How do you "do" your lessons?

Starting from when I first get lessons I tend to do them in pretty big batches, often at least 40 per session. I like to get new radicals and kanji out of the way as soon as I can, so I tend to have to get through like 10-20 vocab before I can get those done, leaving me with pretty big batches. I’m trying to stick to a 10 day per level schedule rn so it’s super important to get all the kanji in a level unlocked as soon as I can. I almost always come up with my own mnemonic for the kanji, because even if I already know the radical I’ve noticed poorly learning a kanji will cascade down into poorly learning every vocab that stems from it. Vocab I’ll skip a lot more mnemonics and add my own later if I’m having trouble with a word. Most important thing for me is to listen to lofi hip hop while doing it because if I have anything actually substantive on in the background I’ll get distracted and it’ll take 5 hours lol. Only time I’ve broken out pen and paper for WK was trying to remember the difference between 見返る and 見返す because the WK definitions just wouldn’t stick in my head.


Oh, well that’s easy; I don’t!


I tattoo every one of them on my body. Quite small though, and the ones on my back need to be done backwards so I can read them in a mirror - but I find the pain helps me remember.

Only problem is i’m running out of space - so might have to use someone else as well.



OP, sorry for derailing, but I could not ignore

If this is not a joke, does it mean you skipped the wholesome awesomeness of context sentences, the core of true WK experience? Did you know that, for example:

Just thinking about it gives me :broken_heart:


Read some, skipped some 251446983644938240 They’re still available in quiz and review when I want to have a look at them. I also have and Anki deck with all the context sentences, although I haven’t touched that yet

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So here are my two cents. I’ve tried many different methods so I’ll share what I’ve found to work for me.

  1. Using a memory palace I have each letter of the English alphabet associated with a specific room or place that I know really well. For example, B could be Bobby’s house, and S could be school. Then I use the mnemonics and place the same imagery into the palace. This really helps with learning completely random new kanji and vocabulary. However, the recall speed is awful and slow.
  2. Writing down radicals and kanji. I write down all of the kanji, meaning, and readings into a notebook. Along with hints that help me remember the mnemonics.
  3. Analyzing example sentences. For vocabulary, write down the example sentence and then copy it into to see what all the particles and words are. I think mark each particle with a red pen, and write the translation for each word in the sentence below the word. In addition, I can write the reading as furigana above each vocabulary term as needed.
  4. Using kaniwani Using kaniwani to help recall vocabulary for conversational use. This has helped tremendously. When I first went through wanikani (up to level 24) I really neglected learning the vocabulary well. Kaniwani is helping me fix that problem.
  5. Conjugation practice For every new verb and adjective I learn I write out a conjugation chart onto a 3x5 card and then use them as flashcards later. This has really helped with my sentence comprehension and daily usage. Thank you waniconjugation!

This is how I do it too. Trying to guess which English word WK wants from me is the fun part.


Since I’m able to go pretty much pedal-to-the-metal on WaniKani (not because I’m rushing it, just because it doesn’t bother me and I haven’t gotten close to being overwhelmed yet, and I have the spare time to do it), I pretty much do all my lessons all at once, whenever they are available.

When I started out in the early levels, I took each lesson at a slow pace, reading everything, reading the examples, etc. And I would say that it was worth it (for me) because I got very familiar with what info is available and how to find it again if I need it. But now, since I’ve gotten more ‘into a groove’, I don’t need to read everything anymore. I generally don’t read any of the example sentences now, for instance.

However, if I later find an item difficult, when trying to do the reviews, then I might go back to the item and read the parts I need to brush up on, or read an example sentence if I don’t understand how the word should be used.

But another thing I also do is put the word (or a sentence with the word) into and/or Google Translate in order to flesh-out the meaning of the word and/or kanji in my mind.

All of these things together generally help fill in whichever words are causing me issues, and then I generally am able to review them just fine after that.

As for using my own mnemonics and notes, I used to do that in the early levels. However, now that I’ve become familiar with the WK mnemonics, I just generally go with those. Only when a word is very stubbornly causing me troubles will I revisit the mnemonic and if the WK one isn’t working for me, I’ll come up with my own.

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I second this. It really helps me a lot.

I tend to spend more time on kanji lessons and their reading mnemonic because I find that the hardest section of each level.

If the mnemonic doesn’t work well in my opinion, I’ll try to find another that suits me better.

Those are the only ones that I really take my time with, the others I tend to just go through once and deal with if I continuously get them wrong in review or quiz.

I want to be able to read the example sentences, but I’m thinking I’m going to reset once I hit 60 and go back through everything reading the example sentences. I find reading them difficult and somewhat non productive at this stage.

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I’m trying out a new approach to doing kanji lessons. It takes a lot of time but I hope it’ll deepen kanji knowledge.

