When learning new vocab do you read the context sentences

I’m curious if you read the sample sentences below, and if you do is it typically within your skill range?


Yes, to both. But I study grammar in parallel, and I think it helps. :wink:


I do read the example sentences most of the time.

In the beginning I struggled to understand a lot of them but now I can read the majority of them with no issues.


I try to read them as I want to see both if I understand the sentences, and if I understand the kanji used in them. It also helps seeing them used in a sentence.


I tended to only skim the English translation to make sure I didn’t misunderstand the meaning of the word due to homonyms.


I attempt it here and there, but even at level 15 the grammar can still be too advanced for me. I am only ~N5 grammar though. It would be a massive improvement if they kept the grammar of the example sentences in the same league as the actual vocab.


I hardly ever do. Or I try but give up. I wish the sentences were more basic. Or at least they presented a range. Also it’d be nice if the English translation was hidden so we could figure it out ourselves, but of course this all has been said a thousand times on here.


When I was on the mid levels (say 20-40) I would read every context sentence. On the lower levels, they were usually too hard for me, and on the higher levels, I ditched both the context sentences and the mnemonics. I would only read the context sentence if the sense of the definition was unclear.


I don’t know a lot of vocab or grammar yet so some sentences stump me, but i like to read the english translations so I know HOW the word can be used and in what contexts, especially since Japanese can be a very contextual language it helps to see it used in a few different ways.

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I read them. I particularly enjoy trying to translate them, to see what I can and can’t understand. To prevent reading the English in my peripheral vision, I blur the sentences using the spoiler styling in this forum and then reveal the translations on mouseover.


Did you write a TamperMonkey script for this?

Yeah. The script is not hosted, but the source is available.

Here it is in action.

Another script that does the same thing predates mine and is already hosted. I haven’t used this one, so I can’t make any promises about it.

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Same. I am on N4 grammar now, and level 17 here and most of the time I would not understand the sentences. I mean, the translation is anywhere there and my eyes first scan the English sentence and I just know I would never get that right in Japanese. I already give up before even giving it a try XD! Maybe when I am level N3.

Many of the example sentences are too complex and don’t really help with learning the language unless you’ve already mastered intermediate level Japanese (which most people learning kanji have not).

It’s a missed opportunity because the philosophy of WK is supposed to be “things are easier to learn if you break them down into their components”. So you learn radicals first, and you combine them to make kanji. You combine kanji to make vocabs. And the last step is supposed to be: you combine vocabs (using grammar) to create sentences.

But if the sentences are too complex, then they don’t help us understand the vocabs very much. Many times you don’t even know how to read the whole sentence because there’s no audio recording for them. Which is why most WK users ignore the sentences, which means the person who wrote them probably wasted their time.

There was a project to add more example sentences, and also write simpler ones. But it was stopped about a year ago and tucked away in the category of “not a priority”. Which means it will take several more years for the rest of the sentences to be rolled out (if at all).


What I’ve been doing is skimming them and choosing the easiest of the three examples. It has been helping to actually get some reading instead of just rote memorization of the vocab.

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I read them at times, but, being such a low level at the moment, most of them are quite difficult for me. But I have managed to read a few easier ones, at least :slight_smile:

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I always try to, but there are more than a few sentences that are too complex/have kanji that I haven’t encountered yet. In those cases, I go looking for other examples on different websites.

It’s one of my few complaints about WaniKani; sometimes I feel like the context sentences are deliberately overly complex, and it doesn’t really help me understand how the new vocabulary can be used in a sentence :sweat_smile:


I do read the context sentences most of the time, but my Japanese grammar (sentence comprehension) sucks right now, so I don’t understand why the sentences are the way they are, but I can read the kanji, so that’s something at least. Being at my level I should probably start going hard on grammar.


I always read the English for the reason @seanblue said already. Disambiguating homonyms and getting the parts of speech right.

I sometimes try my hand at reading the Japanese, but my grammar and vocabulary is not often up to the task on most of them yet. It will give me a reason to start over when I get to 60.

When they are not weird, yes. More often than not, I just wait until they show up in Kaniwani because the sentences there are more “normal” and if I can’t understand, I can just click the sentence to see the breakdown in Jisho.