Do you (and how do you) study book vocab?

My dictionary app (JED on Android) allows me to save vocabulary by tags, which is a feature I use to collect new words I find from books.

I always intend to study these but haven’t yet because time/energy.

Now I’m planning to start moving these vocab to Anki (which I started using this year) and was wondering if anyone else studies the vocab they did in books? And if you do, how do you study them?

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I don’t do it anymore, but I was using for that. It provides word lists for books, in the order they appear. It will also keep track of words you have already been studying from other books.
I had the word list open while I was reading and just clicked “add” on words I wanted to study.
Before that, I did something similar to your approach.

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Oh wow! I’ve never heard of just but just checked it out, it looks really interesting! That might have been really useful when I was starting reading novels but now I normally only pick up 10-100 new words, so it might not be very useful for me, but it’s such a clever idea! Like an automated word mining tool.

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I used to use Anki. I’d get pronunciation sound clips from Forvo and try to include an example sentence or two. I stopped using it entirely awhile back and now just pick things up from exposure. I’m sure I’d learn faster if I went back to Anki, but I’m not learning Japanese with any particular deadline so going fast is not a priority. I can read most books I want to provided I have a dictionary, and I can read pulpy stuff without one so I’m kind of coasting. :sweat_smile:


At 10-100 word per book, semi-manual adding sounds much faster indeed.
(I stopped using it when I got to that number range)

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I also dropped Anki when I got to a certain level, but started using it again more recently because I noticed I wasn’t able to recall words that I’ve definitely studied at one point, and that was always a frustrating experience.
I usually add the word to Anki, get the translation on there, grab an example sentence from the book I’m reading as a usage example if I feel like an example sentence could be useful to remember the word.
I used to add a lot of vocab in early books (I added 1000 words from 狼と香辛料 alone), but it’s also dropped to about 50 words, depending on how motivated I am to create vocab cards.


I use jpdb it has decks of thousands of novels already added (Also has anime, VNs and games). You can request for new ones to be added or add your own local copy.

Progress on words are centralized so you can delete decks when done with them and keep progress on words. Can learn words from a deck ordered by local frequency in the deck or by global frequency across the whole corpus.

Has the best sounding TTS I’ve come across.

The SRS algorithm is big brain too.

“One big advantage that our spaced repetition algorithm has is that it’s very flexible. When calculating your next review interval we ask the model for you: “Hey, when will I have to review this card so that I have an XX% probability that I’ll still remember it?”, and it might tell us that it’s, for example, in 20 hours.

But to the model it doesn’t really matter when exactly you’ll do your review. You could review your card sooner, say, after only 10 hours, or you could do it much later, after 40 hours. Since we simulate the full forgetting curve the algorithm will be able to handle both cases, and it will dynamically adjust the next repetition interval based on how late or how early you were.“

Link to the faq for more info


Idk if you meant to respond to me
Yeah, jpdb is really cool when you’re at the “Prelearning words enables me to more comfortably read a book” stage. I would have loved this back when my vocabulary was much smaller. I also used for a while, but didn’t really stick with it because I was wary of misparsings and I liked having everything in one place.
In my case, it would probably take a while to teach the system which words I already know (which is like 15k?), and I don’t really mind creating 50 cards per book with curated sentences. (That way I can also add glosses in my native language instead of English)


Oh yeah woops, I meant to respond to Niffer.

Fair enough. It does take abit of time to catch up, if you know the words well then you could probs do 250 new words a day and catch up in two months.

I think in one of my first months I added close to 6K words


My strategy is to force myself to look up words and double check readings. I figure if I have to look something up over and over it’s actually easier for my mind just to learn it.

I have tried more traditional methods but they never worked for me.

Even if I forget things I can often remember where I have encountered words which ultimately helps me learn it.


I don’t do this, but you can automate most of it – if you like flashcards.

Good old ttu reader:

Then use yomichan for lookups: FooSoft Productions - Yomichan

And use Anki connect: AnkiConnect - AnkiWeb

With that combination and some setup, you can create cards with audio in a click.

But just reading works too, you’ll forget and relearn things along the way. I feel flashcards/Anki is better for grammar, which depending on the material you read, you might not see as much.


