Mnemonic for "Six Things"

The mnemonic is “What are the six things that you need to count? This time you are counting six cows (むっつ). The reason it’s six, you know, is because you wanted a half a dozen cows. No more, no less.”.

I feel like this mnemonic needs to mention that it uses cows because they moo. I read muttsu with the short mu, read “six cows” and was completely baffled for a good couple of minutes.

In “sixth day” moo is mentioned so this would put it in line with that.

Edit: on a side note, just noticed that I spelled repetition wrong in my username - was surprised no one had used it haha!


I may be mis-remembering the order of items being taught, but I believe you learn 六日むいか before you learn 六つむっつ and that vocabulary item does explicitly reference that it’s related to cows because moo, hehe.


Isn’t the moo a little confusing, though? Moo is a long sound and would be equivalent to むう.

むう+か = 6日? :sweat_smile:

I think the Spanish muy makes more sense here.

I can only speak for myself, but it read perfectly natural as a mnemonic when I first encountered it and stuck just fine 🤷🏻

The issue I would see with muy is that it could be very confusing using a reading mnemonic for meaning ‘very’ in the context of a counting word.


I’ve seen weirder mnemonics on WaniKani to be honest :joy:.

But I guess it’s still a case of YMMV. To me vowel lengths in mnemonics are important so the “big Kyoto” and “little Kyoto” stuff confuses me.

1 Like

Yes, it’s confusing. It shouldn’t be, but its WK, where mnemonic for readings can be quite arbitrary and contradictory between lessons. Cow was one of the mnemonics that caused me to entirely reject WK’s mnemonics around level 8-10. The idea of cow sometimes reads as むう, sometimes む, sometimes かお and even (at least) once うし is nonsense, IMO. It’s infuriating to get a reading wrong because WK uses the same mnemonic to mean different things in different lessons. It’s bad mnemonic design, especially when you’re learning thousands of them. Mnemonics need to be consistent with one another or you are just generating new problems. Interference is a very real issue.

Most of my leeches at the time were due to using the same mnemonic concept for multiple readings like this. Well, that and the standard にん/じん, long/short vowels and other beginner issues. These days it’s largely transitive/intransitive verbs. Heh.

So instead, I use a consistent mnemonic scheme where any mnemonic device always indicates a specific mora (most of the time). It works extremely well for me and avoids getting readings confused with one another.

In my system:
む - The moon/man in the moon (most of my mnemonics for the first mora are characters so they can perform actions which are, unsurprisingly, other mora in a reading)
むう - “Undead moon”. The song Bad Moon Rising is often uses as an auditory mnemonic (not all mnemonics are visual!)
かお - Bumblebee (the Transformer, which is a specific car who is also a character) distributing/made of candy
うし - A silver unicorn (う - unicorn, し - shiny)


Ha. That’s OK but what you really wanted was SpacedSpaced

1 Like

I’m only lvl 5, meaning it hasn’t been too long since then… it does lol

1 Like

Clever lmao

If SpacedRepetition is available, you can change it under the profile settings on the WK website

1 Like

Oh man just changed it since DIO-Berry mentioned how and scrolled up and saw this, what a pity :stuck_out_tongue: (edit: well, tried to, turns out I have to wait until 5th february so moot I guess.)

Sporadic, thanks for mentioning your alternate mu mnemonics and that there are gonna be more issues with it coming up; might do the same to avoid it.

Also just generally thanks everyone for the responses. Didn’t really expect any so appreciated :smiley:

Sure. There are a few threads on “Consistent Mnemonics” out there. Here is one I created 2 years ago that links to a few others discussing the process.

I realized I didn’t actually answer your question in my previous post (I forgot during my rant). I didn’t have a problem with the counting words, but here’s how I would tackle むっつ in my system:

I used “disconnected” for っ. This could be low frame rate, broken images, jittery animation, etc, as an analogy to the word being broken. So むっ would be a “broken moon” so I’d do something like "You look through a telescope with a broken lens and end up seeing 6 broken moons.

One warning. Making up your own mnemonics is work. It’s (IMO) worthwhile work, because a mnemonics that is personalized is likely to stick better, since you have more of a connection to it, but it isn’t without cost. Just coming up with a list of mnemonics for all the mora that work for you and don’t interfere with one another is time consuming. I did it only as individual mora came up in lessons.

Creating the mnemonics is also time consuming. My strategy these days is to only make WK style complex mnemonics for things that don’t stick after a review or two. For me, after the first few levels and I’d gotten into the swing of it, I found many lessons would stick without complicated mnemonics. So I do my lessons and only create mnemonics for things I’m still getting wrong in reviews after a day or two. I also read the WK mnemonics even if I don’t use them, because there are a lot of gems in there. Despite my rant, I think WK has a decent system. Just could use a bit of polish. :wink:

Good luck!

1 Like

This thread is 六日-liente