No Pirlo, no party; no 男女, no... dancing?


#1

Hey everyone,

Despite years of benefiting from them, it’s my first time posting on a community forum. Bear with me as I figure out my “politeness” level. I should be hitting level 5 pretty quick and I’ll be “learning” the kanji for man (男). I checked the full vocabulary list, the lattice, and used the handy ‘ctrl + f’ function to search for the word 男女. Turns out WaniKani doesn’t teach us that word. It seems like a pretty common word since a friend of mine - who is a native Japanese speaker - used it in a text message a few days ago.

Was this just oversight by WaniKani? Did ctrl + f fail me? Did I fail WaniKani?

Essentially my question boils down to: can I expect some common words to fall through the cracks in favour of the greater good (i.e. 6000ish vocab words by level 60)?


#2

Once you have learned 男 and 女, it’s not that difficult to guess the meaning and reading of 男女.


#3

Don’t worry too much about it. They use vocabulary to reinforce the readings of the kanji. I personally think some of the vocab I have learned isn’t “useful” in a practical sense. There will be lots of everyday words that don’t feature. Wanikani teaches you kanji. It’s not the only resource for Japanese vocabulary as a whole.

For vocab, I’m currently using the core 2000 decks on anki. There’s a lot of context sentences with audio in those decks, they’re good quality. It’s exciting when you hear a sentence and understand it completely.
https://ankiweb.net/shared/decks/core%202000

For grammar there’s www.bunpro.jp

For a complete list of resources, someone here created this awesome list.


#4

If they chose only the 6000 most common words for the vocab, a lot of kanji would be left out.


#5

It’s not the meaning that’s a problem, but that there’s two different readings for it.


#6

You’re right I guess. Guessing the reading does involve a bit of an “intuition” that you only get after learning the language a while. For example, when I see 男女 for the first time, I don’t know for sure that the reading will be だんじょ . On the other hand, だん is the most common reading for 男 and じょ is the most common reading for 女 (at least in compund words, such as 男性 or 女性).


#7

I don’t think you need to worry about formality if that’s what you mean by politeness. ^^ I double checked with a Ctrl+ F search on the WaniKani Statistics site and 男女 isn’t among them! I wouldn’t despair though, since WaniKani totes itself as a kanji teacher, not a vocab one.

You would have to learn vocabulary using another source, such as Anki decks or Memrise. I keep a vocab notebook, but I think it would be better for you to have vocab that will be immediately useful to you. Have you considered study books like Genki or Minna no Nihongo? (*・∧・*)

As for reading, if the kanji is in a noun compound or acting on its own as a noun, it has a reading close to the original Chinese reading. But if the kanji is being used in adjective or verb compounds (made more obvious by the inclusion of hiragana) then it typically has the Japanese reading. I believe these are called on’yomi and kun’yomi respectively?

The problem comes from when a kanji has multiple on’yomi or kun’yomi readings, in which case you must simply memorize which compound uses which reading! (๑′̥̥̥▵‵̥̥̥ ૂ๑) I hope this was helpful!


#8

Ah, I thought so. Honestly, I was just hoping to abdicate my responsibility for learning vocab elsewhere. Thanks for the links!


#9

Not difficult at all. In fact, it’s entirely intuitive. This post was a broader question, though, for which 男女 was simply an example.


#10

That’s what I was afraid of. Oh well. WK is great for Kanji and I was doing vocab independently before (using the Genki books + other stuff), so I’ll just keep on doing what was working before. Thanks!


#11

Yeah, and the alternative (comprehensive vocab) means it would take forever to finish learning the kanji. Just wanted to know what to expect as I move forward.


#12

Of course, my answer is also valid for a broader scope. Basically after learning a language for a while you’ll develop this intuition. Speaking of 男女, Jisho is telling me that there is another reading, which is おとこおんな. But the meaning of おとこおんな is very specific and when you see 男女, 99.9% of the time the reading will be だんじょ.