I am on level 10, and getting burnt out

Hey, guys. I’ve been doing this a while now, and I’ve just reached level 10 (for the second time, because I’d reset.). I’m starting to get burnt out, because I feel like I’m learning a lot of words but I have no idea how to use them. I want to be able to read books, or watch films, but I know nothing about the actual grammatical element of the language. Where do I begin for that?


There’s a bunch of avenues you can take with studying grammar. Bunpro in conjunction with a textbook, Cure Dolly, Tae Kim, Imabi, the difficult part isn’t so much finding help at all as it is help that suits you needs.


I think I burned out somewhere around level 15

…I’ve been consistently pushing through since then :sweat_smile:

There’s three thoughts i have in mind despite the fact at one point in time I really stopped wanting to do it

  1. That this is all going to eventually end, and you just have to go a little longer, albeit that a little longer still probably is ways off :sweat_smile:

  2. That if you just keep on following No More Zero Days then even if you keep having smaller improvements, it all adds up and you’ll eventually be able to just look back and see how much of a progress have you made even in those days where you’ve only studied for like 15 minutes!

  3. That it’s not even about language itself.

You’ll probably never master Japanese, no matter how hard you try. You’re going to get hindered by the fact you don’t live in Japan, but that’s not a reason to quit. There’s a really nice community here, full of ambitious people that motivate one another and push themselves to become better. The campfire is great, the book clubs are really insightful, you can get to do some Japanese textbooks like Tobira here too. Either way, doing WaniKani is not that horrible of a way to spend time. Even if you end up messing up a lot of reviews, you only have yourself to compare yourself to.

Don’t set yourself a goal of being able to watch the whole Monogatari series without having to pause even once, set yourself a goal to be able to pause at one point in one episode of the Monogatari series and being able to recognise the kanji that you see there.

…and keep going from that xd


Human Japanese does a good job of explaining grammar I think. It’s basically a digital textbook and is very grammar centric. There’s a beginners and intermediate, each is ~$18


Hello, I’m no expert but I’ve done one month of Bunpro (first month is free) and I think it helped me get a basic feel of how those words are used. It’s also an SRS so it’s easy to use for Crabigator followers.


That’s such a silly, outdated outlook. I’ve mastered languages without living in the countries where they’re spoken. While I agree immersion is important, there’s a million different avenues to that other than moving to Japan, especially in this day and age.

To the OP, find a grammar book and go from there (many good suggestions ITT already). Learning kanji and vocab is good, but ultimately pointless if you don’t have a basic understanding of the language’s structure. Also, consume Japanese media, even if you won’t understand 90% of it at first. It not only trains your ear, but also allows you to recognize how the words you learn are used in practical situations and how sentences are formulated.


Just want to say, if you want immediate access to all that vocab - start with bunpro. Instant gratification. I checked it out couple days ago and now I practice the vocab I’m learning in conjunction with the grammar I’m learning.

Around WK level 10, I’m folding in Genki into the mix.

I’m throwing my hat in for Human Japanese too. It’s great at easing you into concepts and making you fully understand what you’re learning. It also teaches you cultural context. Definitely worth the money in my opinion.


Little tips here : never make WK your primary source of learning. WK is good for Kanji memorization. It won’t teach you japanese.

If you’re serious about learning japanese, you’re right about trying to find a grammar basic course. When you’ve learned these basics, start immersion + anki.


In addition to some of the grammar books you can look for someone who’s interested in a language exchange - you teach them English, they teach you Japanese.

You can show them the vocabulary that you’re learning in WK and they can help you build easy sentences around them. One of the things I’m doing with my “Japanese teacher” is using pictures from magazines to construct sentences. We use both the vocab that I know and introduce new words.


I think whats the hardest part about this thread is that, the problem the op has is that he is burnt out, but also the answer is… study more… xD Its… heartbreaking but it is the truth. D: From now on, you are going to have to keep up with the WK and also try to immerse as much as possible, study grammars from a book or elsewhere, and try to immerse some more.


I’m Level 10 too. Even though I’m still a beginner, and I definitely can’t understand most written text and speech, I’m actually enjoying the learning process. I guess finding resources for grammar (there’s been a lot of suggestions here already) is a good start. I’m using Genki, by the way. Haven’t tried another textbook though, so I have no idea how others compare.
If you haven’t already, learn the most common words. It motivates me when I look at some text and can recognise some words and phrases :slightly_smiling_face:
I was going to say stuff about using what you enjoy in Japanese as your motivation, but first learn some grammar or you’ll just get frustrated :joy:
Maybe it’s just me but I do enjoy learning the grammar. It’s so satisfying when I see that grammar point in text and understand it.
Anyway, I don’t know if any of this is good advice. I’ll just say 頑張って!


