Focusing on wanikani

Howdy folks, so I’m onto level 2 of WaniKani and I’m really liking it. I actually have the Genki book and I tried studying that while doing this and was getting extremely bored with Genki and found myself getting annoyed, which in the end had gotten me to slow down on Wani Kani until today (just busted throught 114 reviews). I’m starting to think I should just focus on WaniKani right now but I feel like I’ll be screwing myself in the long run… Does anyone have any suggestions by chance, or have you gone through something similar and have any suggestions?

I’m starting my first term of Japanese this month but I’ve heard that ya don’t really learn too much in Uni Japanese classes but I figured it was better than nothing. I think one thing I may be struggling with as well is the self-study aspect of Japanese. I lived in Germany for a year and I learned so much in such a short period and it doesn’t feel the same doing it this way but I’m still determined to learn Japanese ^.^


Hey there, glad to hear you’re enjoying WaniKani!

I think it’s important to balance WaniKani with other things like grammar learning and just plain reading, but there’s nothing wrong with focusing on WK, especially at the beginning. A few levels in WK will give you a great foothold to leap into other things, so it’s not a bad idea to put a lot of your effort into it at the beginning. Just be sure not to wait too long before branching out! Even before level 10 you should know more than enough Kanji to start reading some beginner-oriented books or simple manga. I also think reading through a grammar guide like Tae Kim is really useful early on, you can go through a page every day or so, it really depends on how much motivation and free time you have.

If you’re starting classes at University, I’d recommend focusing your class time on learning pronunciation, if you can. Having a teacher who knows the language is an amazing resource for speaking practice, so use it to your advantage. Other than that, just do whatever you want! That sounds like a joke, but it’s actually pretty important. Motivation is hard to manage, so whenever you feel like learning, take advantage of that time.

That’s my two cents anyway. Good luck on the journey ahead!


This will depend on the university you go to. I can only speak about universities in America, but some will go pretty fast and some will go pretty slow. It depends on where you’re taking the program. Most smaller universities will go slower and generally speaking a larger university will go much faster. Regardless you can stop after a semester if you aren’t feeling happy about it so no harm no foul in giving it a shot.


Doing Wanikani alone for a while is OK. If Genki causes you to stop Wanikani it is better to stop Genki and continue Wanikani than doing none of them. But Wanikani alone is not teaching you grammar. At some point you will have to find a way to study grammar that works for you.

Genki is not boring for me but what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you. Perhaps some other resource like Tae Kim is a better option. Or perhaps some YouTube channel like Cure Dolly. Or perhaps it is too early for you to tackle grammar and you should do some Wanikani for a while and return to grammar later on. What is boring now might become interesting when you get some kanji experience. I don’t know.

The main message I want to send you is that doing only Wanikani for a while is OK but you cannot do without grammar in the long run.


I would definitely try to fit in wanikani for a certain amount every day and focus the rest of your energy on grammar if you can. It honestly depends on how much time you have to spend

As for the University class, you will get out a lot out of it if you put in the effort. For me, I covered Genki 1+2 over two semesters and it took me from being unable to form a basic sentence, to being a lot more comfortable going into the intermediate stage. I found self studying Genki to be terrible, but with a class it wasn’t too bad.

Consistency will become important for WK - Once you get to higher levels the reviews will be much more demanding, and you should focus on making sure you always finish your reviews each day so the SRS works properly. For example, 114 reviews is about half of what I see daily on average

Either way it sounds like you are on the right track. More kanji will make your uni class easier especially when you get to intermediate levels, but the grammar is just as important

Good luck


If you’re having a hard time with Genki and you will be starting classes soon then I think it’s okay to focus on Wanikani. Hopefully the class will make things go a little better for you.

Every class is different. Most part time classes follow the 1 JLPT level a year model. If you’re in University taking other classes or taking classes after work this is a good learning speed. Some classes might teach you faster. Others teach you slower. Either way classes are helpful for many people. Go in with an open mind and don’t stress about someone on the internet telling you that you could be learning Japanese in 6 months if you self study instead (it’s highly unlikely).


