Lavengro tilting against windmills

Near-beginner, starting a log for my own reference concerning progress in what I have planned to be a four year programme of study, which I began on May 10, 2024. I hoping to get through the following:

Wanikani (reset from a previous Level 9 to Level 1 in April, 2024, proceeding on the new default basis of 15 new interleaved lessons per day).

Duolingo – it appears to have been revised and improved significantly from the last time I looked a few years ago.

Tae Kim, Guide to Grammar

Genki I and II, and related ancillary materials (Tokini Andy Youtube video series and the exercises at Genki Exercises - 2nd Edition | Genki Study Resources.

Bunpro – I hope to work through the Grammar decks (N5 to N1), Vocabulary decks (N5 to N1 if possible, but in any event at least to N3), the Tae Kim deck and the Genki decks

Organic Japanese with Cure Dolly – the 93 video Japanese from Scratch video series (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSvH9vH60Ig&list=PLg9uYxuZf8x_A-vcqqyOFZu06WlhnypWj)

Imabi through the Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Veteran levels.

Pimsleur Japanese – all five levels (previously worked through part of Level 1)

Mango Languages Japanese (I previously worked through the first unit, but restarting it)

Memrise Japanese (the newly-reformatted version)

Michel Thomas Method, Japanese (I had worked through this before, but much of it not internalized so I plan on working through a few more times).

If and when I get through all of this, I hope to start working through easy/graded native language material for whatever will remain of the four year project horizon, and hopefully some language exchange opportunities or similar to practice conversational Japanese.

Committing to 90 minutes per day of study, which started May 10, 2024. Not expecting miracles, but I am hoping for an intermediate level ability within four years.

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Hey, welcome to the community!

If you don’t mind some feedback, I think this might be too many resources. If you already own something like Genki, that will be more than sufficient to get you started reading. You can start reading very quickly with the aid of our book clubs here, like the Absolute Beginner’s Book Club. Finishing Genki 1 will be plenty to get started. I think you could probably then use the audio/video courses as review of what you’ve learned in Genki if you feel like you need it.

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Many thanks for the advice, feedback is absolutely appreciated. I had previously worked only through the Greetings chapter and Chapters 1 and 2 of Genki I (second edition), so I lack an appeciation at this point of how far Genki will get me. I will look for opportunities to start tackling native language media as soon as I get a comfort level and will definitely check out the Absolute Beginner’s Book Club in due course. Thanks again!

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I agree that it’s too many resources but it can be a good idea to sample them to find the one that works best for you. For instance I did go through the very basic grammar in Genki I, Tae Kim and Cure Dolly before eventually mostly using just Bunpro.

After all, the basic Japanese grammar is also the hardest since more advanced points tend to be mostly idioms and fixed constructs, so it doesn’t hurt to go over the elementary stuff more than once with different approaches.

I doubt you’ll want to go through the entirety of all these courses however, it’s just too redundant.

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Sounds good, and feel free to keep posting here for advice and support from the community!

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Thanks simias, I like the idea of multiple exposures to early grammar concepts as you say, and I expect you may be right about my not wanting to ultimately to go through the entire slate of resources. I am currently intending to focus on Wanikani, Tae Kim (plus related Bunpro deck for SRS’ing and audio), Duolingo (just 'cause I am generally a fan of Duolingo) and Genki and related material, plus perhaps slowly streaming in some Pimsleur, and deferring for now Memrise, Mango, etc.

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If you mean the Tae Kim “path” on bunpro I actually advise against it. I did that originally and it sort of backfired.

The issue is that Tae Kim is structured a bit like a reference text that tries to cover every topic once and then move on to the next thing. So when you’re on the chapter on conditionals, it covers all conditional forms one after the other and then never really brings up the topic again.

This in and of itself is not an issue, but coupled with bunpro it becomes a mess in my experience, because you end up starting all these points that mean very similar things at the same time and you end up mixing everything up and it makes reviews very frustrating.

For instance if you look at the deck you’ll find these points right next to one another and fairly early on:


All of these have a massive amount of overlap and range from very formal to very casual. In the “typical” JLPT ordering they range from N5 to N2, so some of those would typically be introduced much, much later than others (I personally finished the bunpro N5 content well over a year ago and I’m still not done with N2).

Starting all of this at the same time is just pure pain if you’re just learning the basics.

I ended up resetting my bunpro progress completely and following their own ordering instead, which does not follow Tae Kim or any other handbook but actually introduces the grammar in a more “enjoyable” order.

(Also IIRC I noticed that some very basic bunpro grammar points were completely missing from the Tae Kim path but maybe it has been fixed since then, not sure).

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First month summary

Spent the first couple of weeks tinkering at everything, everywhere, all at once from my too long list of eventual, some day materials before settling into a routine over the last couple of weeks involving principally:

  • Wanikani (now working at level 8)
  • Genki 1 (chapter 2) and ancillary study materials
  • Bunpro Genki 1 deck/path (vocabulary and grammar items)
  • Duolingo (now at Section 1, Unit 10)

I checked out the Absolute Beginners Book Club (ABBC) suggested expectations. Grammar knowledge around the N5 level is recommended in the FAC page. I am solid with kana, but probably too weak on grammar to start engaging with that now. I think I will plough through to the end of Genki 1, and perhaps work through the Bunpro N5 grammar deck for any grammar items not arising in Genki 1 before giving the ABBC a try. That will give me a chance to get a little more vocabulary under my belt beforehand.

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It’s definitely possible to start reading with the ABBC a bit earlier, although I would agree that Chapter 2 is too soon. I started at Chapter 6, but it was a struggle- I think Chapter 9 might be a good bet since that is when casual verb forms are introduced, and you will need casual verb forms for manga. Just to keep in mind if you start to get bored with Genki only and want to start reading sooner!

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