Need tips on how to continue


I just started learning Japanese language about 24 days ago, so far i learned to read Hiragana and Katakana from mostly Tofugu, as soon as i finished, i continued on WaniKani up to level 3 now and am doing some RealKana in the meantime. I might say that my progress is slow but i have been enjoying it a lot.

Right now, I’m not sure on how to continue, is there any source/other recommendations on what i should do/focus next? Should i focus on grammar now? or is there something else?

*Edit: Thanks guys for all the suggestions, it helps me out a lot! I’ll try my best to learn Japanese and have fun while doing it


pick a grammar book. If your aim is exams then utilize kanzen master. If you want to take the more common option use genki. at the same time read short stories from tadoku and watch anime to train listening. Once kanji gets better u can continue with grammar books and eventually transfer to a mainly immersion based approach. Thats how i did it, it may not be the best but it worked for me mostly.


I second the suggestion of picking a grammar book. My personal recommendation is Minna no Nihongo because that’s what I used, but there are a bunch of great options.

If it’s in your budget, I recommend getting a teacher. I use iTalki and just take lessons 1-2x per month. It helps me with motivation to have an outside person holding me accountable.

edit: by the way, congrats on learning hiragana/katakana – first step out of the way! and im happy to hear that you’re enjoying the process. learning a language is fun!! good luck moving forward :slight_smile:


When I first started learning, I used Rocket Japanese levels 1-3. It was a little pricey, but it helped me build up a good foundation. From there, I moved into Japanese pod 101, an integrated approach to intermediate japanese, tobira, and a few other texts. I have weekly sessions on Italki as well with a private tutor.


For a paid option i recommend NativShark a handful of us in the discord community use this for kanji (archive the NS Kanji flashcards) and NS for grammar and vocab. It’s a bit pricey but a wonderful all in one system. It focuses on natural Japanese instead of textbook Japanese, but includes examples of textbook for jlpt purposes. It currently gets to roughly N3 but will go beyond N1 when it’s finished. They release content fast enough that catching up would take a couple of years at 1 lesson a day. To keep people from overwhelming themselves it only let’s you do how ever many lessons it takes to hit the review threshold the user sets, so it goes as fast as you can handle.

For a free option GameGengo has high quality grammar and vocab videos on his YouTube. They’re video game focused, so being interested in gaming in Japanese would make the videos more interesting. Otherwise if you can get past the voice and visuals Cure Dolly is frequently recommended for grammar. I personally find the core series vocab decks painful to go through but a lot of people have had success with them.


I learned nearly all of my initial grammar from Jalup which is now available in the Nihongo Lessons app. It’s expensive, but you’ll be reading/learning Japanese from the very get go. I also have the Genki textbooks and they’re very solid as well, though not as focused as some other sources. With WK and Nihongo Lessons, you can do an awful lot of your studying on your phone.

I also very strongly recommend watching as much of Cure Dolly’s series as you can get through and still understand. For sure the first 15 or so videos should be very useful for you. Don’t let her weird affectation keep you from watching - she gets easier to understand over time, and you can always turn on subtitles for clarity if needed.

Unless you’re specifically going for N5 JLPT, I strongly recommend not worrying about studying vocabulary outside of WaniKani for a while.


I agree with what others have said about getting a grammar book! Personally I use Genki textbook + workbook and I like it, but it’s definitely a textbook meant to be used in the classroom. I have heard good things about Minna no Nihongo as well. If you don’t want to spend money I’m pretty sure you can find a PDF of Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide available online (I particularly like the explanations of the grammar points in this one). Some people use an SRS software like Bunpro or an Anki deck along with their grammar book which you might consider as well.

Here are a couple of resources lists that I have used in the past in case they might be helpful:

^Also please don’t feel like you have to do everything in the google doc because it’s very detailed and lengthy. When I started out, I found some of the links useful for learning about the language, but once I figured out a study system which worked for me I pretty much never looked at it again LOL

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I would try to use as many resources as you can. Don’t focus on just one area of the language. You’ll make more progress that way.

As for me, I’m currently going through the Japanese From Zero books. These are good if you have absolutely no previous knowledge about the Japanese language and have trouble figuring out where to start. The author of the books has also made review videos on YouTube for each lesson of the book. Once I’m done with JFZ, I’ll probably pick up Genki or Minna No Nihongo. Another source I use for grammar/vocabulary is Game Gengo’s YouTube channel, because I love video games!

