Hi everyone! (/･ω･)/
This is my first post here, so please pardon me if I accidentally breach any community etiquette! Also please pardon my really long post, I got a little passionate while writing this ;3;
I’ve been doing an obsessive amount of research for the last five days on various methods/techniques/resources for learning Japanese, and learned about many wonderful resources such as RTK, KKLC, KaniDamage, Tae Kim’s Guide, Renshuu, AJATT, Anki, Memrise, WaniKani, KaniWani, BunPro, and more!
Through my research I’ve learned that there doesn’t seem to be much consensus on a ‘best’ way to learn Japanese, but rather it seems to be more of a ‘best way for a given individual’, with different people having more or less success with various techniques and resources.
It’s with this in mind that I’ve gathered a pool of resources, that based on my research and knowing myself, I think may be good leads for my foray into learning Japanese!
I was hoping that perhaps some kind educated/experienced individuals might be able to help give me advice on how I can use my resources, or whether any of them may be redundant, or may know of any advice for how to use them effectively or in tandem!
Without further ado these are the resources I currently have:
Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji (RTK): I got this book, but upon further research I think I’m going to exchange it for KKLC.
Conning’s Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Course (KKLC): After some research I feel that this book is better suited to my needs/learning style than Heisig’s RTK, since I like the additional information and the fact that Mnemonics are provided for all of the Kanji rather than only the first 500. I worry that KKLC may ‘clash’ with WaniKani however.
Genki I & II: I have both Genki I & II, as well as their accompany’s work books. I know that master Koichi has recommended waiting until level 10 to start an introductory text, finish by level 20, and then between 20-30 complete a intermediate text. I’m not sure if Genki I & II are both considered ‘introductory’, or if Genki II would be better for consideration as the ‘intermediate’ text for levels 20-30, since about 3 months per 10 level seems reasonable for a dedicated student that studies multiple times a day; which would give you 12 weeks for 12 genki chapters, or 1/week if you split Genki I to levels 10-20, and Genki II to levels 20-30.
WaniKani (WK) & WK-Supporting Material: I really like WaniKani. I’m new to it, but I’m a strong visual learner with access to a PC, a lot of free time, and am constantly digitally connected. The additions of things like KaniWani, and various 3rd party support make this extremely attractive to me, especially since I’m a digital person; I spend a lot of time on the computer or otherwise digitally connected, using it for school, work, and recreation. Unless something happens between now and hitting level 3 on WK to make me suddenly despise the system for some reason, I currently plan for this to be my main ‘foundation’ for Kanji & Vocab until I get to the point where I can begin consuming native material (at which point I’ll supplement it).
Anki: I know there are… staggering amounts of incredibly useful decks. I currently have an Anki Deck for Genki I & II, and BreadStickNinja’s WK Expansion (which I plan to start when I hit level 2 since I don’t have enough context to begin it yet). I also know about (but don’t have) a few different WK decks, a couple KKLC decks, Kanji Odyssey, and Core 10k, though I don’t understand enough about what makes a quality deck, or how I should choose decks yet to make any decisions on many Anki decks yet. I’m still at the stage where the sheer amount of content for Anki overwhelms me and I’m still trying to figure out how to pick useful decks.
Memrise: I know about BreadstickNinja’s HelloWaniKani (but again don’t know enough about its purpose yet to know if I need it). I also know about the KKLC Memrise course as well. I have a little experience with Anki, but I have zero experience with Memrise.
BunPro: I know that the premise of this site is to use SRS for Grammar, and it sounds extremely promising. I know it has links to various things like Tae Kim’s guide, and references to book numbers in Genki. I would really like to use this, especially since it seems like a natural pair for WaniKani in that they share similar formats, though I have absolutely no idea how pace myself on this (so I guess I need to do more research on it). Paying for it’s premium service isn’t a problem, so I’m OK with that.
Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese: I know about this website. I’ve heard that it’s best served as a supplementary grammar learning resource, and I’m totally okay with that. I would like Genki & BunPro (which has links to Tae Kim) to be my foundation.
EtoEto: if this ever comes out during my foray into learning Japanese, I think I’ll definitely be interested in trying it.
A little about myself:
- I am a university student
- I don’t mind paid services
- I have a lot of exposure to Japanese media on a regular basis
- I have access to native speakers
- I have studied Japanese a little in the past but have no problem starting over as a primarily self-learner
- I plan to take some supplementary Japanese courses at my University (Utilizing Genki)
- I have a strong visual memory, and am a strong visual learner
- I have poor aural learning skills
- Convenient digital services are a major plus for me (why I really like the idea of WaniKani & BunPro)
Currently my plan is to focus on WaniKani until level 10, at which point I’d begin learning Grammar with Genki I. Depending on how things work out with school, I might start a Japanese class in Genki I around WK level 5 (I unfortunately can’t control the timing of my university courses ) which is a little earlier than I’d like.
Once I hit level 20, I’d like to start on Genk II and work on that during the 3 month period to level 30, at which point I plan to take Koichi’s advice of consuming unquenchable amounts of native media to supplement my progress in WK. I believe that once I get to the point of being able to begin consuming native media that my learning will begin to sustain itself as I’m an avid reader and voraciously consume media on a daily basis.
I’m not sure where to put in supplementary services like BunPro, KKLC, Tae Kim’s, Anki/Memrise (or anything else I may not know about) should go into my plan. Should KKLC & WaniKani be mutually exclusive? I’ve heard conflicting statements across various forums (WK forums, Koohi forums, Reddit, independent reviews, etc), with some people saying that since RTK/KKLC/WK all attempt to ‘do the same thing’ (of teaching you the Kanji), that they should be mutually exclusive. But I’ve also seen other people saying that it’s okay to mix them in certain ways. What’s worse is that almost all of the threads are old (in some cases years).
If anyone has any insight, commentary, feedback, experience, or wisdom to share concerning my pool of resources, the plan, the problem, or how to weave these resources together and use them effectively, I would absolutely love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks for your time and energy sticking through this post for the long haul, sorry it’s so massive. (´；ω；｀)