Will KaniWani just fill my mind with word I don't need to know yet?

To be clear, I’m not advocating ignoring the WK vocab. I’m just not convinced that drilling it on KaniWani as well is necessary to begin with.

And I could use the extra time to learn other “things that I’ll eventually have to learn”. I like the delay of putting it off until I’ve burned the items, because it lets you focus on more useful vocab for complete beginners, while also avoiding any possible interference with the WK SRS.

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Yes :stuck_out_tongue:

Sometimes basic words use a more “advanced” kanji, but I think that’s okay. You should use WK’s kanji order to your advantage, not against you. It’s easier to learn words when you recognize the kanji then forcing yourself to just learn the hiragana version. You’ll eventually need to learn the kanji version too, so…

Kanji-specific questions are a small part of the JLPT. It goes without saying that WK is a resource for specializing on kanji, and if general Japanese is your concern you should be devoting more time to other things.


Yeah, you’re right you didn’t say that.

I’m not fluent in Japanese yet and I’m somewhere between N4 and N3 grammar-wise. However, I live in Spain and learned to speak Spanish fluently so I could point you in that direction from a general language learning perspective.

Fluency is achieved by knowing a core of the most common everyday vocabulary and expressions that natives use so well that you don’t even translate it consciously. So when you see 猫 or hear ねこ (or any one of up to 10,000 words) your mind reacts the same way it does when you hear see the equivalent in your native language.

So in my case I don’t want to be thinking… 猫 -> cat -> meaning
but this… 猫 -> meaning

In other words, you want your mind to have the same experience with 猫 that it does with cat. The same way that in English my mind has the same experience with the words “maybe” and “perhaps”. They’re essentially the same thing. I think the key to knowing these words so well is you have to become emotionally engaged with them. Language learning isn’t an entirely intellectual process. A lot of conversational speech is purely emotional and subjective. Think about how you’d say this in your native language. 僕は犬が大好きです。What tone of voice would you use? Which word would you stress? Do you even like dogs? Is 僕は犬が大嫌いです。more appropriate? Practising sentences about how you personally feel about stuff really burns things into your mind.

It’s no coincidence that the language you speak best (most likely your native language) is the language that you understand best only with your ear. Practicing your listening comprehension is key. It’s absolutely crucial. Ideally one should spend half an hour to an hour daily practising listening if possible. The reason many people avoid doing this is that at the beginning it’s the most difficult, frustrating, and disheartening aspect of learning a language.

Use the Anki core listening decks and https://supernative.tv for active listening practice and use anime/japanese radio for passive listening.

Hope this big rambling message helps


Oh wow, supernative is a completely new site for me. Absolutely never heard of it before. :open_mouth: Thanks a lot!


No worries. I just discovered it two weeks ago and I’m loving it.

such a great website!!!
great idea Shadowing with voice recognition :exploding_head:


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I wonder how legal that site is, though… I mean, how and from where did they acquire all those clips?

I tested the website and that the videos are posted on Youtube, not sure by who. The website seems to be legal, doubt the youtube clips are though.

If your grammar and vocab won’t be N4 level by the time you want to take the N4, then spend your time elsewhere. If its important to pass the n4 this year, then you should probably use your time outside of WK to focus on that. You only need level 16 to know 95% of the kanji on it, so thats taken care of assuming you dont have level up times the speed of a dead snail.

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The clips aren’t a problem. They are short, for educational purpose, on a free website. All that means fair use in the US, Japan and the EU. I don’t know what are the rules in the rest of the world, though. China does a lot of things differently, for instance. Depending on where you live, you may want to check local rules on fair use if you are worried about it.


As many have already said in post after post, it depends on your goals. Presumably you’re using WaniKani because you want to read Japanese. It’s entirely possible to study Japanese at school and then major in it at university and know less kanji than you know now.

Personally I’ve never thought of ‘unused’ knowledge as a bad thing. If you continue in your studies you will end up using them somewhere, even if it is just reinforcing your kanji knowledge for the words you do use. According to my Japanese tutor there are words in our textbook that aren’t used by the younger generation, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be used by older people or found in books you want to read. I’ve had others tell me that something is a bit formal but (in my case) that doesn’t mean I don’t need or want to know it.

According to a quick search on Google you only need to know 3000 words in English to understand 90% of anything spoken or written. But it’s the other 10% that make up the additional 168,476 words in current use according to the Oxford dictionary! Similarly we’re really only learning a small amount of words in WaniKani and the vast majority are going to be usable on a daily basis, but it doesn’t mean we’re wasting our time by learning the others.

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Thanks for explaining. I’m an EU resident. ^^

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The answer is “yes”. Plenty of words that nobody uses. But use WK anyway, it’s good for your understanding of Japanese word structure

Have you also looked at Erin’s challenge? Someone on YouTube recommended it. I find it to be more useful that Supernative, because you can listen to the whole conversation and take longer quizzes after

Yeah, I’ve seen Erin’s challenge, it’s pretty good. However, the reason I really like supernative is because I think transcribing is an extremely powerful active listening tool. After using supernative for a few months I plan to find Japanese audio like ted talks etc and transcribe them. When I did the same thing learning Spanish my level improved massively in a short space of time.

What other things do you use to study?

I’ve been using this too along with houhou to test me on all the new words I’m learning

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