I’ve been getting quite a few emails from readers that are studying for the upcoming JLPT tests, so I thought that I would do my part to help with cramming for the big day.
First up, I’ve compiled vocabulary lists for the JLPT N5 Test.
JLPT N5 Vocabulary Lists
On this page, you’ll find vocabulary lists in three different formats:
- Anki Flashcards with audio, definitions, and example sentences for JLPT N5 vocabulary.
- A PDF document with all that stuff.
- A spreadsheet (.csv) with all of the words, meanings, and example sentences.
Good luck on the test everyone!
JLPT N5 Anki Flashcards
So to help out all of you test-takers out there, I thought I’d make some sweet flashcard decks covering all of the words likely to show up on the JLPT N5 exam.
These flashcards were auto-generated using a number of awesome, free tools. In particular, I used the JLPT N5 List on this site and the JLPT N5 vocabulary list on this site, then transported those vocab lists into a spreadsheet, which I then used to auto-generate Anki flashcards using the EPWing2Anki program (instructions here), pulling definitions and example sentences from my digital copy of Kenkyusha’s Japanese-English dictionary.
Once I got the flashcard deck created, I generated some (less than ideal) audio using the Anki add-on AwesomeTTS:
Example sentences have furigana thanks to this Japanese Support plugin.
Cards with audio have play buttons thanks to this reply audio button add-on:
How To Use These Flashcards
Some of you might be confused as to why the front side of my cards only has vocab, although usually I recommend using full sentences for the front side of your Japanese cards:
Adding to that, the front of the cards also have the reading of the target vocabulary words.
There are a few reasons I decided to go this route…
1) Cram JLPT N5 Words FAST
The purpose of this deck is less about increasing your communicative ability in Japanese and much more about boosting your Japanese vocabulary as quickly as possible.
People can argue about the most effective way to use flashcards all they want (I have lots of opinions about it, too, most of which I’m guessing you couldn’t care less about). The thing is: It’s faster to learn individual vocab words.
I didn’t say that it’s better. I’m simply saying that it’s faster.
All we’re trying to do is build up the foundation of vocab in your brain that you can later use to increase your communicative ability. I mean, a card like this doesn’t really give you a lot of clues as to how you should use this word in a sentence:
But! It will help you out a lot both in test and down the road, once you have a Jedi-like grasp on Japanese sentence structure.
2) Don’t Worry About the Kanji
I never put the readings of kanji on the front of my flashcards. Actually, I never put the readings of kanji on the back of my flashcards, either. But that’s a different story.
Normally, I’d recommend having kanji-only on the front of your cards, then putting the readings on the back. But if you’re cramming, you’ll probably want to get through these fast. And having the reading on the front side certainly makes things faster.
Aside from that, some of the vocabulary words that show up on the JLPT N5 list have kanji that pretty difficult:
Although most Japanese people should be able to read that kanji (you actually see it kind of a lot in Japan, at festivals and such), you won’t ever be required to do so on a test.
All you want to do for these cards is to understand what they mean when you see them. Some of you may want to put the readings of the kanji on the back (or use cloze deletion if you’re feeling fancy), but I don’t think it’s really necessary. Also, it’s really going to mess you up when you come across cards that don’t have any kanji.
3) Go Fast… & Take Your Time?
I was super close to recommending that you set New Cards to 999 and Review Cards to 100 Max per day.
This would mean that every day, Anki limits your reviews to 100, but it allows you to study as many new words as you want. I do this sometimes for my anime flashcard decks, because I might go through 200 or more cards in a day, and I don’t want to be overwhelmed with review cards later down the road.
Right now the setting is for 20 new cards per day, but you can change that however you’d like. I talk about setting up these numbers a whole bunch in the Hacking Japanese Supercourse.
I guess just go at whatever pace you’d like. Ultimately, the only study method that works is the one that you don’t quit. And if I try to force you to follow a method that you hate… yeah, you’re gonna quit.
Anki Flashcard Deck Download Links
You can download this shared Anki deck using this link: JLPT N5 Vocabulary Deck.
You can also download the Anki deck from AnkiWeb’s shared decks database. If you’re feeling like a super-awesome person, you could also leave a positive, glowing review of my deck on that page.
Why Don’t Example Sentences Have Audio?
I was kind of torn about this one, because I can’t have furigana readings about the example sentences and also auto-generate audio for them using AwesomeTTS.
If I had more money, I’d hire some cheap Japanese voice actors to record each of the sentences for us, but, yeah… I’m poor!
JLPT N5 Vocabulary List PDF
For all of you old-fashioned, love-to-print-stuff people out there, I also went ahead and put the entire vocabulary list in a PDF, which you can download right here: JLPT N5 Vocabulary List.
As you can see in the photo above, each line of the PDF includes the following for each target vocabulary word:
- English Equivalent
Usually I wouldn’t include romaji, but since it’s JLPT N5, I thought that it might be helpful for some of you out there.
JLPT N5 Vocabulary List – Excel Spreadsheet
Last but not least, I’ve also included an Excel Spreadsheet of this vocabulary list. Maybe you can use it to make something even better than this.
Good luck on the test everyone!
p.s. If you’re trying to master Japanese, this would almost certainly make your life 200% easier: