From 落第(Zero) To 英雄(Hero) - The WaniKani Level 60 Journey eBook

A couple of people told me they were waiting for my post but when I released it I didn’t see anyone :joy:


Very similar, almost. The keyword here is always “immersion”. There is no solution that will ever be as effective as native material. Textbooks and apps are good for some motivation but that’s about it. I can read JLPT N2 text even though I never trained for it(unless you count skimming through Genki).

Now the question is “then, why don’t people use native material straight away?”. It’s very simple, Kanji, or in better words the writing system. That’s why I advise people to go all-in on Kanji in the first months. You can start reading manga and struggle if you have like 1000 Kanji that you “kind of” know. Meanwhile, people are still trying to finish N5-N4 grammar. So the goal is to get “kind of” familiar with the writing system then dive into native material. However, that’s not exactly what I did.

Before I talk about what I did, let’s talk very quickly about English. Like many people, I achieved fluency by playing video games and watching anime. However, I was just fluent. What I mean is my speaking skills weren’t very good and I still did grammatical mistakes(I still do but way less). Two years ago, I started entrepreneurship and I decided to move to the US within 5 years. So I started doing everything in English. All my devices were in English and I was watching American entrepreneurs all the time. I also spent the last 2 years writing a book completely in English. On top of all of that, I started doing a 1-hour practice every day by imagining myself doing public speaking(you can’t lead people without knowing how to speak). In other words, I feel more American than French now.

I tried to replicate all of that with Japanese but I did it partially. I started playing Pokemon games very early in my journey but I kept watching anime with subtitles. The time I spent on Japanese was also limited so I couldn’t do much. Because WaniKani was my main “Japanese resource”, I had barely any time to do something else after it. That’s why I hate the fact that there is so much useless vocab—it drags the discovery of the 2000 Kanji way too much. Anyways, that’s just my opinion. Overall, I would do WaniKani, then, if I have some extra time, I would play Pokemon or check another resource. Whenever I went out I used like an app or something just to be like “hey, I am practicing Japanese”. My Japanese improved a lot but it was still average.

When I reached like level 50 on WaniKani, I got tired of my situation and decided to increase my Japanese time and take things more seriously. When you reach the intermediate phase(at least the lower part of it) you start to understand a little bit more but you still don’t understand anything. It’s like you don’t suck but you also suck haha. That’s why it’s so frustrating. I posted the method that I was planning to use and someone said that it was similar to what AJATT(all japanese all the time)/MIA(mass immersion approach) was preaching.

Here is the post:

I didn’t believe it at first, I was like “Is MIA really similar?” so I went through absolutely everything that I can find related to it. It confirmed what I was thinking and since then I didn’t watch any anime/drama with subtitles. Basically, I am now replicating exactly what I did with English, slowly but surely. Now my laptop is also in Japanese. To sum up, all my fun time is in Japanese. I call this “blended fun”—having fun with something that can benefit you(e.g. playing a game in a different language) to be more productive. Within 3 months, you and your friend both finished game of thrones but one of you improved his Spanish, for example.

All of this to say that my experiences with both languages are very similar. It’s just that the writing system of Japanese slowed me down. However, I am trying to add more and more Japanese every once in a while. After one month of “better” immersion, I can already feel the difference. My listening skills improved a lot and my reading speed is starting to be acceptable. I am currently playing “Monster Hunter” on PS4 and being able to read some paragraphs entirely feels amazing(a bit taxing on my brain though lol).

If things keep going like this, I will reach a decent reading speed within 6 months-1 year and after that I might invest more time in speaking. So yes, fluency within 1-2 years seems possible and I can’t wait for it. After that, maybe a trip to Japan and it’s gg—mission accomplished. I can start doing everything in French again.

Awesome! I wish I knew all of this when I was level 8. I am almost jealous :smiley:

Good boy! Some Kanji knowledge and basic grammar are enough to start enjoying Pokemon games. Have fun!

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