Easier vocab mnemonics

After failing to remember vocab readings several times, especially when I learned the kanji with the on’yomi but the vocab uses the kun’yomi, I noticed that I was always trying to get back to the vocab memory through the kanji memory that I had learned first.

Ex. I’m trying to remember what the vocab reading for 決める is, and the first thing that comes to mind, naturally, is the memory of the kanji mnemonic “decide between hook or tsunami, tsunami, ketsup tsunami, OH it’s けつ”. But the second mnemonic sadly has nothing to do with any of this, so I just wasted all my energy and distracted myself with something useless, and I’m not even one inch closer to the answer.

In my example for 決める that’d be
You have to decide. You have two keys (き) in front of you. You have to decide on one of them and use it to unlock the door to get away from the monster. Why do monster attacks always come down to keys and doors?
which has nothing to do with the 決 mnemonic
You have at your disposal a tsunami and a hook to assassinate this person. Which weapon will you choose. Decide now! You finally decide. You're going to go with the tsunami... but not just any tsunami. You'll kill him with a tsunami of ketsup (けつ).

Now I end up making up my own vocab mnemonics which are a direct continuation of the kanji mnemonic that I’ve already memorized. When I do this, it’s much, much easier for me to find the answer. I think WK could teach even more efficiently if all the vocab mnemonics were reworked to have a direct link to the kanji ones.

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There is a school of thought that says the best mnemonics are the ones that you come up with yourself. :slightly_smiling_face:


Some do have a link, some don’t (probably) but making your own mnemonics using the one from the kanji is a very good solution, example 内 is ない and うち.

First story about the guy inside your head chasing you with a knife is pretty cool, but the second one was something about cheese, I still can’t remember it, so I just did a continuation of the first story, about the guy inside your head chasing you with a knife, then he stabs me, うち that hurt !

That’s less info to remember, and you get more readings in one go !
I feel like there should be a wiki-like topic where users can put their own mnemonics, in case you really can’t find one that works, or that WK says: "IF yOu AlReAdY knOw tIhS wROd tHeN gGOdD fOR YoU iF u DnOT It GOn bE HaRDD

決 reading changes in 決める
shouganai na ! ¯_(ツ)_/¯
some mnemonics work and others don’t. you will get better at creating working ones…

I’ve basically just started but I’m a little bothered by this concept too. It seemed odd to me that someone would come up with a separate mnemonic for kanji that are already a hiragana or katakana character (if you’re learning kanji, you obviously know these already so why create a whole new name for it?). I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m forced to learn a few that don’t resonate with me, it’s probably worth it in the long run if I want to stick with a particular course (like WaniKani) since they’ll keep referring to it that way.

You’re talking about stuff like how ハ is “fins” and not, what… “ha”? Probably because they want to avoid associations with pronunciation if there is no pronunciation connection, and because English words offer more opportunities for making English mnemonics than Japanese syllables.

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It’s entirely possible that if the vocab reading referenced the kanji reading people would subconsciously end up not remembering the vocab’s actual reading.

Do you mean not remember the kanji reading ? Or mix them together ?

Remembering the vocab easier is the whole point. It would certainly be easier to learn something already linked to an older memory than a brand new one. I think that’s the whole point of mnemonics : instead of having “けつ” in your brain that’s not linked to anything except a few other kanji that also use this reading, it’s now linked to a whole story which includes things that you already know of AND are also related to the radicals.

Seems to me like the whole purpose of mnemonics is to link something brand new to as many other memories and as much knowledge as possible so that you have points of reference to recall the new stuff easier, instead of having nothing except repetition to burn it into your long term memory. Now I might be mistaken, but if that’s the whole point, it becomes rather obvious that linking a kanji’s kun’yomi reading to its its on’yomi by linking the two mnemonic stories together can only be beneficial. Some vocab words do indeed do that (though I can’t remember any in particular right now) and I think WK would be even better if it did that for every single one.

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