Experiments in mixing WaniKani with grammar


Like probably many of you I have a full time job and a family. I’ve been happy to grow a sustainable kanji habit for the first ten levels: it’s a slow but steady rate, with three short sessions a day, and leveling up every four weeks.
Upon reaching lvl 10 I tried to add some genki lessons to the mix but I find it hard to carve out more time: I either end up doing some grammar/exercises but delaying reviews, which I really dislike (I tend to rush more, get more errors, etc). Or I stick to the reviews and end up postponing genki.
Last week I tried to use the vacation mode to carve out short interruptions in the reviews. I’m currently thinking 2 days out of 7. Of course the concern is that it might interfere with memorization.

Has anybody experimented with something like that? Or are there other battle-proven approaches?


If you keep doing reviews but stop doing lessons for a while, your workload will lessen and the curve will flatten. Then you’ll only have to do 2 short sessions a day, and can do 1 short session of grammar.


True. I think I’m too concerned with the balance I found and didn’t want to tweak it to much.

I was struggling for few months with adding grammar study into routine. I’ve added bunpro (for SRS), and I’m using Genki I. Each week I post the plan with detailed checkboxes about Genki plan/progress on this thread:

Clicking those checkboxes as done is super-satisfactory.

Basically the approach is to chop up grammar study into the smallest chunks to do a bit each (most) days. Also consider grammar study as “the first pass”, not aim to understand everything and memorize forever, but rather learn something and let SRS and reading handle the memorization part.

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I’ve got pretty much the same constraints: full time job, family of 5, etc.

I tried to do BunPro in the beginning but had to drop it by level 10. I just couldn’t apply the time to both.

However, I did get a lot out of the N5 lessons. I think that’s really all you need to get started and possibly some of the N4 stuff. What I do now is I’ll do the lessons on BP, but I won’t really bother much with the reviews. I’ll do a few when I can but it’s not priority so I’m ok with just letting them slide.

What helped me a lot more was passive learning through YouTube. Just watching Japanese Language videos interspersed with my regular YouTube watching during free time helped me immensely and better fit my schedule. I will note that I don’t watch any TV so all my screen time is YouTube anyway.

Here’s my basic list of channels that I would recommend:

Cure Dolly’s videos provide an amazingly intuitive way to think about Japanese. The content is quite good, but some people are turned off by the gimmick of the voice and having a CGI presenter. The titles are also a bit click-baity, but I honestly prefer her method over Tae Kim or any of the others I’ve seen.

Cure Dolly Japanese Playlist

SambonJuku 三本塾 does videos entirely in Japanese but he speaks clearly and is much easier to understand for a beginner. He’s a good teach and his videos provide a good way to watch/read if you turn on Japanese subtitles for the videos that have them.

Sambonjuku Beginner Videos - Very basic. A good foundation but you’ll quickly grow out of them.

Sambonjuku 日本語おもしろい Videos - Much more fun to watch, and more information. Watch with subtitles to supplement your WK.

Sarah K. is a professional translator and her breakdown of the pilot episode for the original Sailor Moon is a great resource for learning how Japanese in Anime is different from regular day-to-day conversation. She goes over the how different characters talk and a lot of the contractions and shorthand that they use.

Sarah K. Sailor Moon Series - Fun to watch and very informative for Anime fans.


Thanks @alo and @sansarret, I’ll try to more laid-back approach with BunPro and Genki, and see where that leads me :slight_smile:

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