Leoxo's study log ^_^

Hello all!

I joined WaniKani very recently (about a week ago…) but I’m already making a study log. Why, you may ask? Well, because of a little study log I read from @fallynleaf. Some would say I spent a bit too long reading it, but all the charming tangents about Japanese wrestling were fascinating, what can I say. (Side note: definitely give it a look! I discovered a lot of resources through that thread!)

In all seriousness, that thread did give me an insight I hadn’t expected—the importance of immersion in keeping up the habit of learning Japanese. I’m sure plenty of people have learned Japanese without immersion, sticking solely to textbooks and apps for learning—but seeing how excited fallynleaf would get over recognising kanji they had learned in the captions of a wrestling event, or in a tweet made me realise that eventually, I need to make immersion a priority. As such, as soon as I feel a bit more comfortable with at least basic kanji, I plan to join the Absolute Beginner’s book club here on WK!

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Why am I learning Japanese?

Tell me if you’ve heard this before—I’ve been watching anime and reading manga since I was a kid, and I want to watch and read in the native language. Honestly, it’s pretty amazing how many people learn Japanese to understand anime and manga! For me, that would be a cool benefit, but my long term goal with learning Japanese is to someday be able to live in Japan. It feels like a huge goal at the moment, but I’m going to try my best :blush:

My progress so far
At the moment, I haven’t gotten very far, but it’s farther than I originally expected!

  • Learned hiragana using renshuu (I’ll talk more about this later!) and Tofugu
  • Learning katakana right now using renshuu
  • Partway through level 1 of WaniKani (might be jumping the gun with this log but whatever…)
  • Learned some very basic vocabulary and grammar using renshuu

Some plans!
I would like to start Genki I and maybe Japanese from Zero! soon. I still haven’t decided between them—any thoughts on one or the other would be appreciated! Because of the cost of Genki, I might have to wait a little longer (that in combination with WaniKani’s cost would be a bit much for me at the moment…) That’s honestly alright by me, though. I have a feeling I will be doing enough studying without it until then!

As I mentioned before, I would also like to join the Absolute Beginner’s book club as soon as I feel ready. Depending on how confident I feel, I’d like to join after the next book they’re reading. They’re reading Mitsubishi Colors at the moment, and then Happiness, so I’m aiming to join after they read Happiness!

I also know that I need to practice my listening and speaking skills, but I don’t yet have resources for that—any suggestions on that too would be appreciated :blush:

My resources

Right now I’m mostly learning through renshuu. So far, it’s been a great SRS for kana, vocab and grammar. I don’t know if I’ll be using it for kanji because I’m also using WK, and that just seems like a lot of kanji :frowning: I’m also learning somewhat through a couple discord servers, though they’re obviously not my main place to go to actually study. It’s very nice to have people to ask questions of, though, and one of them puts on classes semi regularly for both grammar and kanji! So that’s been cool :slight_smile: It seems like it always happens when I’m busy though </3
I’ve also slowly been going through Cure Dolly’s videos on grammar—I’m not sure I’ve fully absorbed them, but they seem to make sense.

I think that’s all from me for the time being! I will check in again when I level up on WaniKani :slight_smile:


It’s never too early to start a study log, I think! You’ll be glad you have this in the future because you’ll be able to look back and see just how far you’ve come :blush:

And the absolute beginner’s book club is a blast! It’s really great because even at a low level of understanding, you can ask grammar questions or just read the answers to other people’s questions. It helps keep the story accessible.

I think the biggest trick to immersion is learning to be be okay with incomplete understanding. At the beginning stage, there will be a lot you don’t understand, and that’s okay. If something is too hard for you, you just have to let it go and focus instead on the things you do understand. That’s my strategy, at least! I think the reason why wrestling works so well for this is because it can still be enjoyed at any level of understanding, so even if I comprehend very little, it’s not too frustrating or discouraging. If you do try reading something and find it more frustrating than encouraging, it’s okay to put it down and maybe try coming back to it later on.

Also, I can’t remember if I linked this in my log, but if not, I highly recommend reading through the ultimate guide to WaniKani for help with making the best use of WK specifically. I’ve been following the advice in that guide for almost a year now, and it has really helped me keep a sustainable study schedule.

Good luck with WaniKani, and with Japanese in general! It sounds like you have what it takes to succeed if you keep working at it!


