How far can I go with my current self-study plan?

Hello community! First time posting here~ :crabigator:
I’m a newbie in the realm of language acquisition… but through the power of effort, memes and anime, I shall triumph over the pro-crass tin nation and persevere with due diligence.
But to be honest, once I complete my current study plan, I don’t have a grasp of the true extent that my abilities will reach with just these resources. I wanted to see if anyone who has attained fluency or near-fluency from the ground up could give me some idea as to what the logical next steps could be. I doubt these are sufficient for my goal.

My main goal in studying Japanese is solid reading/listening comprehension, but I hope that someday I can hone my conversational skills with a study partner or something similar. Basically, I’d love to be able to be able to consume Japanese media and continue to satisfy my somewhat irrational fascination with language learning that compels me to no end.

My current objectives are:
Completion of all WK material + Kaniwani to reinforce it
Memorization of the complete 10K vocab via Torii
Mastery of all grammar points within
Learning to scribe each kanji as I learn it
And sentence flashcards via Anki

I like these goals because it’s very easy to feel progress with digital modules and SRS programs. Conversely I somewhat dislike working with textbooks, they bring out my inner laziness for some reason… but I’ll try not to be close minded
I know that my abilities will most likely plateau somewhere if I rely solely on these sources, so I’d love to hear some feedback.
Thanks for your time!


Hi! Welcome to WaniKani!

I’m still working with this myself, but I would recommend a few things. First, set a date for completing things. I’m using the JLPT test to hold myself accountable, with the intent that I won’t slack off because I have a deadline to meet a certain level of proficiency. And secondly, try to get talking and listening early, even if you’re having a hard time speaking/understanding. When you can link the vocab/grammar/kanji/etc. to an example in the wild, it’ll stick in your head better. (For instance, after all my paperwork, the kanji 在留ざいりゅう and 判子はんこ - ‘residency’ and ‘personal seal’ respectively - are stuck in my brain, and because I’ve been working with in a school I already recognized 解決かいけつ - solution - when it appeared on WK.)

It’s great to have you here, and best of luck on studying!


Thanks for the warm welcome! sparkle sparkle

That’s right, making time based goals is important for staying focused… I’ll try to set milestones for myself.

As for talking/conversation, thankfully I’m blessed with a sibling who’s studied Japanese for almost a decade and would love to cooperate. I’m not sure how to find listening material on my level, but I can surely include beginner stuff like nursery rhymes and similar videos and see how it goes. Other than that just trying to piece together some parts of something more complicated, there’s plenty of that to go around.


Welcome to WaniKani @AwfullyFawfully!

I’m on the same boat as @BigEm regarding this. I am committing myself to the December 2020 N5. This not only gives me a tangible goal to work with, it also brings an inevitability of success or failure towards the end of the year. So if I do not want to waste the money involved in the test fee+transportation+eating-out then I need to really focus on getting myself ready for the exam. It will also be a huge delay if I have to wait the following year if I don’t get myself ready this year, so there. Haha :sweat_smile:

Like you I also use BunPro, however I am going through Genki I alongside BunPro. I know you are averse to using textbooks but I find that it is effective for me. I even bought the Genki I textbook to help me practice!

For listening/comversation, it’s great to have a sibling that can help out. I was going to suggest going to iTalki and finding a community tutor that fits your budget. I mean you can use it as a supplement if your sibling is unavailable for practice.

All the best! I hope to see you on the other threads on here.
choo-choo, keep 'on chugging along!


I think active use of the language - production rather than just recognition - is really important to make things stick. I tend to frequently recommend HelloTalk for this as a good way to interact with and get correct from native Japanese speakers.


In my humble opinion, learning words just from the word list is rather useless. Firstly, you could focus on learning the most basic words and then acquire new ones when you “use” the language.

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Personally I think that looks like a lot of SRS to be doing all at once. It might feel manageable initially but will likely start to get wearing. I’d drop KaniWani (I think it’s more worthwhile to practise writing or speaking), and probably not worry about sentences / Anki initially.

Once you have a solid foundation I’d start to add in more exposure activities.

Also, welcome! :sparkles: :crabigator:


Based on this, I think I would drop the:

But I’m of course not saying you shouldn’t do it. I’m sure it would be useful but since you say you want to focus on speaking and comprehension Idk. I would say get comfortable writing recreationally but on a digital platform. That way you could save a lot of time which you seem to want to spend on SRS and the such. If writing the kanji by hand does mean something to you as part of your goals then of course keep it up!

PS: Grammar

I would say that even if you won’t get a book, at least try to get a good solid reference for grammar that you can contrast against as you do SRS. I have had many times that moment when I am doing Bunpro and I’m doing great and suddenly the simplest N5 grammar point blows me out of the water because maybe Bunpro adapted it in a different way or because it simply wasn’t there. Maybe you can have like a master list of grammar points and tick them off in the different platforms you pursue.

