40 more level 4 vocab left, should I learn more grammar?

That’s where I am on grammar. Should I focus more on that?
The thing is when I start learning grammar it’s hard because I don’t know any vocabulary. I can learn Kanji and vocab through Wani, but I can’t read the context sentences anymore because they’re getting harder gramatically.

That depends on how you are handling wanikani. If it doesn’t seem to be overwhelming, then continue at your current pace. I do think one should study grammar ASAP. Don’t worry too much about not being able to understand the sentences. That will come in time. The sentences are more to show you how to use the words. What matters more is if you are remembering what the vocab terms mean.


I would recommend not putting too much effort into reading the context sentences for now. Reading the English translations will help with understanding the nuances of the word being taught, but the Japanese sentences are too difficult for beginners.

Be patient and spend some time learning grammar alongside Wanikani, then you can try reading the sentences again in a few months. Learning languages takes time.


The context sentences are a bad metric to use since they aren’t written to get more difficult as levels increase. I’d honestly say they were written as if you already know how to speak Japanese and just need to learn Kanji. So don’t sweat them too much.

My main advice for grammar is to just read through the Beginner and Intermediate topics on imabi. Don’t worry about learning and don’t spend too much time on it, just read through them. You should be able to do it in a few weeks.

The goal here is not to understand the grammar points, not yet at least. The goal is to be able to recognize something as a grammar point when reading so that you know how to look it up. I think that gives you the most value as you keep reading things. You can learn the grammar point when you need to look it up or rely on immersion to bring up things often enough that you remember them.


Yeah, I can understand some of the sentences because I know just a little bit of grammar.
I think I could approach it that way, when stuff I sorta know comes up in anime, or even in wanikani sentances I’m able to understand it much better.

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You can relax a bit until you get through a bit more levels in my opinion. If you start learning grammar at about level 10, you’ll know most of the basic words you come across. Alternatively choose a grammar learning resource that assumes 0 Japanese knowledge, like genki or similar. But you’ll be learning Japanese for the next couple of years, starting a few weeks later won’t be a big issue in the long run.

For what it’s worth, I’m on level 37, and I only read the English part of the context sentences to get a sense of what the word is used for generally.

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I know, I’ve only been learning japanese for 3/4 months and I can kind of sort of understand a very general meaning of a Wikipedia page, at least parts of it.
But learning takes time and it’s good to have that in mind, you’re right.

What I like about imabi is that it also teaches some vocab, I knew quite a few things from there before they appeared on Wani.
How long did it take you to get to lvl 37?

A bit less than a year, I leveled up in the beginning about every 10 days or so.

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I think it’s also worth mentioning that the Tofugu guide for learning Japanese suggests you start learning grammar at WK level 10 (or around 300 kanji and 1000 vocab using other systems). Just to highlight that you’re not doing anything wrong, and to reinforce the idea that the context sentences aren’t necessarily a good metric for progress :slight_smile:

I still think doing what alo says, reading up on grammar enough to at least recognize it in a sentence, is a good approach, it’s what I’m doing myself.

They also regularly are full of Kanji one hasn’t learned yet at that level. Plain weird.

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I think they actually went back and cleaned all that up, at least for the first 20 levels or so. I haven’t done them in a while though so I can’t confirm but I did a cursory look and it seems to hold true.


Oh ok, might be. I haven’t looked back, I remember really being unhappy with that.

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Yeah, I guess its to make you look them up and make you learn important but visually complex vocab faster.

I started using Wanikani and Minna no Nihongo (my grammar resource) simultaneously, and now I’ve reached a point where I’m almost done with the fourth and final book, but not even halfway done with Wanikani. Watching anime or reading in furigana is no problem. There’ll be an unknown word every now and then, but generally I’ll understand more than 90% without a problem. The issue is Kanji. Reading a book, there’ll always be a lot of blanks. Those blanks are Kanji. Looking up Kanji is a headache. The drawing method some apps provide is probably the best solution, but if you have to do that for 10 Kanji per page, you can’t really get in a flow.

Considering this, it is definitely a good idea to start Wanikani before starting your grammar studies. Because Wanikani will probably take longer than your grammar studies. That way when you’re done with grammar, you can actually read manga, light novels or regular books even, while still maintaining a decent reading flow. Depending on the time you intend to invest in grammar every day, I’d say level 10 is a nice level to start grammar at. But if you haven’t started grammar yet by level 20, you should probably ask yourself if you’re really not procrastinating. At level 4, you don’t need to be worried just yet, but you could start thinking about what exactly a grammar resource is supposed to do for you, and find your ideal match you can start with whenever you feel ready.

Very important point. If you pick your grammar resource, pick one that forces you to learn a lot of vocabulary. A vocabulary list to learn before a lesson, then exercises to drill new grammatical structures using the new vocabulary in context, is incredibly helpful. Considering you’ll need to know around 10000 words to be conversationally fluent, every new word you learn in your studies goes a long way.

Oh hey, another JoJo icon :eyes:

Honestly, it’s good to learn grammar in conjunction with WK. One resource that doesn’t have a vocab barrier is Welcome to Japanese DAY 1! | Japanese From Zero! Video 01 - YouTube I’d give it a try. The teacher’s style can be a bit divisive, but if he works well for you, it’s a great starter resource. Many WK folks have expressed some frustration that kana and kanji aren’t introduced earlier. There’s also https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL97F8C94FBEBC24A6 but it’s more useful for people planning to live in/visit Japan imo