When I come across a word/kanji/radical that’s really hard for me to remember at first, I come up with a better mnemonic for me and stick it in the notes section. Sometimes I think my mnemonic might help other people, but there’s not an easy way to share it.
What if there was a button near the note I made that allowed me to share with others? Maybe you could opt in to seeing other custom suggestions and vote them up or down. Or, the suggestion could go directly to someone at WaniKani to review and see if it should supplant the existing one.
It seems easier to integrate this into the website than posting each suggestion on the community. If the button was on the website, I would be MUCH more likely to contribute.
One question is, how to keep all the mnemonics consistent? I guess it works at a basic level as long as the choice of principle meaning for each element never changes.
However, improving the mnemonic associations with elements is exactly where improvements would be helpful if one could harness the power of the crowd. For example, one of the improvements that could be made would be to associate physical mnemonic associations with the more abstract items. But to achieve this would require the crowd to agree on these throughout all items. Similarly, it would be helpful to unify mnemonics for sounds. Again a nechanism would be needed to achieve consensus.
One way to achieve this might be to make items sit in a tree (in the mathematical sense) so that a change in mnemonic would highlight dependent items. Then a score could be associated with a proposed change calculated by how consistent the new tree becomes, combined with crowd feedback on how good individual mnemonics are.
It would be an epic design and coding project, but if it could be done it would be a major achievement, and perhaps be considered a true advance in the subject of second language acquisition.
Yes my post was a bit confusing. What I have in mind is:
I find kanji with abstract (i.e. not noun) meanings the hardest. Someone with a lot of time could go through and associate a physical (noun) mnemonic with each one and build it into all the vocab mnemonics.
Similarly, I would find it helpful if sounds have consistent mnemonics. Eg い always eagle and く always cuckoo. These could then be built into the vocab mnemonics as well as the kanji.
But to achieve this would be a massive undertaking. It would be good to utilise “the crowd”, i.e. the community of all users, to achieve it. If a system could be designed to enable this, it would provide a means of simplifying language learning to, in principle, the easiest possible.
The difficulty is that a single change may have a global impact on the tree of dependencies of mnemonics. That’s why I think if it could be done it would be of genuine academic merit.