So currently I’m doing all my WaniKani reviews and lessons every day, plus a page of Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide. I feel comfortable with this setting, but I feel like I could be doing slightly more (I have a decent amount of free time everyday that I spend on gaming and entertainment). Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I could be doing extra to practise my Japanese slightly more?
I think you’re doing fantastic so far! I wish I had started grammar a lot sooner, so props to you
I’m not sure if you have any previous Japanese knowledge or not outside of WK, so solely taking your level into account, I’d say to continue doing WK + grammar study, maybe go ahead and practice some listening here and there (whether that be through Japanese media or YouTube videos or podcasts), and then if you feel comfortable you can do some reading practice through easy manga or something, but it might be better to wait until ~level 10-15ish once you get more kanji under your belt so that you’re not stuck looking everything up all the time ^^
So basically, continue what you’re doing and maybe spend some time with listening practice, and once you feel more comfortable with reading Japanese, start consuming whatever Japanese content you can like easy manga, easy online news, etc
Speaking from my own experience, you wanna be careful with doing too much, especially early on. You want to avoid burning out or crushing motivation.
Though as a more passive but still helpful addition you could do would be listening. If you enjoy gaming, finding Japanese Let’s Players on your favorite games could be worthwhile. Even if you don’t understand much of anything at first, it adds up, and for sure helps with hearing how things are properly pronounced.
Talking to yourself is another one. Addressing things in Japanese versus in English, like さら instead of ‘plate’. “I need a さら for dinner.” Or the full sentence, depending on your level. 晩御飯のために皿が必要です。
Just speaking from my own experience, tacking on too much at once might not be a good thing. So doing little additions like playing a YT video every now and again, or trying to incorporate more words into your daily routine, can be more approchable while still having an impact on your learning. As you level up, you can also add on reading.
I might also recommend doing kaniwani.com, which tests English to Japanese. It links to your WK account and tests you on the vocab that you’ve learned.
I would say you are doing enough, but if you really want to add something, just passive stuff that immerses you in Japanese would be low-stress and still fun. Replacing some of your games/video watching with games or videos that are entirely in Japanese. Don’t worry trying to understand everything, but just let it sink in on your “time off”. This will make learning faster when you are actually working on it.
I think this is good advice! Having fun with Japanese is important. It’s also a major morale booster to return to things you struggled with in the past and noticing that you understand more.
It depends on why you want to learn the language of course. If it’s to understand media, do that! If it’s to talk to people you know or do not yet know, see if you can try that!
Another thing that might be useful is writing, for instance a diary, in Japanese (using a computer/phone/pen/whatever). It’s perhaps not as enoyable, but I think it’s a very useful way to consolidate what you’re learning and at the same time expressing yourself.
It’s also quite fine to just keep moving forward one step at the time. 30 minutes per day for a year is much more than 8 hours/day for a week.
I just started using Delvin yesterday after someone mentioned it here (can’t remember which thread though, sorry). It gives you video clips and you listen for vocabulary sorted by JLPT level. I thought it was really fun, so maybe check it out.
A diary is a really good idea that can grow with you as you learn. It can start out super basic, “Today I went shopping. It was fun.” And as you learn more you can go into more detailed entries. It’s good for reinforcing both the grammar and vocabulary you’re learning and can challenge you when you’ve got something cool you want to say but have to look up new words.
As you progress in your studies, it’s best to make a habit of what you can, and then slowly pile on that. If you can make a habit out of your current pace, great. If when the time comes that you start learning extra vocab or reading you still have extra free time, it may be a good idea to think about replacing video game time with that. Consider it, at least. Personally, I replaced most of my video game time with japanese (well not so much anymore now that I’m on break), but just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Some people simply can’t bring themselves to study too much japanese without getting burned out.
When I first started out I studied Japanese for 8 hours a day. I didn’t pick that amount of time, I would just try to get a geniki chapter done each day, and then the workbook, as well as clear out wanikani and some Anki and I just found that all the time spent took about 8 hours. Every time I thought about watching anime or playing a game, I thought I could be doing this in Japanese and the sooner I learn it, the more enjoyable this will be so I should just study instead.
I wouldn’t say I burned out because of the workload itself, I just couldn’t do it anymore because of school. I took Japanese classes which just reiterated all the grammar I just learned, and focused on wanikani. I sometimes had to pause. I couldn’t find time to learn knew grammar until breaks.
Now I study 3 hours a day four days a week, and an hour on the other 3 days of the week, so 15hours a week. You don’t have to do any of what I just said, I just felt like it and had nothing better to do. You should do whatever you want as long as you’re moving forward everyday it doesn’t matter in the end.
Just wanted to add my experience. Don’t stop yourself if you want to do more, but don’t force yourself if you don’t want to do more.
If you’re not against learning a little writing, or even doodling, possibly try your hand at Japanese penmanship. Print up some hiragana and katana worksheets and go over them until the characters become second nature. Play with it, incorporate your own style into them. Practice some kanji stroke order (I check out stroke order on one of my phone apps or on jisho.org and print my own printing guides). I like to practice writing each kanji seriously to start (to remember stroke order), but then start getting creative by flourishing my strokes, drawing bigger kanji, or doodling pictures that help me to remember the meaning. “Drawing” kanji helps me to remember it, even if I know I won’t use it all the time. Just have fun with it.