There's no desu?

I’m a bit surprised that although the platform covers a lot of words that are kana only, including the likes of anata, a common word like “desu” doesn’t appear. It make me wonder what other words I’ll eventually miss out on.

I already recognize that I’ll eventually need to transition to another service to practice speaking and that’s fine, but in the meantime I’m wondering if there’s something I should be adding to my current routine to ensure I’m not missing out on common vocabulary that might not use kanji.

Any other learning resources for this, as well as writing tests for full sentences, would be much appreciated.


I think that is because です is not a word with a meaning by itself. It’s more like a verb or kindof like two syllables to make formal o polite what you are saying. It is more a grammar matter rather than a vocabulary matter.
It is not the same case with あなた that is a noun by itself, you can see it more as a vocabulary thing.

I would say to use any resource to learn grammar paralelling your learning of kanji/wanikani. Like a textbook or bunpro or anything that you like, a lot people watch youtube videos aswell.


Thank you, I will look into bunpro, I need something that’s more interactive and structured than just telling me something so it sounds perfect.


Look! I just found this thread, maybe it will become a handy.


This platform isn’t designed to teach you vocab or grammar.

It’s designed to teach you kanji, I don’t know if they’re selling it differently these days, and it’s been a big point of contention on here on the forums.

I hope you haven’t been sold some one and done product that will give you a full Japanese education


Let’s not unduly nflame anythng. Nothng much has changed, but a very slght1sh change really. And honestly, 1’m not sure, how the read1ng used to be here. 1t’s stl about read1ng aspects of the Japanese language and certa1nly grammar 1s off the table 1n th1s sort of formulaton for me. -screencap taken today 24-06-20

That be1ng sa1d, OP you m1ght th1nk that “desu” 1s a word, and that 1s understandable. 1t’s just a grammar aspect of Japanese though. :slight_smile:

Tbh, 1 have never been that confused as to the change of th1s app, there are more words as those help 1n readng. But, yeah, when 1t comes to grammar, that clearly means a b1g step towards somethng Wan1Kan1 1s not today. And there are other’s work1ng wth those aspects, l1ke grammar and language context, that m1ght be a better forum for learn1ng as well.

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I miss the days when there were “4 hours until my next review” :stuck_out_tongue: I guess there still are some hours less busy than others but man, mornings with 50 things to review first thing are rough.

Shikata ga nai


I understood that it wasn’t a full education and I think the free first 3 levels give a good idea of what the platform does and does not provide. At the same time, as a non japanese (yet) japanese speaker, it’s tough to know these concepts. It’s very much an unknown unknown, especially since desu gets conjugated like a verb, and verbs are very much words, which like I mentioned are included in the curriculum to some degree. The extent of that degree remains to be seen, which was why I was asking the question in the first place.

I think it underlines that maybe having a section that explains what the platform does not provide to clarify might be useful, because contextually, with the level of knowledge I have going in, when I’m getting served plenty of vocabulary that does not include kanji, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to expect terms like “desu” to be included as well.


Yep, the inclusion of kana only vocab was very controversial on here. The people opposed to it suggested it would lead to issues like the ones you are finding


I’m actually for it, for me personally it helps me memorize kana, but yeah, definitely causes some confusion.


I have to ask, is there a reason/meaning for using the numeral one '1" in place of the letter “i/I”?


Broken keyboard


That was my first guess.

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Can you name any other commercial entity that have sections explaining what they don’t teach/sell?

It’s not very common but it does happen in some specific contexts. For instance, for video games, it’ll specify if there are modes for single player or if it’s multiplayer only, and likewise if an Internet connection is required or if it can be played offline, because at a glance both are plausible so stores force publishers to divulge that information.

I’ve also seen marketing content which had specifications like that because they were targeting a specific audience and would rather have a high satisfaction rate than a lot of returns. It think this was especially true for platforms where you can get a refund within a few weeks of purchase.

But overall, even if you don’t say “we don’t do X”, I think product clarity is generally a positive, and when it comes to something like desu, to a beginner, I can imagine it not being clear. It can also be taken as an opportunity for partnerships as well, like “If you are looking to learn the language as a while, we recommend also using this platform, which will focus on grammar” and the likes.

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If you are looking to learn the language as well, and not just kanji…

Or, if you want a bit of both worlds, there’s actually

WaniKani, at large, is still a Kanji learning platform, and the vocab mostly reinforces the readings more than anything else. But with the kana, it sort of dabbles in other things but definitely not heavily.


The quest1on has been answered! That’s 1t! XD


Thank you very much for these platforms, I’ll definitely check these out!

I really like using Busuu for learning about grammar and sentence structure etc.

Wanikani definitely won’t be enough to help you actually speak the language.