Noobie Here

Hi guys, learning Japanese so I can speak to my girlfriend with more articulation! I’ve learnt hiragana, katakana and some basic phrases. What’s everyone’s experience with this site, is it as helpful as everyone says?

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I think you’ve already answered your own question.

Jokes aside… I went into WK already having studied Japanese for a while, and I still already know most of the new items I’m getting, but even so I’m still very much enjoying it. It’s a good mix of kanji and vocabulary with an adequate SRS. Definitely worth it in my opinion.

The site is brilliant at what it sets out to do, stick at it and your kanji reading ability will dramatically improve. For other reading skills and the rest of Japanese you’ll need other resources, however the community here will still be helpful in all those other areas.

That’s pretty much me after 54 levels of using this site. (I started last year on 1/29) I love it here! And yes it’s as good as they say! So good in fact, that I might consider getting myself a lifetime membership. There is NO kanji/Japanese vocab site that can rival with Wanikani. I’m going to burn every last item and I’m not going to stop til’ I do. I started reading at lvl 11 and haven’t stopped since. Reading in Japanese is different from reading English/Spanish for me in a really good way and I find it quite interesting.


Yes, I definitely think so!
I’m going at it at a much slower pace than most, but I’ve learned a lot from both WaniKani and the Community here. