Hi, I am a high school student who has been learning Japanese through classes, wanikani, and attempts and textbooks. I am not getting very. The only reason I have been able to learn more was because of deciding to start studying on my own, which I have started doing in quarantine. I have a slight problem though, I don’t know what I should learn first. There are verbs, kanji, vocabulary, grammar structures, adjectives, endings, counters, etc…Where do I start. What should I work on first, because I have been bouncing around a bit? Like, only through learning by myself have I learned that verbs have more than 2 conjugations, or that adjectives conjugate, or how deep formality goes with the language. I could, of course, look up the answer online, but it may be better to get advice from different people. Do you mind helping me out?
Since you mentioned you have a textbook, I’d recommend following that to the end. Actively do all the exercises, including speaking, even if that means speaking to yourself. After you get through the series of your textbook of choice (e.g. Genki I and II), then you can think about what you’re lacking and put a bigger emphasis on that, whether that’s kanji, grammar, listening, etc.
That doesn’t mean you should stop using WaniKani or whatever other resource in the meantime, but a textbook will give you a structured lesson plan to follow when there is an otherwise chaotic amount of information out there.
There’s so many resources which can overwhelm you at the beginning. I recommend getting a good study resource like Genki. They have a beginner and intermediate level. If you have already used Genki, then have you looked at Mina no Mihongo. Both of these texts are used at university level and I used the latter during my time at Japanese language school in Osaka. If you don’t seem to be getting on with the textbooks (let’s face it textbooks are boring), then maybe you need to find other resources like anime, manga or some other interest to get you more motivated. Do you practice writing/making sentences at all? That is a good way to turbo you learning, and you can get a native to check it over. I have a Japanese teacher to have one-to-one lessons with every week. I recommend finding a teacher if you are able to in your local area, or possibly online. Finally, maybe a trip to Japan for a month or so will give you some motivation too, nothing beats being here to improve your Japanese. Don’t worry, I’ve been learning Japanese for 7+ years (lived in Japan 6+), and I feel like that all the time. My weakest is still reading comprehension, so this is why I am WK’ing. Good luck
Right, I am unable to obtain Genki right now, is there anything else I should be doing? Besides WaniKani
You might be able to find some resources online.
Also I should mention that even after studying so long in my Japanese classes, 2 full schoolyears of it. I came out knowing 13 verbs, knowing formal positive/negative/past-tense/negative past-tense, going over 5 adjectives, learning a few grammar structures, and a few other things like animals and business stuff. So I am really not far along. Its not that I am not paying attention (I only get 95% and above on tests), its just that we go really slow.
That’s going to get taken down pretty quickly…
I would definitely focus on learning the grammar so you can actually start to understand real Japanese.
Japanese ammo with Misa is really good on youtube. She covers everything from the beginning and you can listen to her native speech as you go along
Thank you, I do listen to her already, just not that often, so I will continue with that.
I would second the recommendation to finish working through whatever textbook you have before reaching for new resources – textbooks give you a structured foundation which is important. Once you’ve done that, a couple things to check out next:
I really liked Japanese the Manga Way for grammar. It’s actually fun to read through and try to understand each manga example before checking the explanation.
Organic Japanese with Cure Dolly is great for refining your understanding of the basics and getting a perspective that textbooks usually lack. I’d recommend going through the videos starting from the earliest, since it functions as a somewhat structured course. The more recent videos just cover random topics.
These resources plus Wanikani should be enough to get you started on reading, so once you feel comfortable with it hop in to a Book Club and start reading (and asking questions!).
I was jealous of people having high school Japanese classes but after reading your post, it doesn’t seem I missed much.
Edit:At the same time, I have a hard time believing you learned only 5 adjectives in 2 years. I think the first lesson of Genki teaches more than that lol.
Reedit:It’s the first 5 lessons.
This is not allowed as per the TOS
There are good teachers. In my school there is Japanese 1, Japanese 2, Japanese 3, and Japanese 4. Japanese 2, 3, and 4 are all in the same period, due to there not being enough students for separate periods, besides Japanese 1. This teacher has to teach 3 separate classes at once, as well as head over to another school that’s in the same district as my school to teach over there and do the same thing. It’s not that she is a bad teacher, it’s just she has her reasons.
