Which mnemonic phrases worked best for you?

Does anyone have any mnemonic phrases that made them remember a kanji or vocab word especially well? I wonder why some of mine help more than others.

For example, I thought 序 would be hard for me to remember, but “JYO-anne writes a PREFACE under the Beforehand Canopy” has helped me get it every time so far.

These ones were also pretty helpful:
“A Building Festival is a SAIborg OCCASION!” (for さい=際)
and
“Dirt Become CASTLE. ~White~ (SHIROi 白い) Castle!” (for しろ=城)

But when I make mnemonics where I refer to “ひい” as Michael Jackson singing “hee heee,” that doesn’t always help as much. (For example, for 秀でる; when you TO EXCEL, Michael Jackson yells out “HII ひい!!!”)

(I have a system for capitalizing parts of my mnemonics. I tell myself it helps but it probably just makes them even dumber :stuck_out_tongue:)

Anyway, I wonder why some work better than others and what’s worked best for everyone.

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I don’t know if you would called a mnemonics or not but. One reading was 虫歯 (cavity むしば) which is similar in reading for another word in arabic meaning trouble. Didn’t forget it since then.

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“Sounds just like this word from another language”-type mnemonics are the best!

Which is why 火照る = hoteru is great because it sound just like hotel, but a lot of things with つ in it are a struggle for me because nothing in English really sounds like つ

(two does not sound like つ, sorry!!)

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A raw cage 予め I still hear it everytime I need the word.

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It does when a Japanese person says it :wink:

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I miss the Hard Gay mnemonics.

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Which words had ハードゲイ mnenomics?! And when did they go away?

Everything with せい referred to Hard Gay saying Sei, Sei, Sei.

It was cut in late 2018, I think, along with Charlie Sheen and other funny things.

And since you mentioned canopy radical I’ll let you know it used to be called Mullet. Ah, what a great name it had!

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None. (Sometimes idea associations work for me but phrases or stories, never.)

Interesting… which associations work for you so far?

I remembered the reading of 屋 in 屋上 by thinking of the word “oak”. It’s a bit stupid, but the fact that rooftops are often made from oak in Minecraft helped me here.

Also the meaning of 起こる is super easy when you realise that it even sounds like the word “occur” when you read it out loud.

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I usually remember readings having some mnemonic about shogun…I think :upside_down_face:

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If I can’t remember something I like to think about a Japanese word I know that it may be in. When I was in the early levels I had trouble with the せい reading for 生. I remembered it because’s in the second half of 先生.

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yeah for some reason, those ones are especially helpful for me too! (most of the time)

I do that too… but it only seems to work for me about half of the time.

I do this all the time too. Actually I often recall a reading of kanji by thinking of word it appears in, although sometimes I don’t remember which reading corresponds to the kanji I want to recall.

E.g. I know kanji 拶 is part of あいさつ (Greeting) but I’m not sure if it’s the first or the second one. It’s the second: 挨拶

I would absolutely consider that a type of mnemonic. :+1:

Get creative with your ‘rhyming’ (or whatever it would be called) like Eminem. In an interview he once said it was a pet peeve of his that people would say that certain words can’t be rhymed with any other words. The example I remember was ‘orange’. He went on to rhyme it at least three different ways, the two I remember are “Four-inch door-hinge.” :joy: He also rhymed ‘purple’, but I can’t remember how he did it, unfortunately.

I’m no Eminem, but by taking his more-flexible-rhyming style, you can come up with ‘rhymes’ for just about anything if you put your mind to it. Maybe they won’t win you a rap battle contest, but they might help you remember a kanji or two. :smile:

So, for example, As soon as you mentioned つ, I immediately thought of the word ‘too’. Especially when it’s being emphasized, you can easily imagine someone pronouncing it with a bit of an ‘s’ sound tucked away in there. Like, “That’s just TsOO damn crazy, even for me!”

Plus ‘too’ is a word used for amplification and exaggeration, which is a good way to make a mnemonic memorable.

That being said, I don’t know if I actually use ‘too’ for つ, so take it with a grain of salt. :sweat_smile: But the point is simply that there’s almost always a way to make something fit. And also, you can use the ‘shoe-horning’ of the sound as part of your mnemonic sometimes. Like who would say ‘too’ like ‘tsoo’? Maybe someone from Barcelona (I have no idea, but they pronounce it as Barthelona, so maybe! :smile:), or if you’re really desperate, think of someone (or invent a character) with a strong Japanese accent, so obviously they’ll pronounce English sounds more like Japanese.

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I dont know how to do the fancy nihongo letters but yuge for steam reminds me of the “why are you ge” meme so i always remember that one. The radical for creeper was easy cause it referenced minecraft. I guess anything that references something that I am interested in or where the mnemonic is somewhat logical.

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Get creative with your ‘rhyming’ (or whatever it would be called) like Eminem. In an interview he once said it was a pet peeve of his that people would say that certain words can’t be rhymed with any other words. The example I remember was ‘orange’. He went on to rhyme it at least three different ways, the two I remember are “Four-inch door-hinge.” :joy: He also rhymed ‘purple’, but I can’t remember how he did it, unfortunately.

Here’s Genius’ video on it if anyone’s curious about it (contains explicit language) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPcR5RVXHMg

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That’s the ideal way. I hope there are more words this works for going forward. I just learned 晩 that will be part of 今晩は so for that one I don’t need a mnemonic. I don’t have that many though. Probably because I was a total beginner to start with.

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