Before I take the plunge

About two and a half weeks ago, I started with WaniKani in order to finally get going with Japanese and to get some use out of my time while everything’s still a bit on the slow end thanks to you-know-what. I just got done with enough kanji to unlock level 4 and was about to buy a monthly subscription for the time being, only to notice that Paypal’s only available on a yearly and lifetime basis. Now, I’ve seen here and there that apparently, if you buy a yearly subscription and then buy lifetime access during a sale that you get part of the cost deducted from the price you paid for the yearly access, though I figure I’d ask straight away just to be sure and whether there’s things I’m missing here.


Yes it’s true. You even get a discount on Lifetime if you have a monthly subscription even though it’s only like $8.


So far, they have always had a sale during the christmas holiday season. They deduct the unused part of your year.

I think it would be a good guess to say that they will have it again this year.

I have seen devoted people make it to 60 with a single one year subscription.
I have more frequently seen them use two one year subscriptions.
But I have also seen people who buy a month or two at a time then let it lapse when they don’t have money, yet eventually still make it all the way through.
Or there are those like me who take several lifetimes.


The plunge has been taken now - all that’s left to do is wait for level 4 to unlock… and then actually go ahead and do them.

And look for a decent way to learn grammar via self study.


For Grammar I can recommend BunPro and if you have some bucks left add “Japanese the manga way” and “A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar” on top of that.

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I was actually thinking about giving BunPro a try earlier, but I think their website doesn’t like my mail address. I requested the activation mail twice and it’s just not showing up in my mail, not even in the spam folder.

Maybe I’ll wait until I at least got a bit of vocabulary going. I did start with WK because of the Tofugu guide, and that suggested starting once I got to level 10.

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Your experience may vary, but I had trouble ‘learning’ grammar from bunpro. The explanations of the grammar points are very limited. I find it works best as a reinforcement tool when grammar is learned another way, such as from a book or a series on youtube. Personally I like Cure Dolly, but some people do not.

I know that Tofugu will recommend waiting until level 10, but that seems to be for intermediate grammar books that use kanji. Options like Genki don’t seem to use many kanji and could be started immediately. So it depends what source you are using. The earlier you learn some grammar the sooner you can start reading. WK is slow at the start so you might want to use some of that time to learn grammar.


I’ve been using Genki for my grammar studies. If you search the internet, you’ll find that Genki is recommended a lot for beginners to learn Japanese. (Minna no Nihongo is the other one most recommended, but from what I can gather that’s written in all kana, which might be overwhelming to some - it certainly would be to me!) I like it, I find that it’s quite succinct in its explanations but not too bare. That helps me to get a basic grasp of it quite quickly.

I then use Bunpro for the SRS for grammar and the extra links it provides for reference. Once I’ve got a decent grasp of the grammar point, I use the Little Yellow Book (A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui) to flesh it out more.


Having looked up Cure Dolly, I can kinda see why that style of presentation can be distracting, but from the first two videos of the “Japanese made easy” series alone, I at least feel like I got an understanding of the base sentence structure. I was already aware that Japanese grammar likes to omit subjects, but the whole train carriage analogy is making things a lot easier to grasp.


Some people really don’t like the robotic avatar approach. However her system for understanding the structure is beyond comparison, in my opinion. She has a complete ‘model’ of Japanese structure that is different from what you’ll find elsewhere. You really can learn so much in just a few hours. I tried some other grammar sources in the past and this is the one that really clicked for me, more than anything else.

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This is good advice. I would add that Bunpro covers a lot of grammar points. You will exhaust your other sources before exhausting Bunpro. At this point you will have to rely on Bunpro provided explanations.


I find the externsl resources on the Readings section of Bunpro thorough enough most of the time. What I usually do when I keep struggling to grasp the point is looking for the grammar in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar or in Japanese the Manga Way. I am still at the beginning of Bunpro’s N4 path so at some point I’ll have to upgrade in the book department. Such a shame that there are no intermediate abd advanced versiobs of Japanese the Manga Way. Really love that book. Again, as others have said what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another and vice versa. So you have to try and see what suits you the best. It is part of the journey. :smiley: