I wrote an article on learning Japanese. It is good

It’s the story of my friends and my’s journey, a lot of which would have never happened if WaniKani wouldn’t keep usgoing.

Don’t Learn Japanese


It’s really jarring to have the lead in to a guide be… you shouldn’t read this guide, basically.

If I stumbled upon it I would be like “okay, (click on something else)”

And certain parts are “fightin’ words” style blunt with hardly any justification.

For instance:

Writing Is Useless

With Kana, drawing the characters helps to memorize them, with Kanji there are too many.

That’s it. No explanation or acknowledgement that tons of people find writing to be a helpful way to learn. (Never mind that there are times when writing can be useful, or it literally wouldn’t exist at all)

Also, obviously the meaning isn’t derogatory in the article, but just be aware that there are people who are going to cringe when they see “Jap” just because of the history of it as a derogatory term. Just an FYI.


English has but one alphabet with 26 letters. Pronouncing has few exceptions. Words either one or few and similar meanings.

What? First, English has effectively two alphabets because of uppercase and lowercase. Second, pronouncing has few exceptions?! Do you speak English?

Each Kanji has 2 to 10 ways to read it — which is often different from how you speak it

Example of when you’d say a word differently from how you’d read it?


Uff, I didn’t know nor think about that
I just shortened the word

Also thought the writing part was simply too time consuming and I wanted a provocative title :frowning:

that’s like saying a coin has 3 sides

konnichiwa I mean ha

I always like to show people the poem “The Chaos” by Gerard Nolst Trenité when they mention how simple the English pronunciation is. My English teacher had a great time making us (non-natives) read it out in front of the class. Good times…


Yeah, not sure what that means either.

For the part for learning hiragana. It definitely is not worth paying $10 to learn unless money really isn’t an object. You can quickly learn all hiragana and katana with a bunch of free apps. I used duolingo for that and I easily recognized all of it in about a week or so. Though obviously duolingo sucks to learn the rest of the language, it was very good at teaching me that.

Also I think reading is more important than you make it out to be, I may not know what I’m saying because I’m only just beginning to learn japanese. But ive learned the most grammar and vocab from reading manga by far. You dont really need to wait very long to jump into it. It’ll be super hard at first but start as soon as youre able to tell where words are separated and itll give you a feel for things like conjugation and particles and other important grammar.


How have I never realized just how bad it is with English too D:


I mean I am definitely wrong about a lot of things here, but spending a week instead of a few hours to save 10 bucks sounds like a horrible trade

and then you go on to recommend a tool that one sentence later you describe as “sucks”?

you mean from looking words you read up or was there some double subtitle stuff going on? I find mangas rather incomprehensive

unless they are the slice of life type perhaps

Are you a native speaker? If yes, that might be why. It’s easy to not notice these things when you grow up with it. As someone who learned English as a second language it’s painfully obvious haha

Regarding WK, “After level 40, start reading”… need to pull this waaay in, like after 10-20. It took me at least 2 years to hit 40, granted I’m slow and have a memory like a sieve, but one cannot start using the material soon enough in context in my opinion or it will quickly start to degrade. WK’s main flaw is too much out of context learning when used in a vacuum and looking back, I didn’t do enough of this early enough.

…but otherwise great! I like that you provided a cost-benefit analysis of sorts - it is the first time I’ve seen anyone attempt to take a stab at that.


But there are nice free solutions that make you memorize them in a day, though :thinking: Like the Tofugu guide.

Unrelated, but poor 菌 being called a lunchbox made me laugh at least :joy:


Some general comments: Who were you targeting this article and what was your intended objective for writing it? At times, the structure makes that unclear.

Is this a guide for learning Japanese in a year?
You might think that, going by this heading “ Learning Japanese In One Year”, but then one year is never mentioned again.

Is this a guide to prepare for the JLPT?
You might think that, considering how the JLPT is at the end of your diagram and guide, and how you equate JLPT proficiency with Japanese fluency. But it’s far to general to be specifically preparing for the JLPT, and you can become fluent without ever taking it.

The Worth Of Guidance & Tools

Paid: 2200h
Free: 4967h
Free options 2x+ time
There is too much on the internet. You lose a lot of time trying and searching. Get guidance.

Tbh I don’t really understand this section. But it’s a bit odd that you’re telling your readers to get guidance in a guide that they’re already reading.

All in all, I think most of the problems that come up in your guide is due to the fact that your presenting it as “the best way to learn Japanese” when you don’t really seem qualified to say so.

Example: you say

You don’t need to finish WK
After level 40, start reading. For example the simplified news page from NHK.

When you haven’t reached level 40 yet?

I think that this could be fixed if you presented the more as “this is how I am learning Japanese, and the best tools I’ve found so far, etc,” focusing more on your personal journey. I say this because it seems like you’re only recommending things you’ve personally tried and liked and there are a ton of other options that could be better or cheaper (for someone else).

But こんにちは is only ever read and said like konnnichiwa…


I’m confused as to why I should wait with taking the N5 until level 40 when, according to WKstats, you learn all but one of the relevant kanji by level 10.

EDIT: Checking WKstats again and not only does the above apply, you’re also about 80 percent of the way towards N4 at that point - just in terms of kanji comprehension, but, you know…


wait you memorized them in a few hours? ight ok yeah you might be right then

I tried out a english-japanese site with chi’s sweet home and i think it made it too easy to not learn anything so nah not really double subtitle. I guess it does depend on what kind of a learner you are, and how you tend to figure things out. For me at least, reading is the easiest way to learn with context like someone else here mentioned, and sort of teaches you things you might not pickup in a textbook for example. Plus just like reading in your native language it kinda enhances your language a bit (Though obviously you gotta understand the difference between how people talk in manga and anime vs real life if you dont wanna sound like an idiot)

I’ve nothing to say about your article itself, but the title instantly made me think of this very well known and very good piece in Japan Today.


Is the whole article you linked supposed to be a joke?

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I think it’s the first link in the article.

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I think they’re referring to on’yomi and kun’yomi readings. You learn a Kanji with a certain reading, but in a sentence with hiragana attached or standing alone it’s “suddenly” read different.

But this leads me to my critique as well: I feel that a lot of the guide is shortened and not written out clearly enough. But not only in the guide, in the forums, too, I often struggle to understand what exactly @Jazzter’s trying to say, due to him expressing himself (imo) so vaguely.
I also think what @darkness_rising said is very true, it would certainly give the guide more credibility, if @Jazzter was a fluent japanese speaker.
Other than that, I think the guide holds a lot of value.

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