My attempt at reading in the early levels of WaniKani (<10). Here is my approach

Hi everyone! Hope you are all well and enjoying your journey.

I tried reading several times but with little luck in finding material at the right level where I would get enough comprehension but also repetition of learned vocabulary. My solution has been to make my own short stories based on WaniKani level. I have found it helpful, but decided to take it to the next level by making narrated stories on YouTube so I could read (without sound or read and listen to the narrated version) on the train to work.

I am making these for myself, but if this is helpful for anyone else, then that would be even better. With that in mind, I would be keen for any feedback on these videos and please let me know if any particular format would be helpful for you. You will see that my format has changed over the levels and I have just started adding some grammar points. Here is an example video:

I will continue making these through the levels (I am currently level 9). But I also started adding my own example sentences for vocabulary that I find hard to remember:

I really appreciate your support and feedback!


I’ve been telling WaniKani they needed to make graded readers for level 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60 maybe someday.


That was gonna be the purpose of EtoEto…


I took a look at the one you linked - well done! Of course, I panicked because I understood very little of it, but I think it will be helpful. Thanks for doing this - I plan to look at more.

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That would be nice. I always try to read the example “context” sentences but some of them are so long and insane they make my eyes cross. I’m realize that’s by design but still, more softballs please!

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End of Year WK sale money goes brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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Ah nice, I find it has really helped me with context. I will continue to make these. I am planning to cover all vocabulary for each level. Focus to start with will be 1 to 10. I assume by a certain level that normal books should be manageable to read?

I will also re-do the earlier stories. It helps me making these but also I think they could be better by adding a breakdown of the vocabulary used.

bunpro already has this if you want to check it out by N level

yeah but the summary page :laughing:

As for reading don’t forget about the book clubs here, lots of options! You can jump into ones that are fully completed even. Just keep pressing forward


But WK doesn’t teach kanji by N-level (not that there is a proper list anyway).


missed the point, but that’s ok

bunpro has built reading passages (and it’s done similar to graded readers)
読む練習 - Japanese Grammar Explained | Bunpro

proper list or not, BP has the points broken down by N level (what they deem to be) and the passages are broken out as such.

It’s just another resource was sharing in case the OP didn’t know about it.

Goes through N2 material.


@iwani What grammar level did you have in mind for your readers? I think even your WK Level 1 stories are written at least at upper N5, possibly higher (meaning there is a mismatch between the vocabulary level and the grammar level). This is not necessarily bad, but important to understand before trying to engage with the material. I think true beginners would find the readings frustrating.


For reading I have found some helpful “comprehensible input” content on LingQ. It doesn’t follow WK levels but it’s still great for beginners imo. And I discovered all the transcripts come from YT videos that are also great quality. The channel is called Comprehensible Japanese.


That is a good point. I am trying to keep the sentences / story around the vocabulary to a similar level. Then I simply look at the grammer associated to the sentence structures. I may have gone a bit too far on the grammer and should maybe stick to a simpler format for the lower levels. Still trying to figure out what works best. I started making these for myself really, but keen to take on board any feedback so it can help others too!

Thank you, will check this out. I am trying to keep the comprehensible Japanese to my level of comprehension (which is my WaniKani level). This is why I am making these videos now. I will definitely check out this recommendation though! Appreciate the input

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I am looking forward to using them when I get a little more time - thanks for doing this! I definitely think it helps to have some of these words in context in a sentence.

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Thanks for the feedback @gailyn . Let me know if you think there is anything I should add, remove, or change. Will try to improve the quality as I produce more. You can see there is a difference between the early videos and the latest. This is mostly based on feedback.

I’m waiting for MaruMori to come out with graded readers. Until then I’ll just stick with Crystal Hunters and practice reading from manga that interest me. :heart:

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I just discovered this post, and then checked out the videos; I really like them. I think they are going to be quite useful.

I know you said you are making them for yourself, but if I could make a suggestion: Whenever the text appears, the narrator immediately starts reading it. I think it would be good to pause for a couple of seconds prior to narrator starting, to give the reader a chance to attempt the reading first. I find myself rushing to hit pause on every frame so I can try to read before I am told what it says. Having a pause before the narration would prevent having to stop and start so many times.

Whether you take this suggestion into consideration or not, though, I thank you for taking the time to create this resource and for sharing it with us.

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These little videos are fantastic. I am only level two and your work has really helped the language stick. Well done.