When is a good time to start adding vocab resources to my studies?

Just started on this journey and I know WK focus isn’t vocabulary so I will eventually need to supplement it with external resources.

I know for these kind of questions usually the best answer is “now”, but since I barely know any kanji, I don’t think I will benefit much from adding vocabulary studies to my routine atm. That being said, at around which level would be a good idea to start going for those N5 vocab books and drilling them in?

From my research, it seems around level 10 I’d know most of the kanji required for N5, so that seems like a good moment to supplement WK, right? I do plan around this level to start adding grammar.



Look for a grammar resource that works for you, some kind of all-in-one Japanese learning package, I mean Japanese Ammo with Misa, LingoDeer, etc.; these aren’t vocab resources specifically, but they’re going to use very common Japanese words that you’re going to need to learn anyway, and many of those are going to be non-WaniKani vocab. So you’re killing two birds with one stone actually learning how to speak and understand full Japanese sentences and learning common and useful vocab along the way.


I certainly won’t be the last to say this, but not all vocab is kanji-based! There are more than plenty of vocab that don’t use kanji, not to mention all the katakana loanwords that are incredibly important to learn. Many people go months before getting into kanji, picking up lots of vocab. Don’t feel like your inability to use kanji is an inability to study the rest of the language because you’ll just be holding yourself back!


if you think kanji will be a hurdle in your vocab studies start today with kana only vocab like here, there, over there, this, that, when, where etc. You can really begin anytime.


I encourage you to start right now. Learning kanji before learning vocab is not necessary, I’d even say that learning both simultaneously helps a lot. Sometimes kanji you’ve seen before help you recognize the meaning of a vocab in a flash, and sometimes vocab you already know helps you learn a kanji just by recognition without yet studying it, making it easier to memorize as soon as you see it in WK.


You can also take a look at onomatopoeias. They have a strong role to play in japanese language.

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I second this. Make sure you have a good regimen. Otherwise if you only study one, you end up with my testing result of only earning 1/3 of the points possible because you didn’t put the effort in.

I think the WK and KamiSame (for vocab retention) is a good start. Grab some grammar and listening and go with it.

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Do you have any idea if resources like JLPT N5 Tango have sufficient enough non-kanji vocab that would be fitting for my level?

I also found a “katakana sentence reading practice” anki deck that looks promising. Gonna give it a try.

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I dont have a lot of info on resources. Plenty of others here use many different things though. I’m sure one of them will weigh in.

I have experience in Genki 1, but I’m using CureDolly videos for grammar.
I also know of my crappy test results-- when I took the test last year.

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Gzz, the quoting function wnet all crazy ahd quoted the wrong answer… Anyway, the more replies the better :smiley:

There’s several options I’d recommend:

  • Do a katakana vocab deck - learners tend to underrate katakana words since most of them come from English, but the fact is that natives do use a lot of them. A lot of times it’s much more natural to use a katakana word over a kanji one. Not only that but learning katakana words is a great way to reinforce one’s katakana.
  • Do hiragana/katakana words from the famous Core 10k deck (top 10000 most used words in a newspaper).
  • Do a vocab deck from a textbook. Words there tend to use simple enough kanji and there’s also a bunch of hiragana/katakana ones that you’ll see. This helps with your grammar studies too, since you won’t be finding as many unknown words as before.

The N5 Tango is very kanji light. I’d say <5% of entries use any kanji at all. The kanji tat are used are extremely common ones that will mostly be covered in the low levels of WK, so the two work together pretty well.

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The main focus might not be vocabs, but sometimes it feel like it is :wink:
There are SO much vocab to be learned here through this platform!

I would focus on grammar, and use resources there that make use of common words that you thus end up learning in the process :wink:

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Torii might be what you’re looking for: Torii

I personally learn vocabs while studying Genki: with each new lessons, I set up a deck with the associated vocabs.

I plan to use Torii in the future, probably pluging it to my study flow once I’m done with Genki Vol. 1 textbook.

Welcome to the forums!

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