Well just about 2 weeks ago (on Christmas eve) after a couple months short of 2 full years doing wanikani I finally reached level 60. As proud as I am for being strong and finally making it this far I am still quite disappointed in myself for several reasons. For starters I haven’t learned a lick of grammar. none. I can barely even understand incredibly basic sentences. On top of that a couple months ago I also got into a bad habit of just marking answers correct when they weren’t (for the exception of when I was about to burn an item) which was my real downfall. I don’t know exactly what caused this but I think at this point a couple months ago I was just kinda getting frustrated with life but by the time I was feeling better it was too late and the habit had formed. A while ago I did tell myself that when I did finally finish level 60 I’d start getting back in and doing my reviews as I don’t have new words to worry about and I have been starting to get better about it and I do have high hopes for myself for getting back into it and getting the kanji down the proper way. All this to say I am proud of myself for making it this far I just wish I did more. Then going back to the grammar point I have tried doing things to get me going on grammar a couple times but I’ve never stuck with them because I’ve tried for a couple weeks but I find at the end of those couple weeks I haven’t learned a thing cause grammar just really doesn’t click with me. The kanji? that comes fairly easily but the grammar? I just struggle so much to understand it. Man I barely even understand English grammar. Anyway this was basically one big rant about some stuff I wanted to get off my chest and I thank you for reading.
That’s okay! You’ve got such a strong foundation now to go on and properly learn Japanese!
Start off with some premade Anki decks if you have to!
It’s okay that you didn’t really absorb 100% of what you learned through WaniKani. It will give you the scaffolding you need to easily tackle vocabulary and grammar without the handicap of not knowing any of the kanji. And as you get more and more concrete use cases for the kanji you learned, they’ll be reinforced!
I’m very envious of where you are. And I think you ought to be proud of yourself.
Congratulations. Don’t get down on yourself. You should enjoy this accomplishment. You can’t learn it all at once…it’s just too much. Just look at it as you have a great foundation in kanji and now you can refocus some energy on grammar etc.
Have some cake…smile.
Don’t get me wrong I am incredibly proud of myself for getting this far I just wish I did more cause I know I had it in me to do it. I do agree that I do absolutely have a good foundation from what I’ve done cause I absolutely could be in a much worse position than I currently am and I am thankful for that. As for anki I have meant to use anki for a while but just never did cause I know if I only used it on my computer I’d never use it and the app on iOS is 25 bucks and I don’t really wanna spend the money on that especially when its a usually free resource.
Your kind words mean a lot thank you
I think the iOS app is really worth it.
However, if you aren’t convinced, AnkiWeb works really well and is free. You can save a bookmark to it on your iPhone homescreen, open it in Safari, and use it like an app.
That’s what I did for a few months, but eventually I was like, “I use this thing every day, I think I can afford to spend $25 on an app that I literally use every day.” I’m super glad that I ended up buying it.
But again, it isn’t necessary. AnkiWeb exists and is very usable.
You’re right I never thought to do that I will absolutely try that. When you put it like that it does make sense it’s an investment really much like wk I was more than willing to pay the money for a lifetime subscription cause I knew it was something that was gonna be essential to me.
First off, good job for getting to level 60. You can always resurrect things, it doesn’t matter if you have 1000 reviews as a result, you just do however much you want within a day, you are finished with learning new things on WK so you just need to go over things you’ve learned in the past.
For grammar, I’d recommend checking out CureDolly on YT if you haven’t, there’s a nice grammar playlist up there.
Make sure you keep reading and listening, you’ll be able to pick up at least a tiny bit of a feel for grammar naturally
Cure dolly is the main grammar resource I’ve tried using in the past and I have really really tried to make it work but I at one point watched a single video 4 times to try to understand things but still came out not knowing a thing which is incredibly frustrating cause I really wanna make progress but outside of that I am trying to start reading more and actively listening to Japanese more
The good thing is that learning grammar isn’t really necessary. You’ll pick up eventually by going through content, some ways are faster than other (books > movies) and learning grammar might help you learn what is said quicker but it’s not really necessary. I’d just consume books and google grammar points that confused me.
For grammar, the only thing I tried that helped me learn it was reading - i.e. practice.
Most grammar guides are terrible for learning from, but many are useful as dictionaries. I’ve never found SRS for grammar to help for anything.
