Song Title as mnemonics. Thoughts?

Since music is a huge passion of mine i’ve often found that occasionally a word or especially a phrase will remind me of a song. And when this happens I’ve gotten into the habit of quickly using that particular song to help me learn the wanikani phrase by simply inserting the japanese phrase i’m trying to learn in place of the english one.

So for example the phrase ‘waiting in vain’ immediately reminded me of the Boby Marley song and so we have:

I don’t wanna MACHIBOUKEI for your love

Or for example Bon Jovi Always:

And I will love you, baby, KANARASU.

Now to clarify it’s not something I do with all the phrases but I did it just for a laugh with a couple and found they are immediately internalized so it is effective for me at least.

I think it works well for phrases and I also found it effective in maybe distinguishing some of the more non descript modal verbs that I might otherwise mix up like ‘always’. An I guess if you’re one of those weird: “I don’t like music” types that I’ve had the misforturne to meet then of course this isn’t for you. But hey ho. It works for me and so whatever works right?

Bob Marley - Waiting in Vain
I don’t wanna MACHIBOUKEI for your love

Bon Jovi - Always
And I will love you, baby, KANARASU.

The Who - Join Together
Won’t you AWASERU with the band

James Brown - I Feel Good
KIMOCHII I knew that I would

Darius Rucker - In a Big Way
I need some hanging round
My little town OOKIKU


I have used this from time to time, when I naturally thought of something and all of the times when I have done it it has worked very well. There’s a reason companies use jingles in their advertising I guess.

One example is 鎌 - Sickle which has the reading かま.
Every time I did the review I hummed the refrain of this tune, and I haven’t missed it once :musical_score:



Why did you choose to post exactly this song&picture? That is the only song I use as mnemonics (for 部屋) so far… :dizzy_face:

it’s not something I do with all the phrases but I did it just for a laugh with a couple and found they are immediately internalized

I guess, it doesn’t matter too much if you use songs/stories/people/animals or whatever to remember kanji/vocab. If the provided mnemonics don’t work for me, I use usually phrases/characters I picked up from anime/manga. E.g like the readings for 立 = りつ & た => perfect as the couple Ritsu & Ta(kano) :blush:


I’ve done this a few times too! The funniest time being when I was learning doctor, so I sang to myself “ISHA ISHA give me the news, I got a bad case of loving you” only for my next vocab word to be case. It felt perfect. “ISHA ISHA give me the news, I got a bad BAAI of loving you” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well but it works haha.

Frequently I’ve also found that finding the kanji/vocab in an actual Japanese song helps me tons too (I finally squished 見える and 正直 leeches that way) but my taste in Japanese music is really limited so it only helps occasionally.

The way human brains work are fascinating.


Because I shake it like a Polaroid picture.


チッ Avoiding the answer :stuck_out_tongue:

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And then I saw her face, now i’m a (信徒) Shinto :slight_smile:

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Here’s one I like to use for the radical 式 (ceremony)

I just pretend that the little foot on the right side is Joe Satriani’s Wah-wah pedal, and boom! Musical mnemonic! :stuck_out_tongue:


It’s not FINE.

It’s not 細かい, こまかい

My issue with this is I can’t get past the 1st kunyomi reading of ほそ. Literally just thought of this one this second so here’s hoping it’ll hammer this reading home.

評判. I’m gonna live forever. Light up the sky like a flame ひょうばん.

(for all us fogeys who remember the 80’s ;))

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突然 life has new meaning to me.
There’s beauty up above and things you never take notice of
You wake up and 突然 you’re in love。

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And the REASON is 'ゆえ’

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た•お•れ•る! But I get up again! You’re never gonna keep me down! (倒れる) :wink:


Yeah I frequently mixed this up with a similar word. 倒す I think. But no more. That’s the beauty of such mnemonics. The act of dreaming them up is usually enough to force it into your memory bank.

Yeah, they used to be horrible leeches for me until that song popped into my head. Now if only I could do that for every leech I have. :disappointed_relieved:

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Yeah damn those leeches. This ones not a mnemonic but such is the regularity that my worst leeches roll around that i’m reminded of the first line of “Sound of Silence”. “Hello darkness my old friend” :slight_smile:

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Don’t 悩 (なや) be happy.

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