My thoughts on learning

I restarted wanikani about 2 months ago and ever since have made decent progress and I’m slowly closing in on level 7. I’ve been using Hello Talk for almost a year and the kanji I’m learning here have been useful over there.

Each time I’ve progressed a level all I could feel was dread while looking at the new wall of kanji that it thought would make me quit, but I’ve found that even just going through the reviews without actively trying to remember them still helps a lot. I was struggling with 羊、長、直、and 食, but after getting it wrong and sleeping on it, I remember them just fine. Unconscious learning feels quite important. For me at least, I believe its important to expose yourself to all of your lessons, that way there isn’t any surprises when you start learning them for real.

My main goal on this app isn’t to reach level 60, but rather to remove kanji as a barrier for entry. So far I believe I’ve done that, and learning grammar and conjugation has quickly become my real nightmare.


What’s your first language? I’ve had no trouble with it so far but vocab still feels like the greater beast. I can pretty much already see the structure of a sentence but without vocab they are just some random words for me.


i know most people already know about these resources, but if you havent, check out Tae Kim’s japanese grammar guide. Bunpro is also nice for grammar


Conjugation is much of getting used to, like drilling or exposure.

On exposure route, production is a part of the equation. You can try on HelloTalk, and probably will get there soon enough.

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I’m a native English speaker. Vocab is definitely a struggle I understand that, but then I realised that there’s only so many ‘niche’ topic words that I will need to know. At least for the time being, I imagine that Vocab becomes more difficult at your level when you know a decent amount of grammar : )

Thanks! I only started the trial of Bunpro a couple days ago. Who woulda thought learning Japanese would be so expensive :joy:

I’ll have a look at the guide too cheers

That drill seems useful, I’ll try to use it alongside my reviews, thanks

Vocabulary is definitely what you’ll spend the most time working on in the long run. Grammar is for the most part finite and you can expect to have covered most of it in a year or two. Vocabulary is a lifelong task.

I’ve started learning Russian five years ago, a language that I’d argue is more “grammar heavy” than Japanese, yet these days the grammar is generally a non issue and I only focus on learning vocab. I seldom encounter a construction I can’t parse (especially in everyday Russian) but I’ll very often stumble upon words I don’t know, be it slang, technical terms or bookish language.

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What I usually do is learn all the kanji of the next lesson right before the lesson that I am on ends. I do them all in one go and it takes around 20-30 minutes for me to get them all correct in my head (its hard work but its only 30, mins a week of cramming). Then when my next review comes, I can just breeze trough all the kanji and it feels much better. For vocab its easier and I dont have to do that.

For grammar I use bunpro and also bought the genki series. I think bunpro is great if you mix it with reading manga or different kind of exposure (podcast, anime, Vtubers ect…). Bunpro is also great for reading if you don’t rely on the english translation in the reviews. Im not to keen on the genki series, I bought them all and tbh I didn’t use it. I just think genki is great for a classroom setting but for self learning its not the best imo. I also try to talk to myself in japanese alot, in my head or under the shower. I found that it helps alot and i try to use my new grammar that I learned.

This is what worked for me. I hope I could motivate you a little bit with explaining my “method”. I wish you great succes in learning!

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