Vocab not covered in WaniKani

I’m sure this has been brought up in other posts, but I’m on level 52, and it worries me when I see example sentences like this one, for the vocab word “Backing/Support”:

“I’m sure that they are just trying to support the candidate.”

I’ve never seen the vocab combo of 出馬者 before, and based on the sentence, it looks like it means “candidate”. But when I search WaniKani for it, I can’t find it. So why aren’t words like this covered, because it’s obviously something they know about and use, but how am I supposed to know what it means, let alone how to read it? I can’t just assume On Yomi, because there are wayyyy to many exceptional readings out there.

With the lower levels, they are in the process of making sure all the new context sentences are readable based on your level to that point (though they usually still leave the “difficult” sentences intact), but I suppose they’ll get to the level 51-60 range someday. So it’s not that they aren’t aware of the idea you’re complaining about, it’s just that you’re mentioning a sentence from the end of queue.

But, since people who are level 52 are probably already consuming lots of high level material anyway, they might not see it as a priority.


Another thing to consider is that WaniKani isn’t really the place to learn vocabs. Even if you take the time to deeply read every single example sentence, it won’t be enough to cement that vocab in your mind. That example sentence is coming out of nowhere, you have no attachment to it and it won’t leave an impression (As we know, vocabs in WK are still important because they strengthen the recognition of Kanjis they constitute. And the amount in each level right now is enough to give you a challenge, even without them adding all the “common” ones)

Even when I can recall a vocab in WaniKani when reviewing, 90% of the time I can’t make it out when I’m reading it for the first time. I depend purely on reading things I enjoy to acquire and familiarize myself with vocabs.

(And just in case someone doesn’t know, on PC you can use rikaikun or yomichan extensions for browsers, they’ll help when there are words you don’t know how to read)


I’ve had plenty of occasions outside of WK where I’ve seen words that are new, but use kanji I’ve learned. So far, they’ve been very easy to pick up.

WK isn’t designed as a stand-alone learning tool. You have to supplement it with other resources. As Leebo said, you should be looking to consume a lot of native material in addition to your studying as it’s an important part of progressing past classroom Japanese to a functional level.

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