Please help or give advice!

I’m completely new to learning kanji, and I’m aware that I won’t just instantly understand everything, but does anybody have any advice for remembering how to say kanji in Japanese? It’s really easy to remember their English equivalents, but I’m really struggling with this, and any advice would be greatly appreciated!


I usually just try to use the Wani Kani mnemonics - but occasionally a different idea pops into my head and I use that. (You can add notes to the ‘reading’ page to help you remember).

All the same, I get the readings (Japanese sound) wrong a lot more than the English meaning… It always sticks eventually. Hang in there!


For me, it would get easier the more kanji you know. I remember the first 100 or so kanji are quite rough, but now it’s getting a little bit manageable whenever I encounter new kanji, especially thanks to phonetic components.

Also, I find that learning kanji not only in isolation but also in context (in pair with another kanji to form noun or on its own for verb) also helps. You can do this by trying to learn vocab outside WK because WK vocab are quite lacking.


I think the most important piece of advice would be: cut yourself some slack! ^^ It’s a big switch for your brain to try and deal with a language that is so very different. It really does get easier if you stick to it, and allow your brain time to adjust to something to new. Your brain has to learn how to learn Japanese.

Like some others have mentioned, heavily leaning into the WK mnemonics was the only way I could make any progress when starting out. I also experienced that things go easier over time. It also felt like my brain flipped a switch over time, making it easier to retain these “foreign” sounds.

@tahubulat already mentioned it a bit, and there is a script that injects that kind of information into your WK reviews. If you’re planning to commit to WK, I would advise installing it from the get-go. If you use it, you will start seeing some patterns on how certain radicals being in a certain position within a kanji tend to yield the same on’yomi. It really helps memorization.


It’s important to remember the Kanji sounds you are learning are not used in isolation (mostly). The Onyomi (“chinese”) reading is almost always used as part of a compound word, and Wanikani uses that in the vocabulary section to drive home the pronunciation.

For example, level one has 人工 (artificial) じんこう, you can use that word to help anchor the sounds for 人 and 工.

You will get familiar with the common pronunciations as you progress, and then disgusted by how often the same sound is repeated for different kanji.


If you’re not just new to kanji, but completely new to Japanese, everything will sound like a random collection of syllables at the start. It takes a few weeks to get properly used to the sounds, or maybe roughly 5 levels, depending on what pace you’re going through the lessons. Keep at it, don’t get discouraged.

My advice isn´t really an advice, but anyway. I also don´t remember the kanji right away. But after seeing for a few days in a row, I just happen to remember it. And this is why I think Wanikani is so useful. You may feel stupid the first days you see new kanjis but after seeing them again and again you just remember. And after that you will directly learn vocabulary directly linked to the kanji and it helps so so so much. You will remember the vocab quickly and reinforce your remembering of the kanji. So don´t worry too much. As we say in France, Roma hasn´t be built in one day :slight_smile:


Thank you all for your responses!! Hopefully, some if not all of this will help me!

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