What about kanji-less vocab?

Hi, I’m still new to this but I’m having a pretty good time. I’ve seen in the wild some nouns that have no kanji like アパート or ベッド. I’ve been kinda waiting for words like these to pop up in lessons but I’m starting to see that it’s only words with kanji. How common are words like this, and should I eventually find a resource to learn them? Thanks for the help!

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There is an Anki deck for vocab without Kanji that can be found here
Also wanikani teaches a lot of words with Kanji even though they are usually written using Kana only.


I’ve used the breadstickninja kana-only deck and it’s great.

Here’s another Anki deck for gairaigo, this one has information about source language:


To directly answer your question: quite common, and aye, you should.

The resources given by the posters above me are an excellent start.

Talking about Core 10k:

Original thread: https://community.wanikani.com/t/So-Much-Vocab/12050

Link to anki deck in that post is dead. I have checked Some Supplemental Material as suggested, but I don’t understand some thing about 10k kana only deck. Does it include 10k core in kana only or does it have only kanji-less\usually in kana words in it?

If you use Memrise, there’s a course that pulled all of the kana-only vocab from Core6k here. Also, I highly recommend this book for onomatopoeia which is frequently written only in kana.

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Thanks everyone for the information. I will look into them.

Both アパート and ベッド are English loan words. Loan words are usually written in Katakana, although not all Katakana words are loan words.

Wikipedia has a big list of loan words which includes the original spelling and country of origin.

  • Be aware that some loan words don’t keep their original meaning such as: Mansion > マンション (Apartment Block).
  • Most loan words are translated into Katakana intuitively, although this isn’t always the case.
  • Some non-loan words may be written in Katakana to provide emphasis or for aesthetic reasons.


Take a look at these words and see if you can work out the original English word from the sound:

  1. デスク
  2. バーガー
  3. エアコン
  4. モバイル
  5. エスカレーター

Careful, this one isn’t exactly what you would think.

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Good point, I had already memorised it as motorbike though so I hadn’t considered thatt.

I replaced it with a different example.

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