Another Person's Study Log

Thank you to @marcusp for the inspiration and formatting for this log. :slight_smile:

About Me/This Log

Hello everyone my name is Ethan and I’m 22 years old at the time of posting this. Right now I am probably a little above N5 level. I’ve always been very interested in Japan and Japanese media which is why I decided to learn the language.

My ultimate goals are:

  • To be able to read native Japanese manga/books
  • Fluently converse with native speakers
  • Fully comprehend Japanese audio

After I accomplish these, I hope to possibly start a career and live in Japan. My current goal is to become a translator or interpreter. I’ve been studying Japanese seriously for about 4 months now. Since January, I’ve been living in Fukuoka in order to attend Japanese classes for 1 year. After seeing some other study logs from other users on this forum, I decided to create my own in order to inspire myself and others on this awesome journey. I will be posting on here at least three-four times a week to update everyone on my progress. Without any further ado, let’s jump into my current short-term plan that will act as the steps needed to reach my goals!

My Short-term Plan ~Things I want to do this year

  • Reach Wanikani level 40
  • Pass JLPT N3
  • Talk in Japanese with native speakers at least 2 hours a week
  • Read at least 100 NHK Easy News articles | 20/100
  • Read at least 100 manga chapters | 21/100
  • Read at least 3 light novels/easy books | 0/3
  • Watch and (mostly) understand at least 20 episodes of Anime | 0/20
  • Watch and (mostly) understand at least 10 episodes of Terrace House | 0/10
  • Create a Sentence mining Anki deck and add at least 200 sentences | 25/200

Alright now let’s jump into the methods and resources I will be using everyday to study. :smiley:


1) Wanikani
Orginally I made a Wanikani account, did the first radicals lesson once, and stopped…

However 2.5 years later I’m back and loving it! I do every lesson and review as soon as available and am always at 0/0 whenever I close the app. Let’s look at my stats.

  • Current level: 9
  • Average Level-up: 6days 20 hours
  • Accuracy: 97.70%

I use the Flaming Durtles app for android and the only “non-vanilla” action I do is use the undo button. I only use this when I misspell something on accident from typing to fast.

2) Japanese Class/Genki Textbook
Here in Japan I go to class Mon-Fri and receive around 4 hours a day of lessons. We are using the Genki books for everything and are currently on Genki 2. All my current grammar I have acquired through Genki 1/2 and another source I will talk about next. I think that anyone that has the option available to them should highly consider attending a language school In Japan. Also, the Genki textbook is amazing and I would highly recommend beginners to start with this book.

3) Youtube
The other grammar source I use is Youtube. There are a lot of great Japanese Sensei on here and I will list the ones I mainly use:

4) TangoRisto (MIght be going offline soon so not sure if I will have to switch apps)
I use this for reading NHK Easy News and I highly recommend this app. It just has everything. Furigana options by JLPT level, instant dictionary lookup, audio, etc. You should get this app. :slight_smile:

5) Anki
The SRS flashcard app. I’m sure you already know about this so I won’t explain everything. But I will be using it exclusively for sentence mining. I’m not a fan of premade Anki decks. I think learning without context is usually just a waste of time.

6) Italki
I want to eventually start using this for online tutor lessons specifically to practice speaking and practice grammar I already know. At the moment though I will just be using this to find a language exchange partner.

Well, thanks for reading and I hope that this log can help keep my motivation high as well as possibly inspire others! I will be posting my first log later tonight after I complete my Wanikani reviews!


Great goals, great methods, great log! It’s going to be great fun following your progress here! Good luck in all your studies, and please add your log to the list!


Thanks! I added it to the list :slight_smile:

Here’s the log portion for the day:

Today I did 150+ reviews and was able to unlock some more level 9 vocab. It’s kind of amazing how motivated I am to do Wanikani at this point. This is probably the only study method I’ve used where the motivation just keeps on going and I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself. It always feels great blowing through the reviews fast after struggling to remember something a couple days ago!