I accidentally deleted the draft of my reply to this, whoops…

This is actually really good advice, thank you! I can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes, so I definitely need a reminder that I don’t need to know everything to start.

I actually read this yesterday! It was definitely super helpful, and I realised I needed to change my schedule for WK so that the SRS actually works :sweat_smile:


Welcome! Looking forward to keeping up with this thread.

The book clubs are phenomenal, highly recommend that. I just want to mention, it seems you already have good plans in regards to using Genki or Japanese from Zero and/or Cure Dolly, but just to make sure your expectations are right: kanji is not going to be the bottleneck in any way because ABBC usually (always?) picks material with furigana over the kanji. There’s a vocab sheet as well to ease that burden, though obviously the more you know, the less you have to look up every single word, the better. The really hard part, at the beginning, is going to be grammar. The more of that you can get an initial understanding of, the better. Japanese is just put together so differently than English, and you’re also likely to struggle even parsing the word boundaries early on (I sure did). It doesn’t seem you need to be told to study grammar, but just so you know what the priority should be, for early immersion.

All that said, I used Genki as my combination early vocab and grammar resource, and think it helped a lot, but if you’re enjoying the Cure Dolly playlist, there’s technically no reason you really need anything else for grammar. Her videos alone can take you from the beginning to getting comfortable enough you can start looking up everything you need in your reading material later. But that’s all your call, whatever works best for you. If you do use Genki (or honestly if all you want is the grammar explanations you probably don’t even need the book, but don’t tell anyone I said that :shushing_face:), I got a lot of value out of Tokini Andy’s videos on Genki grammar lessons.

I’ve been putting off speaking, and plan to for a long time, but my usual go-to recommendations for listening at a low level are Comprehensible Japanese and the various Nihongo con Teppei podcasts.

Good luck! You’re gonna find there are some nasty speed bumps but just hang in there. :slightly_smiling_face:

Edit: Oh by the way, are you familiar with Yomichan? It’s a pop-up dictionary add on for browsers, just hover and hold shift to get definitions for any Japanese word. I can’t think of a single tool that I’d recommend more than that. It can even be configured to automatically make Anki cards if you ever start using Anki.


This is good to know, thank you! I’ll definitely keep this in mind and make sure I put some focus on grammar. I wasn’t sure if kanji would be an issue in reading, so it’s a bit reassuring to know they choose material with furigana.

Ooh, Comprehensible Japanese seems like it will be helpful. I’ll also give the podcasts a listen soon :blush:

I will definitely give Yomichan a try, it seems super useful.

Thank you for all the advice, I really appreciate it :slight_smile:

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Seconded! I’d also like to throw out this fancy Genki quiz website! I find it useful to practice each grammar point at least a little bit to help them stick in my brain long enough to encounter them during immersion. :smiley: This site includes all exercises in the textbook and workbook, including listening exercises.


I’ve finally reached level 2! It feels good :slight_smile: It’s very satisfying to see some tangible progress.

Thank you so much to everyone who’s been replying with suggestions, it’s really helpful! Especially the suggestion to make sure I focus on grammar so I can have an easier time with immersion.

I’ve honestly been having fun recently with Japanese! I’m learning so many new things at once, and it’s a bit overwhelming but I’m trying to take it slow and enjoy it. I’ve been engaging with it everyday at least once, either by reviewing grammar and vocab on renshuu, keeping up with reviews and lessons on WK, or attending a beginner’s kanji lesson on a Discord server I’m on. It’s honestly been taking over my thoughts recently—I woke up from a nap a couple days ago and stayed in bed for about 10 minutes thinking about grammar.

At first, after I finished up radicals and began working on kanji, I was really struggling to remember the readings. As soon as I finally spent the time to write them down in my notebook, I’ve been able to remember them much better. I don’t know if it’s just because of writing it down, or because I got more reviews pretty soon after, but I’ve definitely learned that writing down kanji is important for me. Anytime I wasn’t confident on kanji or vocab, I would look through my handwritten notes after finishing the review. This has helped a lot with my recall.

My schedule so far has been doing WK reviews in the morning when I wake up, then again midday if there are reviews then, doing my renshuu reviews around then, and finally WK reviews before I go to bed. I have a lot more time at the moment to do reviews because I’m on winter break, but they’re only taking me a few minutes right now anyway. When I have new lessons, I’ve been doing them in the morning so I have some time to understand them and write them down in my notebook.

