Advice Needed!

I think you should look at how to slowly add more reading into your daily study routine and hopefully find your own balance between reviews, studying grammar and reading. At least that’s kinda how I went about it.

For more grammar practice I find bunpro helpful. Just add grammar points I learned from the chapter I studied and let it sink in for a bit.

Reading is still gonna be painful in some sense if you pick something that is either too low or too high of a level. You should pick something that is close to your level, preferably a bit above where you’re at and maybe something you’re already familiar with. Then pick at it on a regular basis. We currently have a reading challenge going on people can join, to read whatever little or much they want every day for the coming two months. I think it’s great not only to have that accountability and motivation for yourself, but also posting regularly there will be great source of motivation for others. Plus it’s a good place to see what people will read, so you might find some good recommendations on what to read next. Another thing is that you can see back your progress pretty easily.

I read Yotsuba after finishing genki, but I think it’s one manga you could already start while learning from genki 2. Polar Bear cafe is also a good choice. Even the tanuki favorite 雨と君と might work, as you have more kanji under the belt. Pokemon games in kanji mode is another that I could have done before maybe. I find having a little project like this where you can do a bit every once in a while on my own pace very benefical. Either way you do gotta start trying and you’ll make mistakes, but that’s how you learn.


I meant creating a thread/post. That was a reply.


Thank you for your response. I’ve used Bunpro a little and have the full version of it. I probably use it once a week (if that)

From this response, I think I will try to utilize it more and look into graded readers (I don’t know much about them at this point). Thanks for the tips!

Awesome, thank you. I like listening to podcasts on my way to work. Do you have any recommendations? For Japanese, I only have “Learn Japanese Pod” and I feel it’s helpful. Do you have any other podcasts you’d recommend for beginners?

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That is very good advice. I think my main goal first would be listening comprehension. I know reading is super helpful. What tends to work against me a bit is that I have never been a big reader in any language I speak. But I’m getting that trudging through it might benefit me a lot. And stopping to think about reasons for learning is important too. Thanks for the reply!

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It all depends on what stuff you enjoy or find interesting I think, more so than the level of what you listen to. :thinking: That’s true for both reading and listening I think, in that it helps you to get over the inevitable hurdles in comprehension.

Personally, I’m more into audio dramas than podcasts, since I like to follow a story. But there’s descriptions of some popular podcasts on the Ultimate Additional Resources list that is worth a look.


You’re welcome. Depending on where you live, perhaps audio books off audible are an option? Read in tandem with an ebook of the same translation. Someone else here is doing trying to do that with “the little prince” by Saint-Exupéry. I’m not a big fan of Amazon, but their audiobook/e-book combo could be beneficial for your needs, combining the desire to listen more perhaps with giving visual confirmation for stuff you’re not familiar with.

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I like this way of looking at it. I will need to be more conscious of that and create some short/mid term goals.

I love this. Such a great way to look at the process a whole. And allowing to yourself to slow down and give yourself some grace. This is great advice that I definitely need to hear from time to time.

I guess a better way to word my question would have been “an efficient way to start reading/improve reading” (looks like my native English still needs work as well :sweat_smile:). But it sounds like there may not be a “good way” vs a “bad way,” moreso just good resources a bad, from what I’m gathering. And no matter what, it’s going to be a grind.

What is a visual novel game? Do you have recommendations for other games like this?

Just reading this is motivation by itself!

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Really helpful!!

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Thank you for responding with such great advice. I will check out those links as well!

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Thanks, I’ll check those links out.

I think my biggest goals when starting were listening comprehension with anime and games. I like Playstation, so games that comes to mind are like Nioh and Ghost of Tsushima.

Just starting will be key, whatever it is. Looking forward to looking through those book club links.

True! I’ll take a look at that. Thanks!!

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Thanks for your reply. It’s helpful hearing how others are tackling it. And thinking of them as little projects is a good way to look at it.

It’s a form of interactive fiction that usually supplements a text based narrative with audio and visual media. Some are basically books as computer programs, most have background art, music, sound effects, character portraits, and the occasional illustration. Many have partial voiceovers in key moments. There are VNs with linear narratives, or some that follow more choose your own adventure style plots. There are also quite a few that get into a solid hybrid between narrative and incorporation of game elements.

I’d say the most common is the type that starts with common exposition and branches into one of several (mostly linear) “routes” based on a character selection. Romance/smut is super common, but there are lot of other genres as well. In a VN the text is usually the bulk of the game with shorter VNs being less than 10 hours or so, but I’ve seen long ones reported at 100+ depending on reading speed.

This site is kind of annoying to use, but if you want see how deep the rabbit hole goes

A lot of anime comes from VNs, but if we want to get into memes Nekopara, Fate, Stein’s Gate, Ace Attourney, Danganronpa, ect. are all big names you might have heard of that are or originated from VNs. I hope this cover the basics well enough. I feel like someone more into the genre could write an essay here.

Edit: I recently played VA-11 HALL-A which was an absolute joy


I agree with others that using Bunpro more could be beneficial. And, obviously, reading.

Only thing I can add is: Ditch the owl.

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Level 48 and haven’t really gotten into reading yet, yikes. Ditch Duolingo, pound vocab with a different SRS and start reading. I’d recommend Satori reader.

Duolingo is honestly garbage. The only thing that app is good at is making you think that you’re productive.

Reading is the fastest way to aquire a language. Once you’ve read as much as you can be bothered with, get onto listening (each day). Whenever you have downtime listen to japanese.

It’s like that “choose your own adventure” books, but in video game form…
Are those still a thing? Or am I just old?

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Are you really doing all the Genki exercises in the workbook? Specially the ones in which you have to compose your own sentences. Are you using the last part of Genki main book in which you have additional readings? In Genki 2, there are lots of long texts to read there. When I reached WK level 60, I could read almost nothing even after finishing Genki 1. When I finished Genki 2, I could read more material but not the stuff I really wanted to read. Now, at Tobira chapter 11, reading is becoming more pleasurable. If you are using Genki at its fullest, my only other suggestion is for you to start reading every context sentence in WK when you do your reviews. I think there is a script to hide the English translation…

Haha I know it does next to nothing for me, but that streak is addicting! The good thing is, I only use it for a bout 3 minutes a day (literally a single exercise). Going to check out Satori reader! Thanks for the reply.

I’ve just never enjoyed reading in any language, so I haven’t gotten around to it. This post was to get some tips on starting.

And I know Duolingo is not great. I don’t invest much stock into at all (1 exercise a day that takes all of 2-3 minutes). Thanks for the reply!

Interesting. Thanks for elaborating!