I’m with the Anki crowd as well. I’ve got a dictionary app on my phone (just called “Japanese”) that lets me create tags (basically lists), and every time I look up a word I can add it to a tag. I can then export the list from the dictionary app to Anki, which creates cards with the kanji on the front and pronunciation on the back. I’ll sync that to my desktop and fill in the English, and study from there. I’ll add tags to my flashcards based on what piece of media I pulled it from, so I can make book-/game-/etc.- specific decks to study from.

I’ve tried koohi before, but the pain of having to go through and trash all the words I already know has kind of stopped me from really using the service. Plus as far as I can tell new books aren’t added all that frequently, and I’m not particularly interested in most that are up already. I guess I could just try to absorb as much vocab as possible regardless of book, but eh. I’d be more motivated to use it if I could target my learning towards stuff I have an interest in.

I’ve seen jpdb mentioned quite a few times, and it’s been on my radar to check out, but I don’t really want to create an account for something I’m not sure if I’ll want to use. :sweat_smile:

I’m unfortunately still at the point where I’m hoovering up vocab left and right, and Anki does get old after a while… Not really sure the best way to remedy the situation, though.


Yeah, this is my favorite method. Requires a bit of setup but after doing that once it’s incredibly convenient and effortless. It’s really nice to be able to use different dictionaries, get the context sentence from your book automatically etc etc. I love technology :joy:
Recently found out that there’s an android version of Anki Connect as well, so the same thing also works on a tablet or probably even phone (if the screen isn’t too small I guess).


Woah! The automated Anki programs look amazing! It’s a shame I read all my Japanese books physically XD

  1. Wake up
  2. Do Anki
  3. Day instantly ruined
  4. Repeat

Anki is great but I wish I could bring myself to actually look forward to doing my reviews. :rofl:


I study like this:

  1. Read the book without looking up anything
  2. Go back through the books s l o w l y, page by page with a notebook. Each day that I go through the book, I jot down words or phrases I don’t understand, no more than say a few dozen words at a time.
  3. Go through the words/phrases I wrote down that day and write down the definitions/meanings
  4. Read through the pages from the day again until I understand in context.
  5. Add them to my anki list
  6. Review them when they come up
  7. Rinse and repeat

What makes me look forward to my reviews is taking a look at how far I’ve come.

Every month, I take screenshots of my progress (I have a notification on my calendar to remind me when), and I like to compare at how well I’m doing as a reminder that, hey! This may take some time to do, but it’s paying off.

I always look forward to that day every month as a result


I use or to export vocab lists to Anki. I then prelearn/learn it while I’m reading. Then I can trash the known words back to koohi to mark everything as known. I don’t really stress about doing Anki and have a pretty low suspend to leech count; it’s just a supplement to remember some trickier vocab.

Unfortunately jpdb still doesn’t support exporting book lists (apparently it was being planned a few years ago but who knows), so I had to build a webscraper and a system to generete my own lists. Thankfully it also doubles for text files if the book is not on either.

I vastly prefer koohi algorithm for word breakdown, since jpdb has a tendency to stick two words together and make it a “new word”, like 身を屈める or 手を伸ばす. Have to do a lot of manual deleting. I don’t really get why they are on Jisho separately.

You can import your Anki words to mark them as known!

To be fair, Anki does that as well, so it doesn’t really sound like anything new.


This has been fixed in a recent update. For example I have 身を屈める as level 3 and みをかがめる is now automatically marked as redundant so it won’t come up in reviews.

I thought Anki didn’t do this…. E.g if you review an overdue card right away vs one month late, it will set the next review date at a fixed interval, e.g 2 months from answering in the future?

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I actually learned this not too long ago myself, too :laughing:. It considers the actual time unseen instead of just the scheduled interval. The main creator himself mentioned it on their forums in some discussion.

It’s also in the mentioned in the FAQ here.

When people return to their deck after weeks or months of no study, they’re often surprised by the length intervals have grown to. This is because Anki considers the actual time the card was unseen, not just the time it was scheduled for. Thus if the card was scheduled for 5 days but you didn’t study for a month, the next interval will be closer to 60 days than 10 days.

I’m just scraping the wordlists so I guess this fix doesn’t help me :sweat_smile:. Made a deck this week and the redundant words were there.