Where can i learn vocab without Kanji


I’ve been using WaniKani for a bit and have developed a small understanding of Kanji and a lot of vocab that uses Kanji. It really cool because I’m beginning to understand little bits an pieces of Manga and all sorts of places.

However, any word without kanji, take for instance おいしい (delicious maybe) is completely foreign. Which kinda sucks. Because i can’t understand full sentences in manga and what not.

I was wondering if anyone has any websites, techniques or methods they use to develop vocab that isn’t just limited to words with kanji. I’ve picked up a couple of words from Duolingo although i’m looking for something more strictly Vocab based

Any help appreciated

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When you finish WK, the crucial thing missing to understand Japanese is grammar and not vocabulary. For example, you will see 美味しい (おいしい)by level 15.


If you’re just looking to recognize words that are usually / only kana, I’d recommend Torii. It’s an SRS like Wanikani, and it has all of the kana-only words from the 10k deck (as well as every other word from that deck. You can even learn all the 10k words, but filter out the ones on Wanikani).
If you’re looking for a way to recognize words made of kanji from their kana alone (and are willing to spend a little money), I’d try Kitsun. It is, again, an SRS like Wanikani. It’s similar to Anki, since it allows you to make your own cards, including importing words right from Jisho, and set review intervals and card layout. It has a kana → english option for words written in kanji, so you can test your recognition skills given just the kana.
Of course, if you have the skills / determination, you could just make do with Anki. It’d take a little getting used to, but functionally it’s the same as Kitsun, and would give you whatever you need.
Hope you find what you were looking for!


Weirdly enough, if you want to easily recognize words that consist only on hiragana, I find it more effective to train it by listening a lot of raw material (podcast, youtube videos, etc.).

I find a lot of people struggling with manga Yotsuba! because of this reason (when yotsuba speak her speech rarely written in kanji and mostly on hiragana). But I don’t find it that difficult because I already have a lot of raw listening under my belt. So you probably want to try that.


I think this just comes down to actually reading and listening more. Learning each word in kanji and kana separately sounds like a nightmare. Once you have more experience with the language and you actually properly know words better you’ll be able to tell their meaning whether in kanji, hiragana, or katakana.


Any of the popular grammar books will have vocabulary lists in hiragana.

But as someone who spent way too many years studying Japanese without attempting to learn kanji, because, well, because, I thought it just impossible, reading is so, so, so much easier when you know even just a few hundred kanji.

I wish I had WK 10 years ago. It would have completely changed my Japanese journey. My recommendation is to study grammar. You’ll pick up vocabulary and that that’s a better use of time than just trying to duplicate the vocabulary building that WK is giving you already outside of WK. Be patient, do your reviews, and eventually WK will give you a good slice of common vocabulary, although as others have pointed out, sometimes WK’s vocab choices are suspect. I’m looking at you 一夫多妻.

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Here’s a bunch for you


Here’s a Memrise deck with all of the kana-only words extracted from the iKnow! Core 6000: Core 6000 Kana Only Vocab Deck - by cmcguire345 - Memrise

Hope this is helpful :slight_smile:


Personally I’m using Kitsun.io and the core 10k deck, with whole sentences, kanji and sounds. The words themselves are kana-fied, so it’s not much of an issue there. Solely using kana however is not something I’d recommend, from what I’ve recommended thus far you get everything you desire + kanji.

Here’s another recommendation for Kitsun: It really is much nicer than the alternatives, the core 10k is great, it has a variety of other useful decks, and it’s inexpensive.

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Eyyyy I was looking for one of these thank you.

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