WK vocab not used by Japanese people

The most recent word that I’ve come across that Japanese people don’t actually use is taikai (大会) for a convention. This isn’t the first word that I’ve learned on WK that has gotten me weird looks when I try to use it because it’s just not used in common language, or possibly the context is misrepresented.
So my question is this. Does anyone have a recommendation or a list of WK vocab that is actually used (or not used - might be a shorter list)?
It’s a bit frustrating to be studying things that aren’t actually used in conversation since there is no option to skip a term or personalize your learning experience here.

WaniKani is a site to learn how to read kanji, the vocab are just a (great) supplement to reinforce and learn different readings

Regardless, though some words may appear to be stiff or uncommon if you try to use them when speaking, the fact remains that they’re still words that you can potentially come across in real world contexts, if not in conversation, then perhaps in reading different kinds of texts

There have been many cases where I wondered why I would ever need to learn a certain word and then came across it watching or reading something moments later :see_no_evil: no word is useless to learn in my opinion :slightly_smiling_face:

So, in short, WK is a learning-how-to-read resource, in the end it’s up to the user to either confirm the use of a word and how common it is, or better yet, look for other resources that can help you accomplish just that (for example, the Core 10k is a popular deck to go through that contains the 10,000 most common words – I believe it’s on resources like iKnow, Anki, and kitsun)


I’ll have to add that Core10K to my studies. Thanks!

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How so? The context is given as tournaments and events, and I can personally vouch its used like that. Ive come across 大会s for kendo, 県大会s, and 花火大会s in reading. To say its not used by japanese people isnt right, but just remember you cant always get the idea of a word with a single english word. This is generally peoples argument for using J-J dictionaries. So maybe sometimes when you want to refer to what we would call a convention, you wouldnt use たいかい, but it still holds a similar meaning

It is most definitely used, far more than some other words on this site. But as missmisc said, theres no word thats useless. Youll come across it eventually.

EDIT: Japanese definition is simply: 多くの人々が集まる盛んな会合. And from the context sentences, I would say you can use it for sports related tournament stuff and shouldnt get any weird looks. How have you been using it?


As I said, the context might be a bit off. We were talking about TwitchCon specifically, and tried to use 大会, and there was a lot of confusion and further discussion of what the right word should have been.

All words in Wanikani are real words, that have a usage. What is missing in WK is the context in which the word should be used. One should learn that from other sources, mostly native material.


花火大会 is a very common term. Also tournaments (like a chess or shogi or go tournament) will be often called 大会.

The amount of vocab included in WK is a small fraction of the passive vocab that an adult speaker of japanese would have. (adult speakers have a 20-30k word vocab)

This is different than what is common in spoken japanese. If you want to learn common spoken japanese expressions, your best options are going to be things like watching tv and dramas.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is not a 1 to 1 correspondence between the english gloss of a vocab word and how that word is used in your language. In english, the word “convention” is used to mean (among other things):

  1. A political meeting
  2. A trade show
  3. An agreed method of doing something
    There is no word in japanese that would be used in all these ways.

So thinking that all the ways that you would use “convention” in english and assumiing that you would use 大会 in japanese in all of those same contexts will be wrong (and will be wrong for pretty much any word). But that is not an issue with WK or even japanese. That is an issue with learning any language.


Did you read the context sentences?

As I said, it made it pretty clear to me that it can be properly used for sports/competitions, so I would take it that the only safe bet is to use it for that.

For conventions like twitch con, you just wanna say コンベンション for convention.


My J-E dictionary gives convention specifically, with the party convention meaning.

(多人数の) a big [a mass] meeting; (総会) a general meeting [assembly]; (代表者の) a convention; (政治・宗教的な) a rally; (運動・競技の) (主に米) a meet, (主に英) a meeting; a competition, a tournament. (→ 集会, 会)

a party convention.

Assuming that 大会 means something like “big meet”, why shouldn’t you use it for twitchcon? What did your friends say?

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They said something like kouryukai, but they didn’t exactly write it down it was just a discussion. So I’m not sure that was even the right point.

As a sports fan you made me a bit confused there, 大会 is one of the Japanese words I come across the most :grin: Only goes to show that every person has their own frame of reference, right?

When I come across words that make me go “wait, isn’t this too obscure?” I try to think:

  1. Some words I consider essential (as a political scientist, as a sports fan, etc) others would find completely useless. And vice versa, because there are many different people who need language for different things and it’s impossible to cater to them all.
  2. Written language is very different from spoken language and it’s good to keep in mind that just because a word isn’t suitable for everyday conversation doesn’t make it useless.
  3. Having a passive vocabulary is important too - just because I might not personally need to use a word myself doesn’t mean it won’t be useful to help me understand a wider variety of topics.

Just my two cents. And before I use a new word I try to make sure to look up context sentences so I know I’m not misusing it :blush:


交流会 is a networking event/meeting so it does fit, I guess. I don’t know TwitchCon at all, so I can’t really judge.
大会, in the context you mentioned, would imply some huge event where some people are showing/saying stuff to a public (e.g 党大会, 花火大会, 演芸大会). Maybe TwitchCon does not follow that format? Based on the word they chose, it seems it’s more like people talking to each other instead.

I’m literally going to a 大会 today for work. It’s a presentation competition among English clubs.

The teacher who runs the club has been calling it a プレゼン大会 whenever mentioning it.

It’s basically a guarantee whenever these topics come up that people here have heard or seen the word in question recently.

Also, using words incorrectly is something everyone who is new to Japanese does. Regardless of which resources they use. It happens, you learn, and now you know. It shouldn’t be a negative experience. The issue with WK is that people are using a site for reading kanji as their beginner’s speaking guide.

Wikipedia is a good resource for finding words for specific contexts or jargon. I went to the page for Comic-Con, clicked over to Japanese and found the word コンベンション right away.


That doesn’t even show up in my dictionary, way to go for words no one uses :slight_smile:

Maybe there was some other misunderstanding, I don’t understand why there would be any confusion with 大会. In my experience it it used for everything where more that a few people may turn up.

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True, it might be clearer if we knew what the whole sentence said was. The problem is some people just won’t understand what Twitch is, even if they speak English, because they don’t know what video game steaming is. I wonder if he modified 大会 at all, with like, ゲーム大会 or ストリーミング大会 or just said 大会. If I just heard 大会 alone I’d be expecting more explanation.

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A Japanese person used a word no one uses? :exploding_head:

It’s some kind of WK koan.

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we use 大会 a lot here.

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My school’s English club took home a trophy for the second year in a row at the 大会!


i can see the 江戸川花火大会 from my balcony :slight_smile: