All the Vocabulary I’ve Learned – Handy Tool

This project took me half the day, but I needed it. I wanted a way to see, sort, and search all the vocabulary I’ve learned from WaniKani.  The WaniKani site has a search field, but it doesn’t give Parts of Speech nor is sortable.

Why did I want this? In KaniWani (a separate site that drills you on the WaniKani vocab), instead of showing you the kanji, they show you the English meaning, and you type in the Japanese translations. What messed me up a lot was all the synonyms!

The table I made includes ALL the vocabulary I learned! I’m splitting them up in a page per 10 levels, so that includes approximately 1000 words. Page 1 is done, so that’s the first 10 levels! I added a column with the Parts of Speech that will hopefully help me distinguish some vocabulary going forward.

WaniKani Vocabulary – Levels 1-10 (1,027 terms)

How does this help me? Say I want to see all the words that can signify “action”. I just type “action” in the search box and I see there are four words in levels 1-10 that contain that word.


Showing 1 to 4 of 4 entries (filtered from 1,027 total entries)
Or maybe I want to find all the verbs that end in る.  There are 95! Maybe I just want to see the vocab from level 7. I just type 7 in the search. So handy, I love it!
This is all very rudimentary compared to the real databases and web programming I used to do in my career, but it got done fast and fulfills my goal. I just used the WaniKani API into Google Spreadsheets and sorted/displayed the data just how I wanted. I added a new URL column that adds a link directly to the WaniKani page for the word. With a second new column, all my time was taken up by manually inputting the Part of Speech column, which isn’t given by the API, ouch. Then I added it to a huge WordPress Table Press table in my blog.
I’ll be adding other levels as I get to them.

Checking out

I first looked into iKnow over a month ago, as I’d heard it was a great tool to learn vocabulary. At first glance, the website interface looks great – that is important to me if I’m going to spend any time on it. The soothing sky blue (it literally is a sky background) helps me focus during drills. But it is not a free service. I had to decide if it’s worth it for me. I could, after all, just import these decks into Anki for free.

Interface clean and easy to understand, attractive colors


My current iKnow Courses

This service offers several Japanese courses to get you well on your way to mastering Japanese, up to Japanese Core 6000. Right off the bat, you should take a placement test to determine which course you should take. At my beginner level, I was sent to the very beginning courses – kana and Core 1000.

Highlighted in yellow below are the three courses I’m currently working on. Two courses in Master Hiragana and Katakana (easy review for me), and a more challenging course of Japanese Core 1000 – the top 1,000 most commonly used words in Japanese.

iKnow's Japanese course offerings

iKnow’s Japanese course offerings

Master Hiragana/Katakana

I immediately starting using these to solidify my kana skills. Before using this service, I’d estimate I was instantly accurate with ~97% hiragana, and ~90% katakana. I just needed exposure to the ones I don’t see a lot. My goal is to instantly recognize and be able to type kana accurately, as I do in words in English, so the iKnow! Master Hiragana and Master Katakana courses are just what I needed.

I usually just do the basic iKnow training drills, first one in the option below. They call their drill types “Apps”. In the first drill type (I am not comfortable calling them apps), they show you a character, you hear it, then you type it. You also get a drills where you choose it from a list of answers. Sometimes you don’t get the audio. I do these very fast, as my goal here isn’t learning them, it’s more as a review to improve speed and accuracy.

Drill App choices

Drill App choices

It uses spaced repetition drills, like most of the services I use. I have to admit I am a bit confused when today it said “Course Completed” with my Hiragana course. I haven’t spent enough time to master anything at all, much less move all terms to “Strong”. It was moved to a different “Review” tab, I’m not sure why. My Study Progress in Hiragana is 100% though, so I guess I studied them enough so they assume I know my Hiragana. I’ll soon reach that in Katakana too, I purposely was going a bit slower with that one.

Master Hiragana course going well

Master Hiragana and Katakana courses going well

Japanese Core 1000: Step 1

Out of this Core 1000, they introduce 100 at a time, so I’m on Step 1. My first exposure was over a month ago with these and it was just too overwhelming for me, I couldn’t continue. So much kanji and grammar I just didn’t know, I thought I’d come back when I knew more.

I revisited this week and it is now much more manageable. I’m going to take it very slow though! I’ll do five at a time for now, until my grammar gets more advanced. I am required to be able to put whole sentences together, and there are tenses I’m barely familiar with (haven’t officially learned yet).

At WaniKani Level 10, I do know all the kanji and vocabulary they’ve given me so far, you can see samples below.

Japanese Core 1000 - sampling of some of the first words

Japanese Core 1000 – sampling of some of the first words

As for using them in sentences, I can just barely figure it all out, lol. I know all this will be super easy for me in a few months worth of study, but I’m only on Month 3 of learning Japanese right now.

Here’s some sample sentences I am to put together, thanks to both NihongoMaster and WaniKani, I can tackle these, but it’s all so very new to me! Putting it all together is a little daunting, but I know this is great exposure for me.

