Satogokoro --- wtf?


So I’m in Japan now… and I’ve made several Japanese friends and they’re totally not impressed with your word selections like… satogokoro… and several other words, they say although it’s proper Japanese it’s not everyday Japanese. Why is it that you decide to use words that would be similar to someone learning Shakespearean English words that younger generations have very little knowledge of nor ever use? Why not put these types of words at the back of the course instead of near the front?


Personally, I’d rather learn proper Japanese before colloquial. I’d rather train myself to sound smart when speaking. Knowing ‘everyday’ terms is important to understanding others, but wouldn’t you rather sound proper, than lazy, when speaking.
Like in English using words like gunna, ain’t, etc. All these slang terms kids use that aren’t real words. It’s great for English learning’s to know, but then they end up trying to write work emails, college essays, etc, with these terms, and yeah, it doesn’t sound right.
I’d be afraid of learning “more common” Japanese, and then end up sounding like a child, or uneducated, in situations that need it. I’d rather the younger folk think I’m using outdated terms, than to have older folk think I’m too laid back.


lol I gave up caring what others thought of how I spoke after highschool. There’s a time and a place for both, thinking otherwise doesn’t change the fact that the language those filthy commoners use is essential to existing and participating in Japan. Moreso than ‘sounding smart’.


Because this is a site for learning to read kanji, vocab is only a secondary benefit and is really only used to support kanji learning/retention. So sometimes we learn weird/obscure/etc vocab just for the sake of learning a particula kanji.

If you’d like to learn commonly used vocab, I would suggest iKnow. :slight_smile:


This has come up before. What it comes down to is–or at least, this is the explanation I’ve heard–that Wanikani is primarily a kanji-learning tool, rather than for teaching contemporary vocabulary or grammar.

That being said (and this has also been suggested in other threads), I’d appreciate a tag for words that are outdated, uncommon, or just plain rude in everyday situations.

Edit: Oops, ninja’d by @brawnhilda.


Sorry to ask, but why were you using 里心? I got the feeling of stuffyness through the computer, just by thinking of “village heart.”

Were you trying to say “homesickness”? If that’s the case I suppose なつかしい is a better bet… though it doesn’t exactly mean the same. I think the most common way to say that in Japan nowadays is the katakana’d ホームシック. Byt anyway, @brawnhilda has it right, the site has a kanji-first, vocab-second policy.


I think you have to keep in mind that one of WaniKani’s main objectives is to teach you to read kanji. Some vocab words they choose because they’re useful, but they may also choose less useful ones if they do use kanji that you have learned, since it would help reinforce the knowledge you gained.

Keep in mind useful words are found at every level, they’re not all in the first levels. It’s not structured like that! If you want to find more words to learn and find useful ones, try practicing some reading. You can add news words to Anki and etc. Of course you will have to brush up on some grammar too if you want to follow well. this application might be useful when you get to this point.


In a story in Satori reader, ホームシック is used. (That diary series.)

I think vocab are best learnt by textbooks and other kinds on book in real life; although iKnow has quite a nice selection.


Yes, I know more about Japanese than the makers of a kanji learning website and therefore I get to lord over how you idiots don’t know what you’re doing. Arrogance is in, join the trend!


I fully support this statement.


I also completely agree with @DaisukeJigen .

I would much rather learn the “proper” way first. There is nothing wrong with learning slang or common speech but it’s extremely important to me to at least know that that’s how those words are used. Besides, since common speech is, well, common, I feel like I’d be able to pick that up fairly easily especially after learning the “correct” way first.


I want to add that I am of the opinion that you should learn all the vocabulary you can, even words not often used.
I mean, your japanese friends told you 里心 wasn’t an often used word, but they still knew it. If you ever want to achieve a level of fluency like that of a native there is no reason why you shouldn’t know that kind of words too.


i agree. we read words that we don’t use all the time. this is called passive vocabulary.


I would love to see the results of running the Jouyou kanji list against a vocab frequency list, and choose the most common words. Who knows… maybe Tofugu did that. It would depend where you get your frequency list.

It would also be interesting to run the results of the above against an N-gram analysis to see whether words are falling significantly out of usage. That way, you could maybe weed out dying words, yet still keep ones that are widely used but maybe not quite as popular anymore. It might be a good check against corpus bias.


I’m just a beginner in Japanese, but fluent in Spanish. In high school I learned Castillian spanish. In college I lived for a while in a spanish-speaking living group, so we were an odd mix of native speakers (mostly from Central and South America), and a bunch of American second-language speakers of varying levels of skill. What really drove fluency for me, though, was when I moved to Miami and started medical school, because I was forced on a daily basis to interact with people who literally spoke no English. Country of origin, prior training, social class, education, and context - all these things influenced the spanish I heard (and had to speak). I’m still not super great with regional accents, but I can tell Mexico from Cuba from Spain from other parts of Latin America. The moral of this long-winded story is that the more different ways you encounter a language and the more people you encounter it from the better you’ll do in communicating. I take WaniKani for what it is - so far an excellent Kanji tutor. It’s reinforcing other stuff I’ve been doing. Even Rosetta Stone had its place getting me started (though I discovered after months that it had its limitations and wish I’d encountered this website first).


Hey, nihonscope, I’ll give you 3 guesses as to why WaniKani didn’t teach you ホームシック.

Take your time.


in addition to the Kanji, I thought it might have also been selected to be another example of Rendaku which is, apparently, a difficult concept — or certainly is for me.


Whenever we use some of the more obscure Wanikani vocab in class, our Japanese teachers (first laugh, then) remind us that this type of vocabulary, while grammatically correct, is used mainly in written form. Along with helping to remember kanji, you get the benefit of understanding words like 里心 when you start reading newspapers, etc. (why else learn kanji but to read?). However, I agree, without a credible source to guide you correctly, if you just used wanikani vocab when speaking, you could have some difficulties. If you don’t have a native speaking, trained Japanese teacher to help clarify, you can use to get an idea if you should use the vocab when speaking.


I’d strongly suggest people ignore this topic. I remember this guy (I think cause the avatar kind of reminds me of the Mooninites from Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and he tends to appear once every couple of months, make some wild statement then either ignore everyone’s advice or go on the attack against anyone who offered any criticism of his thought process.

Edit: Saying all that, I too would strongly support the idea mentioned by a couple of people that a marker for outdated or obscure vocab would be a good addition.


Yeah, I don’t know if he’s ever made a second post in a thread he started.