UPDATE 1/13/2016 - Now on Memrise!
There's also an Anki version courtesy of Hinekidori. Get it here: /t/Some-Supplemental-Material/8121/1
UPDATE 6/22/2015 - v1.0 ReleaseHello everyone! I'm happy to announce a major update to the WaniKani Expansion Pack. First off, I'd like to thank everyone who sent in corrections to the previous release
There are a number of changes in this version.
- MORE VOCAB! The v1.0 release contains 4,741 additional vocab words beyond those included on WaniKani, arranged in the same order that their kanji are taught on WK. This is more than 1,700 new words since the previous release, and the current version covers all kanji vocab from a popular Core6000 deck that use WK kanji, in addition to other examples for WK kanji where there are very few listed on the site.
- UPDATES AND FIXES! Since I posted the v0.9 pack, WaniKani has added 57 words from that pack to the site. (Coincidence?) They are removed in this version so you won't feel like you're seeing double. There were also a few typos, reading errors, and other dumb things I'd overlooked in the previous version, which are now fixed.
The download link for the updated pack is here.
What is the WaniKani Expansion Pack?The WaniKani Expansion Pack consists of 4,741 additional vocab words for levels 1-50, intended to provide additional reading practice for kanji learned on WK. I was first motivated to start this project when I realized that many of the kanji I had trouble remembering were those for which WaniKani only gives one or two vocab examples containing that kanji. When you see a kanji infrequently, it's hard to remember its meaning and reading. When you see a kanji all the time, reading it becomes second nature. So I made a database of all the kanji on the site and the number of vocab examples containing that kanji, and made a deck of additional vocab examples from Jisho's common words database, such that each kanji on the site has a minimum of 8 vocab examples (or as many common words as Jisho lists). The spreadsheet tool I developed also checks all the kanji in each vocab word and determines which WaniKani level it corresponds to, i.e., by what level you'll have unlocked all the kanji contained in the vocab word. This way, you can review vocab appropriate to your current level and kanji knowledge.
What isn't the WaniKani Expansion Pack?Because Jisho is a fairly imperfect resource, I can't claim that all the entries are the most common, useful vocab examples that are out there. There may be entries for which Jisho's "common words" tag is outdated or inappropriate, or where different words might be more common or useful. Cross-checking the current vocab list against other resources, like Wikipedia's list of the most common words in all of their Japanese articles, is a major next step in improving the quality and usefulness of the database. Another important point is that the expansion pack is not intended to be a "core" deck. Many of the kanji in the higher levels of WK having only a handful of common words, compared to lower level kanji which may have dozens. Since the point of this project was just to ensure a certain minimum number of words for each kanji, this means that I may have only picked 8 example vocab for a kanji that had 40 common words on Jisho, so there are likely to be lots of common vocab words that are not included, especially at the lower levels. This is really not much different than WaniKani's approach, which is to give enough vocab examples that you get comfortable reading the kanji in context, but doesn't purport to be an exhaustive list of useful examples.
How do I use it?There are links to Memrise and Anki courses at the top of this post. Additionally, the course is offered in a number of .csv files broken up by level, that are most easily used with Doublevil's Houhou SRS application, but could also be imported to the WaniKani self-study extension without much trouble. I really like using Houhou, since it provides a very similar experience to reviewing on WK, can store its database in a Dropbox folder to sync reviews between multiple computers, and has some really nifty features for looking up and adding your own vocab if you feel like it.
To add the WK Expansion Pack items to Houhou, choose "Import SRS items..." on the SRS tab and choose the CSV file you'd like to add. Check the box signifying that the first line is a header, and leave the other options at their defaults (semicolon, double-quote, UTF-8 encoding):
Hit “Next” and make sure that “Kanji Readings,” “Accepted Meanings,” “Accepted Readings,” and “Tags” are all selected in their respective drop-down menus, and that item type is “Set as Vocab” instead of “Auto”:
Before you hit “next,” scroll down in the same window and set how many new items you’d like to review per day. These decks contain 200-400 items depending on the level, so choose a comfortable number. 15-20 is a nice, middle-of-the-road range. Also select to see them “In Import Source Order” so that your items show up in the same order as their WaniKani levels:
Hit “next” a couple more times and you’re ready to review. Since Houhou doesn’t have a lessons feature, you’ll probably just have to guess at reading and meaning the first time you see an item, but you’ll be shown the correct reading and meaning if you type an incorrect answer, or something random like “I don’t know.” Others might be obvious, even if they’re new to you.
WaniKani Expansion Pack Download Links:The files can be found here! Check the filenames for the levels you’d like to download.
What’s Next?, Contact Info, Etc.Short of correcting any problems with the current release, I don’t plan to release another update until after the next 10 WaniKani levels have been added to the site. I’ve done a fair amount of work building my own kanji and vocab lists for levels 51-60, but my proposed kanji lists ended up being pretty different from the kanji Tofugu has chosen to teach in the next ten levels. In order to avoid getting out of sync with the site’s official content, I’m going to wait until the new levels are done before expanding the pack or making additional updates.
In any case, email me if you have questions about the project, and especially if you find typos, mistakes, or any other dumb stuff I did while making this! I can be reached at: thomyorke64 (at) gmail (dot) com
Thanks everyone, and enjoy!