Pneumatic mnemonics

I’ve been connecting my reading mnemonics (how do you spell that I feel there’s a p in it somewhere) so for example:

数: counting lady has been sued (すう) too much which has caused (かぞ)her to go crazy and play the kazoo (かず)all the time

I found as soon as I learned new readings for vocab I would forget the on’yomi, so this seemed to resolve that. also it has the added benefit of making really ridiculous, and therefore more memorable, little stories for each kanji

then each time I see the kanji alone or in vocab form I try run thru the whole novela in my head, bit more effort but hoping will help me in the long run

just wondering if anyone else does this, or if I am somehow messing with the process and will live to regret :scream: ?


The best mnemonics are ones that you create yourself. I have never had any talent to do this, so I just use Wanikani’s mnemonics, but yours seem to work great for you!


I’m a bit like @plantron, I have only made up the rare alternative mnemonic. For me, once the kanji / vocab is set, I tend to naturally forget the mnemonic. For those that don’t stick, well, I have to try harder :sweat_smile:
Check some of these - they might help you!

Also, not quite mnemonics but @AmandaBear is working on some amazing visuals for kanji & radicals.


that’s pretty much what i do: i take the idea for a mnemonic which WK provides, and turn it into a (short) pithy sentence. sometimes this is quite close to what WK suggested, sometimes it’s very different. ideally it includes not just meaning and reading, but also the radicals.

i don’t always run through the whole mnemonic, as that does indeed take a lot of time. but after a review session i’ll often take the time to go over the items i got wrong, see what i got wrong and why, and refresh the mnemonic.


I don’t do it for all of them, but I try to do this as much as I can.

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Aww, thanks for the shoutout! You made my day with that! :grin:

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i do it only meaning of kanji and kanji reading for onyomi.
but i end up with forgot all the mnemonic stories i made after leave the level behind… but i remember directly the meaning and reading because i used to it.
for me mnemonic only work when im at that level , after that i forgot almost all of it because thats too much memorize, i cant handle it. :sweat_smile:

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I think it makes sense to build the association. I’ve done that for a few kanji where I kept remembering the onyomi reading but struggled with the kunyomi reading.

I like to do something a bit perpendicular to that, which is group up a few (or a bunch) of kanji with the same onyomi reading, and make a mnemonic out of all of them. Then they reinforce each other. Also it cuts out English as the “middleman” when it’s not necessary, so I’m establishing connections in my Japanese knowledge that don’t require me to pop back out into English.

For せん, I’ve got

Your previous (先) boat (船) got lost in the thousand (千) seas.

Then since I kept remembering that but struggling with the kuyomi reading of 船, I tacked a kunyomi mnemonic onto it:

You’re glad you got this fun, eh (ふね) boat in Japan after the previous one got lost in the thousand seas near China (on mnemonic).


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