  1. During the lessons stage the first thing I do is write down the kanji. I write it several times. If I’m not sure about the stroke order I look it up.
  2. I check the meaning mnemonic and try to visualize it.
  3. Go to the reading mnemonic and try to visualize it as well. And I try to connect it to the meaning mnemonic, so that when I see this kanji I recall the meaning and the reading.
  4. Write it again + the reading.
  5. Do the rest of the items (in a batch of five).
  6. After the quiz I write down the meanings in a column on a new page and then write the kanji from memory (recalling the mnemonics and constructing the kanji from radicals).

It took me ~40 mins for 10 kanji though…

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Well in earlier level i did a mistake by not reading the mnemonics at all. I was remembering it by repeating it to my self couple times. Now i read mnemonics try to relate the radical to the visual of the kanji. I used to burn through 100 lessons in 3 days or less. Which i don’t recommend. Then sticked to doing only 6 everyday

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I teach English online from home, so I have a lot of free time during my day. As soon as I’m done teaching (about 9am), I do my first review of the day. I check in between other things during the day to keep it moving along. I write everything I learn on here in my notebook twice per week.

Outside of WK, I practice handwriting, and I will be starting to work through Genki 1. I’m still pretty new at this, but determined, so this thread has been super helpful for me! Thanks for asking this question!


I keep apprentice items below 100 (might go above that if I know I have a lot of spare time the next days) and just read through the mnemonics once and go for the review. About 2 minutes to go through 5 new items. I do leech training about once a month where I use more time to study what I often get wrong, and will write them down if I confuse the kanji with similar kanji, and look at sentence examples if I get the use wrong.

I also have New and Improved Wallpaper Generator as a background on my home and work computer with different fonts. This makes me highly motivated, and it makes me see the Kanji I have learned every day.

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Fully relate to the “what did the car do?” thing dude.

And sometimes if I can’t remember one I write “こう” just incase haha. His name does come up a lot.


When I first saw the kanji for winter (My IME isn’t working so I can’t type it; It’s read fuyu), I remember the mnemonic was basically “Just… Memorize this…” For one reason or another (I don’t know if the updated mnemonics from 2018 changed it, but I’m too lazy to check right now). I remember sitting there, repeating the kanji’s reading over and over while staring at it. To this day, I’ve never forgotten it. I remembered it all the way to burned. There’s great memorization power in repeating it to yourself! If only I wasnt so lazy had the time to do it for every kanji or vocab…


For me, the way I memorize words and kanji is by creating a picture/scenario that is based on the radicals, the meaning, and the pronunciations of the Kanji. For me, after a few reviews my neural pathways have developed from me creating a concrete picture of that scenario that I can name meaning and pronunciation of the kanji based on the radicals, rather than a general mental picture of what I THINK the kanji looks like, and I can recognize all the important information almost instantly. This method has helped me so much, since I restarted wani-kani from level 16 or so, to memorize the kanji and then vocabulary. Previously I just tried to memorize them with pneumanics or just by repeating it in my head, but since I am a very visual person, creating a visual in my head enables me to categorize the information and store it much better. This is from my own personal experience if that makes sense, but it has let me get from 75-80% accuracy to 95%+ accuracy after just 1-2 repetitions. I hope this can help you, English isn’t my best language so let me know if you need clarification!


For me, I’m a bit weird. I know hundreds of songs in Japanese, and I try to find one that includes the vocabulary word. I’m always listening to music, so I sort of passively practice vocab regularly. Sometimes when I’m doing reviews I have to stop and replay the associated song because it gets stuck in my head.

I also read the mnemonics out loud during lessons and when I get reviews wrong - but I involve my boyfriend with it. I was learning 集 the other day, so our conversation was basically me telling him “I’m chasing a turkey up a tree because I want to make shoes out of it, but I need to collect a bunch of turkeys in this tree so I can make many shoes.” His reaction was to burst out laughing and tell me “but turkeys aren’t shoes what are you talking about?” And then we both had a great mental image of me wearing turkey shoes.


I’ve settled into using rote memorization for new items by making heavy use of the self study quiz user script. The process is something like:

  1. Do all my lessons as soon as they come up. If there’s a whole lot I might leave the vocab lessons for the next day. I glance over the mnemonics just once without too much effort - whatever sticks is fine.

  2. Immediately after the lessons I drill every new item in self-study quiz over and over until I can clear them all without thinking very hard. This takes about 15 or 20 minutes. If I miss an item I pull up the mnemonic and quickly read it again.

  3. At the end of each day I drill all my apprentice items in self study quiz until I answer them all without thinking too hard. This includes items from previous levels that have dropped back into apprentice. Technically this sidesteps the SRS algorithm a little bit, but I prefer to give extra attention to apprentice items and let SRS take over from guru+.

I really like this process because it gives me a somewhat procedural way to “brute force” items into guru level depending on how much effort I want to put in without requiring much mental creativity (which I’m severely lacking in lol).


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