Back after years. How should I proceed this time?

Hello Friends,

I have been studying Japanese on and off for almost four years now. I have also used Wanikani in the past, and I reached level 6. During these years I used tons of different learning tools (Wanikani, in-person classes, iOS apps, textbooks), but I always reached the point of burn-out pretty quickly. I feel that I never found a tool that truly worked for me. I am unfortunately very busy at work, and I need something that makes me have fun while learning and keeps me engaged.

Wanikani has been great for this, but I over-used it in the past and burned-out. I also often felt depressed by being unable to read my beloved mangas in Japanese. I pushed hard on Wanikani, often checked my reading comprehension, felt bad about it, and then changed the learning tool or just stop for months.

I have now decided to come back to learning Japanese and I want to take my time. Just a little bit, but every day. No false illusions. Be patient and continue working towards learning Japanese.

In order to do this, I created a new account on Wanikani and started from zero. I am now doing my reviews every day and I am doing no more than 5 lessons per day (unless I feel super comfortable with these lessons). I also will avoid trying to read anything in Japanese unless I am at least at level 10 of Wanikani.

Here is a question. Considering all of the above, when do you recommend me to integrate Wanikani with grammar? Also, which tool should I use that would be similar to Wanikani?

Thanks and it feels good to be back!


お帰りなさい! Welcome back to the game of trying to learn Japanese. If you look around the forums you’ll find a bunch of descriptions about Bunpro as a grammar resource that’s similar to WaniKani. Also if you’re just trying to get the basics of grammar for now I’d recommend Textfugu (from the creators of WaniKani) which is a nice, understandable introduction to grammar for self learners. Also Tae Kim Grammar Guide is good and has examples/practice sections though it’s not like WaniKani (ie no SRS). There are a lot of other resources though, if you look in the Japanese section of the forums there’s a post that’s been pinned with both free/paid resources and lots of user reviews from others on here.

もう一度, 頑張って!

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This is probably one of the biggest debates on these forums. (OK probably not but it sounds more dramatic that way.)
A lot of people will tell you to start immediately and that the soon you start the better. This may be true. I preferred to wait until level 10 and I knew a lot of the kanji in the grammar resources. To me, I liked the idea of just focusing on the grammar aspect instead of muddying it with unknown kanji. Whenever you choose, just make sure to start before reaching level 60 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

I tried Genki but I got tired of having to do it all at home. Now I’m doing LingoDeer which has helped me do grammar whenever/wherever I am.

I don’t think TextFugu is accepting new signups any longer

This is your greatest asset. You just gotta find a rythm that you can work, and keep at it. Don’t worry about being unable to read anything now. Instead of thinking in days, think in months. And you will feel the progress.

I started studying grammar at lvl 5 and while it’s totally doable, I had to look up a lot vocab and kanji, so that took some time. At lvl 10 things really do get a lot easier.

I still can’t read any native material easily, but at least the lessons go a lot more smoothly :laughing: 頑張って!


This is correct. It’s intended to be replaced by EtoEto.

… Eventually.


First of all, thank you all for the nice and welcoming replies.

I have Tofugu because I purchased the lifetime subscription a while ago. In view of this, should I do Tofugo or Bunpro? And should I start one of them now, or wait until I reach level 10?

I think that Bunpro is a great tool to do grammar exercises but it is not that great when it comes to teaching grammar. If you want to have a quick grasp of grammar in a fast way, I suggest Human Japanese (basic and intermediary), when you finish with it, then you can switch to Genki I and II.

Hi, I am in a similar situation, although I managed level 20something in the past on Wanikani and started six years ago, tried twice, this is my third time.

I work, have family, and little time. I am concentrating fully on Wanikani. I’ve been looking for a grammar source, too, that I can easily integrate. Have lifetime membership on textfugu, tried Bunpro, have Genki at home. It is the persistence that I am lacking. And just Wanikani is simple, not a lot of thought process that’s going in. That’s exactly what I need at the moment.

So, for now, I am concentrating fully on Wanikani. No other studies outside. And hope I can reach level 60 this time :slight_smile:

Since you want to include grammar and want something similar to Wanikani, I think Bunpro would be good. It has SRS and is similar in terms of reviews that are waiting. Another thing may be DuoLingo which has been suggested here several times. I started with it, but it’s so easy at the beginning, that I haven’t really progressed a lot.

Good luck! And remember, sometimes less can get you further (at least I hope this motto will bring me further this time).

Edit: I forgot to mention that I also started with the beginner reading club here. It’s great since you can read it and get the translation and discussion from others to cross-check. That’s probably more encouraging than trying on your own.

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