I’m kind of the opposite, to be honest.
I’m a bit of a linguistics nerd, so I ended up reading about and studying grammar first. I’ve retained pretty much the first 9 chapters of Genki and have noticed my reading and vocabulary are seriously lacking.
Of all the tools that I’ve had that explain grammar, though, I’d say Cure Dolly and the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series have been the most helpful as I parse content for vocab.
Biggest 2 Tips: (1) Find a balance, and (2) go your own speed!
Worst Japanese learner here! I’ve been studying forever lol. Unless you’re unemployed / a student, my advice is…stick to one thing through to the end! If you have tons of time, then sure go for it. Mind you, I’ve only learned this now! I’ve jumped around everything…while it’s not been a waste (it’s all Japanese), I am very fragmented still. After a year off of WK, my main focus is now WK 100% and IF I have time, I do a bit of iKnow sentences (which is very stiff sounding Japanese) as i consider it good reading practice. I listen a lot as well. Everyone is different, everyone has different time commitments but I’m finding WK very fun with iKnow as I can now read stuff a bit better. WK can do your head in after awhile but it does work. Bottom line…do what works for you! Anyway, that’s my 20p’s worth!
I learned grammar for about a year and a half before I started seriously learning kanji, and I still struggle with it. I learned it through school, so my methods were quizlet, writing a lot practice sentences, and trying to use grammar as much as possible. There’s so many grammar rules that it’s easy to forget them. I recently bought A Dictionary Of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui and it’s really helpful for searching up new grammar that I come across or forget.
I’ve started learning grammar before WK, because my plan was to study N5 contents first and right after I would start learning kanji. Well, I don’t have a method, I just try to keep consistency in studies, every day I review words and kanji on WK,KW and sometimes on KameSame.
I picked up Genki somewhere around level 10 I think, and I did it pretty diligently (exercises and all) up to chapter 4 or so, where I petered out and still haven’t got back into it sadly. Otherwise I’ve dabbled in Tae Kim and imabi while procrastinating at work, but it was starting Bunpro a month ago where my grammar knowledge finally started rapidly increasing, and I now feel like I can make some sense of a reasonable number of sentences.
I started studying grammer at the same time as starting Wanikani and I’m grateful that I did because it makes it much easier to read, which probably goes without saying.
I have noticed that there are definite times when I have less to do in Wanikani. These are usually a couple days after I start a level and sometime right before the end when I am waiting to guru. I study grammer during these times.
Otherwise I try to read SOMETHING in Japanese everyday. This is useful for reinforcing grammer and Kanji even though it makes my brain hurt.
I spent years reading imabi articles and practicing conjugations before I ever touched kanji.
I think I went into grammar as soon as I learned how to read hiragana and katakana (which took me like a week or so). For Kanji, I tried the RTK method first but didn’t work out for me as it’s too dry and doesn’t teach any readings. Then, I tried out WK’s free levels and here I am. So I guess I started WK two or three weeks after starting grammar.
For me, definitely grammar at the same time. My favorite so far is 80/20 Japanese and BunpRo, but there are a ton of other resources to use for this, both free and paid.
Good call on Cure Dolly DW! Looks good!
Did you buy a version with the exercises and audiobook? I was thinking of only getting the physical version, but if the exercises and audiobook are worth it, I might get the self-study pack.
Get on grammar ASAP.
“I don’t know enough kanji yet!” NOT TRUE!
Most resources you would use understand that not everyone is a Level 60 Crabigator Ninja with Mad Ninja Kanji Skillz! Which is why they generally include romaji (ewe, no) and/or furigana. Preferably go with furigana if there is a choice as reading is reading, unless it is reading in Romaji in which case it is reading but not necessarily reading proper Japanese.
If you pick a resource that assumes you will learn everything all at once, kanji and grammar, maybe look somewhere else unless you are already fluent in Japanese.
Case in point, lots of people swear by GENKI. It assumes no kanji knowledge but does expect you to be able to learn the kanji they hand you. Not a big deal, at all!
So if you haven’t started already, start now! Never too early to get into it! Well, OK, if you don’t know kana it is probably too early… (but you don’t have that problem because you are here)
I would recommend just the physical (and ebook) versions. If you want to, you can get a link after the fact which will allow you to purchase the other items as add ons later.
I started with the ebook, then later added on the textbook, then the exercises. But, the exercises are really just taken from the book itself so they weren’t of much value to me (although your mileage may vary on that).
If you get into using another SRS app other than WaniKani (like Anki or Kitsun), then he also has Anki decks with all the vocab from the book, but again you can always get that later if you want.
Also do check out his blog as well. I found it really helpful for understanding sentence structure and particle usage.
I started studying Genki alongside Wanikani. One lesson per week and doing revisions every 3-4 lessons. I skip any new vocabulary as I do not have the time to study it, but this makes it hard to do the exercises.
Currently, I am in lesson 6 and I decided to take a break from Genki until I reach level 10 in Wanikani in order to know most of the vocabulary used in Genki.
I’ve started using bunpro a few days ago with the goal of doing 6 lessons a day and reading a few of the additional notes for every grammar point.
Do you have any tips for making the most of bunpro? And also what kind of pacing are you going for?
hey I starded grammar in december, I was aroud level 5 at that time. I have been usung bunpro as my main source of grammar.
I study around one hour of japane every day. 30-40 minutes on wanikani and 15-20 minutes on my bunpro. I have to say that I have a quite slow pace.
On wanikani redicals get added all at once but kanji only max 5 at a time and vocabulary at most 20 at a time. I usally have around 100-120 reviews per day.
On bunpro i only add new garmmar if I have less than 12 ghosts( this is how bunpro handels if you do mistakes) and when if I add new grammar it is only 2 new lessons by day (I read all the example sentances and if I still need clarification I look up other resouses). Like this my reviews on bunpro stay around the 25-30 sentances per day whit which I’am comfortable.
I started grammar on RocketLanguages about six months before I ever found WK. I also use the Japanese from Zero videos on YesJapan.com.
After 10 levels in WK, did genki I and halfways of genki II, watched almost all of Cure Dolly videos. Now I only reference the basic, intermediate and advanced dictionaries of grammar mostly
I’m going through Bunpro in its default order (JLPT order) and, like you, I tend to do 6 lessons per day, though occasionally I’ll do a little more or less. That said, I busted through the N5 material faster than that. I’m a little over halfway through the N4 level now.
I often don’t read anything beyond the tiny explanation on Bunpro plus the examples, but I do have A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar which is a really nice reference for the stuff I find more confusing (and it’s great that Bunpro often references the page in it), or sometimes I’ll check out the Tae Kim page or whatever they link to. Mostly I find the example context is enough for me at this early stage.
I’m also just dipping into Tofugu’s 4500 sentences (which I bought on mega-discount over the holidays) now that I’m finally getting a decent grounding in grammar.
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