I’ve gone through the same deliberation. Decided on self study textbooks ( I started with Genki book 1 and moved to Minna No Nihongo series later) over WaniKani and now I’m back after 2 years to bulk up my vocabulary knowledge before I move on to N3 level studying.

My opinion is Wanikani only focuses on Vocabulary and that’s not enough for learning Japanese. I will suggest either you continue using the Genki series or change to something else if it’s not working for you since the series is an all rounder for reading, listening, writing, grammar, related vocab etc.

Of course, if you can do both WK and Genki at the same time, that would be ideal but if you find it hard juggling both, then Genki or another textbook series would be better, in my honest opinion.


As someone who self studied Japanese I don’t think classes are useless at all. Most of these only self study hucksters took classes themselves at the lower levels because it’s an effective way to get the information needed to progress from there. Plus it can help with motivation and give you peers and a teacher for feedback.

Also if you focus on wanikani I don’t think you’ll be screwing yourself over. I think at early stages people tend to pull one way or another, being stronger listeners or readers. Eventually as you progress in your Japanese it tends to even out. If you are feeling overwhelmed with wanikani and schoolwork or your preferred method of self study you can ease up on new lessons with will mean less reviews.


Thank you so much everyone for all the tips, information and your thoughts! I’m going to just stick with WaniKani until next term starts and go from there :smile:

I’ve also found another post with information regarding book clubs, grammar resources and much more so that is going to get a lot of use from me haha.


i actually have same situation couple months ago. I was only doing wanikani but i wanted to do more but couldn’t(because i give up on it before i start or after couple days later). So whenever i want to study a new aspect i try to make it as little as i can but i do it everyday. For example i just recently started watching re:zero without subs as part of listening practice. I limited my self to one ep everyday even if i am free and don’t have anything to do. Which resulted to me being eager to wait for the next day to do it. This method have worked for me same concept with bunpro(grammer) & kamesame(vocabulary).

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Hmmm, I’ll 100% take a look at those two and I’ll try what you suggested after some time of WaniKani! ^.^

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Woah, pretty hardcore to start with 源氏物語 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Had just gotten done playing Overwatch. That may have contributed to that error haha xD

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I finished the first Genki and doing lot of WaniKani.
Now I bought a book (in italian finally…) to review most of basic japanese from first Genki (already forgetting).
I’m doing grammar 2 or 3 days a week… WaniKani every day, reading every day.
It’s not enough and never will be. Language can be learned as a passion, but if you REALLY want to use It, you need to spend a minimum of 4 hours per day and talk and read and listen every day. Meh…

The optimal decision would be to level up every week and still find time for grammar. But not everybody has that much time. If you need to prioritise one thing, I’d say you could pick either one. If you speed through WK the kanji knowledge will quickly surpass the grammar knowledge. And once you are done and start focusing on grammar you’ll notice you start forgotting some of the kanji. If you pause on WK regularily to keep up with the grammar you’ll take much longer (if you are not lifetime it will cost more) but when you finally reach the end you’ll be closer to fluency.

I went ahead with wanikani alone for a while before seriously studying grammar just because I’m bad at memorizing vocab and getting it out of the way beforehand let me move through chapters in genki/tobira more easily. I would say just do whatever floats your boat dawg

I always hear be sure to balance WaniKani with other sources, like Genki. And I get it, but getting a decent start with only Wanikani really helped me much more, because if I am studying elsewhere and come across a kanji I know. The feeling of “I know this” is incredibly motivating. It really makes you feel like you are progressing.
I am going slow and steady and the basic knowledge with kanji is the best way for me.

Everybody learns different, so if it works for you and using mostly WaniKani to get a thirst for the language process and go deeper later on. Then it’s up to you, just saying, from my experience it was the way to go.
Good luck on your years of learning! :+1:t2:

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