Aside from that, I prefer listening to podcasts in which two people have a casual conversation with each other, instead of watching anime (which I occasionally do). I’m also doing WaniKani daily but I decided not to go too crazy with it in order to prevent burnout. In my opinion, the most important part is to have fun while learning the language.


Lots of people here are recommending textbooks but they might not be so good without a tutor or teacher to correct your work. Also because of the natural order of language acquisition…

The Natural Order Hypothesis – Krashen's Second Language Acquisition Theory this is some little article summarizing it.

I would try and get comprehensible input


I forgot to mention a free (albeit DENSE) option is this is my 5th language, my experience will vary from others studying their first foreign language, but Imabi is super informative, probably over informative.

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Hummm… I think i will be buying Minna no Nihongo or Genki book :thinking:. Then perhaps i could start to immerse myself in japanese entertainment. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion!


imo it’s never too early to start immersion, I wish I had from day 1.


Just now, i checked iTalki, sadly i couldn’t afford it right now as it was a bit pricey, maybe someday tho. As for the book, i think I’ll pick either Minna no Nihonggo or Genki, but first I’ll read some review and compare them both. In any case, thanks for your recommendation! I’ll do my best.

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Not sure on how to immerse myself tho… I couldn’t understand a single word, the only “immersion” i got is from watching anime and that is with subs. Tried to find some other Japanese entertainment, but I can’t understand a single word… Is there other good way to immerse myself?

Thanks I’ll check it out

Not understanding is sort of the point of immersion. The idea being that over time you’ll go from no understanding at all, to picking up sentence patterns and a few words here and there, to understanding more and more words, to eventually understanding everything.

Obviously this can be extremely frustrating. Reduce the frustration by using simpler materials – children’s books, graded readers, videos for children – by waiting until you have more of a foundation, and/or by using various lookup tools to ease the load.


Alright, I’ll try to use simpler materials and build some foundations first. Thanks.

The trick is finding the balance between “I don’t understanding anything and it’s frustrating me” and “It’s easy, I understand everything but it feels very condescending”. Obviously watching something you are actually interested in definitely helps with the first part.

Everyone has different tolerances to these things. There’s people on here who are happy to pick up the most advanced book they can find because that’s what they’re interested in and grind out every sentence word for word. While others would rather something they can read nearly every word of and maybe only look up once every other page.

For example, there’s a lot of recommendations for Crystal Hunters (a manga that ‘teaches’ Japanese) but I found it very much on the condescending side of the scale. (Not to mention completely boring). There’s pages that literally have the same sentence 3 times over. I felt like I was being treated like a kid.

On the other hand, there’s a youtube channel called Comprehensible Japanese.
A lot of her videos are just talking about inane day-to-day stuff so if you were watching the content in your native tongue, you’d be bored stiff. However, it’s just at that right difficulty level for me where I can understand about two thirds of all the vocab but can comprehend almost all of the story (her illustrations and actions really help bridge the gap). Importantly though, it’s using everyday vocabulary that is actually useful. So while not the most entertaining, it’s challenging enough that I find it rewarding getting to the end of the video and understanding, say, Yuki’s trip to the library.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t feel forced to read/listen something you don’t enjoy just because “it’s at your level”. You should be consuming media that you enjoy, but have a good mix of stuff that’s easy and also stuff that challenges you. (So many people advise that everything you practise, not just in language studies, I see it all the time in guitar circles too, should be above your level because that’s the only way to improve. I fully disagree, learning/playing should be fun.) Obviously, don’t just immerse yourself with only stuff you are 100% comfortable with, but it’s such a confidence boost consuming some media and understanding all of it without reaching for a dictionary that I recommend you do it from time to time.

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The art of teaching, IMO, consists of finding exercises that are exactly difficult enough. Too easy, and they are boring and the student doesn’t learn anything. Too hard, and they are impossible and the student doesn’t learn anything.

In most situations, “just right” seems to be easier than someone who is already an expert would think, with only 5-10% “new” material. Which is part of why teaching is hard: ideal materials for the students are often boring for the teacher.

This is one reason to delay “immersion” in Japanese language materials. If you start too early, the only “accessible” materials will be aimed at Japanese preschoolers and just not that interesting for adults.


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