Any recommendations for learning Japanese?

Does anyone have any recommendations for grammar, vocabulary, etc. resources? In WK there is only kanji vocab and i was wondering if there were any good websites/text books that I could learn kana only words from. I have anki but i do not know of any decks - so if you have some that you would recommend - please do:). I also have the first genki book but I’m unable to use it to learn grammar just yet since I don’t know much kanji. So, if you think you know of anything that may be of use to me - or not, I don’t mind having too many things to look through - then please mention them:D.


I use this websites:


The torii app is free. That will get you started on some words while you learn kanji.


I remember there being genki vocab decks on anki which might help you get started with the book


resources - LearnJapanese (

the discord server has more stuff

2 Likes is my goat


Genki series is good for an introduction to grammar IMO - what do you mean by “unable to use it to learn grammar…I don’t know much kanji”? I have the Genki series, and the example Japanese sentences usually provide furigana, so isn’t it possible to still learn grammar from it without any kanji knowledge?

Additionally, I would suggest bunpro. I don’t use this currently, but the N5/N4 grammar points available seem quite good.


“Any recommendations for learning Japanese?”

Don’t! :slightly_smiling_face:

Joking aside Genki or Minna no Nihongo. And you learn kanji as you use the book.


If you use the search bar right in Discourse here, I’m sure there were kana-only vocab anki decks that someone had posted and shared. I remember downloading them, years ago.

As far as grammar, I’ve always been a big fan of the Nihongonomori videos on YouTube. They have multiple different streams for your learning level, and have even branched out into teaching from other languages besides English.

The Genki textbooks are quite good, too, but more fun if you work through them with a friend or small group of people.

EDIT: the Nihongonomori on YT has changed from what I remember… the videos I had watched appear to be gone (I can’t find the right playlists, anyway), and their website (.com) has pricing for something… with 40% off. I wonder what happened to the fun and lovely guys that used to run the channel… :confused:

EDIT 2: This lovely young lady has posted a great review of the 3 most popular sets of textbooks, Genki, Minna no Nihongo, and Japanese from Zero. Which Beginner JAPANESE book is BEST for YOU? - YouTube


Japanese the Manga Way is a great grammar primer and quite affordable at $20.

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Have you checked the ultimate resource list. Most good stuff is on there and with some kind of description of what to expect. :slight_smile:

not sure what “etc.” includes, but for listening resources, try anything in the OP post of the Listening Practice thread. :slight_smile:


In my genki book, on one of the first few pages, it asks you to write greetings matching the pictures and I have not yet learnt the greetings (and I presume a lot of the tasks in genki use kanji) :sob:

bunpro helped me a lot from N5 to N3.

I used it for one year alongside Wk and got halfway to N1, but since N2 it started being a mess for me, I only recommend until N3.

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They updated the N2 grammar recently, they all have write-ups now. N1 still doesn’t though

I think it should be fine to just use kana for practice if you’re just starting Genki, right? As long as you can read/write kana, you can definitely begin learning grammar from Genki and constructing simple phrases.

kanji adds more context and “visual separation” since Japanese doesn’t have whitespace, if that makes sense. see the examples below

hiragana only) わたしのははははーふです
w/ katakana) わたしのはははハーフです
w/ kanji) 私の母はハーフです

each sentence has the exact same meaning, but using the additional syllabaries makes it easier to to distinguish the individual “words” within the sentence. notice that in the hiragana only sentence, there’s a stream of 4 は in a row, which makes it hard to distinguish what is a particle vs what is a word. With kanji we get a clearer idea of which は is a particle (in this case it’s the third one), and can read it accordingly

At some point we do need to learn kanji, but I think it’s easier to absorb kanji organically as you progress through your studies instead of trying to learn kanji before studying.

I hope this helps!

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I just bought the Bunpro lifetime access recently and it will probably be a year or so until I make my way to any N2 or N1 material.

I am curious, what were the issues with the N2 and N1 material? I am sure things will improve a bit when I get there, just mores curious what to look out for as deficiencies as I use the ecosystem.

Besides WanKani I feel MaruMori is really good and Crystal Hunters. MaruMori is brand new and they are trying to make it an all in one resource. I have just been using it for grammar only since I have been using WaniKani for vocabulary. As for Crystal Hunters it’s a manga that teaches Japanese so it has both vocabulary and grammar in there and currently there are 6 volumes. All of the guides that show the vocabulary and explain the grammar are for free.

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i cant speak for evandcs, but im assuming the reason he had issues with the n2 and n1 material is because that stuff hadn’t been finished yet. Unlike n5-3, which had complete, very detailed descriptions of the grammar concept, the logic behind its emergence, places it can’t be used, the n2 and n1 sections only had a very brief explanation that was one or two sentences. I used bunpro a while back when even n5 didnt have these write-ups and I gave up on bunpro at the time ebcause i got confused often and easily. Now, though, even n2 has these, and I’m assuming n1 is not far off.

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Very good resources, not yet mentioned (all YouTube channels):

  • Game Gengo (if you like Video Games, good N5 to N3 content)
  • Sarah Moon (some good anime and light novel stuff, walk-through through Genki 1 available)

That would make sense, they rushed it back then and focused on the early levels where most of their consumers would be at. I got lucky as I am basically coming into Bunpro at a mid N4 level so it feels good to see those later levels should be bolstered.

Thanks for the heads up flowjam!

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