New to Japanese and started WaniKani

I’m new to Japanese… I can read Hiragana and Katakana (with trouble, no understanding). Should I start Kanji on WaniKani? I started, but when I got to the vocab, I realized I couldn’t understand any of the context sentences WK gives.
Thank you for the help.


Yes. Use WaniKani for Kanji.
Use the vocab to reinforce/learn other readings of the kanji. Dont bother with the context sentences until later.
The strength of WK (imo) is that it relieves you of any planning to learning Kanji. You just turn it on and do what is in front of you.

If youre completely new to Japanese, I would say start with Tae Kim’s guide. You will find the Kanji you learn on WK will quickly be put to use. The order of content in TK’s guide is different from most traditional text but it will be more beneficial unless youre studying for a specific short term situation.

You can use this guide to better understand the mechanisms of WK:

Personally I would recommend going as fast as possible for at least the first 5-10 levels to get you a base for doing other things.


I recommend starting with a grammar textbook like Genki or Japanese From Zero. You can start WaniKani to learn kanji at the same time or slightly later if you want.


I’m pretty much in the same boat as you. Newish to Japanese, with just Hiragana/Katakana knowledge, but very little vocab and only some grammar. I started Wanikani about two months ago and I love it. Obviously I’m a n00b too at only level 6, but I don’t see a reason to wait as long as you can read hiragana.

Don’t let the context sentences scare you. Like SoraR said, that’s more useful later on (I assume) for context. I haven’t been even looking at the context sentences.

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I started using WaniKani after learning Hiragana/Katakana and noticing that it was really difficult to read a sentences without knowing kanji. It kind of breaks up the sentences for you making reading easier. It also adds to your vocab in the process. I think you are making the right choice to start early with kanji in your Japanse learning.

Wanikani also has a huge community that can help with figuring out what to do to compliment kanji learning and what to do afterwards. In my opinion, you should try following this Japanese Learning Guide by Tofugu: Also Genki is a good idea to start with as it is a well known textbook that many classes gauge your skill by. Another way to find sources is to look on the Japanese Learning Resources lists that are on Wanikani forums and Tofugu’s website. Good luck! ^ↀᴥↀ^

Thank you.

Somewhat related; if you feel like you’re lost within Wanikani itself, get a refresher at this awesome guide: My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 )


LingoDeer (app) is not a bad place to start with grammar. Vocab is a bit limited but cheaper than Genki, although they work well together.

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