Feeling of having nothing learned

Hey girls, guys, crabs and everything else :smiley:

I am having a bit of an emotional bummer!

For a couple of days, maybe a week or so, I am experiencing a bit of a “lag” in my brain while reviewing.
There are so many different Kanjis and Radicals in my brain that it feels like i don’t know them anymore, it is so bizarre!
Some Kanjis or Radicals I recognize and read like in my sleep but sometimes, when they reappear it feels like I have never seen them.

It’s really weird to put that into words even! Like, i know that 年 means YEAR but I forgot why and it feels weird! I have never experienced something like that… Is my brain telling me to take a break? Is it normal because of all the new input?

Oh… and learning new Kanjis or Vacab is really hard right now because I cannot seem to memorize…

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:


Do you mean that you forgot the mnemonic that helped you memorize it to begin with? That’s normal, and really the expected development with mnemonics.


Yeah, the mnemonics only matter to help the item stick in your brain. They’re completely made up. There’s no sense or purpose in knowing them, and they certainly have no significance as far as learning the meaning of the kanji, other than helping you remember 年 -> とし -> “year”. After all, the actual etymology of the kanji is a whole other matter. If/when you ever forget the reading or meaning, you can refer back to the mnemonic to help you remember. I probably only remember the mnemonics for 10% of what I’ve learned so far, and most of that is what I’ve learned in the last week. After a while you forget them, but you just remember the meanings and readings.

As regards to feeling like your brain is crammed full or overloaded, I recommend making sure you’re getting a solid 8 hours sleep every night, as sleeping is essential both for learning and for storing new information. Without a proper nights sleep it’s a losing battle both ways. That, and keeping your apprentice count at or around 100 for a manageable workflow.

I’ve had 4h reviews where I’ve forgotten almost everything I learned 4 hours before. It can certainly seem like that at times, but rest assured it’s not a permanent phenomenon. Just look after yourself and adjust your pace until you find something you can work with. :slight_smile:


I know the meaning but forgot WHY it means what it means.
If you say it’s normal then I am glad :crabigator:


Yeah… seems like you described my problem really well
I’ve never thought about Mnemonics being not that important because the actual meaning of the Kanji is what matters! Thank you

And sleep is Priority #1 ! … right after Food and Reviews haha

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The mnemonic for the meaning on WK is just a silly story that happens to use words that go into the elements they chose to emphasize.

The real history of the kanji is that it was originally this: 秂, a person carrying wheat on their back, representing a harvest, a yearly event. The shape changed over time.

So don’t feel like you actually lost something meaningful by forgetting the mnemonic.


I’m with you 100%! Sometimes I feel like I go on autopilot and just answer my reviews without knowing what I actually typed. For me it’s not so much as worrying about forgetting the mnemonics, but more about knowing what the kanji is. I can sometimes just recognize what the kanji/vocab is if I just glance at it but if I actually look at it my brain shuts down. When this happens I’ve been trying to stop, look at the kanji page, and just refresh the meaning, reading, and sometimes the mnemonic.

I think this may have to do with just memorizing the image of the kanji instead of the actual strokes, which is bad because of different fonts and such. I use the Jitai user script to help actually understand the kanji instead of just rote image memorization.

If you’re just worried about forgetting the mnemonics then, yeah, what everyone else said. Don’t worry about it. You got this! :fist_right:


It happens, sometimes I forget something I really should know and then it resets my progress and it kinda bums me out but that’s life. I know mentioning the reordering script is normally hearsay here but honestly as long as you use it responsibly I really recommend it for keeping workload down to improve memory. As a rule I cap my apprentice items to around 150 and the way I do it is by prioritizing kanji and radicals then do as much vocab as possible until I hit 150 give or take a few spaces. Don’t neglect the vocab because in my opinion that’s like half the point of the service but instead try doing it in the two day gap you have on the last apprentice stage and see if that improves your retention. Also try reading, that helps me when I see words I haven’t seen in WK for months to jog my memory.

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I feel like naturally remembering the meaning and reading but forgetting the mnemonic is like your brain burning that item! It’s essentially saying, “Hey, I don’t need the crutch anymore! I can’t even remember how to use the crutch!”

So, congrats on forgetting the crutch!


Amen! Totally my issue for two or three weeks now… and not that I am getting bad reviews, the percentage of items guessed correctly still is the same as it ever was, it just feels… different.
I guess having a photographic memory has its downsides :frowning_face:

I will check the Jitai script out because I also noticed whiled watching japanese shows i could not read certain kanjis just becuase they were not in the same font as they are here on WK, which made me furious :smile:

I hope it gets better

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Hmm. Check out this knowledge post:

Particularly look at what each stage MEANS:

Master: You should be able to recall these items without using the mnemonics, usually.

Enlightened: You should be able to recall these items without the mnemonic, fairly quickly. The answer should appear without much effort.

The whole point of wani-kani and SRS is to wean you off of mnemonics.

My problem is sometimes that I learn a kanji, learn a bunch of vocab, know the vocab at sight, and then when the kanji finally comes back up for a burn, it just looks weird and foreign in pink. I mean, I think it was 作 I got wrong recently, despite it having like 50 vocab associated with it that I get right almost every time. Something about the pink background wiped my brain. LOL!


Well, in words and out of words really are different things, pink background or no. There were tons of words I knew without being able to recognize their kanji outside of the words before I started wanikani. Which, well, is why I started wanikani.
I think it’s beneficial every once in a while, while testing vocab, or just reading, to stop and check if you actually recognize the kanji in the word. Because if I’m just looking at vocab long enough, eventually I stop really ‘seeing’ the kanji anymore, which is great for reading at any kind of speed, but bad when you actually want to apply kanji knowledge to new words or to writing.


Absolutely same here. There are some kanji that for some reason I can only recognize within the context of vocab, usually kanji that are never just single words as themselves. For instance, I completely forgot 試 but i would sooner die than forget 試験 or 試合. I don’t mind because vocab is really what matters in practice.


I had the exact same feeling as you. I think there’s a change going from level 10 to 11. It might be more kanji with similar meaning, kanji with similar pronunciation but different meaning, and multiple two-kanji words that use the same first kanji.

Level 10 took me about a day longer than my normal average as well, and it felt like it got tougher somehow even though my reviews weren’t that bad.

Feels much better now after a few days, though.

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Why does the word “year” refer to a single orbit of the Earth around the Sun? Sure, there’s an etymology, that you can learn if you’re interested, but for regular usage, it doesn’t matter why “year” means year - it just does.

It’s the same with Japanese. There’s a reason that the character for “year” looks like 年, but you don’t need to know that to be able to understand the word.

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