Well, the title is a little, vague, what i’m wondering is, if i already know a kanji from before wanikani, or feel pretty good about it, should i still try to learn the mnemonic for it? or just skip it and use memory alone? How do you do it personally?
If you already know the kanji from before, there’s not much point burdening your brain with extra information, in my opinion. I definitely skipped mnemonics for the kanji I knew from outside Wanikani. Only potential problem I can see is if another mnemonic uses a character that was introduced in a mnemonic you skipped and you might be confused about it.
Otherwise mnemonics are things you forget anyway, the better you get at recalling the kanji, so I wouldn’t stress too much about it.
I tend to skip in that case (for example I got 庭 today, which I already knew). The mnemonic is there to help you out in the case where you blank on a kanji or vocab. If you already know it, it would just be time spent that could be used to learn another kanji you struggle with better.
If you skip early mnemonics you might not get to know certain recurring things like mrs chou
By the end of Wanikani’s levels I was ignoring the mnemonics and throwing together my own in the notes section instead.
There’s no need to pay attention to them if you already know the material or have a better way of remembering it that’s more specific to you. They’re designed to be remembered in the short-term, but they’re also designed to be forgotten in the long term, after all.
I skip most of them. Mnemonics are the last resort if I can’t memorize any tricky Kanji or vocabs.
I usually skip radical as well lol.
A couple of other people already seem to have responded, so I’ll try not to make this a rehash.
It would seem that the WK mnemonics (not mnemonics in general) work the best if English is your native language. If you have prior knowledge, then you shouldn’t need the WK-provided mnemonic in most cases. However, if you’re considering not using the WK mnemonic for a kanji you don’t know, you should make your own rather than brute forcing it into memory (sometimes this can create problems down the line). Even very simple mnemonics are better than none.
You can also try KanjiDamage or Kanji Koohii mnemonics if you’re so inclined (they’re free.)
Edit: also, a lot of people seem to be saying that the mnemonics on the later levels are kinda shaky and they just make their own. In my personal experience they seem fine, which just goes to show how your experience on the platform is necessarily almost entirely subjective.
If remembering the mnemonic feels harder than the kanji, you should skip it. Some of them are really off as well and may hurt your retention. For kanjis, try to get used to semantic-phonetic compounds so that you can guess onyomi easier.
WaniKani only occasionally acknowledges this in words like 購 but the script does a good job in helping you see the pattern.
I think you are right, my main language is French and even though I’m fully fluent in English, I still think in my brain in French. So mnemonics tend to not stick as much as a native English speaker.
If the mnemonics don’t work for me, I dump them. Nice to have a suggestion of how to remember something though.
Sometimes I recognise kanji I learned outside of WK more by their vague shape than by actually looking at the individual radicals, which gets problematic when another kanji pops up that only differs from the first kanji by one radical. For example, I kept mixing up 机 and 肌 for the longest time. So in those cases, I still tend to go back to the mnemonics to make sure I actually learn the difference.
It’s the same for me. When in doubt, I ntry to remember the mnemonic and see if I can guess which is which. It usually works.
Obviously, when I’ve skipped the mnemnic completely, that’s not an option. I feel like that is something that has come back to bite me in some cases, though I thought I had a good grasp of the vocab at the time.
It’s just that, as you progress through WK, there will be more and more kanji with 1 radical difference, so yeah, knowing something from the start doesn’t mean you’ll recognize the difference at the end.
when I know the kanji I skip the mnemonics, specially if I see a wall of text for something that should be a simple reading IMO.
Many of the moon radical words is actually a compressed version of 肉so 肌腸股胴脇 and so forth deals with ‘meat’ or body parts.
Hah, I was wondering what the moon had to do with body parts.
Well that finally clears up why it’s the moon radical of all things I wish WK would teach this at some point since their mnemonics that literally use the moon seem unnecessarily complicated to me. Things became a lot clearer when I first learned about the use of the moon radical for body parts, so I usually just stick with something along the lines of “table body part”, “weapon body part”, etc now.
Skip it 10000000000000%. I knew a few words and it’s great to skip it because they’re like freebies. Little breaks in between lessons
One of them was the classic 車.
When I encounter one I already know I give a quick read of the mnemonics and move on.
I don’t spend a lot of time to memorize it, but I don’t skip it either.