Tricks to memorising kana-only words?


So after getting to lvl 60 in Wanikani, I’ve been creating my own Anki lists from unknown words while reading short novels. I will usually create my own mnemonics, as I have found this method really helps me remember things. However, when I come across kana-only words ie. ぐにゃり, じりじり etc. there are no kanji in these words and it’s taking forever to commit to memory.

My question is, what are some good tricks to memorisng these kana-only words?


I think memorizing them as part of a sample sentence tends to work ok for me. Especially with audio like the core decks


I am doing Onomato Project, which is totally Kana. I rely on sentence cloze.

I added Mnemonics field.


I would highly suggest reading Jazz up Your Japanese with Onomatopeia. Not only does it have a ton of 擬態語 and 擬音語, it also includes the ability to better understand these kind of words. Through understanding sound symbolism. Sentences with these are really hard because they can have a lot of different senses, Most of them have both sound meanings and “idea” / mimetic meanings, and sometimes the only difference between them is a Good / Neutral / Bad nuance.

ゴロゴロ is a good example, it’s the sound of a large rock rolling down a hill or a low rumbling sound (also literally thunder), also your stomach rumbling and a cat’s purr, but also it can mean laying around doing nothing. As well as this definition: 異物や塊があって,違和感があるさま


I might have to try out adding example sentences, or even what polv is suggesting, this anki deck looks like it would help. Thanks!

This book looks great! I might just get it. It looks really informative with Japanese Onomatopoeia. It would be a good resource to have for future things too, ie. if I were to do some Japanese tutoring (which I am seriously considering atm). Thanks!


It should be pretty cheap too. I should give it a second read.

While I’m at it, I’m going to suggest looking at the Japanese definitions. I never really did that before, but using ゴロゴロ I get whole bunch more information:

一 1(副)スル
① かなり重い大きなものがころがるさま。また,その音を表す語。「ドラム缶を―と転がす」
② 大きなものがたくさんころがっているさま。「大きな石が―している」
③ 雷鳴や,重いものが動いて立てる音を表す語。「遠くで―鳴り出した」
④ 猫がのどを鳴らす音を表す。
⑤ たくさんあって,ありふれているさま。「そんな話なら世間に―している」
⑥ 何もしないでだらけて時を過ごすさま。「休みの日は一日中家で―している」
⑦ 異物や塊があって,違和感があるさま。「目が―する」
二 4(名)


Yeah, I find looking at definitions in Japanese too helps. For example, the Kanzen master grammar series has Japanese explanations on top of the English ones.