What levels are actually useful for everyday japanese?

I would like to know which levels are actually teaching useful voabulary in everyday situations…

talking with friends
getting through a casual work-day
buying stuff in stores or in a market

thankful for any insightful comment :slight_smile:

All levels have their level of usefulness. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll be. What’s important is to reinforce your Japanese studies with grammar, vocab that is not on WK (since there’s thousands of common words not on WK), reading and speaking practice, etc :slight_smile: Wanikani does teach 6000 words, but its focus is on kanji.

For specific situations like those you mentioned, I recommend to actually start by building up some standard phrases that you will use in them.


Everyday vocab is going to be mixed with more stiff, formal, or literary vocab at almost all levels. It’s not organized that way. There are other resources out there that are targeted toward casual Japanese.


Level 40 will get you through any workday:


WK isn’t really meant for that even if you do learn some vocab for those situations. If you really want to learn useful vocab and phrases for speaking in certain social situations use something Genki or Japanese For Busy People. They are specifically set up for that. WK isn’t mean to be the sole source of Japanese learning.


Unfortunately, WaniKani never teaches you the three magic words that get you through any social situation known to man: どうぞ, どうも, すみません :slightly_smiling_face:


But it doesteach 済む, so with a bit of grammar knowledge, you learn 済みません to some extent

Well, I think you need a bit more than just grammar knowledge, because they don’t teach the meaning of 済む that すみません comes from. Which is basically “to have an excuse” or “to be in the right.”

Probably because it’s usually only used in the negative.


I think it comes from ‘there is no end (to my excuses)’ , wirh excuses oart being left out. And that was how すみません can also mean ‘thank you’. As in 'there is no end to my gratitude. Though I agree that there is little sense in learning it that way, over learning it as a set phrase.

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Well, the modern dictionary definition doesn’t offer those explanations, but I haven’t looked into the etymology. Just basing it on the definitions listed in Japanese.

EDIT: I found some suggestions that it comes from a shortening of 気持ちがすみません, where in this case the “to end” meaning of the word is being abstracted to “to settle down” and therefore, the negative form is like “my feelings are unsettled” due to some wrong, or perceived wrong, against the listener.


Add in a pinch of そうですか and そうですね a few utterances like “eeeh”, etc. and everyone will praise you on your excellent japanese skills.


Better keep away from this, I read this like a high pitched dolphin screech (or maybe that sound a balloon makes when you stretch the blowhole so the air squeezes through that tight slit and makes it vibrate).

Maybe that’s just me, though?


I guess @kaikuchn is speaking about that fun sound, you can express so many different stuff with that えっ…


Yeah, that’s what I meant. The video gives a really good explanation. :slight_smile:

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