Learning vocab with wanikani or 1000 most common japanese words?

I’ve been on wanikani for a month and also using anki to learn 10 words a day through common 1000 words in japanese. However most words are in kanji and some aren’t, so I was wondering if i should just only take the words that dont have kanji on the list and put it in anki and leave the ones with kanji to wanikani. But i don’t know whats best, help?


I personally think there’s value in learning the most common words with furigana readings available when reviewing.

For most people, the content they consume early on will either be audio (television, etc.) or reading (books, etc.) When you’re starting out, a lot of what you choose to read will likely include furigana, meaning you don’t need to know the kanji. You only need to recognize the meaning from the reading.

If you rely on WaniKani alone for vocabulary, it’s going to hold you back (because that’s not what it’s designed for).

A bonus to learning common vocabulary (reading and meaning) in advance is that when you reach the kanji lesson in WaniKani, it will likely be easier to learn.

That said, if you are able to get through the first 30 levels of WaniKani quickly with high retention, it might be worth leaning more into that. But things get harder once you’re past the first ten to 15 levels.


That’s hella helpful thank you, but just tryna fully understand with your answer, i shouldn’t really fully rely on wanikani for vocabulary and use the most common words and put it in anki for vocab instead. And then if the vocab word has a kanji i dont know i should show the furigana as well?

Correct. WaniKani organizes kanji based in part on how simple or complex the kanji is. That means you’ll see some simple kanji used in uncommon words long before you’ll encounter some more complex kanji that show up everywhere. For example, (おれ) isn’t taught until level 44, but if you get into reading a lot (such as by joining the Absolute Beginner Book Club here on the forums), you’ll probably unintentionally learn it through repetition long before you reach level 44.

This will be a little more depending on one’s individual learning style, but yet, this is my recommendation to at least try out and see how it goes.

Learning the most common words will make it easier for you to start reading native material if you haven’t already.

This is definitely what I would recommend. I tried learning the most common words without furigana on the front of the card, and after two years I failed to learn much. I picked up a lot more words through watching anime. When I started reading material (with furigana), learning words became a lot easier for me.



Wanikani will teach you the most useful vocab by the time you’re level 30, but it doesn’t have any kana only vocabulary, and those are incredibly common. I started using the 2k 6k anki deck around level 31-ish, and that ought to help a lot, you’ll have an easier time then with vocab that you already learned on WK, and you only need to worry about the ones you didn’t

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