How to get best use from context sentences?

Hey there!

(Please point me to an existing thread if one exists for this question)

I’m about 1 week into WaniKani and trying to figure out the study process that works for me. When I get a new vocabulary lesson I carefully review the meaning and reading sections and listen to the voice samples. I just skim the context section, and don’t try to memorize it because I can’t see how it fits into the learning methodology.

In reviews, we are drilled on meaning, readings and vocabulary, but not context. Each of these lesson pages have a ton of information and the context is too much to absorb, especially if there’s no review on it.

My impression is that once we “learn” something (kanji/vocabulary) we don’t spend as much time on those older pages because we’ve got new stuff to worry about. I feel like I’m missing something important about why the context section exists.

How do other people use the context section?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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I only check the context sentences when the english translation is a word with several meanings and I want to see which meaning reflects the japanese meaning.
There are a lot of silly, sometimes annoyingly long and bizarre sentences that confuse more than they help. But the Wanikani team is working on revising them. Those new sentences can be a place to practice understanding/translation of full sentences and thus some grammar practice. I don’t see much use for the kanji learning endeavor itself, though.


Context sentences are mainly to help disambiguate what the word means - lots of people use them for a bit of grammar practice during their lessons. As @Maharetina mentioned, they’re usually helpful when the English translation is a bit ambiguous - this comes up a lot more as you get to higher levels and get more abstract vocabulary. I usually skim them and don’t worry about it, but sometimes read them more closely if I’m feeling unclear about what the word actually means.

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The examples WK provides have limited value, as noted above. The best thing to use is the script Anime Sentences, which imports anime examples from an outside website, including audio. That way you can see and hear the vocabulary used in actual production context.

I use and where I add external links inside Anki cards

I used to create a UserScript for External JJ Dictionary Definitions as well, which actually worked by web scraping those dictionaries (i.e. not really using a proper API), but I don’t really do WaniKani anymore, so I can’t tell whether it will work.

Nonetheless, I don’t think it works with a very simple vocabularies, like 家.

I just realized I can use ImmersionKit as well (with{{Japanese}}).

Now, I realized that when ImmersionKit failed, it can link to 用例.jp, but it doesn’t show up when ImmersionKit found something.

<p><a href="{{Japanese}}">Open in 用例.jp</a></p>

<p><a href="{{Japanese}}">Open in ImmersionKit</a></p>

You’re better off plowing through WK and get into reading as soon as possible, it’ll make sense once you do. It’s probably the most time efficient option.

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Yeah, although reading is not the only way. In my olden days, I used music and games as well (I was into idol stuff). You can’t underestimate the power of listening.

Reading and surfing Japanese websites / apps actually come later.


Don’t really agree. The most efficient way is to start reading as soon as possible. It’s how you can pick apart the language and understand how it works. Moreover pick up alot more vocab on the way.

Nonetheless, it is true that it is the way to pick up grammar (and Kanji). After, understanding sentences / paragraphs as a whole is the essence.

Still, not really reading alone, but also some grammar (or usage) explanations / textbooks, as well. Perhaps also meticulousness / diligence in breaking grammar.

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I often like to plug them into Google translate and hit the listen button so I can hear the word being used in a sentence. It helps me retain the vocabulary better when I can think/ hear it in context.

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I wouldn’t worry too much about the context sentences. They’re usually not level appropriate until much later (e.g. at my level I can now often read them at least partially).

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