What are some useful words/phrases that you have recently learnt that CAN'T be found on Wanikani?

As stated in the title! What are some vocabulary or phrases that you have recently learnt that can’t be found on WaniKani- but you feel will come in very useful? Feel free to provide context sentences to show how they are used!

I recently learnt about-

  1. いつの間にか - Before I knew it
    (いつのまにか ふゆ も すぎて しまった)
    Before I knew it, Summer was over.

  2. ぎりぎり- Just barely (Adverbial noun, な adjective)
    (ぎりぎり に なる まで まっていた)
    I waited until the last minute.

  3. 尚更・なおさら - All the more
    (えいご は はなせません。にほんご は なおさら できません)
    (I can’t speak English, let alone Japanese.)


  1. 気が散る - To get distracted
    (そうおん で き が ちって ちゃんと べんきょう できない)
    The noise distracted me from studying properly


  1. はまるー To be addicted to, to be absorbed in, to fit (literally), to fall into、Intransitive Godan Verb. Usually used in its Progressive Form.
    I’m addicted to Video Games.

I’ve recently started reading my first novel in Japanese and I’m encountering words and phrases not from WaniKani all the time. One phrase that appeared several times in the first 10 pages and is pretty interesting is 突拍子(とっぴょうし)もない - crazy.

There are also some cool proverbs, like 三十六計(さんじゅうろっけい)()げるに()かず, which literally means “Out of the 36 (ancient Chinese military) strategies retreat is the best one.”


On a similar vein:
あっという間に = in the time it takes to say “ah”.


何か is pretty useful. Just recently came across that one

Example sentence: 何かある?


This is a personal favourite, because once I realised it I noticed I was hearing it everywhere. Super useful!


Wanikani only teaches kanji and individual words (for the most part, at least), so any phrase constructed with multiple words/particles. Off the top of my head, something like 〜気がする, which translates more or less to “to feel as if ~.”

(さい きん ね ぶ そく のような き が する)
(I) feel like (I) haven’t been getting enough sleep recently. (not entirely sure if i constructed this sentence correctly)

There are also some cool proverbs, like 三十六計さんじゅうろっけいげるにかず, which literally means “Out of the 36 (ancient Chinese military) strategies retreat is the best one.”

I know that Japanese is heavily influenced by classical Chinese, but it’s always surprising to see expressions that Chinese people use often appear in Japanese (I’m Chinese and speak Mandarin, btw). The Chinese equivalent is: 三十六计走为上计. I always thought Chinese was unique with its particular set of proverbs, but I guess not haha. I wonder how often these proverbs are used colloquially because I hear them a lot in China, but I know colloquial Japanese consists mostly of 和語 instead of 漢語 (one exception I can think of is 一番 vs 最も).


Just wanted to let you know that you have a typo. You used 英語 in the Japanese sentence but German in the translation.

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One that I’ve seen several times is 一刻も早く: as soon as possible.

As part of my practice regimen, I’ve been adding words that I’ve encountered to my Anki deck if they use kanji that I’ve at least gotten to Guru level. I have over 400 words in there, but here are some random words that I’ve encountered a lot in the wild: 調査株価様子気配関節咄嗟(に)野望直感出番登場退場

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Level 7 :wink:


Super important Japanese word ファクス is not on this site.


耳たこ - when you’re told something so often that you’re sick of hearing it.


Heh. I did a translation of a drama, and in the first episode, one of the characters complained that he’d heard something so many times that 耳のタコがイカになりました, and boy did that one take some research to unravel. (Think I went with “my ears are so callused they’re turning into calamari”. Don’t recall exactly.)


Oh that reminds me, the two other たこ that aren’t the ones you’re thinking of. Super important. Plus one extra まめ

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Not sure if these WON’T appear in wanikani but these are some I’ve learned from friends:

片思い(かたおもい) ー one sided love
ドエム/ドエス ー dom/sub, these do have sexual connotations but they can also just refer to personality.

I know there are others in forgetting but these are ones I’ve learned recently

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More like extreme masochist and extreme sadist, in that order.

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神隠しーSpirited away, mysterious disappearance.

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I was shocked to discover this one isn’t in WaniKani. I searched repeatedly in disbelief.

石鹸 = せっけん = soap.


That was the どTruth

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:open_mouth: I didn’t know they thought vocab with kanji from previous chapters.

Woops my bad! Will edit it.

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