Which Leech is Which? Remembering the Difference

If you’re like me, then you really like the “what’s the difference between this versus that” posts, which are great! But there’s an awful lot of them. So why not try to keep all those questions in one place going forward, if possible? In the context of leeches particularly, a lot of times you may get pairs or groups of words that you can’t handle consistently. Let’s post the kanji / vocab we get mixed up and suggest mnemonics to keep them differentiated… And maybe in the process answer our own questions. :slight_smile:

Currently I am battling 償う (つぐなう, to compensate/to make up for/to recompense) and 賄う (まかなう, to pay/to cover the cost). I always remember it’s one of those two pronunciations or one of those two meanings, but I am always guessing between the two at random.

Maybe this will work…

賄う – Your buddies are making bets at a sports bar and drinking CLAM CHOWDER. 負けた人 will pull out that sick CLAM-WALLET he HAS and 賄う(まかなう) the lost bet plus the drinks that day, covering the cost. Ouch! Don’t wanna be that person. :confused:
償う – This war’s gone on at heavy cost but now you’re the LEADER with a TRIDENT. The only way it’s going to end is if we kiss and make up, then compensate the enemy for damages (in CLAMSHELLS). Hurry up. I’m waiting. *** taps foot *** つぐなう.


Just going to drop this here… the radicals discussion page may be helpful for constructing mnemonics.

Letter (of the alphabet)
いちもん Straight Line

へいじつ Level 4. Weekdays.
よう Level 16. Day of the week, Weekday.


じんしゅ Level 18. Race of People, Race.
じんるい Level 18. Mankind, Race of People, Humanity, Humankind.




I copied some of leech pair I have on my Anki. I’ll update this list again later. And how I squash some of them. And put some contexts for “ghosts”.


Oh, I remember now. Those are toughies.
文字 letters are just emojis without a mood. They can’t be moody, so they are もじ.
一文字 - maybe try to focus on the first two characters? 一文 sounds like いちもん (one problem or first problem). The first problem letter is ー, the straight line 字 character.

平日 are weekdays, which are boring as HAY. They often fall FLAT(平), too.
曜日 is easy to remember once you know the Japanese names for days of the week: 月曜日、火曜日、水曜日、木曜日、金曜日、土曜日、日曜日。I think I may have added a synonym like something-day or simply day as well, just in case. I wouldn’t stress over this one.

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