If you want to pass JLPT N4, I really don't think you should be studying vocabulary lists. It would make a lot more sense to just find a comprehensive platform like NativShark, then study for 6 months or so.
Then you should be able to pass the test with flying colors.
That said, about a decade ago, I did create a JLPT N4 vocabulary list, and that post can be found below.
JLPT N4 Vocabulary Lists
On this page, you'll find vocabulary lists in three different formats:
- Anki Flashcards with audio, definitions, and example sentences for JLPT N4 vocabulary (Download Anki Deck).
- A PDF document with all that stuff.
- A spreadsheet (Excel) with all of the words, meanings, and example sentences.
Good luck on the test everyone!
JLPT N4 Anki Flashcards
I used to love using intelligent flashcards (i.e. Anki) in order to amass huge amounts of vocabulary. Now that I'm at a higher level, I see that spaced repetition systems (SRS) aren't quite as great as I had thought — especially because they limit contextual variety, which makes learning so much easier.
But they can have their uses.
These flashcards were auto-generated using a number of 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:
Disclaimer: There Are Some Errors In This Deck
I should point out that this deck is not perfect, because it was generated using a computer program. You may notice that sometimes the word in the example sentence does not match the target vocabulary word:
In this example, EPWing2Anki thought that 首 (kubi, "neck") was the obscure word かしら（kashira, 頭 [kind of means "head," or "top"）. Then Kenkyusha dictionary saw the kanji and thought it was 頭 (atama, "head"). So it got kind of messed up. Oops!
In these cases, "Target Japanese Word 2" is the correct N4 vocabulary (this is also the word that shows on the front of flashcards), and "Target Japanese Word" is a different word:
The reason that this discrepancy occurs is that I pulled these example sentences automatically using EPWing2Anki. In other words, I did not personally check if all of them match up perfectly.
When you come across a discrepancy, just click the dictionary link, then copy and paste a new example sentence from Weblio or Jisho.org. Or, you know, just delete the example sentence and move on. Your decision, yo! ^_^
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.T
here are a few reasons I decided to go this route...
1) Cram JLPT N4 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 N4 list have kanji that pretty difficult:
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 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.
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 N4 Vocabulary List PDF & Spreadsheet
I lost these files! Sorry. This is an old blog post, and I forgot to save these files when we transferred to a new content management system.
In any case, you really shouldn't be trying to learn Japanese with PDF's and spreadsheets. Just use a comprehensive tool like NativShark!
Or the Anki deck linked at the top of this page, if you're just cramming N4 vocab the night before your test. ^_^
Good luck on the test everyone!