Going From Intermediate To Advanced(Strategy)

So I am getting closer and closer to level 60(one month left) and I am already thinking about how I will finally start my REAL Japanese journey.

I will just share my future strategy here but feel free to share yours, maybe I can learn something from you(that’s the point of this post).

First, I need to give you the right context as we all have different goals. My goal is to be able to consume Japanese drama/anime/manga/video games. I don’t plan to live/work in Japan.

I am tired of SRS, textbooks, apps and everything in between and I feel like it’s time I dive deep into native material. I want to learn Japanese by consuming native material not by studying but it’s just impossible to do as a beginner. I also dedicate like an hour to Japanese per day so I can’t cover all the aspects at once if I just focus on SRS, reading or listening(one thing at a time).

So this is what I will be doing in the next 6 months-year after WaniKani:

  • Download raw anime/drama(choose them based on the available transcripts).
  • Get their transcripts.
  • Then use that as “study” material.

Requirement: Have a JLPT N3 level(more or less). If you try this as a beginner you will hate yourself.

The workflow is the following:

  • Hear a sentence(listening)
  • Read the sentence from the transcript(reading)
  • Analyze the sentence and translate it(grammar & vocab)
  • Shadowing: reading the sentence out loud and compare it with the original performance(speaking)
  • Proceed to the next sentence
  • Bonus: After “processing” 10 sentences, remove the timestamps in the transcript and group them together then read everything again(as if it was some text or a paragraph).

This way not only I can have “a bit” more fun but I can also cover all the aspects of the language.

What about you? How do you plan to go from intermediate to advanced?

Are you advanced already? If so, how did you get there?

PS: I might use Torii(10k vocab) and Bunpro(until N1) here and there but they won’t be my priority like Wanikani was.


Totally empathize with this post, the only difference is that I’m trying to get to a solid, confident intermediate level :blush:

I’ve been consuming anime on Netflix in Japanese with Japanese subtitles, which I find really enjoyable! I started doing this a couple of years ago despite being a beginner, and it has definitely helped my listening comprehension skills. I understand enough to follow the stories and get attached to characters.
I don’t bother formally studying any of it though, I’d rather aim for quantity and consider it leisure time - because I’m actually using my language skills for fun! :dancer: Just a dictionary for words that keep coming up.

Have you joined book clubs on the forums? I started this year and am finding it super addictive - I’m now a manga fan :grin: And hoping to read a children’s novel later in the year.

Good luck moving out of the intermediate plateau!


Congratulations on your achievement!

Your plan sounds very thorough, but you don’t make any mention of working with a native speaker at all. Is that part of your plan?

I think it is important to use one sometimes because

A) Japanese language changes very quickly, and new words and slang are always being added (and older ones discarded.) And it changes so fast you won’t find up to date guides easily.

B) You will miss all the puns, jokes, wordplays, and cultural references in whatever you are reading. It’s a lot funnier if you know who Yamaguchi Momoe is and why skill at making pickles can be sexually suggestive.

Best of luck.

You can save yourself a lot of work by using the Animelon Website.
Basically, it’s the workflow you imagined put into website form. Pretty great. And free.

You can setup your subtitles as you wish, putting hiragana on top of the japanese transcript, and hiding the english translation when you want it. It gives a real flexibility regarding training methods. You can even download the full transcript in both english and japanese, even tho i don’t see the point of this functionality.

When it comes to the anime they have in stock, it’s pretty furnished. I rewatched FA: Brotherhood and Kill la Kill on their platform. Theylack the latest releases, but there is some old gold in there. Psychopass is there too, Devil is a parttime worker… There is content, definitely.

Check it out, and good luck on your journey!

By the way, i am the beginner trying, and yes, i hate myself. But hey, at least i’m watching anime.

Your plan seems very similar to Matt vs. Japan’s MIA approach, which is probably a good thing since he’s been mistaken for a Japanese person on VR chat by natives multiple times.

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Cool! How do you legally get access to raw anime with Japanese subtitles, or even just without?

I would say that would be the final touch to go towards fluency but I will probably do it way before that(I will need years to be fluent anyway haha).

I want to have a solid foundation before starting to use something like italki. Maybe after like 6 months of using this strategy, I will try to add a one-hour session once a week. Then, after like a year maybe twice a week. It’s not the priority because as I said before, speaking doesn’t bring anything to me. That being said, I don’t want to have like an N2 level and struggle to say one or two sentences.

I have to reach a level where I can play a game like Pokemon without a dictionary before I worry about puns and stuff like that :joy:

@Solfatare I agree with you. The only problem is that we are limited by choice and some episodes load infinitely without starting(maybe it’s just me). However, they do have some nice entries so I might use it as well. Thanks for reminding me!

PS: As long as you are practicing some Japanese, you are doing well :smiley:

@skymaiden Honestly, I don’t have a solid level yet. Let’s say I am really intermediate when I have Google :joy:

Not yet. I like manga but the problem is I can’t practice listening with it. I am also not into light novels. However, after I improve my Japanese a little bit more, if I find something interesting I might join.

@NinjaGandhi Hmmm, I don’t know about that. If anything, it would be a simplified version…maybe. Matt’s approach is more advanced but it’s for those who can dedicate a lot of time to Japanese.

@DagaKotowaru The word “download” and “legal” don’t go well together :joy:


Yeah I mentioned the book clubs because your post says your goals are to be able to consume drama/anime/manga/games - the Beginner Book Club has read quite a few manga, I haven’t checked out the Intermediate Club yet but I think they mostly read books.

If you already have Netflix that can help on the anime side of things (legally) – there’s quite a lot of Japanese content with Japanese subtitles available on the French version :blush:
(and even more if you use a VPN to access the Japan version)

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https://animelon.com/ has all kinds of anime with both J and E subtitles. Shirokuma Cafe is one of the best for early readers of Japanese.

That website is exactly what i was looking for! Thanks so much. I found the complement that I was missing for the moment.

Yeah, as in words being replaced with katakana and young people using ヤバイ in every facet of their lives :joy:

Legally? For free? You don’t. You can very very easily get them otherwise though

I thought netflix cracked down on this and there aren’t like any ways to access japan server vpn’s.

Depends on the VPN service, not all of them work apparently, but mine does!

pssst, which one do you have?


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SoftEther VPN is free and works with Netflix. Might be the only free option that does as far as I’m aware.

It does slow down my connection a bunch, but beggars can’t be choosers. I can still watch without the video stopping to load.


Thanks! I’ll have to try it. I used to use proton vpn as they had free jp servers but like last month they no longer worked with netflix (brings up you’re using a proxy page or something) and I didn’t find anything else.

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I shouldn’t have to risk viruses and even the most miniscule chance of legal punishment to watch anime in Japanese.

As far as I know, animelon isn’t legal, though.

I shouldn’t have to break the law just to learn Japanese efficiently. There has to be another way.

I used torrents for years and I never had any problem. So many people do that as well. It’s your choice.

Just know that without illegal stuff you won’t find enough interesting stuff and even if you do you will have to spend a lot of money.

I am not encouraging any behavior, just mentioning some facts.

PS: You can @ people like @DagaKotowaru to avoid answering many times in a row.

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