Vocab Lesson Pile

Hi all! I’ve hit level 12 after a fair grind through the Kanji using the reorder deck, and now I have over 400 vocab reviews to do. I know that if I keep speeding through the levels then this will get out of control but it seems to take forever to get through them! Do people get all the vocab done before moving onto the next level? Any tips? Doing 10-20 new lessons a day at the moment, and like the idea of moving on to learn new kanji. For context, I defo want to learn the vocab as I want to learn the language properly, I just want to make sure I’m doing it in the most efficient way.

Any help is much appreciated!

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Yes. Did so all the way up to lv 60.

I think you might be misunderstanding the role of the vocab on WK a bit. They’re there to reinforce the readings of kanji and to give examples of alternative readings for kanji. So, that’s the reason you’ll wanna get those lessons done as soon as you guru a kanji.

But you’ll have to use other sources (outside of WK) for getting to know Japanese properly (not to mention learn about grammar), since WK doesn’t really teach you all the handy vocab you’ll need.


Try using Lesson Filter instead of Reorder Ultimate and make sure to consistently do 3 times the number of vocab lessons than kanji lessons every day. This will ensure that you never get a massive pile of vocab lessons like you have now. Granted, you’ll need to focus on vocab lessons exclusively (or nearly exclusively) to get out of the hole you’re currently in before you can switch to that approach. You can also use Lesson Filter for that if you want.


Seconding pretty much all of this.

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Thanks for the reply - using Tim Kae for grammar and immersing myself in Japanese news, podcasts etc for the rest of it. Hopefully I’ll be getting somewhere with it all!


Ah that makes a lot of sense - thanks for the help


Or, you know, just do it in wanikani’s order like it’s meant to be. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Yeah, it’s not like you’re supposed to memorize the vocab AS working vocabulary. They’re giving you a connection point to fatten up that kanji reading particle in your memory a little bit. A couple of examples of “oh, 転 that’s probably てん as in 自転車”

And it’s not great for learning vocabulary (except by accident). But it IS good for making the readings stick in your memory a lot better. You’re giving that up by skipping the vocab lessons.

And hey, maybe that’s fine for you, but it’s still easier to get all the vocab reviews done little by little when they come up in order rather than letting them pile up separately.


Yes, it’s a process. Do like 10-20 a day and in several days you’ll be done with it. :slight_smile:

If you don’t want/need the vocab from WaniKani, I recommend starting up an Anki deck or decks with commonly used words using kanji you already acquired.

I don’t skip the vocab, since I kind of decided to roll with the vanilla WaniKani experience. It does help in putting those kanji readings into context.

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Another thing is kanji items in WK only introduce one reading. But most kanji have multiple readings. You learn those through the vocab.

Sure, but typically people who use a reorder script already aren’t going to go back to vanilla WaniKani. Obviously going back to vanilla WaniKani is an option, but why pretend it’s the only option?

Also, for some people (like myself) WaniKani’s order is painful and results in burnout.


I didn’t even suggest it was the only option, yours is also perfectly legit and may be helpful to the OP. But the question seems like “doctor, it hurts when I do this” - the answer just might be “stop doing that”.


I’m seconding this!

If you’re impatient to learn new kanji, I recommend (once you get through your existing vocab build-up) using the lesson filter script to learn a few kanji a day alongside some vocab lessons instead of learning the kanji in huge bursts and then having to chew through day after day of just vocab lessons. I’ve found that spreading the kanji out actually allows me to learn the vocab lessons much sooner after guru-ing the associated kanji. Otherwise, I’ll guru a whole bunch of kanji at once and it will take me several days to reach some of the new lessons.

Some people are able to do all of the vocab lessons done before moving onto the next level, but I have seen far more people here burn themselves out doing that, because by the end of WK it can result in a hugely inconsistent workload, with hundreds and hundreds of reviews on some days, and very little on others.

If you are interested in going super fast, the method described in the ultimate guide to WK is probably the most efficient and sustainable.

But if you’re comfortable with 10-20 new lessons each day, it might be best to stick to that pace and level up slower than max speed. If you want to spread out the kanji, you could try doing 3 kanji + 9 vocab lessons a day (12 total), or 4 kanji + 12 vocab lessons (16 total). That should allow you to get all of the vocab lessons done shortly after their associated kanji each level, while also reducing the number of days you’ll spend getting through a vocab lesson backlog at the end of the level (you’ll only have a couple days of only vocab lessons at the end while you wait for the current level’s kanji to reach guru).

Regarding your 400 lesson backlog, I highly recommend pacing yourself and getting through them slowly, rather than trying to do 100 or multiple 100s in one day just to get through them. Many of the vocab lessons are going to be a huge struggle because it has been some time since you learned the kanji originally. If you’re not looking forward to getting through the backlog, you might also consider resetting back a couple levels and doing them properly.

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I achieve basically the same effect by switching back and forth between “shuffled” order and “ascending, by subject” order. It’s fun that way too, because on shuffled you never know what you’ll get. :slight_smile:

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when i was speedrunning, my rule was to have all the previous level’s vocab lessons done before i started getting the new level’s vocab.

you really do want to do your vocab. most kanji have at least two important readings, and possibly several more, as well as important exceptional readings. if you don’t do vocab, you miss out on all of that.