Mentalists & Memory Palaces: A better way to memorize Kanji

I see. Well, I must apologize if it seemed like I was trying to push Anki — in fact I don’t even use it much myself, mostly because I absolutely hate its UI. :sweat_smile: While its functionality is top notch, the graphics are… lacking, to say the least.

btw, if you want a prettier version of anki with similar features and SRS timings to WK, with none of the leveling, I suggest Torii. It’s free, has a mobile app, and there are multiple vocab lists you can choose from; kind of similar to KameSame, but KameSame doesn’t have a mobile app unfortunately. Many of the vocab lists can work in tandem with WK.

To Japanese fluency!


Lol OP’s posts summarized in a gif.


It’s alright.

I have tried the earlier version of Torii back there when it is a PC version, it occasionally crashed, and I frequently lost my work. I also tried KameSame too, but it didn’t work. I like iKnow better with context sentences and good audio. That was around I reset WK because I was getting too anxious doing the reviews.

I found that I got zero stress when using iKnow, and finding my reading and listening comprehension were getting a lot better. I realized maybe because it doesn’t have levels (it uses percentage instead), testing multiple methods simultaneously (basic, cloze, and multiple choice), no toast up/down, and no pressure for burning items. It also has a sentence trainer. So that is why I tried to replicate it to WK. I know many people here don’t like iKnow, but I couldn’t find a better alternative (I still couldn’t find one now), so I decided to get the lifetime account when it was sold back there before it was closed forever.

FIFY so it doesn’t hurt the eyes (like the Anki UI) :eyes:

I’m sorry @Zeiosis, but I don’t think you have become fully educated on the science behind UI based on your comment.

I am a UI God first, cyclist second. My field is sarcasm and as a student of beetrootology, numerology and astrology by default, I can tell you… there are intentional misconceptions within society about how Anki works in terms of UI and its crucial function with everyone to the greatest wizards, to the greatest pimps, just about any professional in every field of study. Many of the greatest hairstylists swear by this technique, but I thought I made that plain already with magician Plato (aka The Oracle of Punk). Maybe Gilgamesh, Chuck Norris and Banksy are better examples. I digress.


Edit: This comment was hidden due to having been flagged. My post is neither abusive nor offensive and was clearly received by the community as a humorous contribution, as evidenced by the 12 14 likes. I am happy for it to be reviewed by a mod if it is flagged again. After all, mods deserve to get a laugh in too, once in a while.


This made me laugh. Thank you sir.


Reading through this thread, I appreciate the insights provided by a couple of the posts here, and reading some of the other posts I would also appreciate it if people to read and consider Goal 2 of the Community Guidelines again.

Congratulations, now it has 69 likes


(Sorry to derail your topic. But unfortunately your topic about a translation for your novel got closed so I didn’t know how else to respond to it.)

First of all I find your novel “So Blu” very interesting because it is an urgent topic indeed. I tried to find ways to improve my lifestyle to become more sustainable many times (Veganism, Plastic free, minimalism, compost worms, Masanobu Fukuoka, Urban Gardening, Eco architecture…) but it always ended up somewhat disappointing and difficult to apply into real life. I am also a big fan of young adult novels (still!) in which worlds have to be saved and I love “dystopicunderground” (thank you for this word btw).

Secondly, I find the idea of translation from English to Japanese also very interesting. But it looks like such a big goal to achieve! Almost impossible, there are so many nuances in languages (I am sure you can easily find that I am not a native English speaker :sweat_smile:). But in the forum there are many people who do have something to say on nuances in Japanese and it would be interesting to hear some of their knowledge.

And finally “This cannot work without an infusion into the collective consciousness of many very different people.” made me think of maybe this divine challenge could be solved with collective intelligence. Something like a challenge to translate a novel sentence by sentence and having the proposals being discussed by others. And I don’t know how you think about it, but using your novel “So Blu” (or a part of it) for this translation challenge purpose could give you back some ideas on what is important for you to convey to an Japanese audience that could be lost in translation otherwise even if you hire a professional translator.

