My strategy - Will it work?

I’m sharing my study regimen to see if others have suggestions, feedback, and if you think it will be sufficient to become conversational and literate.

Reading: Wanikani (obviously). Currently level 6, but trying to accelerate here. I do reviews throughout the day, though I’m a little slow at adding new lessons, mainly because I go through a process of practicing writing to help to remember the characters every time I learn a new one. That part might not be sustainable over time, so I’m thinking of decoupling the writing from making progress on lessons.

Grammar: Bunpro. I just started this. I have Genki I (and workbook), but have had difficulty structuring my reading of the book, and without the SRS it feels like I don’t retain much. After a few days with Bunpro, I feel like it’s doing a good job of reinforcing grammatical structures, so I’m hoping that, along with some casual reading in Genki, will give me a good foundation.

Listening/Speaking: Pimsleur. Im around lesson 20 now. Started in Q4 last year and took a break when I took a trip to Japan for a couple of weeks. I’ve just restarted a regular habit of listening to a lesson in the morning when I get ready. I’ve found that I retain quite a bit, though I sometimes wish there was an accompanying written vocabulary guide. I have trouble hearing whether they’re throwing an ん at the end of syllables or if they’re saying で vs. れ, for instance. Lots of the vocabulary I end up seeing again in Wanikani or Bunpro, though, so it’s been alright. Speaking back has helped with the muscle memory on words hard to form for an English speaker, like 食べれるます.

What’s missing? Input is one area that I ought to do more. I think I’m still just slightly early to comprehend N5 listening/reading content, but close enough that I should probably spend more time there. Suggestions are welcome! What do you think, is this a good strategy or am I doomed?



Wanikani teaches kanji not reading. You’ll need some sort of vocab study along with reading to tick that box.

The rest of it looks really thought out and spot on!


Satori reader was great training wheels for my first reading forays. The stories are separated by difficulty level and they have really good explanations under tricky phrases, plus staff will answer questions you might have in the comments section. The first two chapters of each story are free so you can check it out before committing.


This looks perfect for me. I’ll definitely give it a shot! Thanks for the suggestion.

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I was going to say Satori Reader too :slight_smile: and I do the same as you do with Genki, when I encounter grammar in Satori Reader, I add it to my Bunpro reviews


Hey, I also just started. I started reading the simplified version of “Crystal Hunters”. A manga specially designed for language learners.

It might not be native content, but it is a nice step into reading manga
It also has a companion PDF with a vocab list and grammar points
It also has an English version (I tend to translate some pages and then check my translation.

Up till now I really liked it

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Looks pretty good. For practicing your listening skills I recommend Comprehensible Japanese. There are plenty of short videos at all skill levels for you to practice your listening skills with.


Just double checking, this is meant to be 食べられます?

I don’t know if OP meant to use ranuki but it’s not incorrect, even though some speakers consider it improper Japanese.

This is a great example of where Pimsleur suffers. I knew the pronunciation, but looked up spelling with Google translate and got it wrong, probably :slight_smile:

Thanks for calling it out @kokopelli121123

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I would recommend getting to level ~30 on WaniKani before going on to Bunpro. Doing both at once can become overwhelming once the reviews start piling up. Another benefit of doing Bunpro later on is that you will have better knowledge of kanji and wont have to stop every other word to look them up, when what you’re really trying to do is study grammar.

I did no input at all until level 30+. This hasn’t hindered me in any way, in fact I feel it gave me more time to focus on building my vocabulary. I found verbal communication provided the fastest results when it comes to getting faster at sentence composition. I used iTalki to find someone to speak to. You can also go the free route with HelloTalk, if you’re willing to help someone learn their target language in exchange for them helping you with Japanese.

My best advice to you would be to forget about metrics; specifically JLPT and its levels. Dive into native content related to your existing interests and allow vocabulary time to consolidate in your mind.

PS. If you have an iPhone, I recommend Shirabe Jisho. I’m yet to find a better dictionary, not just for Japanese, but for any other language. For JP>JP dictionaries, I’ve been using 大辞林 and its very useful because of its “chain search” feature where you can keep searching for words within definitions that you don’t understand.


Just to offer another point of view, I don’t agree with this. I let my reviews on Bunpro pile up, since on Bunpro leveling up doesn’t impact unlocking items as on WK I don’t mind. I just do some reviews a day but I don’t pressure myself to get to 0 everyday (I do around 30, and my pile is around 300).

Also OP, another great resource since you are using Genki, is this website to do the exercises: Genki Exercises - 2nd Edition | Genki Study Resources


I don’t necessarily agree that you need to wait, I find that seeing vocabulary in context helps it stick more easily than pure SRS, though it’s definitely harder the smaller your vocabulary is. I will second iTalki as a recommendation though, it’s probably the best all-rounder method (input, output, grammar, live feedback etc) if you don’t mind paying. I’ve been doing 2 one hour lessons a week since I was around level 10 on WK.


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