Do you still remember the mnemonics of Kanji/Vocab?

Hey there,

I´ve been doing Wanikani for quite some time now, so I naturally learned a lot of Kanji and vocabs. I recently thought about the mnemonics that are used, and realized that I forgot almost all of the mnemonics of the past levels. I usually just remeber the ones from my current level. I sometimes don´t even use the mnemonics when the story doesn´t make sense, or if there are a lot of english words I don´t know (not native egnlish speaker). I still remember most of the Kanji and vocab + reading from the past levels, so I guess I don´t need the mnemonic to remeber the meaning on the long term. I was just wondering if it´s the same for you guys and you remember the meaning by the looks of the Kanji, or do you still think about the mnmonics when you do your reviews or read a book in Japanese?


The idea of a mnemonic is to help you remember with the mnemonic eventually giving way to actual memorisation.

It’s a sign you’re doing well that you don’t need to use the mnemonic to remember.


Is the same for me too, i hope thats fine :eyes:

ohh ok, good to know
thanks :slight_smile:

For me, I just thought about the mnemonics until maybe apprentice 3. Beyond that, the reading and meaning seem to “pop into” my brain. Like a bypass. And post guru, I sometimes forget the mnemonic but can still remember the word.


Yes! Think of them like a crutch that you use until you can stand on your own.


Like most have said, I really only need the mnemonic when I’m just starting to learn a new kanji. Then, it just becomes automatic in the brain. The human brain does this because it’s more efficient and takes less processing effort. It’s amazing, isn’t it?


As others stated, generally you will forget the mnemonics once you get far enough along. I find that by the time I Guru 2 something, it’s generally gone or some ephemeral thing that reminds me of the reading but I can’t remember the particulars. As in, I know this character is ichi and I know it means 1, and I vaguely recall it having some story about ground (because I recall the radical) but that’s about the most I ever get.

Now, my leeches? These seem to be the ones that no matter how many times I read the mnemonic, write down the character, speak the reading, it just doesn’t stick at all. In these cases, I’d give a dollar to remember the mnemonic if it meant I could Guru the dang thing! :smiley:

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I feel like the main reason mnemonics go away are vocabs. They give you things you can relate to (if that is the right expression to use here) and are a lot more efficient, especially when you need to remember the reading, because remembering just one word is a lot easier than a story that sometimes even makes no sence. Besides each word usually has 2 or more kanjis, so it can come in handy several times.


At this point, I pretty much forget the mnemonics after it gets out of Apprentice but that’s something that I think I’ve picked up after doing WK for so long.


I agree. I feel like I also have changed a bit how I do memorize the items here on WK. You get into a routine for how to do lessons and what works for you.

The mnemonics are definitely a part of that, but not the only piece of the puzzle. I use different methods for different items. The more a kanji resembles other kanji - the more I rely on mnemonics. The more unique visually, the less I do so.

@Captum In the end, for me, they’ll all become something I just visually know the readings/meanings of. Just as it is with the oldest items I know - person, music, see, etc. The longer time you wait, the more they just become a single symbol representing meaning (and then mnemonics are just not required or useful to you anymore).


Yeah, one thing that can’t help but pick up as you learn more Kanji is the phonetic component.

I got 覆 the other day and I was 90% sure it was ふく and 10% worried it was よう. :joy:

Spoiler: It was ふく. And I didn’t even need the mnemonic because I knew 復 (recovery) and it’s just that with a net on top. With the meaning of “capsize” it kinda made sense in my head and I moved on to the next item pretty quickly.

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