Just an idea, if you are not interested I might open a topic like this with another source because I would like to have a space to exchange ideas about nuances on translations to Japanese. But I cannot find an English source that could be interesting enough to make people participate so far…

They are starting point. It’s supposed to “teach you” how to create your own and then you make them custom to the max. I’ve found Koichi to be really helpful when I’m being less creative and I am forever grateful for his input. Sometimes the connections are so obvious!

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I’m sorry. I guess I wasn’t clear. The way wanikani works you have to master (“guru level”) a kanji BEFORE associated vocab is unlocked so since it’s easy to memorize kanji AFTER its associated vocab is unlocked. That’s a Catch-22 isn’t it? So the more accurately you memorize the kanji initially, the faster vocab is unlocked and the faster you can cement the information with associated vocab.

Hence why I said… struggling with kanji means… “twenty or so vocab waiting in the wings until you have finally mastered it.”

And the answer is…your memory palace and the mnemonics that go with it. This is just builidng on the learning algorithm that’s already really good for interactive recall. You put in a little extra work at the baseline and you will have faster recall on the kanji which means faster recall with the vocab which means reading japanese becomes second nature. Hope that helps.

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404 likes? awesome! LOL. who’s trolling who? Finished Rosetta Stone. Finished 85% of WaniKani. (the last 10 Levels aren’t actually big on JLPN1 so I’ve had to move on past wanikani since the end of July 2021) I passed the JLPN3 a few months back so…right on schedule. Thanks

Given that you seem to be actively prescribing this method of memorization, I’d like to see some evidence supporting the general efficacy and universality of this method that’s not just anecdotal.

I’ll be honest, I don’t really think I have any need to use this method, because I don’t seem to have any issues with the mnemonics or just the memorization in general — everything I can’t get in naturally I brute-force, and most annoyances (such as verbs) are resolved in 2-4 SRS cycles. Obviously that’s not for everyone, though, so again: any evidence?

I made another post about this, which was in between the two you replied to… now, I wonder what happened to that one :thinking:

(Again, I’m not doubting that this method can work for some people. I’m asking for evidence supporting the notion that it’s a universally applicable one.)


Wait then shouldnt you be native level already

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404 likes? awesome! LOL. who’s trolling who? Finished Rosetta Stone. Finished 85% of WaniKani. (the last 10 Levels aren’t actually big on JLPN1 so I’ve had to move on past wanikani since the end of July 2021) I passed the JLPN3 a few months back so…right on schedule.



Next up: learning the correct name of the exam.


Holy shit I didn’t even notice that


Japanese learners be like. In all seriousness I only see this in online Japanese learning communties. Never have I seen it for others smh.


I rarely comment here, but this is the ultimate dumpster fire

tldr; memory palaces are useful but don’t provide quick access to information IMO

To salvage some of this thread, I will say memory palaces are helpful. In my programmer terms, it helps “encode” the information into your brain in a more associative way; however, it takes a lot more time in my opinion. You really have to “put” pieces of memory in a physical place you know well. I found this guy’s, Nelson Dellis, Youtube channel really helpful. Link to memory palace search. He also teaches morse code pretty well.

Learning the radicals seems to be more optimal. For example, I lived in Japan for a couple of years (dropped my wanikani habit :frowning: ), but a lot of kanji I just know and don’t fully understand why; however, I also don’t understand or remember where and how I learned all the English words I’m typing.

I think memory palaces and radicals help with the initial learning phase, but some of it is just interacting with it again and again over time.


GifMeme 17082021060436


It’s quite funny how people are fine with constructing their own mnemonics, which also takes more time than using default mnemonics from WK (because it is obviously not working for many people, including me) and attacking another method like this which is also slow in comparison. For both reasons, I wouldn’t say I like both. Mnemonics construction also takes big time, rather do other things than daydreaming about silly stories.

Rote memorization is the easiest, fastest, and is widely studied. Also, I’m lazy and not good with daydreaming, so it works best.

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