I’m not focusing on kanji exactly, I’m also learning grammar and other vocab separately.
Make sure you go when the Olympics is on!
That’s the correct attitude then. Keep it up
Why didn’t you tell me this when I started like two years before you did?!
Because obviously I didn’t know that Japan was a country around that time! Silly question!
Japan is a country???<!!! jprs…I was not ready for that kind of shock…
Right?! I was pretty sad when I realized I’m not the only JP around…
You’re the only JP in my heart at least.
I dont think wanikani is the best resource if you have the limited of time. I suggest focusing on Genki, speaking/listening practice and maybe some books focus or resources on “survival” Japanese.
If you have the free time to do multiple things then you can put wanikani in your queue as well but it would be far more important learn how to ask for directions, talk about money , ask for locations for stuff and all that which wanikani wont really teach you.
That is my 2 cents if it helps lol
I was in a similar situation to you. I did wanikani for 4 months, read parts of tao kim’s grammar guide and tried sending messages to native speakers on the internet. It got me pretty far (at least a lot further then doing nothing).
If it helps, you know about 85-90% of N5 kanji by level 10, though it takes about level 13 or thereabouts to learn 95% of the N5. Though as others have pointed out, the N levels don’t translate all that well to how useful those kanji are going to be to you on your trip to Japan.
If we assume a leveling speed of 8 days, and that 3 months is 28 days each, that means you can get to level 11 before you have to leave.
@CDia22 having been there many times, from knowing nothing to where I’m at now, I’d say there are at least 3 answers to that:
- You don’t need it. You can function completely fine with no Japanese at all.
- Knowing a little make it a lot more fun. It’s kind of exciting to be able to recognize some of the kanji or make out a sentence or two once in a while. Or know that store is a dry cleaner (even if you don’t need a dry cleaner). That kind of thing.
- You won’t be able to read anything important in that amount of time. Even if you know 50% of all frequent kanji (unlikely), that’s not enough. When you can’t read the other 50% of the kanji in the sentence… you can’t read the sentence. But that’s ok because reason 1.
I’d say do it! Just don’t over-estimate how practical it’s going to be. The fun is it’s own good reason.
It depends on how fast you go, but if you go at full speed you should be through 10-14 levels in 3-4 months. Speaking from my own experience, I went about full speed the entire time with a goal of 10 levels every three months, and I still had a couple of weeks of wiggle room after completing each set of 10. Also, the first 2 levels take half as much time as the normal levels so that might be something to plan on.
I think I will need it, because I’m going on exchange and staying with a host family. The point is to improve my Japanese from what we learned at school, but I want to come more prepared.
When in doubt, be super solid in Katakana. It can get you surprisingly far. Most people know Hiragana more solid but it may not help when most surrounding adj/noun/verb kanji are not yet readable. However, the amount of loan words in Japan is quite vast.
I can read Katakana and Hiragana easily, so I’m fine with that!
As I’m sure you are aware, reading and understanding are quite different , best of luck!
My advice is:
don’t focus too much on wanikani (if you know the kanji already, then go ahead and go full speed, that’s what I did because I already know Chinese), but otherwise, go at a manageable pace.
The reason for this advice is:
focus on listening: I know people who still can’t read kanji but can speak waaaaay more fluently than me. It looks like that is the skill that you need for your trip, kanji is not as important. In terms of daily life and stuff, listening is so crucial. Kanji is probably like (in my opinion) 1/5 the usefulness of listening. Get some podcasts on your phone, start listening like crazy. Also subscribe to some Japanese youtube channels or watch a crapload of J-dramas and animes with Japanese subtitles (or no subtitles at all).
focus on speaking: there’s a faaaat gap between being able to listen (or write) and being able to speak. Get a tutor or a language exchange buddy and get familiar with talking.
if you don’t know grammar yet, get that down first, actually. Don’t go too deep just get basic grammar (genki I+II level maybe? it’s really up to you) and then start focusing on listening and speaking. Do wanikani, but I feel in terms of actual usefulness, there are better ways to prepare for this trip. (if you rush wanikani and get max speed for 3-4 months without anything else, you will still not be able to talk or understand anything)
with all that being said, this is just my advice. in the end of the day, you choose what you want to study and what is most important
I have a Japanese teacher staying with us for 2 months, and I’m aiming to have conversations in Japanese with her, so that will help my listening and speaking since she can correct me (Japanese is her first language and she’s fluent in English)
She came from Japan in her gap year to help at our school for a year
You can learn to read kanji anywhere in the world… for prep in being in Japan I would focus 75-100% on speaking and listening prep and use it while there. You will be able to leverage off this while there in a way you won’t be able to once you leave.