Japanese People Constantly Tell Me No One Uses These Words

The salt is he had an embarrassing language learning moment and got a better understanding of how to use the words he knows.

That’s basically what learning a language is about.


I know this is an old thread, but since it’s popped up I feel compelled to share this minor life hack:

Follow a bunch of Japanese people on Twitter who talk about subjects you find interesting.
Take a WK vocab word you’re struggling to retain. Copy it into Twitter search.
Hit the “from people I follow” filter.
You get to immediately see the word used in context by native speakers, in a more bite-sized and conversational way than other forms of reading.

I’ve been surprised at how many words I thought were too obscure, or that come up in these perennial “words no one uses” threads, that I did end up finding used in tweets. Or if the word does seem to be legitimately obscure, it’s informative to see in what cases it does get used. (i.e. 電飾 to describe sunglasses that have flashing lights around the rims – a specific case, but these things come up in life)


I’ve mentioned this before, perhaps even on this thread. But people who laugh at learners to belittle them aren’t really friends in my book. Probably not true in your case, but if it were me and it really bothered me, I would just tell them how cruel their laughter is (many who’ve never live abroad don’t understand). If it’s them just lightly teasing (rather than being really mean), I’d probably snap back about how languages they speak :wink:.

Vocabulary is a tricky thing that does require some extra work on the learner’s side to know what is literary vocabulary versus conversational vocabulary. Getting to level 60 and living in Japan, I found the majority of the material presented here to be really useful whether it’s passive knowledge or active knowledge. WK is far from perfect (and I’m not sure if anyone has argued that it doesn’t need any adjustments), but it’s often misunderstood what people should be learning from WK. This is due to how it is presented on their front page, “2000 kanji. 6000 vocabulary words. In just over a year.”

In any event, hopefully those kinds of events decrease in frequency over time. :grinning:


Since no other language uses kana, just add とは to your google search if you want to define some Japanese kanji:


Here’s a thesaurus entry for 所載

By the way, is this the right thread to mention that I heard 里心 (the poster child of “no one use that word”) in a casual conversation the other day? NB: the speaker was trying to impress another native of the opposite gender with their huge knowledge (when did that ever work? But that’s another conversation).
I wrecked their effect a bit when they made the mistake to turn toward me and ask me (the poor foreigner) if I knew what it meant. :crazy_face:

JUST for the look on their face, I’d pay another lifetime subscription to WK.
Sure, that’s anecdotal, but life is a succession of anecodtes.


Oh, and as for ちかぢか versus きんきん, I asked two natives, one who said that she can see きんきん being used in conversation, but that it feels like it might skew toward older people, and one who said she was unfamiliar with きんきん entirely. Coincidentally, the one who was unfamiliar with it is about 15 years younger than the one who knew it. They were together when I asked them.


I think what they were trying to convey is that no one uses this word in conversational speech. I have learned since my OP that it seems many 熟語 are this way.


my point was not that I don’t understand what it means, but that people don’t actually use this word, evidenced by the fact that you can’t really find Japanese texts on Google using it.

It’s for properly citing sources, of course it doesn’t get used on the internet much at all.

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Well I quite agree with this. My original point was that it’s a pretty sad sight that self-proclaimed language learning experts denied the existence of flaws and shamed people who had brought up the need for adjustments in this thread.

I guess you’re expertise is required in another thread, which is a fine example of what I’m talking about:

You’ll have to connect the dots for me. What have I said to suggest that someone who reaches level 60 should pass N1 by default?

What is your proposal on this. WK shouldn’t have the kanji 仏 and any associated vocabulary? I mean, we’ll just set aside that plenty of people visit Japan to see Buddhist cultural sites.


All I’m saying is bring on all the buddhist words, I like to see them all. Anyways, people make threads to suggest changes, things get edited and removed all the time. You can see that there are changes every week here: https://wanikani.tumblr.com/. No need to bottle up all those feelings.

If you had said there are too many baseball terms I could see your point, but on the other hand baseball is really big and Japan, so why not learn it along with some cultural terms? Religious, cultural, geographic, … You make it seem like there is an excessive amount of obscure vocab, but fail to really bring on more than the few odd items that exists everywhere.

You are also fast at accusing but really trying to understanding the points of other people. For example there are many archaic kanji in jouyou, what kind of vocab do you expect? People want to pass N2, N1 with the word lists for the old tests, you want to keep the “official” words out anyway?


A WK user failed N1, acm, so obviously the site is crap.


Maybe time for a moratorium (nobody uses that word in conversation: sorry) on drunken train-ride-commenting?

Japanese culture prizes teasing as a way of showing affection. (so if it’s coming from a gf, that’ s probably a good thing), and sometimes bullying as a way of showing dominance (oh well, just laugh it off).

Unfortunately, learning a language requires surrendering your ego to a large degree, because you’ll be making lots of mistakes, and people will correct your, or laugh at you. It’s not fair to blame WK (or the assholes on this thread) for the usage errors you make. You’ll make mistakes no matter what your source for vocabulary. Turn it into a positive by developing more empathy for people who don’t speak your own language very well.


Also I’m not sure if it’s ganging up on someone if it’s just…people having opinions. If your opinion is in the minority, it’s easy to feel ganged up on, but it’s just numbers working against you (and I mean the general you in this case).


I don’t care if people have criticisms/complaints about WaniKani, or different opinions about what you should be learning, but I expect everyone to be polite and respectful to each other. If I see this thread turn into personal insults, it will be closed.


My hero :heart:


My only complaint about the vocab is that there are so many words with similar-but-not-quite-the-same meanings in the late teens that it’s causing a lot of cognitive interference and I’m having a hard time nailing the vocab down and reviews are taking forever :frowning:

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