I know is きわ from the words “key words” but I have no idea what the mnemonic is actually about. A small minority of those cases don’t stick after several reviews and in those cases I try to read and actually use the whole mnemonic which usually works, but takes a lot of time.

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Some work better than other, so i tend to make up my own if i know the default won’t stick.
I learned that it doesn’t really matter how long or abstract the mnemonic is, as long as all parts are somehow connected. Not sure if it works that way for everyone. Some default mnemonics use references i don’t get, or have unclear pronunciation, i always change those


I started off reading all the mnemonics and thought they helped a lot.

But, as I’ve progressed they haven’t always felt as “helpful”. There are more radicals to each kanji to keep track of and some mnemonics are a bit convoluted therefore and lacking in punch for me. Those times I tend to make up my own mnemonic.

I feel it’s helpful to make my memorization as close and personal as I can - because it sticks better when I connect kanji to things I already know.

I still default to the WK mnemonics though. There’s no right or wrong way of learning these kanji I think! :slight_smile:


Almost always but some of them don’t stick at all so I forget them. I’m pretty sure I will fail all the burns for those unless they are part of another vocab I remember well.

My reviews are set to open the item explanation when I click enter so I get a snapshot of the mnemonic unless I click enter again very fast. If I make my own, that clashes with it. And also, I’m too lazy!

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I feel this is the important part. Some words/kanji that I struggled with, I’ve now encountered in my reading and that just settled them right away. Makes the reading more natural, since you’ve seen it in action so to speak. (not that I’m saying anything new here, I’m sure). Still, it seems reading is the key thing holding my knowledge together.

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I do worry that making my own mnemonics will lead to me being unable to use the WK mnemonics for future vocab. Do higher level vocab mnemonics tend to rely on those developed for kanji at lower levels? Will creating my own mnemonics cause future mnemonic narratives to become meaningless??

As far as I can tell the answer is no. I have found none of that until my current level. Sometimes the reading mnemonics is a follow up to the meaning mnemonics but no dependencies on lower levels.


That’s comforting - whenever I make my own mnemonics there’s a little voice in the back of my head wondering if I’m going to regret it down the road. Sounds like I might as well put that to rest and just go with whatever is going to maximize recall for any given item. Thanks!

Agree! I heard 美しい (beautiful) twice in Kami no tou yesterday and that word I could never ever remember is memorised for good.


When I started out, I rarely used WaniKani’s mnemonics. As I progressed, I found that it was actually helpful to use theirs. For example, when I first started out, I might have used the word “toe” for both “to” and “tō” sounds, while WaniKani’s mnemonics might have differentiated and actually made things easier for me. I still use mine about 50% of the time, but I pay more attention to their mnemonics now.

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