Moral support or guidance from experienced WaniKani users

I can see how for someone of a certain disposition it would be a massive rage trigger being confronted with something nonsensical, puerile or just unrelatable when they already have learning-related frustration to deal with. I went through this too!

With lessons, if the mnemonics don’t hit the spot, I long ago accepted that WK can’t read my mind and create perfect mnemonics all of the time. They do their best and most of them are fine. I make a point of taking the time to invent my own because I know what I’ll remember. For instance, I know a bunch of Japanese words from being a sumo fan - WK as an SRS system doesn’t know or care that I like sumo, but it’s legitimate knowledge so I use it. I use WK’s mnemonics as a back-up or springboard if my imagination doesn’t come up with anything as good.

The emotional side is worth noting too - if I got too ticked off with reviewing, I step away and calm the heck down. Getting wound up and overwhelmed only makes it harder for me to remember things and trying to work through it is just inviting a positive feedback loop of frustration and memory failure.

Personally if I had a thought like “I paid so much for this, why is it not helping me more!” - what does that have to do with learning the material? So I have to put some more effort in. What am I going to do… not learn? I am brutally dismissive with those kinds of thoughts. They only serve to make me more frustrated and that doesn’t help me with learning.

Good luck!


I stopped reading the mnemonics at around level 5 and still reached 60 in ~1 year. The SRS will help you remember everything eventually.

My two biggest pieces of advice:

  1. Install this: [Userscript] Keisei 形声 Semantic-Phonetic Composition. It’s a massive shortcut for remembering tons of on’yomi readings that will A) render many mnemonics completely unnecessary (if you’re even using them) and B) allow you to oftentimes correctly guess on’yomi readings in kanji you’ve never even seen before, as long as there’s a phonetic component that you can recognize.
  2. Keep your review sessions short & sweet by showing up multiple times every single day. I usually do some reviews when I wake up, some during a lunch break, then again when I get home for the day, and once again before bed. That’s a minimum of 4 visits per day, all of which are pretty brief… and if I’ve had a busy day and missed the first 3 review sessions, the pileup waiting for me is still only a single day’s worth :wink:

I was very dubious about the value of using mnemonics to study anything. My feeling was, “Why should I first learn something that will remind me of the the thing I’m actually trying to memorize? Doesn’t that take twice as long?” But I decided to give it a shot, and much to my surprise I discovered that it works. For me the reason that it works is that my brain can remember little stories better than anything else. And it the little story is silly or weird, it sticks in my head even better. I also try to visualize the mnemonics because I’m a very visual learner. And when need be, I’ll add a personal touch to a few of them – so I like the ability to add notes.

I’m only on level 2, so maybe I’ll feel differently when I’m further along.


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