Should I use mnemonics

Very rarely do I care about reading and meaning mnemonics, but I still do great in reviews and I can remember almost everything.
Should I just stop thinking about it or should I start taking my time to go through every mnemonic so I can learn faster?


It’s entirely up to you. In the end, the method that works best is the method that’s best for you. If you can remember thinks without the mnemonics, then by all means skip them - the mnemonics are only there as an aid to memory.


You should do the minimum possible studying. That’s what SRS is about.

Now, many people are going to say you probably won’t be able to keep it up like that and the mnemonics are the maximum-efficiency way, second only to not studying at all. (i.e., they’re better than rote repetition alone)

So, keep ignoring them, until you start struggling without them, then use them? :man_shrugging:


Honestly, I used to not use them very often, but when you get to the point where you’re learning 10 to 20 new items per day, it becomes quite convenient. But when you’re at levels 1-5ish, I would say they really aren’t too necessary because everything is new. But as you go forward you quickly realize that there are a LOT of similar kanji, or kanji with meanings that are not easy to just remember through the normal method.

But yes, just like @ctmf said, don’t use them until you start struggling.

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Doing great on level 1 shouldn’t be the basis to decide if you need mnemonics or not :slight_smile:


Similar to others; I use the WK mnemonics as a fall back. It’s much better if I can anchor things to my personal experience, for example I will remember that the kun’yomi for 表 is おもて because of 表参道 in Tokyo. Tying thins to memories of places really works for me, my geographic memory is pretty good and I’m lucky enough to be able to travel to Japan a bit so giving kanji a place in the mental world is really woking out for me. I still think of uncle Joe’s toe for 上。

I’m very much in the land of familiar kanji right now, I’d been learning Japanese for a few years before I started WK and trying to learn my kanji by other means. I’m sure as I get into less familiar territory I’ll need the mnemonics more. Right now I’m using the mnemonics once I’ve failed at remembering something by other means.


There are different kinds od learning ability. I usually ignore the mnemonics or just browse them quickly. As you say, I might not get far like this but so far it has worked for me.


At level 59, I’d say you know best what’s going to work for you by now. :slight_smile:


Yes. Mnemonics are a huge time saver later on. Plus that’s half of what you’re paying for. An SRS and 8000 mnemonics.


I mean, a lot of people say they get WK because it’s a lot more user friendly than other SRS programs, and it feels more complete than others. There’s a lot of reasons people buy WK, though those 2 are the main practical ones

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That and its a curated list separated into 60 well thought out levels with related vocab on an SRS front end built specifically for that task.

I was at first, in fact when I first started to do WaniKani I even made my own mnemonics. I wanted something shorter than entire paragraph to remember the radical. After I got past the free lessons and decided I wanted to take that red pill and go down the crabigator hole. I just use repetition now. Still only level 10 now even after starting last March. I know people like to speed through this but my brain goes into fritz. I only do as many review items as I can even though I may have a hundred or more left. I know how waninkani is supposed to work but if I get burnted out, i can’t remember it anyways. Want Kani is not the only tool I use. I try to read NHK world easy. My goal is not to pas wani kani, it’s to be able to have enough Japanese to get around Japan with out buggin ny younger brother who has lived there for 8 years. It’s not that I won’t pass it eventually. It may take me several years.


Wow. I think that is up to you. Everyone learns differently. Some people can read things and remember them just through memorization. I, on the other hand, work better with mnemonics. Always have, even as a teenager. That kind of memory tool works well for a lot of people. That’s probably why WaniKani was born. However, I think if you do well with reading and remembering, stick with that. I think when you get to something you have a hard time with or can’t remember and are failing the reviews, you can always fall back on using the mnemonic for it? It will be there if and when you need it.

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Also, you are at a low level and there isn’t a lot to remember so remembering meanings and readings is easier. Once you get later on and everything looks the same, you are probably going to need the mnemonics to break down the Kanji into the Radicals and use that device to remember them.

Seems fair, thank you by the way

Honestly, there is no way I would remember readings without mnemonics in the apprentice phase, which is why I’m using WK in the first place. So many kanjis have similar readings, I’d be done for if I needed to just remember them abstractly. What I find is that by the time they get to enlightened, I don’t need to think of the mnemonics anymore. Either the reading comes to mind immediately, or I know enough vocab with that kanji to find it in there. But definitely useful and time saving when things are still fresh.

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