I don’t post often, at all really, but seeing this made me want to give some advice so here goes. I have been studying japanese for about a year, almost entirely self taught. The only person I have to help me is my grandpa who was a translator in the koreen war, he knows japanese and korren to a fair degree and has helped me a lot, with that said.
I study about 2-3 hours every day, which for some people is a lot, for others it’s nothing. My routine is pretty simple, I wake up and do banpro, which I take slow because grammar is a pain. During the day I do batches of 50-75 reviews to make sure I get wanikani done by bedtime, usually 200-250 reviews a day, and on weekdays I do 10 lessons a day. After that I do duolingo, I do the three(3) reviews they have as well as four(4) “lessons” which is just stuff that isn’t level 5 yet. After all of that, the most important thing is I read. I just finished reading a japanese reader called “Hikoichi” and more or less understand it. Now I am working my way though 夢十夜 which is a lot more complex and it takes me more or less two days to make it though one section. I almost forgot, Curedolly has helped me a lot in understanding japanese sentence structure, something that is taught in seemingly very few places. The very last thing I do that I used to master hiragana, still working on katakana, is anki, I have two anki decks one for each, and I do that every day as well, but at this point I only have 1-3 reviews a day at most on those. Using this and lots and lots of practise reading hiragana, I can now read it about as fast as english, understanding it is a different matter.
I think this is everything I had to rewrite the paragraph twice because I remembered things as I was writing it, I will provide links to all mentioned resources at the bottom.
As far as the decks for anki you will need to do some looking after you make an anki web account.
mine now though, yoink
Hello! I’m also a high school student learning Japanese. I began learning a little over a year ago, but didn’t really get anywhere past the kanas and around 20 kanji until about a month ago, which was when I started studying seriously. I use WaniKani ofc, along with KaniWani - which is just wanikani but you go from English–>Japanese instead of Japanese–>English for better retention. Personally, I think you should make Wanikani a habit, and then incorporate other learning materials. I also use the Anki core 2k deck for more vocabulary. If you have a textbook, try working through that! However, textbooks aren’t for everyone, so if you’d rather try a different way of learning grammar, I’d suggest Japanese Ammo with Misa or CureDolly. (Both are youtube channels btw.) Overall, I think you are doing the right thing, looking around for materials that suit you. It took me well over a year to actually get motivated and use things that worked for me.
Resources you might like:
- Genki (textbook)
- Japanese Ammo with Misa (youtube channel, basic-advanced Japanese grammar lessons)
- Cure Dolly (same^^)
- KaniWani or KameSame (wanikani supplements)
- Anki (mainly used for vocab study)
- Bunpro (review/study grammar)
RocketLanguages.com (Japanese) is a paid site like WK, but it is worth it. It has grammar, conversations, reading, writing, culture, Vocabulary. and tons of reinforcement activities. I have learned so much from it and it is fun. I highly recommend it.
Links to actually pirated material were displayed for a short while. They are gone now.
They key thing seems to be sticking at something. I’ve been learning about a year and a half. I do a two-hour class once a week and homework/ practice revision 2-3 times per week. We use Minna no nihongo which I quite like.
For the first year we did no kanji. We started kanji in January and use the Basic Kanji Book.
I use Wanikani as well - only been doing this since December (and with breaks!). I also watch some Japanese tv and films (and sumo) with subtitles and try to train my ear to hear words and phrases that I recognise. I’ve also just bought the most basic graded reader set of books.
The most satisfying thing was my last trip to Japan when we couldn’t find our ferry terminal in Kagoshima and I could ask someone where it was and mostly understand the answer!
Keep at it - perfection doesn’t come quickly
If you’re feeling lost and don’t know which steps to take to learn japanese you can use this guide! This was one of the most helpful things that I found when I felt like learning japanese.
It will tell you which steps to take and suggest many ways of doing that, and which resources you can use to achieve that. It will suggest free resources too! Taking a good time to read this will save you some time in the future!