The Seven Basic Categories of Vocabulary

I found there are mainly only these seven major categories of vocabulary in any given language:

  1. Vocabulary that looks useful immediately and you are going to use it in daily life from day one

  2. Vocabulary that looks useful immediately but it takes some time until you can safely use it in daily life

  3. Vocabulary that you can’t use in daily life but it’s useful to know and at some point you use it against knowing it better

  4. Vocabulary that is so sophisticated that you would like to remember it to “sound intelligent in Japanese” but because you don’t have the slightest idea on what it means from the beginning you end up saying it to yourself from time to time in the shower

  5. Vocabulary you come across by chance, look it up and think you will never see it again like eg 砂糖黍 on a Muji calendar and then later on that same day you have dinner with your family and your mother in law mentions 砂糖黍 very casually. If this happens more than once you know you have established a psychic connection to your parents in law well.

  6. Completely outdated Vocabulary you never want to hear or see again after you finished Minna no Nihongo and you will never hear or see it again but it is burned too deep into your brain to ever be able to forget it.

  7. Completely useless nonsensical waste-of-time WaniKani vocabulary. Until you watch Godzilla 2014 with 音声ガード which is highly recommendable by the way. Here everything starts to fall into place. I will start a topic dedicated only to this fantastic audio- visual experience in about one month once I finished to write down everything.

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