Most common words

  1. I continuously hear that you can get faster fluent by learning the most common words in a language, of course, I will still continue with Wani Kani vocab, but what are the most common words in the Japanese language and how to learn them.

  2. I want to create a good weekly base of grammar and more understanding of what I’m learning with language, of course, the daily grind is good but, I also feel a little bit mindlessly.
    is the textbook a good idea?

There’s the core10k deck for anki. Or you can practice the same material using, which is a paid service but a rather good one imo.

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Hmm, looks decent, you can also narrow everything down to 1000 words first what I see here. You have used this app?

Do you mean or anki?

I started at the same time as WaniKani, but I got bored with it after a while. I really liked it in the beginning though, and it’ll give you context sentences for each word which is pretty useful imo and I don’t think you need to work through it all in order to get the benefit of learning the very most common words.

I use Anki religiously. After, rather than studying the most common words, I started adding new words I looked up while reading, so that I was practicing what was most relevant to me.


One thing to keep in mind is that “common” is less useful that “common in a specific context”. Do you care about common words in conversation? In newspapers? In fantasy novels? Unfortunately getting “common words” specific to certain context can be difficult to obtain, and the usefulness of a deck like core 2k/6k/10k will depend on what you want to read. (Granted the first 1-2k words will probably be useful no matter what.)

haha, religously, idk i got bored with anki I need more narrowed approach.

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Probably conversation.

I think the core decks (like what iknow has) is based on newspaper frequency, but I could be wrong.

Also, while the iknow service itself is fine, just prepare yourself for terrible corporate customer service where they don’t care about you as a user at all.

I personally use KameSame for all vocabulary: it functions similarly to WK, and you can study from JLPT decks, WK level decks and even the core 10k deck. You can also add words to your SRS yourself!

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Common words and common kanji do not necessarily line up perfectly. I’ve noticed lots of everyday vocab in WK’s later levels, since they are not often written out with kanji. Earlier levels (esp. the 20s) have vocab you won’t often say, but their kanji appear a lot in newspapers-- stuff about cops, gov’t, politics.

So I think a textbook is a great idea-- a lot of people use Genki. My language school used Minna no Nihongo for new learners, New Approach for intermediate. (I don’t recommend Tae Kim as it’s not a textbook, it’s a bunch of grammar explanations culled from a blog.) Having a short passage with related vocab built around a story or essay can really fix stuff in your mind much better than getting an unedited free Anki deck off the internet and beating your self in the face with it day after day. You want to get good at the language, not at flashcards.

Japanese relies on set phrases a lot. It also uses particles and words-- like やっと – that you just can’t learn from a list or flashcard. A grammar dictionary can be a big help. For a start, though, I recommend Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication: A Self-Study Course and Reference as a good intro to a lot of grammar that you can actually use to talk to people.

After you get grounded in common vocab and grammar in textbooks, graded readers will give you the most benefit. I like the KLC Graded Readers for quick kanji reinforcement. I’ve seen a lot of good recommendations on here for series like なぜ?どうして?科学のお話, and 10分で読める物語. These are all in Japanese, but they start at first grade and build from there.


yeah I already went through N5, I just read that the textbooks mostly used with teachers. For solo purpose also good?

It depends on how you study, but yes, if you find a textbook you like. A lot of people want SRS or scripts that will do the work for them, but I think solo study from a textbook is more rewarding.

Maybe I check for a Genki. Which one to choose if you already went through n5 grammer.

I don’t know! Never used it.

Their publisher has info here:

And here’s a college’s index of the grammar used:

Good luck!

I was looking at the Genki 2 Second edition, man no price to joke about, haha.

If you can afford it get both. There’s most likely some stuff in Genki 1 that you haven’t covered yet. If you can’t, then get Genki 2


I’d encourage you to start reading to motivate your learning. Reading both reveals lots of common words that aren’t covered by WK and motivates/reinforces your grammar studies.

Try joining a book club.


I do already I have a satori reader subscription, but I think joing a book club is fun, but if I’m right you need to buy the books rights?

The funny thing about common words is, that to me, Kana only words don’t seem to stick as well.

For first attempt at Japanese in university classes, we used Genki. There, the Kanji didn’t stick at all, maybe because I was too lazy for the old fashioned approach. But I learned many words and phrases there.

But now, since I’m using Wanikani (and approach Kanji differently, because I had no real idea how radicals worked back then) I feel that the Kanji add another layer to the vocab. Which Kanji are used, how are they pronounced, how do they form the meaning? I feel like that just sticks, Kana only is hard.

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