Via Japanese for Life: Albis is a website designed to help you increase your vocabulary in a whole swag of languages, including Japanese. The site covers 1500 words divided into levels - each level comprises a number of modules containing 20 words each. The interface is a little counterintuitive - the first page I was directed to displayed both the English word and the Japanese equivalent, underneath which was a button marked "OK". When I clicked on "OK" I expected the quiz to start, but instead another English/Japanese word pair appeared. Some fumbling about later I had worked out the deal - clicking the "OK" button takes you through all 20 words for that level. Once you have reviewed these words the button becomes a "Start" button, which when clicked begins the quiz.
When doing the quiz you are presented with an English word, and you have to write the Japanese equivalent in the space provided. You can write in anything from kanji to romaji (both Hepburn and Kunren are OK). Do sufficiently well and you finish the module and move to the next. Screw up too many times and the test halts and sends you back to the review exercises. I did a couple of modules and whilst they were straightforward I did learn the word for petal (はなびら). The number of levels you have completed is displayed on the site, making it easy to track your progress.
The FAQs are found under 'News" - again, counterintuitive. The 1500 words are selected on the basis of how common they were and whether they covered concepts familiar to everyone, eg snow is NOT INCLUDED because people in some tropical countries don't have a word for it.
My favourite part of the site - this explanation:
"We did not include the word "beer" even though this is a wonderful substance, because it sounds very similar in the majority of languages"
In short - a fun way to boost your vocab, 20 words at a time, whether beginner or pro.
Tag study Japanese