I’ve been learning Japanese for a while with a teacher. She’s very good at speaking practice and explaining concepts and we’re slowly working through Genki I & II (I’ve skipped around a bit). However, I find myself frequently forgetting grammar points and unfamiliar vocabulary. I’d love to find something similar to WaniKani that helps me overcome those issues.
I know lots of folks use Aniki, but honestly, I find it never sticks as a habit. Recently took a look at Bunpo, which seemed like a logical add-on to WaniKani. Has anyone had any personal experience with it?
My end goal is to hold a casual conversation and not sound like an idiot lol. I’ve been half-learning Japanese for years now, I’d like to finally progress to conversational!
As a beginner I don’t know if I can really help you. Best practice would be to speak with real Japanese people I think. But maybe this is something for you:
I found Speechling (App or website) and think it’s a good way to practice listening and speaking.
Main point is to record your own voice and compare it to the audio. You can do it by yourself or “ask a tutor”. They have an SRS System build in. If you get bored by just repeating and translating you can use the advanced features which are describing a picture or answer questions. It is free with a limited amount of audio you can upload or you can pay for an unlimited access.
It is no actual conversation but a good way to practice. As always, you have to find a slot in your learning schedule where you can implement the new material on a regular basis.
This is something I struggle with too. When I first tried Bunpro I think it didn’t stick because I was overwhelmed, but now that I have a firmer grasp of some grammar (50% through Genki II) I’ll give it another look. But for both grammar and vocabulary, the best thing for me is to keep a journal where I practice grammar points that give me trouble. My tutor has me write a journal entry every week (including recording myself read it), and she’ll go over it with me. Maybe that would help for you?
I’m sure you can find a ton of people discussion Bunpo on these forums, the pros and cons and just how to fit the additional SRS into one’s daily study schedule. Try searching for and reading the various existing threads, as they’re a treasure trove of stuff about Bunpo in particular.
Yeah I hear you, I just tried out their trial and was instantly confused with how the whole thing works!
Keeping a study journal sounds like an excellent idea! Thanks, I’ll give that a go
Yeah there’s lots of advice but its kinda like drinking from a firehose you know easy to get yourself lost for hours trying to find the “optimal” way lol. Nevertheless, I’ll take a closer look as you’ve advised and see what I can find
Habits are hard to create, but the key to any habit is consistency. While 3 parts of language learning practice can be daunting, starting out you should only learn a little at a time and get your brain to want more, so you do a little more.
Recently took a look at Bunpo, which seemed like a logical ついかぶつ to WaniKani. Has anyone had any personal experience with it?
I’m no pro by any stretch (so take my advice for what it’s worth, haha!), but I recently started pairing WaniKani with Bunpro and am finding it SO helpful for introducing and retaining grammar points. I’m working through the complete beginner’s deck slow but steady, so have (so far) found it a manageable addition to my daily WK.
I use Bunpro too for grammar. I find it very useful and easy to use with their mobile app. It uses the same SRS system as Wanikani.
In addition, I have a Rocket Languages Japanese courses, it has quite nice conversation exercises, and also helps with vocab and grammar.
Bunpro is brilliant, I am truly amazed at how good it is, and how it just keeps getting better and better.
My grammar is all coming from a textbook series. I have them on me at all times. They have accompanying private YouTube videos for each grammar point and .MP3 files for each exercise. I find it so much more thorough (and sensible) than trying to SRS grammar flashcards into my brain.
I know you already tried Anki, so go ahead and skip over this if you think it’s not for you, but I’m going to explain why Anki works for me if you want to give it another go.
For me, the core benefit is that you can put your own sentences in there.
I modify the Genki’s (or WaniKani’s) example sentences to be sentences that I would actually use. For example, if the grammar point is comparisons, the example sentence might be いぬよりねこのほうがかわいいです。I like cats and dogs equally, so I would never actually say that sentence. Instead, I would put さかなよりねこのほうがかわいいです into Anki.
Then, when I have a conversation lesson with my iTalki teacher, and we’re talking about pets, I have this sentence in my memory bank. And then once I’m comfortable using that particular sentence in conversation, it gets easier to substitute different words with the same grammar/structure.
If you you just hate Anki and can’t manage to do it consistently, then this isn’t for you. But doing English → Japanese SENTENCE quick translations helps you review grammar and vocabulary at the same time, and it has been the only thing that worked for me as far as moving from understanding Japanese → speaking Japanese.