Advice think I started WaniKani too soon

Hi Everyone

I love WaniKani and have diligently learnt and reviewed the first three levels.

Now I find myself in a quandary.

Before starting the time used for WaniKani was spent on beginner level Japanese from zero learning. I think these books and YouTube vids are great for beginners. Genki didn’t feel as useful for self learning.

I must guiltily admit my practical learning of basic grammar has taken a hit.

Would everyone tend to agree that I should put WaniKani on hold for a few months while I work through the beginner level grammar texts?

I do feel some of the vocabulary and use of hiragana has been useful up to level 3 and it hasn’t been time wasted.


Hiya! Welcome!

There’s really no reason why you can’t learn in parallel. Keep up with Wanikani, but don’t push for a crazy high speed. With these low levels and the amount of reviews you have, it really shouldn’t be taking up more than about 20-30 minutes of your day. I found having kanji knowledge really useful as I forged ahead with grammar, especially with verbs and adjectives where the sound within the kanji doesn’t change.

Keep going, and then reassess how you feel at a higher level (10 is a good benchmark).


If your beginner level grammar texts have kanji, then WaniKani before that is probably better.


I don’t think most would agree actually…check this article out

For me, grammar sticks so much better when I have words to play around with. Coming up with a system of things to do simultaneously is probably you’re best option. Rather than looking at your learning journey as a one source at a time option, I would recommend learning how to study both at a pace that doesn’t kill you. I use Anki, WaniKani, and Bunpro all daily. It was tricky at first but once I found a rhythm between them they started to support each other.


I agree with @rumade that Level 10 is a good benchmark.

I purchased Genki a few months ago and started a few chapters but I felt I needed to get the kanji in order have a smooth attack at the material. I find myself slowed down by consistently having to look up the kanji in the glossary portion of the book. That is when I saw some other WaniKani users suggest to go at least to Level 10 before continuing with Genki.

I am level 9 now and plan to go WaniKani and Genki at the same time once I reach level 10. I think most, if not all, of the kanji covered in the book I will already have encountered by then.

All the best in your language jouney @RobO12!


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Nothing is too soon. Just keep exposing yourself to japanese. I have been studying japanese nearly a year. I started with rosetta stone on 2018 June. And completed it in 10 months. After halving rosetta stone I started to watch grammar videos in my own language which was N5 level. After completing that I have read Tae Kim’s grammar guide. On February 2019 I started wanikani which helped me alot to progress by building vocabulary bit by bit. Also learning kanji helps me to read youtube comments and tweets which allows me to expose written japanese. While studying wanikani I randomly Japanese Ammo no Misa videos randomly which is best teacher imho. You can watch her advanced videos easily also. I think that, my basic grammar foundation is still shaky, now I started Misa Sensei’s basic grammar as review. I realize that I forgot most of basic points. Reviewing grammar over and over stabilizes foundation for me. While doing these, I am watching youtube and netflix on japanese. I listen to japanese music and nhk podcast everyday. I am progressing slow. Still I am progressing inch by inch.

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Knowing lots of vocabulary before you start grammar will make grammar learning much simpler, at least in my experience.

I say get to level 10 or so on WK before you start any serious grammar study. By then you’ll know most of the super common kanji that will be used in a lot of N5 level grammar texts. Then from levels 10-25ish, study grammar to your heart’s content. At level 20-30ish start trying to read simple Japanese as much as possible to put your new vocab and grammar knowledge to some real world use.

That my two cents, at least. Good luck! :smiley:


I wouldn’t.

Kanji, vocabulary, and grammar are all long roads. I think it’s important to be able to work through them simultaneously. Good to start kanji as early as possible


Try having a look at this list of 75 videos that might help you apply some basic grammar to your learning of the Kanji and vocabulary.

I definitely agree with the OP. Bring your grammar to a basic level. Japanese for zero, Japanese for busy people and human Japanese don’t have any kanji at all in the initial book(s), so start WaniKani when you get to a point they start introducing kanji’s, which won’t be for a while. All imho of course, other people think it’s best to start kanji’s before grammar, but it didn’t work for me: I got past level 20 on WaniKani and I realised I started forgetting kanji’s I had supposedly ‘burnt’ because my grammar knowledge was insufficient to read material with them, so I decided to put WaniKani aside and study only grammar for a while. A few months ago I decided I knew enough grammar to make kanji study more meaningful, so I attrarre WaniKani from scratch and so far I’m getting along very well.


Thank you all for your opinions and responses.

I’ve decided to keep up WaniKani but schedule my learning between that and grammar/text books.

That way I’ll hopefully learn in a balanced fashion:-)

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For me, this is the best advice. I’ve now realized that Japanese is going to be a long road, so working on kanji, vocab and grammar at the same time provides me a good balance.

It means I am not making maybe as much progress as I’d hope in any one area, but the “inch-by-inch” idea is really important to keep in mind.

The only other thing I’d add is, depending on what you want to get out of the language, finding opportunities to practice speaking while in conversation with another person, as opposed to simply reading sentences aloud, is also critical. I find that I can read and understand a lot more than I can speak/understand in conversation with classmates, but now that I’ve added class time into the mix, my speaking and listening comprehension is really taking off.

Good luck! Just make sure you find something that works for you and your goal with learning Japanese!

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How do you use bunpro? 3$/month is a pretty great deal so i’m considering it.

Finding a rhythm with it was tricky because you control the rate that you introduce new material. Currently I use the study button once a day. Each time you do a study it introduces 3 new grammar points to your srs pool. It gives you articles to people who explain the grammar, but I also look them up in my copy of a dictionary of basic Japanese grammar (you should buy this book if you can.
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

Bunpro gives several example sentences to help understand the point . The rhythm is tricky to figure out because it’s tempting to keep studying new grammar but your grammar srs pool will thank you for taking it slow. Otherwise you get smashed with a LOT of reviews.

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