Getting back into it and considering applying some AJATT methods, any advice/opinions?

Hi All,

I’ve been trying to rework my study plan since taking a break and I like the idea of surrounding my self with Japanese language to fully immerse.

I feel like forcing my self to read and understand the language on a daily basis will give me a similar feeling of being in Japan and picking it up through daily life.

I am thinking of keeping WaniKani instead of using RTK, purely because I like how WaniKani manages everything for me and doesn’t involve me planning my own workload. I may switch to RTK after I do some research, but I can’t see it being more efficient than WK currently.

I am considering using Satori Reader to get some reading practice in and perhaps using some kind of Anki deck at a slow learning pace (5 or 10 new cards per day) for something like video games or anime that I eventually want to watch or are currently watching/playing.

Things I can switch over to Japanese are:

  • iPhone - Change system language to Japanese
  • Netflix/Crunchyroll - Japanese audio (Japanese subs or nothing)
  • Nintendo Switch - Change system language to Japanese
  • YouTube - Japanese audio (Japanese subs or nothing)
  • Podcasts - Japanese podcasts, primarily aimed at beginners to start with
  • Spotify - Japanese bands/artists only
  • News - ANN for video (On YouTube) NHK Easy for reading
  • Reading - Satori Reader and Japanese Amazon account for Kindle Manga/Light Novels
  • Audiobooks - Japanese Amazon account for Audible

Can anyone think of anything else or have any advice or opinions on any of the above?


Have you read over Refold’s simple roadmap and maybe sections 0 and 1 of their detailed roadmap?

Oftentimes learners who try this find that they just memorize where to find what they need to access, and don’t actually gain anything from it. This is because often the kanji and terms are basically incomprehensible input.

Alongside Satori Reader, if you want to try a more intensive method of rapid progress for reading, I recommend:

  1. Skim through Tae Kim’s grammar guide or watch the first 15 to 20 of Cure Dolly’s “Japanese From Scratch” Youtube video series. (Don’t stop there, but this is just to help get you started if you’re not already there on grammar yet.)

  2. Read a previous or upcoming book or manga our Absolute Beginner Book Club here on the WaniKani Community forums. You can learn a lot of grammar in the discussion threads, there are vocabulary lists for quicker lookup of unknown words, and you can always ask questions in the discussion threads. Those who stick with it often find they make amazing progress after one or two volumes.


Something I will say about this method, because I do it in a modified way with French being my first foreign language that I’m much more comfortable immersing myself in… it’s exhausting. Even living in an English speaking country where English is never more than a few moments away, I’ve found it incredibly hard to just relax with my foreign language inputs. It always feels like I’m working when I’m consuming media, even if it’s something I really enjoy. It’s incredibly effective and you’ll see big progress (if you’re conscientious about it), but it is also very tiring.


Yeah this happened with me on my Switch when I was only a year into Wanikani. I eventually switched back to English. Now, two years later, I have it on Japanese since I can actually read the menu options.

I think that the AJATT guys are trying to consume a firehose of Japanese and are relying on the law of averages to ensure that there will be some i+1 stuff in there.

A more targeted approach might serve you better.

In either case, I’d love to see it all pans out for you. :smiley::+1:


I prefer SJATT. Some Japanese all of the time. Go through some CorexK decks for vocab. Get a good chunk through Tae Kim. You don’t have to thoroughly read all of it. Just skim it over a couple times, focusing on anything that’s really interesting or you feel you’re really weak in.

If you’re going to switch a device or website or game over to JP, download or create a list of menu/UI options and their translations, and study those briefly so that you are actually seeing and reading them instead of memorizing them by silhouette and screen position.

Put on an episode of anime and alternate five minutes English subs on, 5 mins JP or no subs. You get so much more context and genre/series vocab absorbed by not completely starving yourself of your native language.

Read a cubic cr*pton of graded readers. Get used to reading and engaging with the language at simple levels, and you’ll have less strain and fatigue trying to work with more difficult materials later. Reading Japanese is a different skill than comprehending Japanese. You don’t have to burn yourself out trying to flounder in both skills at the same time. Build up the easier skill, reading, and then use your reading skill to immerse and build more vocab and comprehension.

Switch over and do some textbook or app exercises when immersion starts making your brain feel like a wet noodle.

Treat Japanese like you’re bodybuilding. You don’t actually lift weights at full intensity for hours per day. You work specific areas, with different intensities. The hard intensities you don’t actually maintain for long periods. Most people can’t go high intensity high reps for extended periods and expect not to risk injury or burnout.


Thank you for the detail response, I really appreciate it.

Everything you have said makes complete sense and I think it would be a better approach to work on compound knowledge instead of essentially throwing sh*t at a wall and seeing what sticks.

So my plan is now to:

  • Keep chugging along with WaniKani while keeping Apprentice below 100 to avoid burnout
  • Skim through Tai Kim’s Grammar Guide (Introduction – Learn Japanese) focusing on things I struggled with AnkiDeck
  • Watch Cure Dolly videos and practice what is mentioned in the videos
  • Watch anime in Japanese with English subs on 50% of the time (Alternating 5 mins)
  • Read as many graded readers as I can (Maybe even Satori Reader as it makes looking things up quicker/easier)
  • Podcast/YouTube beginner listening immersion

Looking to split my study time to:
50% Reading
30% SRS
20% Grammar Study

(No Anime as this would class as leisure time for me and no listening immersion as I can do this while I work during the day)

After doing the above until I find reading and understanding easier I can then create/download AnkiDecks based on games/menus/anime I want to watch/play before jumping in to play/watch them.