To expand on this:

When you’re ready for it, @onryu, check out the Absolute Beginner Book Club. Check the current and previously read books (and manga) for anything that looks interesting to you. You can read older discussion threads and still ask questions in them.

Granted, you may want to read a grammar book or site (as others have mentioned) to get the basics down before diving into reading. But once you do start reading, it’s a great way to improve your grammar recognition and understanding, and encounter words you’ve been learning in WaniKani.

Just yesterday, while reading manga, I encountered kanji I learned from WK this past week. It’s crazy how often that happens.

You’ll find reading is important to help retain your recognition of kanji and vocabulary in the long run. You can retain vocabulary through listening/conversation as well, but reading/writing are going to be necessary for kanji retention.


I feel you. I had the same thing happen at level 10, it’s a rough one. I was stuck on it for a whole 3 months just doing my reviews because it all felt like too much. We wanna get you to a place where you can start consuming media asap to help with motivation and overall enjoyment. My recommendation is to start learning common vocabulary outside of WaniKani to get you ready to be able to start immersing. WaniKani is great for kanji, but the vocab it introduces is limited. I also went through Genki I and II early in the game, but tbh Tae Kim’s grammar guide was just as useful and free (but maybe my opinion is skewed because I read it after Genki). However, being able to read the passages in Genki was super rewarding. Tae Kim has this too but the readings are much shorter.

Personally, I used Anki along with this N5 sentence deck. The sentences all use super basic grammar to start getting you used to it and will teach you lots of common words. Anki can be overwhelming to figure out if you’re new to it, so don’t hesitate to ask for help!

Whenever you feel ready, pick some media and jump in! My first book was レンタルおにいちゃん and I only just read it at level 11 using the bookclub resources like @ChristopherFritz suggested.


I have a question about your opinion on Genki and Tae Kim :slight_smile:
many people have expressed good opinions on both! Im wondering which would be easier to go through, If there is a superior choice?
Im following Tofugu’s guide, So I’ll begin grammar at around level 10.


I just got to level 11 and I also struggled a lot with level 10! Something that helped me avoid getting burned out was just slowing down for a little while and also working on my most difficult leeches. Getting the same vocab and kanji wrong every single time was super demotivating and I found that putting some extra effort into leeches made reviews easier.

Since no one has mentioned it yet, I’d like to bring up the YouTube channel Japanese Ammo with Misa! She gives great in depth explanations of some important grammar points.

I regret learning grammar on a slow pace when I was on levels 0-40 but honestly by level 40 with 200 or 300 daily reviews I did not have time for grammar and watching anime. If you want a bare-bones crash course I would recommend the Human Japanese software. Without Human Japanese, I would not have started WK.

But if you want a slower but deeper approach the Genki textbook is your best bet (make sure do to all exercises in the workbook). I use Bunpro as a supplement to Genki’s grammar exercises but I think it would be insane to try to learn grammar just using Bunpro. Tae Kim guide is a good reference source for grammar but it does have very few exercises.

As much as I love my Genki books, I gotta say Tae Kim. It covers mostly the same material in a fraction of the time for free. The explanations are great and there’s lots of example sentences to get familiar. I’m not one who really believes in grammar exercises, I think you just gotta be aware of what’s going on and then reinforce it through exposure. Tae Kim is good for this.

Genki comes at a steep price and a good chunk of it are exercises which are geared for pair work or are just mind numbingly repetitive. There’s a ton of vocab in Genki as well, which is both a pro and a con. Pro because you get to read stuff using your new vocab, con because there’s so much vocab to learn and can get in the way of learning grammar. Also they introduce Kanji really slow which can be annoying if you’re doing WaniKani. Going through Genki gave me a confidence boost, but I don’t think the payoff is worth the time or money required. Better to do Tae Kim quick and then get to the real stuff!

1 Like

Thank you so much! This was very very thorough, and it helps a lot!

1 Like

If you’re interested in the Genki path without the cost, Tokini Andy has a Youtube channel going through the grammar concepts. He’s a kindergarten teacher I believe, and his explanations are very clear, he uses lots of examples using both more formal and more casual language, and he has enough humor to be interesting without being over the top. He does his lessons as live streams, and you can listen to the entire stream complete with extra examples, questions asked and answered, a bit of chatting, and occasional mishaps, or he also has more streamlined cut versions. You could probably use his channel along with BunPro’s Genki track for practice without actually needing the Genki books at all. He’s finished the full first book and is part way through the second book currently. I enjoy his lessons immensely.

Edit: He also uses more interesting vocabulary. a little less interest in graduate students and majors than the Genki books, a little more interesting in comparing hamburger joints.