We have recently switched over to online lessons because of the current situation with Covid-19. I’m honestly getting real tired of doing online class, as the pace is slow and it’s a lot harder to stay focused. Anyways, today we reviewed ~ておく which I’m beginning to understand better. We also started using sentences to qualify nouns which can be very useful. It’s still difficult to do the E > J translation in my head of these but with practice I’m sure I’ll start picking it up.

Free Study
Today I watched this video about ~ておく from Japanese Ammo with Misa. I really like how she focuses on casual speech since I don’t usually get to use it very much in the classroom setting. I might try to read through an NHK Easy News article later tonight because I want to start reading more material and creating sentence cards in my Anki.

Will update you guys more tomorrow. Have a good night! :night_with_stars:


Study Log #2 :smiley:

Worked on more level 9 stuff and realized that some of the vocab is pretty tricky this time around! For example 苦い、苦しい、表、相手、生保、保つ、試みる、etc. Probably did my worst review session at a whopping 43% incorrect!! (9/21) Despite that though, it just makes me excited for when the mnemonics start sticking and I’ll be able to blow through them like nothing. :sunglasses:

I’ve also realized how great it is to have friends to talk about WaniKani with is! I’ve gotten several of my friends to start using it and talking about our accomplishments and struggles really keep me motivated. Another side effect I’ve noticed is that when we share difficult to remember Kanji/Vocab together it actually helps the memorization process. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong guys. In the long run it just means you’re more likely to easily remember it!

Today we went over the differences between 聞こえる/聞ける and 見える/見られる as well as some overall practice and review. Today went pretty well and I enjoyed doing the overall practice and review since we get to use all of the building blocks we used so far instead of focusing on just what we are currently learning. After the lessons I went over everything we did in Genki 2 so far just to brush up on all the grammar points and vocab. (I highly recommend every learner does this periodically. You will remember stuff you forgot and even learn new stuff you missed the first time!)

I bit the bullet and finally decided to sign up for a trial lesson with a tutor this Friday. I’m a little nervous about how it will go but I think it’s finally about time I start getting more speaking practice. I will update everyone on how that goes.

NHK Easy News
Yesterday I discovered another amazing feature of TangoRisto: the ability to sort articles by difficulty. With this I can start with the easiest articles and work my way up! Yesterday, I ended up reading an article and picking up a few words and adding some sentences in to my sentence mining deck. It went well despite not knowing some of the small grammar they used . Tonight I will read back through it and see if I can get a better understanding this time without looking words up or relying on translation.

I hope everyone is having a good week so far! I’m feeling good tonight so I might even try to watch some anime with JPN subs and see how well I do. I will keep everyone updated :relaxed:


Study Log #3 :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Today was a pretty slow day of WaniKani. However, these are the days I enjoy, because I can feel the vocab and kanji starting to sink in and come easier to me. This is also the point where I start trying to use the words in conversation and being recognizing them in the wild. I’m excited to get to the next level and hit my first double digits level :pray:

Today was a good day with Genki! This morning for about an hour I went back through Genki 1 from the very beginning just to brush up on everything I’ve learned so far. Right now I’m on lesson 7 and might try to get through the rest of it tomorrow. :slight_smile:
Lessons went alright. The first part was speaking practice, which I enjoyed, but the second part I had a really hard time focusing on.
NHK Easy News
Went through the article again and this time I easily understood everything and remembered the new vocab I learned. (It’s honestly a very simple article.) Tonight I will read through a new one and repeat the process!

I tried watching あの花 last night for about 5 minutes maybe. I was able to understand an okay amount, actually! Unfortunately I got bored quickly so decided to leave it for a different anime… Next time I’ll pick an anime I actually enjoyed. :laughing: See you guys tomorrow!


You didn’t like あの花?! I loved it! But yes, best to stick to what you really like most! Great idea about going over the NHK articles again. I rarely go back and re-study or re-read, and that is a big mistake, something I have to put right.


Study Log #4 :sleeping:

Going to keep it short tonight because I’m feeling pretty tired today.

Got some more stuff up to enlightened which is cool but I’m more excited for my level up tomorrow. :smiley:

Finished going back through Genki 1 and picked up a few more things. I realized how much I really like their extra notes they have in the back of the lessons or after the vocab. They have some really good phrases and cool stuff for some grammar points that aren’t explained elsewhere.

