If only radicals mnemonics were the same as kanji

I’m confusing all the time radical meanings with kanji meanings.

If only we could have mnemonics using one of the meanings of the kanji. That would save us time to remember the kanjis that come later… otherwise you end up having to remember a mnemonic for the meaning, another for the reading, another for the equivalent radical… Seems a little redundant all the time to learn the radical and then the kanji…once again. I’m creating my own or I’ll get crazy… still on level 3 and I’m still failing the same kanjis with the radicals meanings… because I can’t remember the color (pink for kanji, blue for radicals) and I do this really fast…

Radical mnemonics in WK are necessary, and help me writing kanji, in fact… but is starting to be a problem…

Extra: Is there any app or website that takes mnemonics and ask you to write the kanji? (even in paper). Thanks!

great idea. Though every kanji course uses different radicals and meanings so it won’t be very popular.

If you’re having trouble, you could just add the kanji meaning as a synonym for the radical.

The issue is that sometimes the radical has a different name because it’s used to create mnemonics for more complicated kanji in the higher levels. That’s why the 反 radical is taught as “devil” even though the kanji means “anti”. Who can forget that time the devil went back to Target to return his water slide and, faced with a refusal, turned the clerk into a hen? That’s 返 • へん • “return” by the way.


That one stuck in my mind really well too.

The radical names don’t always stick, but that one stuck so well it even helped me learn the kanji it came from better…

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Supposedly they are working on revamping the radicals, although there’s no set date for when they’re going to finish.

This is first thread that came to mind where this was previously discussed:

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Like @rodrigowaick said, adding your own synonyms to help you remember might be the best solution. I’ve been doing this for almost all of the numerical radicals/kanji/vocab. (makes more sense than needing to use “cross” at this point if 十 radical almost always means 10, and it’s way easier to type digits)

I haven’t had an issue. They are building blocks for each other and allow you to combine them.

I don’t want to learn about the kanji of a radical then that radical is going to be in numerous kanji. We are given the building blocks of kanji and how to remember them. Then you assemble as you go.

You should slow down as you review. It’s not a race. And three colors isn’t hard to remember. Blue, Pink, Purple. The lessons only get more complicated as you go.

Yeah it drives me crazy, and is the reason I gave up on WaniKani the first time, about two years ago.

I decided to do it again this time while ignoring the mnemonics almost completely in favour of my own, and so far I’m having so much more success.

So for example instead of some story about Charlie Sheen that I know I’ll never rememeber, I say ‘This is the radical that signifies movement, therefore the kanji has to do with movement’ etc etc and I try to build relationships between kanji I’ve already learned.

I also use the ‘ignore button’ add-on to ignore any times I get a radical incorrect. I just basically ignore them entirely for the kanji and the vocab, and it’s a far better experience.


also for @Compa and @rodrigowaick

Yep. You’re right. But I’m hesitant to write my own meanings. Because then I can’t remember the mnemonics that will come later, and that’s key. All mnemonics are built over those radicals… so there’s no other solution than having to learn them.

By the way, in those threads there’s a list of radicals that are kanji at the same time. They are just 20. IT’s ok then, I’m ok with that… it just makes it a little confusing, those kanjis end up being a p** in the a**. Writing mnemonics using those 20 kanjis’ meanings would have been great… (ten instead of cross 十… etc).

@Griss What I’m doing is combining the ignore script (important for non english native speakers) and the “kanji damage” addon that shows mnemonics from there. But the radicals are different…
In fact some mnemonics… I like them better: moo cow = ム …which is MU in katakana. Helps a lot.

Sheen is used for し though and this comes up A LOT. it’s much easier to remember one device that will be used over and over than creating your one for each thing. There is a method to the way things are done, it isn’t just picked abstractly, it’s all weaved together to help you remember more easier.

edit: Obviously, do whatever works for you… but being in such an early stage, I just don’t recommend writing off their way of doing things quite yet.

You can just use your own over and over again the same way WK does. That’s what I do for some of mine.

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I JUST got that one this level. So funny. My favorite is “Heesa very scary raptor, but weesa safe because heesa trapped in the cage for a long time!” (久 • ひさ • “long time”)


I personally gave up on mneumonics after like level 2, I found them causing more confusion than anything, and some radical names end up even more confusing, so I usually use my own names. It’s easier to just start looking for which radicals make up which kanji. Also add synonyms for basically all radicals to their kanji equivalent if they have one, such as cross being ten.

I don’t do particularly great on reviews at first but the vast majority of kanji tend to stick within a week or so, and it eliminates the step of equating a kanji to a bunch of english words that are often completely irrelevant to the underlying meaning.

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Yep. You’re totally right…

I find mnemonics useful to writing kanji, which I would like to learn too. But nothing else… I guess I have to go on and try to see if his works… or not… but I have to learn many things for each kanji, too much…

Man, I just can’t remember f* Jar Jar when I see the raptor cage. I just can’t LOL

I’ve found you start to notice certain radicals in kanji that make things easier, like the kanji for “gold” is in basically every metallic kanji, or anything with “drop/tsunami” in it tend to be water or liquid related. There’s a ton of them, and it’s the same for readings, certain kanji tend to be used to give a kanji their onyomi readings like the kanji for raw/life tends to be in things that read as “sei”. As bizarre as kanji are, there is a lot of order in them from chinese.

Anyway it gets easier, even if frankly reviews get really tedious after doing this for 2 years.

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I know :slight_smile: Before coming to WK i passed three kanken official exams (300 kanji). But I’m learning new ones here… I’m ok with the levels, which are not the official levels on schools. But yes, I see similarities. IT’s just annoying to learn three items that are the same (kanji and radical and vocab) with the same meaning, reading and the radical is just different… but it’s ok.

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