Learning Resource Combos

Hi everyone,

I know that people have various different styles of studying and learning resources (like different combinations of websites/apps/tutors etc.) and was wondering what combos worked best for you?

I’m asking because I’m unsure of how to combine WaniKani with more general grammar learning. I know every site has its own method of learning Kanji, so was hoping there might be a good online course or textbook that compliments the system that WaniKani uses.

I’ll add some context by saying that I am moving to Japan in a very short time (2-3 months), and so would like to learn as much as possible, as effectively as possible, as quickly as possible. Maybe this is being a bit greedy, but I’m willing to do everything I can to improve my Japanese language skills before the move.

Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated! :slightly_smiling_face:



Hello and welcome! Exciting times ahead for you. ^^

What worked best for me was WK, BunPro and the KawaJappa CureDolly youtube channel.

CureDolly uses a slightly different method than most mainstream study resources. She teaches Japanese as Japanese, with less equivocation to Western grammar concepts. Basically just going through her Japanese Made Easy playlist and starting BunPro made it possible to understand the gist when reading Japanese in quite short order.

The biggest problem people tend to have with CureDolly is that the CGI avatar used is a bit strange to look at, and a somewhat grating voice filter is used. It’s not for everyone, but I know numerous people here found CureDolly to be extremely helpful in advancing their grammar after more conventional sources like Genki and Tae Kim failed to mesh with them.

Welcome again and I hope you can carve out a nice routine that works for you!


Sounds likevan adventure! Will you be working there long term? How much Japanese study have you already done?

I started learning in a classroom setting (still doing that; Minna no Nihongo) and soon after started WaniKani. I haven’t really used anything else. Whichever method you choose, I would make sure you focus on -masu form to start with, so as not to come off as impolite in your workplace (you’ll likely be forgiven if you don’t use keigo yet, but I think colloquial speech would be pretty much だめ).

Edit: I would also advice you to focus on grammar, more than WaniKani, since you’ll presumably need to be speaking a lot in Japan, more than reading (though I am not sure what kind of company you’ll be working at). Also ask lots of questions if you ever get stuck. (Also we could start a low level conversation thread in the Japanese Only corner?)


Would also recommend. Some of her videos are extremely useful for getting a good conceptual understanding of the language


Thanks, I just checked out BunPro and it looks great from the outside! WIll most likely give this a shot.

Also just started watching the CureDolly channel, and I see what you mean. It’s pretty hard to ignore the avatar and voice but I’m sure over time people get used to it.

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I’ll be joining a tech startup for at least 2-3 years.

In terms of the Japanese I’ve already done, up till now all I’ve really done is learn hiragana and katakana, and spent quite some time on Duolingo. This was fine for the casual learning I was previously doing, but I need to step it up now since the language has become a requirement…


My resources:

  1. WK;
  2. Bunpro + Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Grammar: whenever I learn a new grammar point on BP, I read about it in 1 of the three grammar dictionaries and/or the supplied links;
  3. 2 different iTalki tutors a week. I chat with them in general, and also read light novels with them, and their input is invaluable.

If I had to choose only 1, I’d choose the iTalki tutors. I get to practice listening and speaking, I get to practice my reading comprehension, and get to learn expressions and collocations I wouldn’t otherwise be able to learn as easily. It also made me not feel as self conscious when speaking in broken Japanese when I want to get my point across.

My progress is not very fast, but I’m not in any rush personally. I could speed things up easily - do more WK and BP lessons, do more lessons with the tutors, add a textbook etc - but this way I don’t feel like I’m studying as much as slowly osmosing the material.

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I saw you recommended CureDolly’s videos a few times before but I’ve only checked a few of them out today.
What can I say…

Thanks @Omun! It’s a greate resource :slight_smile:


I seem like a stuck record sometimes but duolingo is a waste of time, especially if you are starting from scratch or close to that. Japanese is grammatically complex and you need much more explanation of the mechanics of the language, than duolingo offers. I say this as someone who wasted a lot of time completing the whole damn duolingo Japanese tree.

There are some good apps out there. LingoDeer is one, it takes the trouble to give a little explanation of grammar points before launching into a duolingo like experience. There’s another called Bunpo which has some good grammar knowledge as well.

What I use most though are

  • Wanikani with Tsurukame for mobile
  • LingoDeer
  • Bunpro - and whatever bunpro links to for more detailed grammar explanations, so lots of Tae Kim, Maggie Sensei etc.
  • Bunpo
  • kitsun.io - vocabulary flash cards
  • Tangoristo - japanese reading with selectable furigana
  • italki - tutors and conversation partners
  • Netflix and Prime - watching Japanese TV, with English or Japanese subtitles
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