What are some vocabulary everyone should know that isn't taught here in WK?

What it says on the tin. Just wanna expand my vocab with stuff that wont be taught here.

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Oh man, there is a lot. To learn them I’d go with one of the Anki Core decks linked in the Ultimate Resources List probably. Or Memrise.

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I’ve found that just randomly memorizing vocab doesn’t really help with anything. Better to learn new vocab as you read and see it in context


I partially agree with you. Getting some core vocab down, like high frequency words, first, though, is important. Once you’ve got a solid base, then yea, start adding your own vocab to anki/memrise that you meet in your reading. Until then, one of the core 2k/6k anki decks or something is good. There have also been threads talking about anki decks and memrise courses that specifically have words not covered in WK.

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I’m gonna have to disagree. Maybe this is helpful advice if you already know a lot of basic vocabulary, but how could it possibly hurt to learn everyday vocab that you’re going to see all the time? I mean stuff that doesn’t have an abstract meaning like テレビ or テーブル.

There’s a ton of words that are commonly or only expressed in hiragana. Foreign words are also common and aren’t really covered by WK either. This course is a decent companion. You won’t get a lot of the context and nuance from just studying them in a vacuum, but I think it’s worth doing for common words. It’s much easier to pick that stuff up from reading later after getting roughly familiar with the terms.

As a side note, there are other decks floating around that I think are a little better, but less convenient than this one. I’ve got a core 6k deck with pictures, context sentences, and audio for every term that makes life a little easier. Dig around the resources list zzzlurg mentioned for more.

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New Vocabulary that use Kanji already taught in WK

落語 - Rakugo

手裏剣 - Shuriken. One of those things a lot of people can recognise visually but don’t know the name of.

握り寿司 - Nigiri. One of the most common forms of Sushi.

食道 - Esophagus. A word you probably won’t use often but I like how self explanatory the Kanji is.


Isn’t 手巻き “hand roll”? You mean 握り寿司?

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Korroke. All you need to know to survive.


That’s right! Sorry.

お土産 is on WK. https://www.wanikani.com/vocabulary/お土産

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I learn these from conversation, but its worth paying attention when listening to Japanese for double-words– they’re like onomatopoeia, but unlike onomatopoeia, do not (as far as I know) represent real sound effects, and come from redoubling existing words. Some are on WK, but lots are not. Some examples:

まあまあ– so-so, ok
色々– different kinds, various (I’m pretty sure this is on WK, but it’s also super useful and common, so call this an upvote)
たまたま– somewhat
クリクリぱ-[of a person] crazy, bats**t (this is slang I’ve only heard, so I’m not sure on the spelling, also this is accompanied by the twisting finger at the side of the head gestures some english speakers use when saying somebody is cuckoo)
エロエロ– sexy, alluring [from “ero” as in “erotic”] (slang again, used as a な adjective)

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I’d say learn the words relevant to your life and background.

Example: I’m Canadian so knowing that the ateji short form for Canadian is 加 is at least as useful as knowing 米 and the like.

Are the core decks made out of common words?

The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!

I also exported things to Google Spreadsheet, here. Core 10k non-WK sort by frequency [Spreadsheet]

There are also Usually-in-kana and Katakana words. For Kanji-related words, there is Core 10k breakdown Anki deck.

I wouldn’t say things like the Core 2k/6k really hurt, but especially at a beginner level they lull you into a false sense of security. In particular, they don’t really help you adjust to the fact that lots of words in Japanese are used differently from in English.

For example, for a while I thought 面白い meant “interesting,” which it does. But if you Google “interesting movies” you will see a completely different list compared to if you Google “面白い映画” (of course the latter includes more Japanese movies, but even if you only consider Hollywood, the lists are very different, think “Inception” vs. “Minions”)

As long as you know that the Core lists are a supplement, and your main focus is studying words in context, you’ll be fine. But if you study the entire Core 6k by itself all that will do is make you a walking, not-as-knowledgable Google translate … which you don’t need the Core 6k to access right now.

Actually, from Core 10k and from WaniKani Anki exports, I looked up almost every words in goo.ne.jp (which is actually Digital Daijisen and Shogakukan Progressive JE dictionary), so I know the meaning a little more than English translation… It is easy to make a link in Anki.

This is some of things that WaniKani doesn’t tell you to do, although WaniKani does teach vocab.

Still, I have to do some catchup studies on grammar and reading…

Soo it’s not wise to study coredecks as a beginner?

To pinpoint it.
The best way for beginners is reading japanese material (like nhkeasy) equiped with a dictionary?

There is no such thing as “not wise to study” regardless of your level. You might not be able to understand it 10000%, but when you do learn the word or see it in context down the line you’ll have a much easier time for it.

As an example, when I first started out, before finding either WK or Anki or any of that stuff, I was reading Tae Kim’s guide and was trying to memorize the kanji in it. One of the first ones I took on was 友達. I wrote it out several dozen times, memorized it “the hard way” and while it was not efficient, it was effective - it’s one of the kanji that I can now just gloss over and read it as opposed to “ok, hmm, this looks like that, this looks like that” etc. There are a couple more examples like this, so the bottom line is - whatever makes it stick in your brain is good.

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There is a thing like “not wise to study” if your in a context where you have a limit.

I want to learn as much as I can. But this is limited to the point where my brain says whoo too much, give me a break.

So its wise to study method A rather than method B.