Is WK a viable main study resource

I feel personally attacked


I find that listening actually does become a bit easier for kanji compounds when you can take a guess at what kanji onyomi readings they consist of.

For instance, I heard ちゃくだつ they other day and after a bit of thinking came to the realization that it must be 着脱.

Did I unwittingly stumble upon an anecdote? XD

My learning is pretty imbalanced towards favouring WK, so forgetting words is definitely a concern I have. I’ve been trying to keep up better with regular native reading.

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That is true and I guess saying that “kanji did not help me in any way in that area” is not 100% accurate. However, I usually don’t find myself having the time for taking guesses at kanji compounds when conversing :joy:

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Let me rephrase that :stuck_out_tongue:
Kanji should be your main focus IF your primary goal - like mine - is to read native material, like manga and novels. I don’t really plan on speaking right now, even though I shouldn’t neglect that part completely. It’s just that my energy and motivation is going towards kanji learning and grammar, which forcibly will include vocab along the way.


It depends what you mean by “main study resource.” Tofugu themselves don’t intend for WK to be the majority of your study.

However, in the “which comes first, the chicken or the egg” problem of bootstrapping inter-related things off of each other, WK is a good place to start and to measure your timing against. No matter what you pick to start with, vocab, grammar, kanji, you’re going to have to go through a phase where you just learn some disconnected things and trust that it’s going to be important later. It seems pretty effective to start with WK’s kanji and small amount of vocab. In the early 20’s of WK level, I’m starting to see those everywhere reading, in grammar lessons, etc.

Then you start to get a feel for what area is suffering the most. When I start seeing a bunch of adjectives, etc. I don’t know on BunPro, time to hit the vocab. When I’m reading and know the words and kanji, but still can’t figure out what the sentence says, grammar time.

Plus, the answer is always ‘do more listening’ which WK does nothing for.


Self study quiz script, set to audio only. Problem solved.

Eh, yeah, that helps a little, but has the synonym/homonym problem KaniWani has with no context. I also need practice recognizing and parsing words out of a stream which, for me, is harder. BunPro’s example sentences with audio are a little more helpful for that, but I haven’t found a single go-to for that yet.

I didn’t think about that. Bunpro is good but it also lacks lesson structure that I really enjoy from LingDeer. LingoDeer is also only on mobile devices which is not ideal. I feel like Bunpro shows me grammar points in context but lacks instruction, it just off loads all that to third party sites that are in themselves poorly put together.

I think LingoDeer handles teaching grammar better than anything else but it doesn’t have a web based access and I really hate learning via mobile device.

I might be old-fashioned, but I still kind of feel like nothing quite lives up to a book (full textbook or JLPT prep book) as far as self-study for grammar. I think you really need both testing and more detailed and contextualized presentation than an SRS site can provide–which is fine for review.

@ctmf: Have you tried iKnow? It has audio for all its vocabulary, as well as example sentences (where you’re asked to fill in missing words, with proper conjugation, during regular study, and you can also do a full-on word-arranging “sentence training” mode as a bonus), and since it’s structured around usage frequency, you’ll get a better sense of how “ordinary” each word feels between its placement in the overall curriculum and the sentences it’s used in. I’ve found it to be a really good secondary SRS application to Wanikani.


I haven’t, I should give it a try. Worst case, it might help with those sentence rearranging questions on the JLPT that drive me crazy.

I actually think kanji and vocabulary study should be the main thing on any learner’s plate. As soon as you know most basic grammar forms 98% of the situations where you won’t know what is being said are going to be due to vocabulary as opposed to unknown grammatical expressions. Kanji and vocabulary study is the main hurdle and getting better at it unlocks the ability to read novels and complicated pieces of writing, which is the fast track to fluency.

Vocabulary knowledge also improves listening skills. You can “hear” words but the only way to actually listen is to have an understanding of these words.

So yes I think WK is a good main ressource. It should be complemented ideally but it will get you pretty far along the way imo

I don’t think it’s a good main resource, per se, but I would say it can be used on it’s own after learning Hiragana and Katakana until you’re about level 20-30 where you can pick up a text book to learn grammar and fill in what WK can’t teach you.
I more or less used it on its own before finishing Genki as, before WK, I was getting stuck on kanji and vocab and wasn’t able to fully absorb the grammar that was being taught.

If I pull up an old email from Koichi, he advises people to pick up a beginner level textbook (such as Genki) and level 10 or preferably level 20 and should pick up an intermediate texbook such as Tobira between levels 30-40.
This is so most of the vocab is something you won’t need to pay attention to, so you can just focus on the grammar lessons.

WK does teach different forms of verbs (intransitive and transitive) but doesn’t really go beyond that, so you’d need a textbook or other resource to fill in that information.

Good luck!

EDIT: Whoops thought this was a new thread, after posting my post I realised I actually answered this thread a month ago. However, this new post has…different information I guess, so at least I’m not repeating myself.

No, in my experience it isn’t. A long time ago I did WK and got really excited when I reached level 20, as around that time you’re thought to have a lot of kanji and should be able to read things. I half heartedly did grammar on the side with Tae Kim and Textfugu.

What I found though was that even though I could recognize many kanji and read a fair amount of words, I still couldn’t read much of anything. Without grammar, that’s what’ll happen. Even trying to read something as simple as Yotsubato, the casual conjugations of words (and the fact that many words lacked kanji at all), made it impossible for me to read.

I was really disheartened to find that I couldn’t even read one of the simplest, most highly recommended for beginners manga out there.

This time around, I’m almost through GENKI 2 and I’m finding Yotsubato fairly easy to understand aside from some words I don’t know.

You need both grammar and vocabulary to read. Kanji is very helpful and WK is a great resource for that but grammar is imo the most important. Vocabulary can be gained through GENKI and reading (use Anki or houhou for new words you encounter).

I’m a bit late but that’s been my experience on it.


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