Lessons were awful today unfortunately. I can hardly pay attention anymore with these online classes. Next week we have off so hopefully I can recharge my batteries and change my mindset.

No extra studies besides that today. I hope everyone has a nice, safe weekend. :slight_smile:


Study Log #5

Today was the big day!! :smiley:

About one hour later…

Did a loooot of Wanikani today so I didn’t do any extra studies. Gotta take a break sometimes right lol. No profound insights today but I’m still chugging along!

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Study Log #6

Hello everyone! :slight_smile:
Skipped yesterday because I didn’t really do anything besides Wanikani so I’m gonna update today using yesterday and today. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yesterday I had a lot of reviews and everything went really well! Today I had only 3 reviews lol… Tomorrow however I will unlock some new stuff and get some reviews coming in!

Did my first Italki session today! I was able to talk in Japanese for most of the session. :smiley: The tutor was very nice and easy to talk to and I’ll be booking some more lessons with her. Also, I realized a couple things during my trial lesson today:

  1. 30 minutes for a trial is actually so short! The conversation I had went by so fast.
  2. Despite being able to talk in Japanese the whole time I was really slow and clumsy in forming my sentences which makes me think that doing these lessons are actually a really good idea lol. I need a lot of practice and this should be a good start.
  3. Having someone that you can speak with and that can correct your mistakes is invaluable.

I purchased 5 lessons so we’ll see how much I can improve in that time.

No lessons this week since it’s golden week so I’ll use this time to just review what we’re learning and look ahead a little. Today I just spent about 25 minutes going through Genki just to brush up on what we had already learned.

I’ll probably take it a little bit easy this week and give myself a break to let the things I’ve learned sink in. (Except for Wanikani I’ll be staying consistent with that as always.) I hope everyone has a good week and I’ll see you guys later!


Study Log #7

Today was a huge Wanikani day. I think I spent more time on WaniKani than I ever have before. I wish I could see exactly how many I did, because as far as I know there isn’t a way to do that? I think I did about 400+ reviews and 80 new lessons and I also have about 80 more reviews before I go to bed. Overall I was pretty happy with my results despite today being the first day that I missed a radical going from Master>Enlightened.:sob:

I went through all the lessons I’ve finished in Genki 2 so far and started learning some of the new vocab and grammar for lesson 16. The vocab is definitely getting more advanced and difficult to remember. However, I can see myself using a lot of the words I’ll be learning so I’m excited for that. :slight_smile:

Tonight I think I’ll start on another NHK Easy news article. I need to start stepping up my reading especially if I want to hit my end of the year goals!


Study Log #8

I’m finding that the farther I go in with Wanikani the less there is to say. Which is a good thing. :slight_smile:
It’s just become a routine to me at this point. So yeah. Everything good with Wanikani at the moment!

Had my first full Italki session today which went really well! I learned a lot of new grammar and phrases and got to practice my speaking more. I think it will take a while to actually see the results but I know the time I’m putting in is not wasted!

Well I’ll keep it short and sweet today. Hope everyone is having a good week! :smiley:


Study Log #9

Hello everyone. Not much has been going on recently but I’m back to give a small update.

Just got to level 11 today. I’m already noticing the increased difficulty with the words. The kunyomi readings for level 11 are really hard to remember and for the first time I think I’ve gotten some words wrong three times in a row. I don’t know if it’s me but as I go further and further the mnemonics seem to not work as well but oh well…

Either way I’m going to continue with my 0/0 streak and hopefully these tough words will start sticking soon :stuck_out_tongue:

Had another tutor session. It went okayish not much to say about it. I have three more lessons to go with the tutor.

In kind of a weird mood today. School is going to be off for a month and they took back the free classes they were going to offer for some reason so I don’t know what to do with myself. I want to learn and study more so maybe I will try to work through Genki 2 on my own. I hope everyone is having a good weekend.


Study log #10 (woot)

I don’t know how Wanikani does it lol. I come into a level barely being able to remember anything and struggling to recall the mnemonics to the next day flying through everything.

