I just started working on WaniKani and was wondering if you guys work on grammar too. Should I wait to wanikani lvl 30 and then start grammar, or should I be working on grammar?
Welcome to Wanikani! We’re glad that you’ve joined us on the journey of learning Japanese
To answer your question:
Yes, you should start working on grammar immediately. Nothing you learn on WaniKani (people call it WK for short) is actually useful without developing your grammar skills. I’ve recently reset after being on hiatus for years, but I benefitted immensely during my travels in Japan because I started grammar early.
Do you have any recommendations for self study grammar. I’ve heard about Tae-kim and genki but don’t really know what to do.
Use something like going through Tae Kim or getting a textbook like Genki. Then use something like Bunpro to help reinforce it
Depends on your budget. Just shooting from the hip:
Best paid resource:
Genki 1 and 2 (second edition) plus workbooks and answer key:
- Written by some of the best in the business
- A lot of other learners have used this resource, so if you have any questions about the content you can just ask and get the answer.
- Lots of practice for each grammar point
- More expensive than other resources (you have to purchase volume 1, 2, the workbooks, and the answer key separately.
- Doesn’t cover as much grammar as some other resources (but only slightly).
- Japanese for Busy People
- Minna no Nihongo
- Japanese Demystified (some people will dislike it due to romaji being present, but it’s still fairly comprehensive in its coverage of basic Japanese, it’s inexpensive, and can be found or ordered at most bookstores)
- Japanese for Everyone (old, but comprehensive and doesn’t fall into the “homestay” narrative that other books use to teach you. Also available at most bookstores, but it may be missing the audio companion)
Best free resource:
It’s hard to find a free resource that really gives you everything you need, so I’ll split them based on their strengths:
Best for understanding Japanese nuance and developing pronunciation:
Japanese Ammo with Misa
Most comprehensive (free) reference to Japanese grammar:
Best contextual examples for grammar points:
Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide
Some people have mixed opinions on this one. I started here on my learning journey. I learned a few things, it didn’t do any real harm, and eventually I moved on to something more engaging and illustrative. YMMV.
Personally, once you complete one of the paid resources or have gotten pretty far with the free ones, I suggest buying A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar and starting to do some reading. By then you’ll have learned enough grammar and kanji that you can get through a lot of beginner reading material, and you can use the DoBJG to look up any grammar you’re not familiar with. Bunpro is a nice tool, but a lot of people have enough difficulty keeping up with the workload on WaniKani. It’s easy to get flashcard fatigue from using two SRS apps.
As a level 30: ha ha, no, start around 10 or earlier, if you are serious about this.
Or you can be like me, a total casual doing this while commuting, taught literally a thousand of kanji with grammar at proud N5 level and no listening comprehension.
Learn basic sentence structure and common particles right now.
After L10, start studying the rest of grammar.
Wanikani takes most of my time beacuse it is so convenient to use but I try to learn reading, grammar, etc at the same time.
I did Bunpro (after getting familiar with some other gramma ressources) while doing WK.
Currently im too busy with studies and getting into daily running tho so im neglecting the grammar and going even slower on WK than i planned.
If i were to hypothetically start over on my journey i would do both, but the ratio would favor WK in the beginning and slowly shift towards a grammar focus which would exceed WK effort around lvl 30 probably. (Meaning a reduction in WK pace/lessons)
I would also familiarize myself with the “japanese grammar” wikipage and watch curedolly but thats a personal preference i doubt would be shared by many.
(I started consuming native material fairly early and would gladly do so again despite how difficult it was in the beginning)
I started Japanese class before starting WK, so yes. It’s a lot easier to put all the words WK teaches into perspective, if you can make sentences with them.
If you’re serious about Wanikani and have a kind of limited amount of time, I strongly suggest not really using another SRS system.
What you could do is watching some videos of Cure Dolly on YouTube (yes it’s weird as hell, but her approach is great and she gets to the point much faster than Misa. Misa has good content, but I think she is so unbearably slow at times and the videos are soooo long).
If you got the basis structure down, just try to read. Graded readers, easy children stories, whatever you can find.
I use the books and the youtube guides from “Japanese from Zero”. It feels like having a real teacher, because… well hes a real teacher. He gives some really good explanations to the jap. grammar. Just take a look on his yt channel and start to watch the 100 video guide. He is also streaming sometimes and has some other explaning videos for special requests on difficult topics. It is helping me alot. But prepare yourself if you wanna use it besides WK. Both consume much time and you really have to plan your week around it. High effort, high reward (=
You really have to “mine” Misa if you don’t have all day - set Youtube to 1.5x speed or faster, skip ahead through parts you don’t need, etc. Tons of good content but yes, VERY SLOW.
Yeah, I watched her video on the song Unravel, because I love the song.
My God, the video was almost one hour and even on 1,5 it was not exactly a fast experience