わたし は え を みる の が すき です。
I like looking at pictures.

わたし は ともだち の ところ に とまった。
I stayed at my friend’s place for the night.

なつやすみ に おばあちゃん の うち へ いきました。
I went to my grandma’s house during summer vacation.

Sentence Trainer App

When choosing their Sentence Trainer app, they quiz you on various things, listening, reading, and writing sentences. In one example, you hear the entire sentence, then fill in the missing blank. Well that’s easy enough for me!  They offer up to three hints if you have trouble.

Fill in the blank

Fill in the blank

My next drill was a bit more challenging, I hear a sentence and have to type it all out myself!

Listen and type!

Listen and type!

I needed to use one hint – they gave me “まいあさ” – every morning. I should’ve known that, but just haven’t been exposed to the actual word yet in my studies.

I drink coffee every morning.

I drink coffee every morning.

Next drill type, they give me the English translation and I have to sort out the Japanese sentence. This is a simple one!

Translate into Japanese

Translate into Japanese

So for these first five exercises, I got them all right, and used one hint. Time was inflated because I took screenshots and came back here to blog about it!

Yay, I love Sentence Trainer!

Yay, I love Sentence Trainer!

Here are the sentences I worked with for my first attempt with Sentence Trainer app.

Sentences I worked with



Motivating with Progress tracking and achievements!

I am definitely enjoying the service, it’s getting me exposure and practice to so much. I love how it motivates you by keeping a calendar and tracking your “Study Streak”. Right now my Study Streak is 19 days! You also earn Achievements.

I will need more work with the Core courses before I can give a better description on how it’s really working for me, but I signed up for a Pro account and am going to give it a few months.

If you register for a 12 month Pro account and use this link, you’ll get three months free. I’m already on a plan and don’t get any months free, but at least it could help you!

iKnow Referral Link

Are you already using iKnow or have you tried it in the past? What are your experiences?

Nihongo Master Verbs

What I’ve Learned 4/24 – 5/4

Here’s what I’ve done in the past week and a half!

WaniKani - Level 9 Kanji

heavyじゅう, ちょうおも, かさ, え
loseま, お
thingぶつ, もつもの
newしんあたら, あら, にい
beauty, beautifulび, みうつく
expressひょうあらわ, おもて
part, department, club
action, matter, thingこと, つか
accept, receiveじゅ
truth, realityじつ
mutualそう, しょうあい
roof, shop, storeおく
needようい, かなめ
determineてい, じょうさだ
degrees, occurrenceど, たくたび
peace, japanese styleわ, おなご, やわ
clothes, clothingふく
begin, startはじ
sufferingくる, にが

Instead of showing just my current WaniKani level Kanji, I’ll also show the vocabulary I’m working on for level 9. There are over 100 entries, so the table defaults to showing 10 entries, you can tab through them all if you like.

