Vocabulary is getting less and less visual, and exceedingly abstract

I’m in the middle of level 26, and I’m honestly getting pretty discouraged because it’s not like the previous levels anymore. More often than not the kanjis are completely irrelevant or visually unhelpful to learning the meaning. Does anyone else feel the same way? How do I overcome this hurdle?


I would say it’s the perfect time for you to pick something to read.
Foget about so much SRSing (reduce the pace if needed) and go enjoy meeting those words in the wild :hugs:


Do you have an example? Like, what words exactly are you having an issue with.

There’s loads but just as an example:
Action + circumstance = Accident
This seems quite common, and the mnemonic is usually a giant leap in forcing some sort of meaning, where it feels just forced.

Thanks, I’ll do that. I have plenty of reading resources, but do you have any personal recommendations?

Well, this is more like “event + misfortune” (or, directly using meanings in Japanese できごと + わざわい, which you can see respectively on these pages here and here)

Yes, it’s not visual, but I’m not sure what else can be done about that. There are words like that.

I realise that, it’s one of those things that can’t be helped and I don’t blame it on anyone
Do you have any advice for making them easier to learn?

i agree with your assessment, but you’ll get better stuff soon. lvl 25-28 was kind of tough (27 so-so), but 29 was full of very common vocab like 幼児、精神、冷蔵庫


That’s pretty reassuring to hear :slight_smile: If I just grind it I should be able to get forward, yeah?


yeah, just keep going. i suspect that there will be more of these dry spells in the future, whatchagonna do. others made it to 60 before us, so we can do it, too :slight_smile:


If you remember the level 8 vocab, “仕方がない”, that’s what Japanese people often say (or people who have lived in Japan long enough, such as @OmukaiAndi) . Some things are just the way they are, can’t be helped, can’t be changed. The sooner we accept them, the closer we get to Zen…


or to RNGesus. that’s what the vocab section reminds me of from time to time


asdf Blessed RNGesus, who art in heaven. We pray for easy kanjis, and vocab that actually has a practical use outside WK


@OmukaiAndi’s 仕方がない compilation:


That’s a pretty common word, I think it’s usually in relation to auto accidents. You could probably reinforce it by reading some N.H.K. Easy. Here’s how I Google searched that site for that specific word, and here’s the first result, an article about 12 tons of chocolate flowing onto a freeway in Poland because of an accident

I wish they wouldn’t crowd all same meanings into the same level, but that’s better for the complaints thread. Until then, I’m having fun with criticism, criticism, critique, judge, judge, judgement, criticism, judge, funds, funds, material and raw material.


What I find useful in cases where the kanji meaning given by WaniKani doesn’t make much sense in a compound vocabulary word, is to look up alternate meanings in a dictionary and see if there is another definition that makes more sense in that combination. If so, I’ll add is at a user synonym. Just by doing that tends to help my mind take a broader look at the kanji meaning - like, it “has to do with” this kind of thing or situation, but not an exact translation to this English word.


Ugh, I hate the term “can’t be helped”, in any language. Well, I guess you can’t change the fact that some kanji are easier than others and simpler to remember because they look like the things they represent while others don’t. Like with 木 “tree”, which would be the easy one, and, well… most of everything else. I think “tree” was the easiest one for me.
Then you have things like 所 “place” - I mean I see the connection, but this one is really hard on me. Axe hitting a door while you say “I hate this place!” Okay, after some repetition I got it, but the reading was really bloody for me. Behind there’s a “show”? I mean, I get it, it’s so ridiculous, you’d remember it, but for some reason it just doesn’t connect in my mind.
So, in one sense, there’s nothing that can be done about it - the mnemonic can’t magically change into something that sticks in my mind more, or the can the kanji change into something that makes more sense to me. But in another sense - it can be helped: I could visualize or draw it, like I read someone else is doing. Or do what Nightscotsman suggested. Or make my own mnemonic. Those are supposed to work even better than ones that are just handed down to you, cause you are invested in them.
But I’m too lazy for all that. I just brute force them. With enough mindless repetition anything will stick. It can be discouraging to make a mistake a dozen times, but eventually it sticks. If you keep that in mind, it isn’t as discouraging.

As for many similar words at the same time: I hate that too, but I think you have to do that to learn them properly.

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You mean because it can’t be helped?


Y-yeah it can? Not magically, though. Make your own mnemonic. I know you said you’re too lazy to do it, but this is… something that absolutely can be helped. Personally, 所 is an axe stuck in a door to show me which place is mine. Whenever I get lost in my apartment complex and can’t remember which place is mine, I just look for the axe in the door. That shows me.


The mnemonic that worked for me was thinking about the movie The Shining with Jack Nicholson chopping his way through the door with an axe and saying “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” like on the Tonight Show.

I’m old.