How to take the next step towards grammar and conversation

Hi All,
I am very new at learning Japanese and have found WaniKAni and other Tofugu learning articles helpful so far.
Basically I am a little confused how to take the next step, from learning the Kanji, Hiragana etc and actually structuring it into sentences for conversation or writing. There are also probably many grammar rules I dont understand.
If anyone could give me advice on how to slowly start to incorporate grammar and conversation into my Kanji learning, it would be a really big help.

Thank you!

You need grammar books/resources like Genki, Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese, Minna No Nihongo.
You also need to learn Kana Vocab which tools like Anki are great for…

I’m sure others will have better replies than I do though

Haha, I got the name of a textbook I don’t use wrong ekzdee

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Seems like a textbook is the best option if you want self-paced, self-guided learning. You could try something like imabi or tae kim, but those are really more like references and will probably move a bit too fast for solo use.

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Minna no Nihongo? Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting to learn Women’s Japanese too.


Thank you for the replies!
Is WaniKAni’s Vocab not a good place to start or is Anki better for vocab?
I am currently doing the free levels and know that this method works quite well for me but need to know if its enough to continue with paying.
I saw that they also have textfugu/eto eto, are these better for grammar and conversation?
I cant afford to have both Wani Kani and their online textbook at the same time, so trying to decide what to go with first.

I have looked at Genki, only thing holding me back is lots of people saying its not really for self study and also needing to know if its the best way forward for someone with zero grammar knowledge.

I have looked at sites like Japanesepod101 but they also become paid for if you want to get all the resource.

Thanks for your your help!

What is Minna no Nihongo and Onna No Nihongo ?

Minna no Nihongo is the real textbook. Onna no nihongo doesn’t exist xD

I would go for the Tae Kim’s Grammar guide because it’s free. I’ve noticed that no matter what, I always end up studying from different grammar sources because they explain grammar in a different way and that seems to be helping me a lot. Because of that, it might be better to choose the paid sources later on when you know better what you want (and proves that you’re really in here for the long game).


I’m using a combination of Rosetta Stone and Genki 1 and 2.

Now for Rosetta stone I really don’t recommend for someone without a foundation of grammar understanding. But once you do I got six months for only $75 dollars and the guided tour is worth it to me.

Genki is a really interesting and informative text book. I could literally read it for fun and always be fascinated.

If I was doing it all again… I might look for free recordings of live classes online. Maybe coursera and edx? When learning a language. You NEED someone speaking it to you. Written language is an extension of spoken language. You learn better when connecting language to an actual spoken component. If all of your language learning is written you will be connecting the new language to your current language and all your learning with be translation.

Thank you for you advice! I will read through Tae Kim’s before investing in Genki or another source.

So would you recommend subscribing to WaniKani to learn the Kanji and vocab? I quickly learnt the hiragana and katakana with Tofugu because mnemonics work very well for me. They then suggested starting on Kanji even if you haven’t done much grammar yet so started on WaniKani.


I do want to get Genki but have been wanting more input from self taught people and if they found it good. Did you self teach?
I have been listening to phrases and conversations on Japanesepod101 but I find it hard remembering words that I just hear and so need to work on that.It is easier when I hear and read them together cause I connect words with an image alot easier.


I’ve been using Genki for self study and it works great. It starts off assuming you have 0 knowledge of Japanese and even skipping the group exercises there are plenty of exercises to do alone especially if you use the workbooks. The explanations are thorough and easy to understand and the way it’s formatted and stuff is very clean. I’d definitely recommend it.

Thank you for your advice!
Do you use WaniKAni for Kanji?

probably typo〜 probably s/he referring to minna no nihongo〜

onna no nihongo is not available、but onna no nihonkai is available as maxi single〜

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A little of both. I’ve taken a year of Japanese from when I was in college, then self taught, and rosetta, and genki, and now wanikani.

I did use Japanesepod101 also. Good. I’m glad you are getting spoken practice. That is one of the reasons that despite what people say I like rosetta stone. It tries to match up spoken word and picture, and then add writing. They try to make you a child learning a native language. And for the most part you do learn quickly with them. You don’t have the problems you have with J. Pod. Though obviously rosetta stone has its own problems. That’s why I mix and match.

I’m planning on adding one of one classes from italki soon.

Hi JawaOwl!

Welcome to WaniKani. If you’re having fun learning kanji with WK, don’t stop. There are free grammar resources out there too.

Have a look at this thread which talks about self-study and textbooks: What's the best textbook for self-study?
I think I posted in there and mentioned Nihongonomori’s YouTube channel. If not, I recommend that (to supplement a text book or an online resource you read).

You also want to look at this list of FREE stuff: “What Do I Do Now?” thread

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Thank you, I do like WK but feel a lot of people suggest Anki. Which I tried but feel Anki works better for me if I have mostly learnt the Kanji on WK then do extra drills with Anki.
I am really wanting to get to grips with grammar and so will start with Tae Kim’s guide and look for some you tubers such as Japanese Ammo with Misa, etc

Thanks for the advice!!

I imagine a lot of us here use both Anki and WK. I like WK’s setup much better, but many of us want to learn more than what WK teaches, and Anki is the next best thing.

What I use for grammar is Genki, Tae Kim, Japanese the Manga Way, Rosetta Stone, and some YouTube videos (Japanese Ammo with Misa and Learn Japanese I recommend right off the bat). Though, I hear Genki and Tae Kim only get you to N4, so after that, I’ve heard Tobira is a good next step.
As for conversation, I use HelloTalk- very handy app.
And if you want to learn extra vocab outside of WK, I’d recommend Houhou. It’s essentially a combination dictionary and SRS system. It allows for custom vocab too, so you can put in whatever you like. The interface isn’t so pretty, but it works :+1:
If you’re interested:

Yes, I do!

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