Using ChatGPT to create mnemonic devices

Not sure if this has been pointed out anywhere else, but ChatGPT is pretty good (really good sometimes) at creating mnemonic devices. I have used it to create mnemonics for pronunciations, as well as tying together radicals.

Here is an example with a Kanji that is not in the WaniKani list:

Below is the prompt I used and the response I got. really good!!

can you help me create a short sentence or story connecting a group of words to help me remember a target word?

the group of words is: fingers, cleat, king, and mountain.

the target word to remember is: shake

Certainly! Here’s a short story connecting the group of words “fingers, cleat, king, and mountain” to help you remember the target word “shake”:

“In the kingdom nestled among the towering mountains, the king declared a contest. He challenged his subjects to climb the highest peak and touch its summit with their fingers. Many participants tried, but only one succeeded. How did he do it? He wore special cleats that gave him an advantage, allowing him to navigate the treacherous terrain. His triumphant ascent was marked by a powerful earthquake, causing the ground to shake as he reached the pinnacle. From that day on, whenever someone mentioned the word ‘shake,’ they would remember the king conquering the mountain with his clever use of cleats and his fingers touching the summit.”


Everyone probably has their own approach to coming up with useful mnemonics.

I tend to ignore the ones that WK uses, as I often find them to be silly, nonsensical, or difficult to remember.

If I were making up my own mnemonic for 揺 I might try something much simpler, such as:

“Shaking yo mountain fingers”

But that’s just me…

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Not to dismiss the effort of making this sort of thing, but also to put what WK proves in a context: it’s helpful, but in the end, you’re doing the hard work of memorization! That’s when the magic happens!

a thousand times

Thank you for sharing

I give it the kanji from my current level and ask it to make some phrases or a convo
Or, I give it my leeches to help me differentiate em with a story
Heck, I even ask it to create a conversation between two people arguing about things I don’t understand to see what arguments it come up with

Same as you I have asked to make some mnemonics

Pff. I thought I was the only one


Something like this

I built my own AI tutor to teach me Chinese. Mind blown.

I use it for a few different things. I’m 100% self-study, so finding direction can be a little difficult, even with the super detailed guide on tofugu. That doesn’t really set day-to-day goals for me. So, I asked ChatGPT to create a syllabus for me, and then I have it break down each section into daily and weekly goals.

I use it to explain the differences between kanji that have the same or extremely similar meanings. That part needs a bit of a double check, because as we have seen, ChatGPT likes to make stuff up sometimes.

I use it to create mnemonics for things that would naturally appear in a series, but that WaniKani presents individually, such as the days of the week. Sure, it’s great to know that Tuesday is 火曜日 but if I’m listing off the days of the week, I would rather think of the whole thing collectively, and not each one individually.

Something I’ve been playing with, but struggling to make work just right, is having it write a few paragraphs I can use to practice reading. It’s not great at limiting the kanji used, and that trips me up a bit… and even when I get it how I want, it will never truly replace native usage.

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