1 Like

Just to clarify, I only meant to use alternating subs and graded readers to get over the initial hump. Once you can read and listen at that level comfortably, up the challenge. Try to find anime with Japanese subtitles and find more challenging things to read.

That brings me to the listening component. You don’t want to just listen to anime or narrated graded readers, but something that has natural speech with a native target audience, like podcasts and Japanese YTubers (not language instruction videos).

All-in-all though, it doesn’t sound like a bad plan. Just don’t make it an ironclad rule that you have to study X amount of Y subject per day. Keep it flexible. Your mood for what you’re going to be more receptive to will change from day to day.


Yeah, that all makes sense. My plan is to start with graded readers then move to the various WK reading clubs, starting with the Absolute Beginner club.

Also, the podcasts I am currently listening to are the likes of Nihongo Con Teppei, Small Talk Japanese & Teppei and Noriko. So they are mostly if not all Japanese conversations at a slower yet natural pace. I’m using them for passive and active immersion.

Try to find anime with Japanese subtitles

This is a hard one! I am signed up to Crunchy Roll and I also tried various sources and almost none have Japanese Subtitles!

Just don’t make it an ironclad rule that you have to study X amount of Y subject per day. Keep it flexible.

Very true, I think this will be more of a guideline than a solid routine. Just to make sure I’m covering all bases without strictly sticking to them. Some days WK will give me less reviews, when I level up it may be higher. I can then use that time to do more reading or grammar review and vice versa.

1 Like

You may want to have a quick read of this thread if you have the same question :wink:


Was my post flagged because I mentioned a certain streaming site? It’s strange, because I have talked about it in the past. Either way, we aren’t gatekeepers of intellectual property and I want the post restored.

Aye all your questions are answered in the thread, but the quick and short of it is:

  • flags are done by the community, not the mods, although a mod review does happen for every flag, but that’s the main reason for the inconsistency
  • after a certain number of flags, the post is automatically hidden

I mean technically that falls under the community guidelines for the forum, but I suppose you’ll have to wait for a mod review or tag them and plead your case. The latter may result in a thread lock though.


I actually looked into the history and controversy surrounding that unnamed site. I didn’t realize it was such a thing. I only caught wind that it was blocked in Australia. Anyway, I withdraw my griping about it. I was under the impression they were operating in a grey area by paying a license fee in a specific region but not making their site region-specific (I assumed that’s what they used the user donations for). Assumptions are funny that way. Turns out, their “NPO” isn’t paying anyone any licensing fees anywhere.


One thing that is annoying though is that it seems the only place you can get Anime with Japanese audio and Japanese subtitles is unauthorised places and fan subs.

I wish there was an easier and legal way to get them.

I subscribe to Crunchy Roll so can listen to the Japanese audio so I suppose I’ll just have to read and practising listening until I’m competent enough to understand the Japanese audio.

Personally I prefer watching without subs, both because watching with subs on takes away from the listening practice and because it’s easier to get hung up on the subs (e.g. try to figure out some part of a sentence while the audio is already moving on).

When I was somewhere between N5 and N4, I watched some easy Slice of Life anime, put the audio onto an mp3 player and listened to it again. You’re going to be surprised how much more you understand the second and third time around. (Simply because you didn’t catch it the first time)
In general, passively listening to something you have actively listened to before really helped in terms of listening practice. Give something your full attention once, then listen to it again while doing the dishes, grocery shopping, exercising… Lots of time in the day where you can cram in passive listening.


Well, that and a VPN service. :wink:

But yeah, it can be hard to get Japanese subs sometimes.

Yeah that’s happened to me too, and I found it distracting after a while. Eventually I just stuck with English subs that I can ignore when I want to.

I will say one thing though, it is super convenient being able to look away from the screen while still being able to keep up with the audio.

That’s my routine as well. I have a podcast on in the background while cooking and washing dishes.

1 Like

Well, VPNs could be considered a violation of community policy because they circumvent regional copyrights (some content on streaming sites is only licensed to stream in authorized regions).

1 Like

I honestly don’t agree that here in wk they ban posts that mention anime sites. We are not the creators; simply consumers.

But oh well, that’s how it is here and so we have to accept it.


Apparently a lot of Japanese content doesn’t have any subtitles at all for some reason. I was quite shocked to hear this as I thought they would need it for accessibility but I have no way to check.

I’ve tried to buy digital copies on all platforms in the UK and non offer Japanese subs.

1 Like

This is what I’m trying to do with podcasts but having difficulty finding some natural conversation. It’s either language learner ones or news.

I did find these two sources a while ago though for getting audio only for Anime & Films:

  • Project Ears
  • Paliss

(Not sure if I can share the URLs or not but if someone is interested they can look them up)

1 Like

There’s a trick to finding resources. It’s simple yet effective.

Whenever you search for Japanese resources in English, 90% of the results are going to be for Japanese language learners. You have to do the search in JP to get native results.

Alternately, you can use a proxy or VPN to get to Japanese google. That might produce better results as well.