Advice for learning with a partner

So I have been learning japanese on and off for the last few year but have started to commit now, especially after finding WK which is making Kanji so much easier.
My question is regarding people’s recommendations and suggestions for how me and my partner could learn together. I am more advanced than her as she is currently still just learning Hiragana and doing daily Duolingo lessons. But I still consider myself a beginner in that I would struggle to hold any decent conversation in Japanese, even a simple one.
I’m asking for ways that we can help each other learn at each others pace or how I could help teach her at the level i’m at. I have brainstormed a few things like flash cards or working through my Genki books and then coaching her through them but i’m wondering what help anyone can provide if they have had experience in this?
Many thanks in advance and best of luck on everyone’s learning journey!


I don’t have many experience my self. But there’s a lot of kanjis i have memorized at least their meaning or somewhat reading. Thanks to some people i talked to. Like 欲しい(hoshii) want …
I didn’t learn it yet in wanikani.
So random pop quiz i guess

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Going over the basics together with a textbook might be a good activity, if you’re both not so far along yet.


Hi, I am in exactly your situation. My partner decided to start learning Japanese while I had already some background.

My advice to you is to take this as an opportunity to review early chapters of whatever grammar book you followed. Brushing up on early concepts will not hurt and I bet there will be times where you will find some of her questions challenging to answer.

If Genki is too complex for a total beginner, you can try the first chapters of Japanese for busy people (hiragana version). It helped me at the very beginning.

To avoid making the whole activity a chore and maintain an healthy relationship:

  • Arm yourself with lots of patience
  • Make sure that she learns hiragana - well
  • Set up grammar lessons at regular interval (e.g. every other week)
  • Agree on a homework plan to do by herself between lessons (dictionary, exercises, etc.)
  • Help her out when needed but ensure that she relies on book and sources other than you
  • Keep progressing with your Japanese!

Just my two cents.



I appreciate this thank you. I’m not sure how much she’ll stick to a homework/review schedule but I guess I shouldn’t just presume. I think it could be good for both of us.

Also after every bit of research I did I don’t know how I missed Japanese for busy people! Do you recommend getting the workbook too? Or just the Kana version. Many thanks!

Also thank you @Stay_coolXD and @Saida :grin:

On Japanese for busy people, I don’t think it’s the best book out there so I would not invest too much in it (I hear you can find the first chapters available online). Having said that, lessons are shorter than Genki, need less vocabs and exercises are mostly of the “replace the word” kind. Much easier for complete beginners.

For what concerns the self study plan, by not having one you risk to become the single point of reference for everything Japanese. In my experience this can become a problem for both. You eventually will get tired of re-explaining x は y です and her motivation may tank because she does not see enough progresses.

Either way, best of luck to both of you!

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Pretty much what I’ve heard too. It’s easy to get into Japanese with this book, but hard to elevate your Japanese to upper beginner/intermediate, since they teach very formulaic instead of going into the mechanics of the language.

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I study Japanese with my partner too – we’re good at different things so we often help each other with bits the other is struggling with. We have one session per week with a private tutor, and I do self study on the side (because I’m not as naturally good at languages as he is, I’m slow).

Dumb questions maybe, but how far along are you in your Japanese studies? Does your partner want a study buddy or a coach/tutor? Because learning together is different from one being taught by the other, and it can get tiring on both sides if expectations aren’t aligned :wink:

If you have a textbook already then there’s probably no need to get another one until you need a higher level! :slight_smile:


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