WaniKani Level 9 Vocabulary

予定よていa plan, plan
泳ぐおよぐto swim
勝者しょうしゃwinner, victor
和風わふうjapanese style
待つまつto wait
乗るのるto ride
美人びじんbeautiful woman
ふくclothes, clothing
お客さんおきゃくさんguest, visitor, customer
用事ようじerrand, business
中学校ちゅうがっこうmiddle school, junior high school
待たせるまたせるto make someone wait, to keep someone waiting, to make wait, to keep waiting
毎度まいどeach time, frequently, every time
勝負しょうぶmatch, showdown, contest
仮にかりにtemporarily, suppose
相談そうだんconsultation, discussion, advice
本屋ほんやbookstore, book shop
不自由ふじゆうdiscomfort, inconvenience, disability, impairment, poverty, destitution
全部ぜんぶall, entire, whole
新年しんねんnew year
発表はっぴょうannouncement, presentation
記事きじarticle, news story, report, account, news article
仮定かていassumption, hypothesis
通りとおりavenue, street, road, way
気を付けてきをつけてbe careful, take care
苦いにがいbitter tasting, bitter
体重たいじゅうbody weight
肉屋にくやbutcher shop, meat shop, meat store
対談たいだんconversation, dialogue, talk
決定けっていdecision, determination
二重にじゅうdouble, dual
楽勝らくしょうeasy victory, easy win
重要じゅうようessential, important, necessary
魚屋さかなやfish shop, fish market, fish dealer, fish store, fishmonger
発売はつばいfor sale, selling, item for sale, sale
おもてfront, surface, exterior, face, outside, appearance
客室きゃくしつguest room
高校生こうこうせいhigh school student, high schooler
家事かじhousework, chores
何度なんどhow many times, how often, what temperature
大事だいじimportant, valuable, serious matter
和食わしょくjapanese style food, japanese food
必要ひつようnecessary, needed, essential
苦しいくるしいpainful, agonizing, agonising
相手あいてpartner, companion
弱々しいよわよわしいweak looking, frail, weak seeming, seemingly weak
住民じゅうみんresidents, citizens
〜屋store, shop
必勝ひっしょうsure victory, certain victory, sure win, sure victory, certain win
泳ぎおよぎswimming, swim
茶屋ちゃやtea shop, tea store, tea house
〜部department, club, category
和室わしつjapanese style room
本物ほんものthe real thing, real deal, the real deal, real thing, genuine article, the genuine article
持つもつto hold, to bring, to carry
ことthing, matter, action
今度こんどthis time, next time
返事へんじreply, response
付くつくto be attached
実力じつりょくtrue strength, true ability, true power
勝つかつto win
受けるうけるto receive, to accept, to catch
和服わふくjapanese style clothes, japanese clothing, japanese style clothing, japanese clothes
始めにはじめにin the beginning, to begin with, to start with
始まるはじまるto begin, something begins, to start, something starts
弱虫よわむしweakling, coward
始めるはじめるto begin, to start, to begin something, to start something
小学校しょうがっこうelementary school, primary school, grade school
名物めいぶつfamous product, special product, famous goods, special goods, famous item, special item
世界せかいthe world, society, the universe
見付けるみつけるto find, to find something
要点ようてんmain point, gist, main idea, essence
負けるまけるto lose, to be defeated
白黒しろくろblack and white, white and black
乗せるのせるto give a ride, to give someone a ride, to place on
通すとおすto let pass, to overlook, to continue, to keep, to make way for, to persist in
欠かすかかすto miss, to fail, to fail to attend
要るいるto need
返すかえすto return, to return something
使うつかうto use
事実じじつtruth, fact, reality
じつtruth, reality
部分ぶぶんportion, section, part
教えおしえteaching, instruction, teachings, lesson, doctrine
付近ふきんneighborhood, neighbourhood, vicinity, environs, nearby, locality
表すあらわすto express
ハート形ハートがた, はーとがたheart shaped
丁度ちょうどexactly, just
具合ぐあいcondition, health
生物せいぶつliving things, creatures, bio
送るおくるto send
平和へいわpeace, harmony
見物けんぶつsightseeing, sightseer, watching, watcher, viewing, viewer
金持ちかねもちrich person, rich, wealthy



I spent several days reviewing particle usage due to getting too many drills wrong relating to particles. I’ve increased my accuracy a lot, but still need to work on them more. I caved and made a OneNote on particle grammar (after I said I only write down notes in a notebook).  Now I have pages for each particle, complete with examples!

My OneNote notes on Particles

My OneNote notes on Japanese Particles


I also decided to add all the verbs I’ve learned in NihongoMaster, since I can search and sort the tables. Here is my Godan verb page.

Nihongo Master Verbs

Nihongo Master – Godan Verbs


I didn’t think I’d get much done with all this particle and verb review, but luckily, all the lessons covered kanji or vocab I already learned in WaniKani. But in NihongoMaster, I get to see and work with them in actual sentences!

You’ll notice a lot of my grammar lessons involve counters in both NihongoMaster and Human Japanese. Japanese have counters for everything it seems! You can’t just say two cats or two papers. There are special “counter” words for everything.

NihongoMaster Lessons

  • Combining two ideas using verb stems, particle に, and motion verbs:
    Topic は Location に {Object を Verb Stem に} 行きます
  • Kanji used in days of the week:  (moon for Monday),  (fire for Tuesday),  (water for Wednesday),  (tree for Thursday),  (gold for Friday),  (soil for Saturday) and  (for weekday)
  • Days of the month counters
  • Months and, combined with days of the month, how to describe a date
  • かぞく (family) and Extended family terms – おばさん (aunt), おじさん (uncle), おばあさん (grandmother), おじいさん (grandfather) – and using these when addressing strangers. Siblings: いもうと (younger sister) and おとうと (younger brother)
  • Kanji:  (come, next),  (now),  (year),  (week) and combining these words for vocabulary
  • People counters, ordinal numbers, “the best”
  • も particles
  • Kanji:  (company, corporation),  (see),  (high, tall),  (yen, circle),  (every) and related vocabulary


Still mostly reviewing all previous chapters, trying to “Master” all the quizzes. But most of the below is a review on what I’ve already learned with NihongoMaster or WaniKani.

  • Chapter 32: Counting Objects
    Teaches how to use numbers in sentences, which requires devices called counters, which are akin to English words like a loaf of bread, a pound of flour, and a bottle of wine.
  • Chapter 33: But…
    Examines how to create compound sentences with the negative conjunction.
  • Chapter 34: Adjectives
    Introduces adjectives in Japanese, along with the surprising fact that, like verbs, they conjugate to indicate tense.
  • Chapter 35: More Adjectives
    A vocab building lesson that adds dozens more adjectives to the student’s repertoire. Includes a dialogue.

JapanesePod101 Listening Practice

I finally settled on a learning track and finished Absolute Beginner Season 1 (25 lessons) and am a quarter of the way through Absolute Beginner Season 2. I plan to go over what I learned in more detail in another post.