So my advice, FWIW, is:
Get a rough understanding of basic particles, は、が、を、に、の、と、も、や.
Remember that no matter what anyone tells you 食べる means “eat” and not “to eat”.
Get a Japanese Amazon account, and a kindle app linked to it, and download one of the books on the beginners reading list. At level 60 (even with some cheating…) you should have enough vocab & kanji to make reading relatively painless, except for all the grammar lookups…
Lookup unfamiliar bits of grammar on DoJG Basic Volume Reference keeping in mind that the specific grammar they use is anglicised (e.g. 4 different meanings of する).
Use Cure Dolly to get a better idea of grammar you have an approximate understanding of.
Realize that it will take some time - I’m in the middle of my 4th book and some things are still unclear.
Oh, and 7, some things are not grammar, but expression strategy, or half deleted literary quotes…
Each to their own but this advice can be really damaging for someone who is struggling to find motivation with grammar. Obviously it’s easier to say learning it isn’t necessary and to just keep reading but at the end of the day not knowing grammar really stunts your comprehension.
I really wish you were right because learning grammar is tedious but in my opinion it is super important to have a good foundation in it, almost equal to kanji and vocab.
If people read more they wouldn’t be struggling much.
I’ve been trying to get through wanikani for like 5-6 years, but you know, life.
But for grammar, just do bunpro.jp.
It’s the best site I’ve found for grammar I have found. It’s like anki or wanikani, but for grammar.
How exactly? I think it’s more damaging to keep forcing yourself to do something you hate and burn out than do something you actually find enjoyable. That way you’ll keep coming back.
Obviously it’s good to learn some basics, but as long as you have a general sense of things, that understanding will improve as you read, listen, and start to unconsciously pick up things more; occasionally looking things up as you come across them.
Language teacher here.
‘Grammar’ is not some monolithic thing you can just ‘learn’. Get a subscription to Satori Reader, read through their entire back catalogue and watch your reading skills and understanding of ‘grammar’ go through the roof. I think it is an amazing learning tool.
What do you mean by “marking answers correct when they weren’t” ?
For me wanikani doesn’t allow me to “cheat”. I have to type an answer, and then if it’s wrong, then the word SRS level decreases automatically.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You can definitely piggyback from your experiences of learning kanji to learn grammar.
I would say grammar is a connective tissue, it allows you to stick concepts together much better. The more you know about it, the easier it gets to pick it apart, analyse it and more importantly use it yourself. After you reach a certain point of learning, we might forget why but still know how to use it.
My recommendation is find a good source that you’d like to learn from and try to supplement that with practice/testing. At the moment I use tobira where I would see new grammar first and then review it with bunpro, which is a srs website for Japanese grammar. I started reading after going through the basic grammar that genki provides, but I have seen people read sooner. That’s just another way to get familiar with grammar and also see it used.
Either way I think reaching level 60 is a great feat that shows dedication to the craft, yet it is also humbling to see there is so much more out there. You don’t really start from scratch again. You gotta build on the fundaments you have already acquired and go from there. Learning different aspects of Japanese is not easy and we have a long road ahead of us. You might struggle more with one thing than the other, that’s just how it goes. Anyway I’m sure you’ll able to get much better, because you already proved it with wanikani. Good luck and 頑張って.
Personally, I started learning japanese with DuoLingo. In the first few levels you get to know common phrases and later on you’ll get more and more into longer sentences. At first I also couldn’t quite get japanese grammar into my head (I mean I didn’t even understand the example sentences used in the textbokk), but as I reached checkpoint 3 in DuoLingo I started getting good enough at japanese to understand the grammar behind it.
Maybe learning japanese sentences and phrases is easier for foreigner to just jump right into grammar without real practicality or for me atleast it was.
Keep it up!
I came here to suggest Duolingo too! It isn’t enough on its own, but it gives you a lot of exposure to different real world sentences and uses for the language. Also the game aspect of it makes it easier to want to keep coming back. I’m not very far along in wanikani after resetting from my attempts last spring, but this time I’m trying to do a three fold approach of wanikani, duolingo, and reading through a genki textbook to get everything to make sense. (If you poke around the internet/reddit you can find pdfs of the textbook and links to all the audio). Honestly, the textbook makes things make so much more sense to me personally. But because there aren’t any fancy gimmicks, it requires the most personal motivation for me to pick up in the day.