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I only have basic 和英 definitions to go on, but I'm guessing the nuance is that 覚える has more to do with things you learn or study, and 見覚える is more like remembering experiences. Or is there something more, or are they just synonymous?

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Perhaps the blind cannot 見覚える. Maybe 見覚える is 覚える being done with 目, or by 見る. –  Flaw Nov 13 '12 at 23:13
    
I know 見覚え(← as a noun) and often use "見覚えがある" but I didn't know the verb 見覚える... –  Choko Nov 13 '12 at 23:14
    
@Flaw: That is sort of what I was thinking :) –  silvermaple Nov 13 '12 at 23:20
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@Chocolate: I did find it in the phrase 見覚えがある, then I looked it up and found the verb :) I think the difference between 覚え and 見覚え would also be good to know, if that makes more sense. –  silvermaple Nov 13 '12 at 23:24

3 Answers 3

After some discussions, I decided to remove my previous answer and put it into a question I created on my own: Possible ways to express remembrance and recall.

I did this because that answer is wider than the one required here.

You can check the question, it might be useful.

Talking about 覚{おぼ}える and 見{み}覚{おぼ}える...

I came up looking at a question were someone asked the difference between verbs 覚{おぼ}える and 見{み}覚{おぼ}える. Since it is pertinent, I will spend some lines about this as well.

Somehow these two verbs are interchangeable but I am not sure about this because I never heard in my experience people using 見{み}覚{おぼ}える. On the other hand I heard them using a lot 覚{おぼ}える. Both mean "to remember" as I specified in the first paragraph.

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I think most of this answer do not directly answer the question. I suggest posting them as a different Q&A on this site. (It's encouraged to share your knowledge through self-answering.) –  ento Nov 16 '12 at 22:02
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@ento: I understand your point of view, but this does not mean that my post is not an answer to that question. I answered specifying that both verbs can be considered synonyms. Furthermore I just extended a little bit the answer in order to provide some more details regarding the matter "remembrance and recall". There is nothing wrong in it... –  Andry Nov 16 '12 at 22:11
    
Thx for your view and I'm ready to agree to disagree, but let me put it in a constructive way: by moving the "覚えるvs思い出す" part to an independent Q&A, 1. People already know about it don't have to read that part to get to the answer. 2. It becomes obvious which question to look at when you're searching for "覚えるvs思い出す". 3. Also, you can post a link to the Q&A as a comment to this question (like this): it's more prominent and useful than being in an answer. Overall, it improves the structure of this site. –  ento Nov 18 '12 at 22:46
    
@ento: mmm I see. Put in this way it makes sense to me. So, now what should I do, I would like to fix this... what do you suggest? You told me about self answering, is it ok to create a question, answering to that and linking it here? –  Andry Nov 19 '12 at 7:54
    
Yay, a consensus! Yes, it's ok and I would go that route too. There'll be a checkbox titled "Answer your own question" when adding a question, which lets you post an answer at the same time. If I were you, I'd try to think back to the time when you first wondered about "remembrance and recall" and pose it as a question. –  ento Nov 20 '12 at 22:43

覚える is like remember and 見覚える is like recognize. As mentioned in the a above comments the phrase 見覚えがある is a clue to this. That being said I'm not sure if 見覚える as a verb gets any real contemporary use. Some Googling shows that the phrase 見て覚える turns up occasionally, however this has the meaning of "learn by watching."

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From Yahoo

見覚える:  
 1. 見て覚える。
 2. 前に見て覚えている。

So you see something and memorize it. I think you can associate to visual memory.

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