How to prioritize my study time in the early months

Hi! I’m a few weeks into learning Japanese. My concern is that as the WaniKani workload increases, it’s demanding more of my time, which means that in my attempt to keep up I’ve started spending less time on Lingodeer and Genki.

I’m also interested in Bunpro as I’ve heard it’s a good grammar resource, but seeing as I’m already struggling to budget my study time, I’m hesitant to try yet another service.

What would you recommend I prioritize during these early weeks/months? Should I slow down my WaniKani lessons and focus elsewhere once I finish my review?

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I was in the same position as you when I was in the initial levels. There were so many resources that I didn’t know where to start. But I ended up being overwhelmed by trying to do everything. So I suggest you pick one or two grammar sources which are suitable for you and continue wanikani. You can eventually move on to the other resources as you progress. You don’t have to do everything at once. Most grammar textbooks provide the same information with varying methods of explanation (in my opinion).

I suggest you stick with Wanikani and try to incorporate grammar from a textbook or any other resource you find interesting. Personally I don’t use bunpro so I can’t comment on that.

I watched Japanese from Zero youtube series before starting genki and that helped me tremendously. Here’s a link to the first video of the series if you’re interested:

All the best with everything and welcome to the community!!

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This is very helpful, and thank you for the recommendation!

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Try Human Japanese, best beginner Japanese resource there is.

This is more of a WK thing, but consider digging through the Userscripts in the API to customize your experience. There are some things I find to be super useful and time savers (lightning mode, 1x1 / one by one mode reordering, auto opening information on incorrect answers). Really, there’s a lot of tricks to optimizing the approach to WK covered in this guide. I’m not linking that with go fast in mind, it’s just that a lot of the go fast tricks are helpful for planning and pacing on this site even for team slow.

As for bunpro, I use it as more of a supplement to other grammar resources and as a set of srs based fill in the blank style practice problems to help keep learned grammar points fresh. It helps mitigate the issue of forgetting something from N chapters ago and I feel like it’s more efficient than digging back in old books to go through old examples. It’s also a go at your own pace kind of tool that lets users do as many or as few “lessons” as they want in a day. However, it might also be overkill if you don’t really need the extra practice. It’s pretty cheap and there’s a month long free trial so I don’t think there’s anything to really lose by trying it and cutting it out if you don’t find it a good use of your time.

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  1. As @ccookf said: use scripts to optimize your experience.
  2. If you’re really keen on diversifying your learning without getting overwhelmed by WK, do 15 lessons per day (except for radicals, do all of those as soon as available). This sets a leisurely 10 day per level pace, getting you done in about a year and a half. And leaving you plenty of time for other things.
  3. Lingodeer: fun. Good content. Not a bad choice.
  4. Bunpo (not Bunpro): very nice simple explanations and good exercises.
  5. Bunpro: definitely worth it to keep track of all the grammar points.
  6. If you ever feel like you need more vocab and vern conjugation practice, Kitsun is what you need.

Fundamentally, it’ll come down to how you want to approach it. As far as I’m concerned, WK+Bunpro+Kitsun is the way to do it with whatever extra resources you feel you need for grammar (Tae Kim, Imabi, Lingodeer, Bunpo), writing (Skritter, Kanji Study). But you could also chose to spend your time outside of WK the old school way with a textbook, and some sandpaper to grind your nose down to a pulp.

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The workload is whatever you want it to be; you are in control.

Take more lessons and have more cards in review = workload goes up. Take fewer lessons and let your Apprentice and Guru count drop down = workload goes down.

Make adjustments as need be. In the early going you’ll be trying different things and seeing what works best for you. You’ll eventually find the right balance.

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Thanks for pointing this out. I think I took the “1. Do your available Lessons.” in the onboarding guide a bit too literally and assumed I was supposed to do all my lessons as soon as they became available.

Maybe I could manage that if WaniKani was the entirety of my study, but that didn’t seem feasible while also learning grammar and non-kanji vocab elsewhere. I’ll definitely try to take it slower so I don’t hinder my other learning, and I’m sure that way I can find a good balance as you say.

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