Learning Textbook Vocabulary Lists when they are Huge!

Hello! I was wondering how other people approach learning the vocabulary lists that appear in text books ie before each lesson in Genki? So far my approach has been to learn the list then start the actual lesson, but I’m almost finished with Genki II and the lists in the books I’ll be moving onto, Minna Intermediate, they have up to 10 pages of vocabulary to learn before each lesson which feels unmanageable to be able to remember?
So I was wondering if anyone could share their schedule for learning vocabulary and if you are using Anki for it, what is your routine? Thank you!


I don’t (or rather, I didn’t). If you are learning with wanikani, you will very quickly know those words that are used in textbooks. Kind of defeats the point of trying to use rote memorization to remember them. I mainly used the vocab sheet as an aid when I forgot a word, and only really relied on them sticking after a while.


I don’t.


theres a lot of bleedover with wk and the major textbooks vocab lists, especially once you hit level 30. You could always read ahead in wk on higher levels and study the mnemonics, but overall if you stick with wk at a good pace you’ll be fine. My goal with vocab was to progress steadily at wk, reach level 60, then create a separate deck for words i find in immersion.


Just like the ones above me wrote, the vocabulary list is meant more as a glossary to help you with the content of the chapter (dialogues, exercises etc.). The idea is that reading and doing the exercises will put those new words in context which will help you memorize them.
Genki do have their own Vocab cards (and Kanji and Conjugation cards), so it’s possible to drill them by kinda anki style, so it is an option, but it really depends on what works for you.
I can’t really say it’s a waste of time learning just the words, ‘cause I’m the kind of person that if you’ll give me a dictionary I’ll sit down and read a few chapters :rofl: but that’s because I’m curious and I enjoy it, I’m not really trying to memorize it all and there are no tests at the end.

It really depends on your goal, if you’re not in a hurry or you have a test you need to take to have proof of proficiency (which is more about proving you can pass the test and less about day to day usage, in many cases), just let the engagement with the material do its thing.


Thank you that makes it a ton less intimidating than those 10 page vocab lists in minna xDD


Two approaches:

  1. Use a flash card app, like anki, lingocard, publisher provided apps, etc.
  2. Look at the lists briefly… but don’t worry about each word until it appears in its context within the textbook (in a reading, listening, conversation, etc.), and then go back to the list if you need to check the reference.

I learned all the vocabulary in Minna no Nihongo (beginners) and Tobira (intermediate) by downloading premade decks and running through each one in Anki before reading the chapter (with Tobira, I also added cards for the words I didn’t know that I came across in the textbook readings which weren’t in the official Tobira Anki decks). Many of the words I already knew from WK, so those quickly got pushed off to the distant future, allowing me to focus on the ones I didn’t know.

I liked prelearning the vocab because it allowed for me to have a much smoother reading experience when reading the text because I could focus just on the grammar structures because I knew all the vocab and kanji already. Plus it helped me get a better understanding of how those specific words were used because I got to see them in context in the textbook, so I felt I might as well take advantage of the opportunity to learn them.

I don’t think you have to learn them all, but I also think I did benefit from doing so, so it’s really up to you. A lot of the tanka/haiku vocab I added from Tobira that was technically extra/unnecessary ended up really coming in handy when I picked up a book on tanka recently. I guess I’m not sure what the intermediate vocab in Minna looks like, so it might be more or less relevant to your life and interests.