Honestly since starting WaniKani, I’ve been having so much fun with it. It’s really satisfying to get reviews right on kanji I originally struggled on. And, most amazing to me, I’ve actually stuck with doing it everyday—even on days I’ve been tired after hanging out with friends, I’ve at least finished some reviews before bed. Love creating a habit :blush:

I’m still waiting to buy a textbook, unfortunately. I could use a pdf, but personally, it’s so much less engaging then a physical textbook. We’ll see. Until then, I shall continue on with learning kanji and watching Cure Dolly videos.

Well, that’s all from me for right now :slight_smile: On to level 3!

(Also wow, people were not kidding about how many lessons pile up after a level up… and I’ve been doing vocab lessons during level 1!)


I have reached level 3! ^___^ It took 10 days and 22 hours, which feels like a very reasonable pace :slight_smile: I was doing about 15 vocab lessons a day originally, then once I got to radicals and kanji I slowed down to around 10 a day. Actually leveling up again is making me feel like hey, maybe I can stick with this. I really wish I could buy the lifetime membership while it’s on sale, but I just don’t have the money for it right now :frowning: I’m only a high school student after all… Hopefully when I finish level 3, I will be able to buy the yearly membership at least!

Thanks to the bookwalker freebies thread, I’ve gotten quite a few manga for free. Some of them, I’ve never heard of, and some I’ve been meaning to read in English for a while but I’ll take the chance to read it in Japanese! I would like to get a better foundation in grammar before I start on any of them, though.

Speaking of grammar, I’ve finally started Genki! I only got part way through lesson 1, though, as I’ve just started it. I really need to find a way to work in grammar study into my daily schedule like I have with WK.

Some particularly challenging kanji for me this level were 玉, 才, and 白. For vocab, 土 was extremely challenging but only in reading. Also, distinguishing the 五月, 五つ, 五日 from each other was extremely difficult, but again, only in reading. Of course, as I typed that, I remembered all the readings and was able to type them without looking it up… maybe I can remember them now :laughing: Thankfully, because of Genki, the reading of 五十 was easy to remember because I’ve already put in the time to learning numbers.

I finally put in the time into learning katakana, although it was at the expense of doing my schoolwork… whoops. I’m justifying it to myself that it was important to finally get that out of the way. The day after I learned it though, I was able to read a tweet in all katakana and it was very satisfying! It was only one word, but it made it feel worth it.

I’d really like to take the JLPT N5 (or maybe N4, depending on how confident I’m feeling :eyes: ) exam next year—it would give me something specific to work towards in my studies. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there will be a location near me. On the list of hosting sites on the JLPT website, there is a city listed not too far from me (maybe a couple hours drive) but it doesn’t have any specific hosting institution or links. Hopefully, it will be edited eventually to reflect the locations for 2022. I’d really like to push myself and take it in July, but I’m currently in my last year of high school and am graduating in mid June; I simply don’t have the time to study for the JLPT while studying for huge exams in May. Here’s to December!

I’ve just remembered something else I’d like to include in my immersion soon— Hololive! If you don’t know what Hololive is, it’s basically a group of Japanese vtubers (streamers who stream with a virtual avatar instead of a face cam) who are huge among the vtuber community! (There is a small group that speak English, but I don’t know too much about them.) Personally, I love Korone, but in the past I haven’t been able to consume much of her content that hasn’t been clipped and translated by people in the community. She’s also done a few “english-only” streams, but she has so much content in Japanese that I’d love to watch. To me, this seems like a great way to get listening practice. I’ll have to incorporate this into my schedule soon, but probably more on a casual basis compared to my other studies.

Not strictly related to learning Japanese, but I discovered the Japanese recipes thread which has some links to some great sites to learn how to cook Japanese recipes— I spent a while just reading through some of the articles on the basics, and I’ve now got it in my head to try to actually cook! I don’t have much experience in the kitchen but if I could get some of these recipes under my belt, I think I’d be a lot better off. I also learned a lot about bentos, which could be interesting to try in the future, as currently I tend to skip lunch a lot because of not wanting to plan what I’ll have for lunch.

I wrote this as I thought of a lot of this, so this ended up being a bit long… whoops. Anyway, onwards to level 4! I’m considering using a script so I can at least get a start on the radicals without having to work through 50 vocab lessons beforehand. Don’t worry though, I won’t neglect my vocab studies :>


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