Does WK use the most common used words?

HI all - newbie still. Question? the other day I was fiddling with the word for “last night” - (sorry I have not got my keyboard sorted). WK has it as zenya and Jisho also has zenya. My tutor was puzzled because she regards sakuban as far more common in usage. I had understood the WK aimed for the 80/20 type rule of learning the most common usages ahead of the esoteric on the basis this allowed for more learning quickly and more space in the brain. However in light of my tutor’s comment I wanted to check this - is my understanding of WK’s approach correct. I also wanted to check how Jisho is regarded by the WK communiity - accurate, common usage dominant etc??

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Whats ‘common’ for one person, may not be common for another. Personal preference, regional differences, age, social status, etc etc.
I wouldn’t take what WK or Jisho say as gospel, but I wouldn’t take what your tutor says as gospel either.

Same with English. While I would say pizza and soda are common, if I travel a couple hours west, I’ll have people tell me nobody uses those words. It’s pie and pop. Pizza and soda sound stupid.

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The thing about WK is, they are looking at things from the angle of learning Kanji, not from the angle of teaching the most useful vocabulary. For example, there are tons of critical vocabulary that don’t use any kanji at all. You won’t learn a single one of those on WK. Come to WK to learn your kanji. Don’t come to WK to learn your vocab.

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A common misconception about WaniKani is that people think it’s a good vocab learning tool. WaniKani is created specifically for learning Kanji, so the 6,000 vocabulary you’ll learn here were chosen not because they’re the most useful for everyday life, but because they’re effective for teaching kanji readings.

That being said, people who lament about certain vocabulary not being useful enough should consider that these vocabulary are still very much part of the Japanese language, and you’ll still need to learn them at some point if you want to become fluent. So, you can take solace in knowing there’s never any wasted learning.

Nonetheless, it would probably behoove you to specifically learn vocabulary from some different sources. Watching Terrace House is an awesome way to absorb natural vocabulary and speaking patterns for everyday life (and its damn addictive, too! lol)

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people who lament about certain vocabulary not being useful enough should consider that these vocabulary are still very much part of the Japanese language, and you’ll still need to learn them at some point if you want to become fluent.\

Very much this. I had heard so many people telling me that the vocab in the last 10 levels were basically useless, but I love reading Japanese history. I found that every page of the average history book contains several words from the last 10 levels.

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I’m only level 10 but from time to time when I’ve asked my native Japanese teacher about how often she or her friends would use a new WK vocab I had just learned, a few times already she said “never, we never say that”. And with some other vocab, she taught me nuances in their meaning that I had completely missed from WK’s explanations.

So I wouldn’t be comfortable using WK vocab without learning more about them in context (in actual Japanese sentences), although I think learning all this vocab still has tremendous value – in terms of recognizing them and getting a gist of their meaning, albeit imprecise at times.

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There’s no 前夜 item that I’m aware of.

Personally I would say 昨日の夜 in conversation. 昨晩 is indeed more common than 前夜. I’ve never heard 前夜.

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Yeah. WaniKani’s only word which takes “last night” as an answer is 夕べ…

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I was confused until I saw this. No zenya on wk…

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I am in California and I havent heard pie and pop said in person… Maybe just not in CA but other western states idk

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Depending where you are, “a couple hours west” could mean Pennsylvania. Not necessarily west coast.

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It’s actually a fascinating map.5jAbC0G

Here is the source: https://blog.echen.me/2012/07/06/soda-vs-pop-with-twitter/

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I hope that doesn’t mean some people say coke even when talking about non-cola drinks… cause that’s just wrong.
It’s wrong to begin with cause I don’t want no stinking pepsi mixed in with coke, but I can let that go for the bigger picture of people saying coke when talking about something like ginger ale

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This is the sort of thing the coke crowd and the pepsi crowd must ally together to fight.

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I hope that doesn’t mean some people say coke even when talking about non-cola drinks… cause that’s just wrong.

Common in southern US:

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While everyone above is right that WK is about learning kanji there is a significant amount of overlap. I am using Torii to learn the core 10k, and you can remove Wk vocab from the core 10k so you are only learning new vocabulary. It removed something like 4300 items…meaning WK teaches you almost half of the core 10k anyways.

That is an incredibly useful amount. Everyone here is underselling it. Yes, it was not designed with vocabulary in mind, but it ends up being a fantastic secondary use for it.

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I would also like to add that written language and spoken language tend to be quite different. Since WK is a kanji resource, it is naturally geared towards increasing one’s ability to read.

When I’m watching Japanese Let’s Plays or a show, I don’t hear as much WK vocab, but that number increases quite a bit when I read.

That it’s not what a native would primarily use in regular conversation doesn’t mean it’s not a common word in novels, for instance, and they wouldn’t bat an eye at encountering it in a book.

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Allies appear in the toughest of fights

Definitively.
Almost every language learner tends to speak much more formally and stiffer than natives. Learning everyday vocab and more casually, relaxed ways of speaking, or even slang come way later when you’re already pretty immersed in it.

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Yet, she knows the word. Reason enough to learn it, I think.

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Can confirm. Saying pie and pop in California will have people wondering what one’s father has to do with baked sweets.

Also back on topic. In my learning group my vocabulary is by far the most esoteric due to WaniKani, the other students have more experience with the spoken language than I do, and our teacher is always curious to see what I’ll respond with. On the other side of the coin, learning all these “esoteric” uses of Kanji from WaniKani, allows me to intuit characters and character combinations to certain degree, which I find fascinating and invaluable.

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