Mnemonics that make you remember the wrong sound

WaniKani’s mnemonics are mostly helpful, but every once in a while, the mnemonic is actively harmful because if you think of the mnemonic, even accidentally, it will make you think of the wrong sound. Your brain is poisoned by the mnemonic rather than aided by it.

Here’s the example I just ran into: 他所

The pronunciation is よそ, however, the mnemonic is “you saw” (ゆさ) which is not the correct reading.

Please change these!


In addition, IIRC they only recently changed the suggested pronunciation to よそ.

But I find that making up my own mnemonics often (usually?) serves me better than trying to use the WK mnemonics to begin with.


Made worse when you’re British


You’re basically saying that most WaniKani mnemonics are unhelpful. OK, but that’s not really actionable feedback. My feedback is constructive criticism that can be addressed to provide a better experience for everyone.

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The mnemonic for 疑う - うたがう - to doubt, is so absurd that I remember it more for being absurd than the mnemonic itself.

" There’s reason to doubt that you can teach an uni Tagalog (うたが), but once you try, it’s actually not that hard. They’re very good listeners after all."


… or when you’ve been drilled RP at school. I sometimes feel like I am learning WaniKaninglish as a bonus language :joy:


Hah, I even had this problem back when I was learning kana. First pages of Genki “So えい is pronounced like ehh”

Me, 1 year ago: Is that the canadian ehh or the unsure ehh?


Isn’t it pronounced like A, the letter?

That is also apparently how the Genki authors must pronounce “ehh” to have used that as their example. (But it’s certainly not how I would pronounce “ehh”)

Hi there! We actually have an open ticket to look at that mnemonic along with a few others in that category. It’s on our list, in other words.


You don’t usually pronounce えい as “ay”, though. :thinking:

It’s more like a long vowel.

Huh, I read it as たしょ and got confused how “you saw” is a mnemonic for that :man_shrugging:


I do not think that @servette was saying that at all. There is no mention of the default mnemonics being bad or unhelpful, only the mention that they find making up their own is more effective/better for them specifically.



Reading: ひょう
Mnemonic: “Heyo!” (へよ)

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If you’re not married to using WK, has user made mnemonics that get up and downvoted, so you’d be more likely to find ones that are closer to the Japanese pronunciation and even made by non Americans. There’s also grammar, writing, and production practice, unlike WK. You can also listen to some/many vocab words in the context of a sentence. I don’t think that feature is paywalled, but I could be wrong.


This also happens to me sometimes too with some of them. It is the wrong sound.

Oh that’s interesting, I remember this from my last go up the mountain 5 or so years ago and the reading for this was definitely given as たしょ…

A recent mnemonic used the phrase “cock your head” to remind me of the reading かく. “Cock” would be much closer to こく in the UK, so I ended up remembering it by imagining a very American person with an exaggerated accent cocking their head.


I tried Renshuu once and dropped it (not a quality issue, I was just doing the standard new-learner thing of drowning myself in a billion apps rather than focusing on anything), but they have permanently cursed me with “月= amogus”. 棚? Two amoguses (amogi?) trying to get something off the shelf. 明? An amogus staring at the sun (very bright)! I cannot forget, but neither do I wish to remember. At least it hasn’t made me remember anything wrong.

More on-topic: 備える’s mnemonic using ‘sauna’ for そな is fine, I guess, but the かく for ‘cock’ thing already makes me overcorrect Wanikani’s mnemonics, so I keep remembering it as さな. My outrage at being forced to double-overcorrect myself helps me remember a little, at least.