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I’d recommend doing this, but only because I wrote it myself.

Else, your menu sounds okay-ish. I’d drop Kaniwani and add a proper textbook.
Maybe also join us on Discord, we help each other out with questions.

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I find myself replying to topics like this more an more often.
Am i forming an addiction on discussing learning strategies maybe :thinking:

Anyhow onwards with the matter at hand. (Disclaimer, all of the following is my subjective opinion based on success with my own strategy)
I’ll be perfectly honest and say youre beeing waaay too “completionist” about this.
In my opinion the only useful one to actually complete would be Bunpro, and that is already a less intensive task than the others.
Wanikani is good for getting familiar with the kanji, but really burning things means seeing them enough in the wild. (I would stick with this still)
Memorizing the core 10k just seems like a waste of time that could be spent enjoying native content.
And unless you really plan on handwriting, learning to write kanji is very time consuming. And it certainly is not required in order to learn how to read.
I and a bunch of others like to say that you should be doing 20% studying, and 80% using.

If you wanna get comfortable consuming native material, youve got to consume native material.
There is not other way unless you wanna spend 10 years studying like a madman (exaggeration).
Regardless of when you start, its going to be tough in the start either way, so its better to start sooner than later and get a feel for where you stand in terms of proficiency.
And you might be surprised how quickly you can actually start enjoying things.
You will learn lots of new words while actually enjoying content, and you will get comfortable seeing the grammar you learn from Bunpro in a wider context.
No amount of SRS’ing or “studying” will ever get you there unless you actually use the language.
Essentially you have to get comfortable not understanding things, before you start to understand things.

(In addition i like recommending the japanese grammar wikipage for everyone as it really lays a solid foundation in terms of understanding how japanese works at a fundamental level, it seems like too few learners of japanese are even aware this exists, so ill shamelessly advertize it here as it greatly helped me understand why things are the way they are)


I’ve seen some others mention that dropping KaniWani may be a good idea. I just want to throw in an alternate perspective. WaniKani teaches a lot of great vocabulary but you will learn quickly if you start reading or speaking just how poorly you know that vocabulary because you are never asked to recall it from the English meaning. With KaniWani, this becomes a breeze and I’ve found KaniWani to be critical to my Japanese learning.


You have a list but there is no data about time constraint.
i gave myself 10 years and spent 2 so far.

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As advices, I would recommend to be motivated and to be consistent. Little by little the turtle won the race.

For reading, combine lesson with material in Japanese, a good start might be something from the Shonen Jump or similar as it has the furigana. I used to read the chapters out loud in order to try to improve speech and I could make sense of a sentence better this way than just reading in silence.
Also, once you start seeing word you know and recognising them without need to the furigana is a very satisfying feeling. If I recall correctly there is manga apps that have a free trial or a few chapters for free on old editions. Centering only in study/textbooks material could be tiring.

For listening, best would be as you mention to start with something basic. I tried to use Pocoyó to teach my wife Spanish as I manage to found both Spanish and Japanese episodes in YouTube so she could listen and compare vocabulary and pronunciation.

For speaking, I can only encourage you to try speaking, hone the skills by practice little by little. Using the textbooks conversations as base and try to use that same text but changing some content is quite helpful.

I would not recommend to learn the handwriting for the kanjis neither for writting or reading. It is just too much time consuming.

Hope it helps and 頑張ってください.

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Some people brought up a very important point. It’s better to learn by consuming the language, than by craming stuff mindlessly. I might not be the best at japanese right now, but I can use how I learned english as an example. The only grammar I’ve studied was what they taught me in school. And with that as a 13yo I’ve found myself just using the language (watching yt, reading comics you name it), not studying. Of course, at the start I’ve missunderstood many things, but after two years, of listening, writing posts with bad grammar on forums I’ve been able to use it at a comfortable level. Afet that I’ve made some online friends and just played games with them everyday. This took about 4 years and after that I was very comfortable with the language and most importantly, I’ve had a lot of fun, with ZERO studying. Yeah, I know next to nothing about the grammar, but same applies to polish which is my native language, but that doesn’t stop me from using it everyday.

What I want you take out from this post (sorry for making it soo long) is… just have fun, unless you are trying to get some japanese language degree at uni, there is no point in learning some odd grammar nuances, just do what you like, but in japanese and you will learn it eventually.

Good luck and have fun :wink:


Not much to say, but I’ll give my 2 cents about the writing part. Do It. I don’t do notes or anything like that, I just write the Kanji and Vocabulary three times. It’s so easy to recall Kanji and Vocab when I see them because of this.

When Kanji appears, I write it down 3 times, according to stroke order.

When a Vocab appears, I write it down 3 times, while listening to the audio and repeating it. With Vocab, I only do it on the Reading section, so I can listen to the audio. Kanji section, it doesn’t matter, since there is no audio.

Writing things down helps more than just eye-balling them. If you have time, do it.