Other places/ways to learn vocab

So I am doing WaniKani, what else should I do to build on my kanji knowledge and for more vocabulary?

I use Iknow for vocabulary building. But I used to use a lot of Anki as well, which is actually free, but takes some getting used to perhaps. There’s plenty of guides online for it though. And pre-existing decks for free.
You can make your own decks with both Iknow and Anki.

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Anki, even though it takes some getting used to. Some Supplemental Material (Anki Decks)
Personally I changed the card layout of those decks a lot, but they’re a good basis.
If not Anki, definitely FloFlo (FloFlo is more user friendly imo)

I’m not too big a fan of “Core 6k” or whatever decks, which basically teach you the most common vocabulary. Instead, I’d advice you to study things like the Yotsubato! Reading Pack or pick an Aoitori Bunko book on FloFlo.

It doesn’t matter that you can’t read those books yet. Pick a book, start studying the vocab and once you’re far enough into grammar you’ll already know the vocab you’ll need for reading that book. Way better than just learning common words. (Most vocab in a slice of life childrens book is pretty common too, so it’s not like it’s less useful. Makes for a good study goal too: Read book X)

With Floflo you can even set your WaniKani level to something higher than you are right now (e.g. 20) and it will exclude all the vocab that is also on WaniKani. Then you can read that book once youre level 20.

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Depends on how much you know aleady really. If you WK level corresponds to your knowledge then I’d recommend to learn a bit more kanji (~lvl. 10) and start reading Japanese sources (e.g. NHK News Easy).

But honestly depends so much on you and your reasons to study Japanese. As for me I learn a lot of vocabulary from anime. Quite often I do my lessons on WK and realize that I heard a particualr word multiple times already. But that’s me. I love linguistics and to some extent I watch anime to hear more Japanese speach :wink:


kitsun.io is the way to go. It’s a product being built by a WK user, so a lot of the features are similar to WK’s user-experience, if not better. Kitsun has a very community centered approach to the SRS world. In a matter of seconds, you can send suggestions for card changes in 1 deck to a deck creator. The creator will then be able to accept your suggestion and the card will be changed to all users of that deck. This means that if hundreds of users are sending 1 or 2 suggestions, the deck gets improved quite significantly with barely any effort. Naturally, decks like the Genki vocab or the Core 10k are significantly better on Kitsun than on Anki, for example (I’ve sent 3000+ suggestions myself).

Something to take into consideration is that even though Kitsun is free for now, it will go pay to use in the following months.

Kitsun’s thread on the forums (you can see some screenshots here): Kitsun.io - Web & Apps SRS Study Platform

In terms of method of learning words, I pretty much advise two things:

  • Do one of the mainstream decks (Katakana 4500 words, Core 10k or the Genki vocabulary deck - log in to access the links)
  • From words you see through exposure, only learn them after exposing yourself to them. Not before. For example, if you’re reading a book, you should go along with reading it and add the words to your SRS as you go. Pre studying vocab is less attractive and less efficient. With Kitsun, you can easily do the former, as Jisho is integrated on the website. You can make flashcards in seconds, as you can see from my screenshot:

As an example, this is how the Genki deck looks like (made by our lovely @hinekidori):

I know people are tired of hearing me talk about Kitsun, but this really works. I’ve been using it since August of last year. If everything goes as planned, I will have learned 14000 new words in 1 year of Kitsun usage.


If you were to order the 10k deck in an order the words appeared in a book, what’s the difference? I’d rather pre-study something with a goal in mind than ordered by statistics

Imagine you learn 20 words a day. I read 2 vols of manga yesterday and it only gave me 5 new words that weren’t in the Core 10k and that I had yet to learn. What did I do? I SRSed the words I saw from exposure and the rest came from Core 10k. And yes, Core 10k might be based on newspapers, but I do see a lot of words from them on manga/from Japanese natives.

The pre vs post SRSing is another thing. I’ve tried pre-studying vocab before, and it simply wasn’t as attractive to do so. I would get bored easily. Also, going through the process of seeing the words being used in a completely raw context and going to SRS them after improved my ability to learn them quite well.

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The vocab in the 10k deck is useful, agreed. Its a lot of common words afterall. Not my point though.

Pre- vs. post-studying is also another argument entirely. It’s about “pre-study 10k” or “pre-study a book”

I don’t think most of the vocab in e.g. Yotsubato is less useful than the vocab in 10k, most of them overlap anyways. So why not just study a Yotsubato-Deck instead, which basically just removes the clutter and allows for more relaxed reading once you’re further along in your grammar studies. (Talking from a beginners perspective)

Sure, but I don’t see why doing a frequency deck isn’t useful either. You can do both (like I’ve said twice). Japanese is not just books as far as I know. You can’t always predict your exposure.

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I have learned a lot of new vocabulary from watching TV Japan. I subscribed to that just especially for vocabulary and listening practice. I was happy to see that they also have Japanese captions on almost every program, so I have reading practice, too.

Some Japanese TV also helps. Have you tried Kantaro? Or maybe Japanese Style Origintaor?

I haven’t seen Memrise mentioned. I used to use that before discovering iKnow. Is it still relevant though?

Memrise changed. Now it only offers official courses created by them, while the community courses have been pushed aside to a sister website called “decks”. The official courses are not that great, if anyone’s wondering.

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Is it worth learning the core 10k with wanikani, since it seems like they overlap a bit?

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Along those same lines, is there an easy way in Kitsun to remove the items from the 10K deck that are learned in WaniKani as one whole batch? I’m just starting on Kitsun and it seems hugely time consuming to individually remove all the cards I already know… (Sorry if this has already been answered, I couldn’t find an answer)

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