:durtle_hello: Let's Durtle the Scenic Route 🐢

I finished chapter one of Minna no Nihongo! In some ways, I’d have benefited from waiting a few WK levels to start, because the vast majority of the kanji in the first lesson’s vocabulary are level 10 or less, and I had to devote some extra time to studying the level 7-10 kanji at the beginning in order to learn them, but it was still a fairly smooth process. I think I really like the method of pre-learning the vocabulary, then trying to read the text afterward. It makes for an easier reading experience, and it means I can focus on the grammar without getting too overwhelmed by new vocabulary and new grammar at the same time.

I’m really proud of myself for being able to read all of the lesson material and do all of the exercises without having to consult the translation text at all! That felt really cool. I’m very grateful for Japanese Ammo with Misa for teaching me basic Japanese grammar that has apparently managed to stick so far.

I still have some workbook exercises to try, and I want to take some physical notes on the grammar points before I move on to the next lesson, but I’m fine with taking it slow. I’ve learned that trying to write Japanese by hand is very hard and slow if you’re a beginner! Though I suppose that just like reading, writing will get faster with practice, too.


Oh, is the Minna no Nihongo books good?
How are the practice texts? Are they fun stories, or like the others I’ve seen (typical “travel/work conversations”)

1 Like

It’s definitely a textbook, so the characters and narratives are centered around work and aspects of everyday life, which can be a bit dry. If you don’t enjoy that aspect of other textbooks, you probably won’t enjoy this one, either.

I do think that the exercises seem to be designed pretty well to test you (including testing your listening comprehension), and the exercises are set up decently well for self-learners (whereas I’ve heard that Genki has a lot of exercises that are meant to be done with a partner), but the main downside to it for self-learners is that the text can be very tough to decipher without having access to a teacher or a tutor. I haven’t had trouble with it yet, but I’m sure I’ll have parts that I struggle with later on. So, there are pluses and minuses to MNN’s approach. It’s definitely not for everyone. I think I’d only recommend it to people who are very comfortable with hiragana and katakana and know at least some kanji (WK users definitely qualify for this), and who know at least a little about Japanese grammar and sentence structure (Japanese Ammo with Misa was a huge help in this regard for me), and who are very self-motivated. I think for true absolute beginners, it would be a very hard and scary text.

I’ve basically approached it the same way I would if I was reading a book in Japanese to get reading practice through a program like koohi.cafe (where you pre-learn the vocabulary and then attempt to read the text). The only difference is that MNN is a much easier text for a beginner, has much drier content than a novel would have, and it has exercises to do haha. But I’m hoping that MNN is going to give me lots of reading practice in addition to teaching me grammar and vocab, and that it will also make reading other Japanese books in the future less intimidating.

1 Like

Mastering level 4 radicals while still on level 5. Maybe I’m going a bit too slow :grimacing: :sweat_smile:


That is good durtling indeed!
I’ve emptied Apprentice completely a few times, and had items in Guru 2 before leveling (some still in guru 1)
Mastering items from previous levels might have happened, at least I think so looking at how few items I have in Apprentice + Guru at the moment:

I haven’t even started lvl 8 items yet, so by the time I level up to 9 most of 7 will be in Master, I think most of lvl 6 already was before I leveld to 8 :caught_durtling:



Definitely feel like I could zero out Apprentice if I’m not paying attention. I’ve liked not having more than 20 reviews at a time (I check the site often) and I’m trying to stave off any big pileups for as long as I can.

Although things are about to get busy for me at work again next week…

1 Like

I’ve managed the zero when I have a busy week, so don’t add any new items (but try get reviews done daily)
And only cause I went slow the weeks before as well so didn’t have all that many items in the active.
I don’t do it on purpose, but getting that zero is nice, no leeches!

1 Like

16 days on level 5, reached my first level 5 radical lesson :muscle: :turtle:

1 Like