Learning Vocab And Working On Other Japanese Skills

Hi! I’m just starting to try to learn Japanese again after taking a bit of a break. I’m to try and test in a year or two from now in my school district. I also want to learn Japanese to read some manga. I’m curious if anyone has any recommendations for learning vocab? I’m currently using memrise to do some Genki 1 Vocab, as I have the book and have been told it’s essential, but I struggle to get anywhere without knowing the vocab. I know some people make flashcards, but it seemed like it was awful time consuming if the knowledge gained was equivalent to other things, such as pre-made genki 1 vocab decks. With memrise I can also practice at school on my phone. Do you guys think that it’s vital that I do things such as making flashcards, or is memrise, wanikani, kaniwani, and bunpro good enough? Are there anymore resources that you can recommend? Eventually I will have to start studying how to write as well, so is it better to just start learning to write all the kanji now, or is waiting for later fine? I would appreciate input to any of these questions :smiley:


You will learn lots of vocab here … enough to keep you busy!

Haha, yeah, level 1 was pretty relaxed with reviews, but even a jump in 1 level and now I’m seeing at least 40+ reviews a day. It helps motivate me knowing that I’m actually learning. Thanks for the response!

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Welcome to Wanikani!

The resources you listed are all good ones, so they’re definitely a good place to start with learning additional vocab and grammer, but there are a ton of other resources out there to help with learning more than what Wanikani focuses on.

You can find a really excellent list of those resources here and a quick search for any of those will probably bring up a topic of people using or talking about that particular resource if you want more feedback on specific items.

For your specific question regarding flashcards, if they help you learn, then they’re probably worthwhile making, but if they don’t help, using flashcards isn’t a vital aspect of learning, so you’re okay not using them. If it’s just the physical flashcards that are an obstacle, then you may want to try out Anki which has a lot of premade or user-made decks of flashcards to use. Anki also has an app version so you can take that with you on your phone, as well.


First off, welcome! You sound like you’re really invigorated to get back into Japanese, and that’s great!

Nope! (to the first part) The SRS of these tools are meant to eliminate the need for flashcards! Of course, if you just love making flashcards, no one is stopping you, but there really isn’t any need! If you’re doing KaniWani in parallel with WaniKani, this will really help strengthen the stuff you learn here as well!

You may want to take a look at an app called Anki. It’s definitely less user friendly than Memrise, but it’s a very powerful vocab learning tool if you can get into it. It’s kind of like flashcards, but you can download pre-created decks other people have made (many of which contain many thousands of words). However, earlier on you shouldn’t feel too obliged to go jumping into this, unless you just love knowing as many words as possible.

Aside from that, with memrise I’d recommend turning off the auto marking and multiple choice (maybe? I’m not sure if you can, I don’t remember) questions. The tougher you’re tested, the better you’ll remember.

For other resources, check out this thread:

I’m going to assume writing kana is no problem here. Writing is pretty decisive among people. Generally in modern Japan, it’s quite useless. However as an aid to your learning (and as a hobby), it can be amazing. If you want to be able to write kanji, then it’s very beneficial starting early on. By the time you get to more complicated kanji with a bunch of radicals, you’re going to find it tough remembering each little bit (unless your mnemonic game is on point), so getting a lot of writing practice with each kanji can be a huge help in remembering them.


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Thanks a lot for the quick answers. I truly appreciate the time and effort. Will definitely check out some of these resources.

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