Cheating to prevent quitting

This is the same trap I fell into.

I learned about 2,000 words and forgot probably 1,500 of them before I ever started reading. (This was not using WaniKani, so I wasn’t really learning the kanji.) I wasted so much time.

Start learning grammar today.

Once you have some grammar, join one of the Absolute Beginner Book Club books/manga.

You won’t be able to read at first.

You have to decipher every sentence you see. You need to figure out the grammar and vocabulary in each sentence, each panel, on each page.

The more you decipher sentences, the easier it gets over time.

You’ll learn a lot of grammar along the way. Eventually, your brain will start recognizing patterns of grammar and vocabulary, and you’ll start to feel like you are actually reading.

Since you have WaniKani lifetime and are on level 20, I recommend the following:

  1. Stop doing new lessons.
  2. Continue doing reviews.
  3. Start/continue learning grammar until you’ve learned about 20 different kinds of grammar.
    • This can be 20 chapters from a textbook like Genki, or the first 20 videos from Cure Dolly’s subtitled “Japanese From Scratch” series on YouTube.
  4. Join the Absolute Beginner Book Club. Learn more grammar through the club discussion threads.
  5. Continue deciphering native Japanese material (manga, news articles, etc) until you start to feel like you are reading.
  6. Start doing WaniKani lessons again.

This is my recommendation.

Some people will agree with it.

Some people will disagree with it.