I have been learning Japanese for over a year and

Learn how to read and pronounce hiragana. You don’t need to be good at it (and you won’t be).

Get a textbook, Duolingo, whatever, and work through it until it starts to feel less like “cool, I’m learning things!” and more of a slog where you have to study. You now know some very basic grammar and some words. You have sort of an intro to how the language works.

Now ditch the textbook or whatever, at least for now, and get a bunch more words. Start learning kanji too, because there’s no getting around it. If you’re gonna do Wanikani, start it now. Don’t worry too much about grammar. Until you know a bunch of words, there’s no point even trying to learn how to make complex sentences out of them, and even if you do try, all the grammar examples you see will be hard to read and not make any sense.

At some point, you should do two things: start studying grammar again, and start reading really easy books and things. I don’t know what that point is, maybe level 10-20 in WK, or a couple thousand words if you’re not doing WK.

That’s as far as I get for now.

You can get listening practice in anytime, though you’re better off sticking with “how to say X” videos on Youtube, or subbed Japanese TV and movies, because it’s not like you’re just going to understand raw Japanese. Try and make out what words they’re saying; would you be able to transcribe what you hear? (Often, the answer to this is NO. You will only grasp bits.) Listening practice is also a good time for pronunciation practice: pause the video and mimic anything you understand.

(Yes, this is almost like what Tofugu’s guide suggests, but I swear I didn’t plagiarize it; I’m speaking from my own experience.)

2 Likes