Vocabulary for beginner

Can anyone suggest the best way to start learning japanese vocabulary?? Should I go for pre-made anki decks or should I start reading and gradually build up my own anki deck?

For the first few hundred, you should just pick a premade deck, that contains the most common words or at least something similar to that. With a curated deck like that, you can skip the hard part of trying to figure out what works and how, and the tedium of adding words manually


If you’re a real beginner, I’d suggest picking up a textbook. That will start you off with beginner-level common vocabulary and also cover some grammar. Genki is one of the most common, but “Japanese from Zero” and others also have good reviews.

Though I say this in part because I personally don’t like just using flashcards, and using premade decks is often just memorizing words with no context, which makes it harder to actually internalize the meaning of the word and be able to recognize it / use it in a sentence.

If you’re going to be reading anyway, then building up your own deck with words you looked up and including the original context would be the way to go.


Honestly speaking, I started from grammar textbooks and example sentences; but it is also possible to use translated sentences elsewhere.

At some point, you will need to interpret sentences without official translations, so maybe something like Tadoku Level 0 or NHK Easy News?

Vocabulary lists aren’t so bad, but you should read example sentences too. Perhaps Core 2.3K is recommended?

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