That is a bit depressing

So I have bought the children’s book to join the reading group on 1 November. Have started reading it. I’ve been looking up vocab I don’t know and writing it into the book. Out of curiosity I checked for
one page to see if they are in WK (and that therefore I would eventually come across them). Only one of the five is in WK! And this is a book for 8 year old Japanese kids. I really thought that at level 60 I would have a functioning vocabulary.


Correction- 1 from 7!

Well, the purpose of WK is to learn how to read kanji, the vocab are more of a (nice) supplement to introduce/reinforce readings

You’ll still be taught 6000+ vocab, but there are still thousands more to learn outside of that, which is why reading is so helpful

As a level 60, yes I can read a vast majority of things I come across, but I’m still learning new words every single day ^^


But there are so many words in the world :joy:

It is a bit disheartening, but remember that WK is first and foremost a tool for learning kanji, and that the vocab are included as a way to help you read kanji. There are only ~6000 words in WK, so there’s plenty more to learn once you’re finished here :wink: that’s part of why we have reading groups!

There are also many common words (especially relevant to children) which are usually written in hiragana and would never appear here.


One more thing to mention, sometimes, especially in children’s books words can appear in hiragana/katakana even if they’re more commonly written in kanji.


I feel like the vocabulary taught in Wanikani is just there to help with memorizing the onyomi and kunyomi readings for the Kanji that they teach. For vocabulary acquisition I use the app iKnow!.


What exactly are the vocab?


Wk focus after all is to tackle the hurdle that Kanji represents, so most of the vocabulary given here is not intended fully to cover the most common words in Japanese, but rather to give some practical way to train your ability to read and identify Kanji.

This is something you may have come across before, but it is not recommended to rely all your studies of Japanese only in WK, take for example the clear lack of grammar teaching.

When we acknowledge this setback and search for resources that cover those other areas, it should happen sooner or later the exact thing that you’re noticing, you need to read and study on your own, the usual recommendations are to search for the Core decks that covers more common vocabulary ordered by frequency.

There’s also a course in Memrise, covering more vocabulary not introduced here in Wk

By any means, you buying a manga and starting to read on your own is the best thing you can do

Be more… skeptical :stuck_out_tongue:


Well even if you had read all the theory about grammar and knew many words and stuff, if you never read a book before, it will seem overwhelming in the beginning because you will have to put to use everything you know so far.

I am only level 7 and my grammar knowledge is limited but I am excited about his reading group because I will learn a lot of things and reinforce the things that I already know.

Everything is a struggle at first but after a time you will look back at this book and laugh at how difficult it was then.

(Hopefully :smile:)

Keep up and never give up.


I have found that most of the Kanji in the book are from WK (less than level 20). Individual words on the other hand, especially those written in kana, are ones that I KNOW I struggle with.

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Not got the book in front of me but some words I can remember:


Unfortunately you’re not alone. You learn a lot of words, but not even close to all the words youll need.

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など is more like a grammar point so most vocabulary resources wouldn’t teach you that.
いためる is taught in wanikani but in kanji 傷める.

Although I am having to look up lots of words the book is not that difficult so far. Lots of katakana. Lots of words I do know. Would be easier in Kanji with furigana as I am struggling sometimes with the homonyms and also recognising the relevant tenses eg きています threw me for a second until I realised it was 来ています

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炒める not 傷める

Oh my yes. Kanji are your friends :wink:

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Not having the など reading or the “et cetera” meaning for 等 does feel like an oversight on WK’s part, but it’s such a basic word that it’d be impossible not to learn it on your own.

炒 is a Kanken Level 1 kanji that isn’t taught in school, so I can see why 炒める didn’t make the cut.


My copy of the book hasn’t arrived so I can’t have a look myself, but it is a Year 2 reader - why would it have Kanken lvl 1 kanji in it??

It doesn’t… Isn’t that one of the points he was making? That it’s harder to discern the meanings because of that.

But the fact that 炒める appears on Kanken Level 1 doesn’t mean that いためる is a difficult word.

I was just speaking to why WK doesn’t teach いためる.

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Content for children has sometimes surprisingly obscure vocab. I was checking some German songs for children, some list bird species that are probably already mostly extinct, and you can learn that “Frau Kratzefuß” (Mrs. Scratchfoot?) is a poetic way to refer to a chicken.

If you check Japanese folk tales you also see lots of obsolete stuff :slight_smile:

[And you can have a functioning vocabulary without “to deep-fry” :upside_down_face: ]