Getting away with murder

Does anyone else feel like this? You have a bunch of lessons to do. You open them up. The first one is a vocab that’s exactly the same as a kanji. The next one is a kanji you already picked up from somewhere else. Then there’s a kanji that looks just like its meaning. Before you know it, you’ve done a section and didn’t even need to read a mnemonic. Feels like you cheated.

Does this only happen at low levels?

I barely ever use mnemonics I had studied for a year and a half already when I started WK, though.

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No it happens later on too. Like, just the other day I had a batch with Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県) and よろしくおねがいします (宜しくお願いします)

Katakana (片仮名) was in there too at some point.

This is of course offset by those pesky super long verb ones, like 滞る (とどこおる, to be overdue) or 承る (うけたまわる, to consent).

I’m back to the point where I had reset last time on WK. I stopped mnemonics this time. I’m hoping it will go well…

I haven’t started burning yet, so not using mnemonics might lead to the turtles burning me instead, I’ll just have to wait and see.

And I’d imagine that you’ll be reaching the limits of your knowledge soon. Those okinawas and yoroshikus are in short supply.

I’m hitting a large chunk of burns in a week. I came back on January 11th at level 4. Enlightened a bunch back then. So, flexing my fingers for next week.

I think if you have to rely on the mnemonic for a burn you don’t really know it anyway.

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I study the mnemonics, yet find that over time I recall the kanji/vocab without even thinking about the mnemonic (which is the ideal, where the kanji/word itself has become ingrained purely as a visual pattern) - but! if it doesn’t come automatically I think about the kanji(s) and the mnemonic(s) for that item, which in turn helps solidify the meaning.

The mnemonics really do serve a purpose, and using either the inbuilt or your own custom ones are seriously worthwhile. I’ve started doing a lot of reading lately, and when I can’t grok a phrase quickly/effortlessly, I can often work it out by dredging up the mnemonic - otherwise it would mean resorting to a dictionary every time I cannot recall a word that I’ve already studied.

I previously did anki daily for months without mnemonics - and forgot almost all of them once some time had passed, the neural connections were just too low for visually similar and higher stroke characters.

Keep in mind that WK goes by stroke count, so the lower levels are easier for visual recognition since they’re simpler and more distinct. Once you have some high stroke similar kanji, and the only difference is a mouth radical vs a sun radical (among 4 other radicals) - the mnemonic will save you.

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I’d say the purpose of the mnemonic is to aid you in getting to the stage where you don’t require them anymore. It’s false reasoning however to think that implies you don’t benefit from them at all as part of the process.

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I find the mnemonics come in handy for particular items. Also there are ‘running’ mnemonics used for many items like the Mrs. Chou one which is helpful. The reason is that some of the readings don’t sound like anything in English so having that to fall back on is key.

But at first I usually skip the WK mnemonic in favor of my own, but if I can’t think of one and have trouble, I almost always find the WK one helpful.

Also it may help to start using japanese words you already learned as the basis for mnemonics for new items. WK doesn’t do that but I think it helps A LOT.


I can’t tell if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me, so I want to point out that I was specifically talking about “burning” an item. Truly knowing something means more or less instant recall without having to put much thought or effort into recalling it.

We are in agreement!
My second comment was more directed in general to people skipping mnemonics - not really in response to you.


What does this have to do with murder?

so now i understand what a “burn” is

It’s that great thing where you’ve learned something to death. It’ll come.

Serious question? You’re a non-native English speaker, right? “To get away with murder” means to do something “bad” and not be punished for it. He said it feels like cheating to finish his lessons without having to read the mnemonics.

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Yes that’s right. I googled to see if it was an expression but didn’t find anything. Thank you.

Sure thing. There’s a TV show that takes up a lot of results.

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