Enhancing my WK Routine with Grammar

Hello my dear friends from all over the world,

As discussed in my last post I decided to reset WK all back to Level 1 and to establish a routine again to study in a much better, slower pace. Everything is going smoothly so far.

After waking up I dedicate one hour to study Japanese; WK, HelloTalk etc.

Yet I’m encountering the same problems as I did years ago when I first started studying. I just cannot figure out how to use my newly acquired Kanji. Well, I know that you cannot really excpect much from Level 5 Kanji knowledge, yet I remember being on Level 15 and having the same struggle a couple of years ago.

I thought about posting simple questions and sentences on HelloTalk, which I already started, but quickly discovered (which may sound really dumb) that I need to study grammar to write more complex sentences! (duh!)

So tl;dr: What’s your advice on implementing studying grammar

PS.: I own Genki 1 and finished it a couple of years ago.

Thanks in advance :smiley: <3

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Start by learning the basics like you said you have (with Genki 1), try other resources too and see how you find those (Curedolly / Japanese ammo with Misa / Tae Kim / Bunpro).

Then find something that’s not too difficult that you’re interested in reading and try and struggle through it. (if you’re not interested it’ll be harder to motivate yourself to do it).

I wouldn’t usually bring up other users like this but I think @mariodesu is a good example, they’ve been reading attack on titan, and I believe everytime they are stuck or unsure about it they post in their thread (you could use a the grammar thread), seems like they’re learning a lot by struggling through and just keeping on regardless, and in the future these hard lessons will make it easier to read new things since they’ll have put in the work.

Example of what I mean.

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I second everything that @Lewby said (also thanks for linking my thread, maybe I can find some people that are interested in the read too😉)

I’ve been studying japanese from literally zero for three months now so my experience is so limited that I can’t give real advices but I’d still recommend that you always remember, native contents are the goal, and wanikani is a tool that you use to reach that goal, the most important thing you can do to learn japanese in my opinion is to start reading as soon as possible, not ‘if’ and not ‘but’, there’s not a minimum required level, just jump into the easiest book club you can find.
I suggest Takagi san book club, before the Attack on Titan manga I read it and am still currently reading it.
I asked so many grammar questions on it that literally every single speech bubble of the first two volumes of the manga are already covered.
You could literally just use that book club as the launch pad for more difficult stuff, starting from zero, because there’s a ridicule amount of grammar questions on every doubt that came in my mind while reading it, and when I started I spent 5 hours on a single page

So my suggestion is to start doing what really matters: reading, checking grammar points (Cure Dolly’s youtube videos are the Holy Bible of japanese for me and it’s impossible to describe how useful they were to me at the very beginning) and complementing all this with Wanikani.
Also every time you have doubts: just google “grammar point grammar” and always check everything on bunpro

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The truth about this is simply, read or listen, a lot; and copy from your experience. Graded Reader Level 0 (and try to move up) or Satori Reader, should serve the purpose. Both of which also have parallel listening texts.

Recently, I found Hukumusume folktale collection from 🔉 🎙 Listen Every Day Challenge (Summer Edition) 🏖 - #136 by Zakarius which are short stories, and of course, not simplified just for adult learners.

  • And collect vocabularies along the way.

Learning lots of vocabularies in advance helps too, to get into materials more easily, but be prepared to learn less relevant vocabularies (to your preferred consumption materials). Also, do learn usually Kana vocabularies and loan words.

  • Vocabularies from WaniKani also helps, but it isn’t even hard to find seemingly important vocabularies outside WaniKani’s collection, even with WaniKani Kanji.

I recommend trying to remember vocabularies regardless of the Kanji, while of course knowing Kanji makes it easier. (Probably only concern with – the sentence or the context, is somehow too difficult.)


Nonetheless, I am still finding a way to learn grammar properly… In the end, I would probably still need to read grammar explanations in advance (from a structured textbook style).

  • Explanations sometimes cover vocabulary and Kanji comparisons too, but not yet in structured style for now.
  • In the past, I stepped from Tae Kim => Minna no Nihongo x4 => Tobira.
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Yeah, the classic answer here is basically “a textbook”, which is fundamentally an attempt to run the student through a progression of grammar points in a sensible order, while simultaneously introducing new vocabulary, reading, listening and speaking practice. They don’t work for everyone, and it’s always good to supplement them with additional resources (other grammar references for points where the textbook explanation doesn’t click for you, increasing amounts of general reading, listening and whatever it was you wanted to learn Japanese to do), but there’s a reason they’ve been the standard solution for decades. If you don’t get on with textbooks you need to build your own structure, which is more work.

I’m also personally a fan of classroom study (simply because it worked for me), at least as far as N2-ish level. The nine months I spent doing full-time study in a language school are what got me out of the “beginner-level” rut I was stuck in and up to intermediate, and I don’t think nine months of purely self-study would have been anywhere near as effective.

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Wow! I am so amazed by how much effort all of you guys put into answering my questions :smiley:
Thanks a lot!

I think I’m going to try a variantion of mariodesu’s approach after finishing Genki 1 (again).
Insipred by a thread about Books for Children in Japanese, I think I will start with that and work my way up (good idea?)

First I thought about, like mariodesu did with his favourite Anime/Manga, playing one of my favourite games of all time “CrossCode” in japanese, but then I realized that continuing playing without understanding the textboxes would be counterproductive… I can’t just stop playing for every single line of dialogue, so I’ll postpone that to a point where I’d be at like a N4 Level-ish…

Btw.: If you are into games from like the PS1-PS2, SNES-N64 era give CrossCode a chance… it is made with a lot of love by a small german team over like 10 years! The composer of the friggin awsome OST is even studying in Tokyo yeah… I really love this game haha

Again. Thanks to all of you. Much appreciated
(sorry for some typos. my english is rusty af)