Context sentences don't clearly show the new vocabulary

Many times I can’t even see the vocabulary at all.

For example: I am told 空気 means air or atmosphere and the first example sentence is:

Please just take the hint.

The word “air” is not even present in the English translation at all.


I hope this helps because it’s literally what it’s translated to but I guess that should have been more thoroughly explained to beginners.


This is an extremely common usage of 空気 in Japanese. But translating it literally would be pretty strange. Well, as “air” anyway. “Atmosphere” is appropriate.


Language unfortunately isn’t always so straightforward. In the context sentences, WK is trying to show Japanese as Japanese.

Language doesn’t always use a word in a direct fashion. For the word “help,” I could easily make the example sentence “Could you give me a hand?” You mean to help, but that’s not how the turn of phrase goes.

If this vocab is usually used in that context, WK could give a direct translation like “please take some atmosphere,” but that’s not what is meant. Translations are also about conveying what the original language is trying to convey.

This turn of phrase means one should take the hint.

WK often tries to teach what is common - if a seemingly straightforward word is used more idiomatically in daily Japanese life, the example sentences will reflect that.


I find literal translations to be very useful for figuring out the Japanese way of saying things (along with proper translations and explanations, obviously). I believe that context sentences should be exactly that: sentences that illustrate how and when to use the word. Unless they are extremely well chosen, some explanation should be provided to fully understand the context.

For example I know both 女の子, 女子 and 少女 mean girl but the context sentences didn’t provide enough context for me to understand why there are 3 words for girl and when should each be used. I know there is a thread discussing this example but the fact that someone had to open that thread after following WK examples in the first place is the issue.


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