Do you use the Mnemonics or opt for rote memorization?

Hello, just wondering who here really swears by the mnemonics or if some of us use straight up rote memorization. I’m asking because I got pretty intense ADD and find myself not remembering or caring at all about the mnemonics, in fact I just read the meaning and reading and I go with that.

My first review of new lessons usually ends up being an abysmal 50-70% but by the second review, I get 90%+.


I never worried much about the mnemonics :man_shrugging:


What was your experience with your reviews? Were your first review also bad followed by good reviews?

I always made sure to review the items I learned a few minutes later to myself/with scripts. Without that, I would have trouble with the 4h interval. Maybe that might help you? :slight_smile:

Sometimes I use the mnemonics, sometimes just memorization.


I use them were I can, especially for ones where I can make an easy to remember story. The WK stories are too verbose. You need a one sentence story to make it click fast. Sometimes rote is good enough. Either way the first few reviews will be poor. I average 70-90% on any given review session. If your aim is to get 100%, you are using SRS incorrectly.

You gotta push yourself to read and visualize the mnemonics somehow or make some of your own. It’s harder for people like us to retain them but they work better than just memorizing them with brute force, especially when you advance into WK.

I find that if I half ass my lessons, I really can’t remember them so really take your time even if it feels tedious.


It took me a while to find my routine, but I think I’ve got it set now. Generally, no mnemonics, but I don’t consider it to be rote either.

During radicals lessons: If it looks like a kanji, add synonym. If it is a well-known named radical, add synonym. Else, pick one of the kanji it is present in and add synonym. In all cases, ignore WaniKani mnemonics.

During kanji lessons: Look through vocab words that use it (including dictionary lookup, since WaniKani’s vocab examples can be limited sometimes). If there’s any at all that I recognize, use it to remember the kanji. Otherwise, pick some interesting words and learn those, in order to remember the kanji. In all case, ignore WaniKani mnemonics.

During vocab lessons: not too difficult - learned some of them already in order to remember the kanji, and most of the others can be extrapolated. The hardest part is verbs which always use kun’yomi and are often different than the other on’yomi-using words I’ve used to remember the kanji. Sometimes the mnemonics make sense here.

During reviews: give myself a 10-ish second timer. If I can’t remember, just type some junk to fail it and move on, I’ll remember it better as it’ll come back through SRS more times. I think the speed is also important for staying engaged instead of getting distracted.


I used to always use mnemonics, especially WK’s premade ones. I mean, why not?

I don’t use them for vocab anymore (outside WK) and my accuracy is down as a result.

Thanks, that’s a real good idea, my problem is usually the first review and the rest go much better.


I find the WK Mnemonics to be really long-winded and they hit me right in the ADHD and I just forget and go straight to the meaning/reading

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Yeah, read all the good info people are dropping here and I’m sure it’ll help :slight_smile: :v:

I can’t rote. I like things tied into each other. I learn better with the relationship among items building up on each other.

Hope my tendency for getting 100% on my reviews doesn’t bode badly. But I’m still no where near where I left off in college so maybe I’ll be hitting my wall after I exit review material later. Time will tell!!

I think the value of the mnemonics varies depending on what type of learner you are. One thing to keep in mind is that, as you progress in your levels, you’re going to be presented with a lot of kanji that appear very similar, and only have the slightest differences. For those kanji, you need to develop a way to differentiate them, whether that’s via mnemonics or something else. That’s probably the most likely instance where I see something like rote memorization causing issues.


ADHD here and I keep the ones I like and make up ones when I find they aren’t helpful. I always use some sort of mnemonic or picturization though.


For me, the mnemonics here are horrible as they are too long, too obscure, not codependent and/or off-topic.

I either use my own or brute force ones I can’t make a mnemonics for. My guess is I only use about 10% WK’s and then only bits n’pieces.

Spelling is my issue so…god damn “う”…!


Rote memorization but then if I struggle with recalling it I’ll check the mnemonic.

I’ve never used mneumonics :slight_smile: They don’t really work for me. I just use ol’ fashion rote memorization

As you keep progressing you’ll find that some similar-looking kanji have the same readings, which helps speed things up as long as you tie the readings together but keep the meanings distinct.

If a WaniKani mnemonic is too long or convoluted, I usually end up just making my own shortened version.

Curse you and your superior gray matter…why did I get stuck with potato…