How many loanwords are there in Wanikani? I’ve been stepping into reading a bit on my own and I really hope when I reach level 60 I’m still not sounding out my way through katakana like a grade schooler.

I’m just pondering how best to approach these Engrish sounding words. Are there loanword dictionary out there maybe?

WaniKani only teaches you kanji words, so there aren’t any loanwords as far as I know.


The only loanwords you’ll see are part of words where the actual lesson is the kanji suffix. Like in アメリカ人. The purpose is to teach you that reading of 人, not the the name of a country. It just ends up happening indirectly.


:point_up: What he said.

Sadly, WK teaches you 世界 rather than ザ ワールド :wink:

And for your 外来語 listening pleasure you can watch this:


If you’re looking to study loanwords specifically (or really any vocab outside WaniKani, which you should at some point in time) Kitsun is a great platform made by a WaniKani user that has an entire 4,500 card “deck” of words that are primarily written in katakana, and a handful of other Japanese words like トラ which do technically have kanji, but are usually katakana anyway.

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Kinda thought it taught 煙草, but I guess I just made that up. Maybe it was in a Tofugu article…

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boy sounds like we’re SOL here…

lol I love Dogen. That’s pretty much the issue. It’s hilariously easier listening than reading

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As others have said, there’s not many loan words in WK… unless you count Korean words that are similar or Chinese words that use the same or similar kanji. I wouldn’t consider those loan words. Outside of WK it depends on your goals. If you don’t plan to move to Japan then learn them, but you don’t need to spend too much time on them. If you are planning on moving to Japan or staying in Japan then practice pronunciation of loan words. Now that I’m living in Japan I have noticed that I am quick to default to the English pronunciation and it causes people to not understand me (typically when ordering food).

I mean, it’s a kanji learning website so you really can’t expect many (if any) loan words on this site. I personally only have trouble with a few katakana words where the pronunciation is quite different to the english equivalent such as オートバイ, コンクール, and ペンキ. Otherwise most loan words are derived from english and so pronouncing them using japanese phonemes is usually no trouble. Things like バランス, エレベーター, and ソファー are quite easy to guess. As for reading speed, just read more.

Do you have an example of that? Is there a word in kanji that came from Korean and not Chinese? Or are you just talking about things like 平壌.

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I know all of two words in Korean so I have no idea which words. In one of my classes there was a Korean woman that would sometimes compare Japanese words to Korean ones. I don’t know which country the words originated from. Maybe if someone on here knows I would be interested to learn too.

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To be fair Korean also has words with roots that come from China.

Just look up cheers in all three. Bag is closer in Japanese and Korean unless there is a chinese word that I closer that I couldn’t find in 5 mins.

Cheers 乾杯かんぱい
Bag かばん 가방gabang

Also no idea why geonbae is wanting to fly away.
5 more mins of googling seems to come up with the Korean word for bag actually deriving from the Japanese word. So I was wrong on that.


Kitsun is actually really good for this. I was just doing WK until last August, then I picked up the Kitsun genki deck. It has a lot of loanwords and makes you spell them out. After a few months I have no problem typing the katakana anymore. It really helps having the audio too so you hear how the native speakers actually say the words

Should work for other decks on there too. I think they have a katakana only deck