I don’t read the meaning(reading) explanations?

I’m lazy as I’ve mentioned in some of my other posts and I can’t be bothered to read any explanations… I don’t know if this is bad because many people say explanations help to remember the subtle change in kanji such as 持つ and 待つ . To be honest I’m bad at this and mess up frequently. Should I read the explanations ,but for some reason I think if I don’t have to rely on a sentence to work out what it means it would be better. I’m not sure… Please help me.



The mnemonics aren’t intended for long-term use. In context, there’s not often going to be much ambiguity anyway - consider the following sentences:


Regardless of how often you confuse 持つ and 待つ, it’s fairly clear those sentences don’t mean “I’m holding a bus” and “please wait for my bag”.

That said, when there is ambiguity, the mnemonic can help. You can make your own menmonic if you like. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you have something that lets you recognise which is which. WK’s mnemonics can help with that until they become so ingrained you have more trouble remembering the mnemonic than the correct meaning and reading.

This is also where not letting yourself think for ages on the meaning or reading of a kanji comes in. If you’re relying on a mnemonic long-term, that means you’re memorising the mnemonic moreso than you’re actually learning the kanji. But just for the first few stages of the SRS, it really won’t matter much.

I can definitely agree with at least trying to learn a kanji without the mnemonics at first - it’s what I do as well, also because the mnemonics get increasingly bizarre and hard to remember as I go along - but if a mnemonic is what helps you distinguish very similar kanji, there’s nothing wrong with that.


Sometimes I can’t be bothered to read them either, but that’s mainly because I’ve already learned most of the stuff already (only just started WK and trying to catch up).

I mean you’ve learned the radicals that appear in 持 and 待 already.
I see the radical for “fingers” in 持つ so I can easily piece together that it must be “to hold”, as you do that with your fingers/hand.

And 待つ has the radical for “loiter” and from there it’s easy for me to differentiate these two. So maybe approach them by radicals and break Kanji down this way. Make up your own mnemonics if WK’s don’t help you or you don’t want to read them.

If you feel like you don’t need these explanations and can memorize them just by their translation: skip them. If you find yourself struggling with a Kanji or Vocab and always answer incorrectly, just read them and maybe they give you a more conrete idea or mnemonic that helps jump your memory in later reviews.


If you’re able to get your brain to distinguish between kanji enough so that you can tell them apart reliably when you’re putting that knowledge to use (e.g. learning vocabulary, reading in context, etc.) then go ahead and skip the explanations. It really depends on your approach to learning Japanese and what your goals are.

Personally I wouldn’t skip the explanations and example sentences because it’s extra input at the point where you’re already putting some effort in anyway.


待 on the left has two slashes… think of it as two legs… so we are standing to wait for something.
持 on the left is hand… think of it as you use your hand to carry something.


On reading, especially in longer sentences, it’s easy to confused between the two, even with mnemonics and disambiguation.

However, on writing, or even IME, knowledge of radicals, whether real/original ones, WaniKani-made, community-made / your-own-made, should help differentiate a lot.

I am used to creating mnemonics as well. Regarding 待 and 持, WaniKani’s work very well. Left hand side of 待 appears to be short form of 行, in addition to WaniKani-taught loiter.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.