Besides Wanikani I didn’t do anything specifically besides watch some Japanese Ammo with Misa and skim through some of Genki 2. Also started going through キノの旅 and adding words I don’t know to a google sheets document. I also watched a little bit of Your Lie in April (one of my favorites) just to see how that went. (It went alright.) As you can see I was all over the place today lol.


Study log #11

Still staying consistent with WaniKani! I’m about halfway through level 11 right now and it’s been a pretty smooth experience so far. Definitely hasn’t been as hard as level 10 was originally. :stuck_out_tongue:

Nothing else to really update on to be honest. I hope everyone is having a good week. :slight_smile:


Study Log #12

In celebration of my 12th study log I have now reached Level 12 in Wanikani :partying_face:
Level 11 was actually a pretty smooth ride and I’m hoping that level 12 will be just as smooth! I think I’ve succeeded in getting all of my friends to start using Wanikani too lol.

I’ve actually done a lot of different stuff in the last couple days so I’ll just kinda go over what I’ve been doing. I’ve been collecting a lot of different immersion resources recently, so I’m starting to listen to podcasts, read more, and watch shows/videos. If anyone is interested I can post the actual resources I’m using since I’ve found a lot of useful stuff lately. I also set up my Anki to start adding mining cards in with a better format. I also started looking at chapter 17 in Genki and going over that. Everything seems pretty straightforward. Sill have about two more weeks until classes start so I’ll keep on chugging along by myself :stuck_out_tongue:


Study Log #13

Had a slow day of WaniKani but tomorrow I have a lot of Guru reviews and the day after that I can unlock more of level 12. Most of level 12 is going really good so far so that’s good.

Been feeling extremely lazy recently. Had an Italki lesson today but it went awful. My speaking feels like it’s going nowhere but I at least feel like my listening is getting a little better. I need school to start again because I’m getting extremely bored.


Study log #14

Today I had a good amount of reviews that were all Guru so I moved some more thing up to Master :slight_smile: Tomorrow I will unlock more lessons and move some things up to Enlightened as well! :smiley:
Overall I’m happy with my Wanikani progress today.

Today I did a lot of reading and focused on mining some words for my Anki deck. I used Tadoku Free graded readers and NHK easy news. Most of my time so far has been going through the Tadoku Free graded readers so I think I will switch over to some more NHK easy news articles after I finish writing this.

I also am going to start trying to watch Barakamon with subs and try to mine some sentences from that so I can have some audio and images along with my cards. I’m trying to make the full jump into immersion at this point so I’m going to try reading, watching, and listening to a lot more things.


Study log #15

Hello everyone! Still chugging along on the Wanikani train lol. I’m a little over halfway done with level 12 and feeling pretty comfortable with most stuff. I have noticed I’m starting to miss a few more Master > Enlightened items which kinda stings but at the same time I’m okay with it. Even though it sucks watching it go back down at least I know in the long run that it will help me remember it better. :slight_smile:

Yesterday I didn’t do very extra study but I’m gonna try to review some Genki 2 stuff tonight and read through some NHK articles. I also got to hang out with some people from my apartment complex last night and use a lot of Japanese so I don’t feel bad about missing out on studying haha. :stuck_out_tongue:

My speaking and listening is still pretty awful though. Half the time is me going:すみません、分かりません。

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Study log #16

Hello everyone! Last night I reached level 13 and I’m feeling okay with the Kanji and the radicals so far. I have noticed that the mnemonics though are definitely becoming less effective. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the quality of them or just that it’s get harder to make stories out of Kanji with so many radicals. Regardless, I still enjoy Wanikani mostly because of the SRS system so I’m okay if sometimes the mnemonics don’t work for me.

I’ve started working through an Anki deck now at a much more reasonable pace than last time I attempted using a core deck. Now I’m doing 20 cards a day instead of 60 and not suspending cards that I already know. So everything so far is review but that’s okay.

Besides the above I haven’t done anything really consistently at all. Just some small studying here or there using Genki, or reading a little bit. I hope everyone had a good weekend and see you guys next time.:slight_smile:


I found this guys channel not too long ago and I think his content is great and really easy to watch and he seems like a nice guy.

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