Remembering the reading but not the mnemonic?

On level 2 and sometimes I forget the story though I’ll write the correct reading down. What does this mean? I’ll do a new lesson & then during reviews I hold off pressing Submit until I remember the mnemonic cause I’m like “If i can’t remember the story now then i can’t recall the reading later on”.

What is my brain up to?


Eventually you’ll want to be at the point where you just recognize meaning/reading without a story. The story is just the way to get started. :slight_smile:


It’s good that you are forgetting the mnemonic. The mnemonic is there only to help you associate one symbol with one meaning and reading. After some time, the mnemonic should fade away. But if you feel that after you reach say level 15 or something you won’t recall anything of that particular kanji/reading as you have forgotten it’s mnemonic, you can sometimes just read it again. Though it’s better to let your brain make connections


What feels even weirder is when you can read a word but can’t exactly remember the “meaning” of the kanji on its own


I think it’s quite normal to forget your mnemonics once you start to learn the kanji itself. It’s likely much more efficient for your brain to recall the meaning directly, rather than go through the mnemonic first. If you’ve already learned your hiragana and katakana, it’s quite possible that you don’t remember any of the mnemonics that you used for them, but know the characters just fine!


that’s the desired effect. the mnemonics are a useful tool to help you get the words/readings/meanings into your brain. but you don’t actually want to remember the mnemonics long-term ^^


Yeah, like, “Oh crap, I forget this one…I unno…looks like a せい . Hey! I was right…now what does it MEAN?!”


Happens to me too. Even more times I cannot recall meaning of kanji but if I say it in Japanese aloud I remember it instantly.

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Its definitely a good thing as long as you are retaining the meanings and definitely beats not remembering the mnemonic right or remembering it in a way that causes you to mess up the reading.

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Not to disagree with the group, because you do want to forget the mnemonic eventually, but…

I would recommend reciting each component of the mnemonic to yourself, and the reading and the meaning, each time you review the item, until it hits Guru. Sometimes the meaning/reading will seem to be sticking, but it’s just in your short-term memory, and it’ll fall right back out after a longer interval.

Going through the mnemonic repeatedly in the first stages will help you later, when you haven’t seen it for a month (or five! Or a year or more, if you’re seeing it in the wild!) and the answer doesn’t spring right into your brain.


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