I found a couple of lists of most frequently used Japanese words. The theory behind using word frequency lists is that by learning say, the first 500 words on the list, you will be able to read 75% of the material out there in the target language.
It’s not a bad idea except that one must not solely rely on the frequency lists. Any list you use will be influenced by the material that was used to compiled the list. Ideally, one should use a mix of sources, like newspapers, novels, etc.
The list I am using now was compiled using novels so some of the words in the list don’t seem to be words one would use in daily conversation. Still, I think using the frequency list will be useful.
By the way, I am still working on memorizing (learning) all the 2100 kanji that are needed to read 99% of all material in Japanese. I just thought it would give me a leg up if I learned the first 500 most used words at the same time.
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