Anki deck recommendation

Besides KW I want to start with Anki to learn the most common vocab not being taught in WK.
I have found multiple decks but I’m not sure which one I should choose or what the difference is between all of these…

Any recommendations? I searched the forum and found a ‘Breakstick’ deck recommended, but those posts are years old and I can’t find that one.

If possible I’d prefer a deck with pictures too, somehow that really helps me memorizing stuff :slight_smile:

Then the Core 2.3K deck - it has pictures, audio, text highlights with colors, etc.
Otherwise any of the Tango decks.


Ok, will start with the 2.3 one, cheers!

To be honest it’s extremely common to see people looking for Anki decks and stuff like that to build vocabulary…

But there might as well still be something a bit wrong in that approach despite all the people that do it…

The thing is, once you know your very basic core vocabulary (true basic core vocab is more like 300/500 perhaps 1000 words, but don’t go learninf “core 6k”… anyway so you already have that basic core vocab),

the rest of your vocabulary should preferably be learned from immersion. Precisely, watch anime (or other immersion material if you don’t like anime) on Animelon with japanese subtitles, and use yomichan to check words you don’t know, and if they’re common enough (I recommend having the “Anime and JDrama Frequency list” dictionnary enabled for that), click to automatically add them to your Anki thanks to yomichan.

Why is it better ? If you want the explanations in their best form, I recommend simply watching these 2 videos by Cure Dolly : Japanese Core Vocabulary: how to acquire it (and how NOT to!) - YouTube (part1) and Japanese Core Vocab the Smart Way: Full instructions for strategic Anki use - YouTube (part2).

Basically, it’s important to jump into immersion as soon as possible, but over that, you’ll be learning vocabulary much more organically and will have experiences to rattach the word to. Also, by learning from anime, you’ll learn the words that truly are common in anime, since you learned it from anime directly (i don’t think you would like to learn the 3k most common words in newspaper for example). You’ll be learning kanji as parts of these words too.

(watching anime with yomichan is more fun and useful than diving into Anki decks (or WaniKani, as you can see I’m level 3 but I used to have the subscription. I decided to resign for basically the same reason I told you. So what I’m telling you is not an imaginary strategy. I decided to quit WK because I strongly believe that that approach is indeed better.)

Alright, so what I recommend for you is to watch these 2 videos to learn more about the topic of what you asked here.
If you don’t know about Cure Dolly yet, then I would be very happy to bring her channel to you. Seriously, it TRULY IS a game changer. Go check even her first basic videos from her main playlist, because you’ll sure be learning stuff anyway : Lesson 1: Japanese made easy! What schools never teach. The core Japanese sentence -organic Japanese - YouTube

If you have any questions about anything, please ask and I’l try to answer my best about everything.


Yeahhhhh, thats debatable. If you’re watching some anime, maybe 1000, sure. If you’re reading a visual novel, good luck with 300.


I did that in preparation mostly for the JLPT before starting with immersion and it didn’t hurt me…
Even then, I added more than 500 words into Anki from a light novel I read early on. Surely I wouldn’t want that number to be 4000, which it would’ve been without core 6k under my belt.
SRS is easy, immersion is hard, especially if your vocab is only 〜1000 words.


Yeah what I primarily meant by that also is that it was the point where you probably should start learning the rest of your vocabulary through immersion (even if there are still some rather important words you could want to learn about. But then it’s also “sub-cores”, each media has a common set of words. The most used words in the news, in anime, in novel will be different)

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Yes, I’m aware. The point where its most efficient to learn the rest of your vocab through immersion is higher than you seem to think it is in my opinion, is all. Personally, I think the 2.3k mentioned earlier is a good deck from what I’ve seen of it.


Sure, immersion is hard. The point of doing immersion anyway is to make it easier. Because that’s what we want in the end. But to better understand what I said I recommend watching the 2 videos I shared, which should convey the ideas better than I have. (Japanese Core Vocabulary: how to acquire it (and how NOT to!) - YouTube (part1) and Japanese Core Vocab the Smart Way: Full instructions for strategic Anki use - YouTube (part2))


Thanks for the extensive reply. Thing is - I read everyday, but it’s still in the painfull phase :slight_smile: Have to look up most words, mostly some very basic words which I didn’t learn so far with WK.
Looking up these words and seeing them in context is the best way to learn new vobab, I agree.
But while keeping doing this I also want to use Anki to srs at least the basic words that WK does not teach.

I checked that 2.3 deck and it seems perfect for this.

I know Cure Dolly, she’s great! Although I do play her videos at 2x speed :wink:
I will check the vids you posted, I don’t think I watched those before.

Could I get a link to the 2.3?

Sounds interesting :grin:

I’ll add a second vote for Cure Dolly, I felt like I learned more in her first 10 lesson labelled videos then I did in 5 years of self study. Amount of content, no, but the depth and logic, definitely.

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If you Google ‘Anki 2.3k’ you get multiple results. There are multiple versions I see, I already had one downloaded but I will have to check the difference between these versions.

I have this one and I think it’s a good one:


Which version do you use?

None of them, I’m past that stage, but my gf uses the 2.3k deck. Most recent version.

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Gotta link?

It’s right above you :wink:


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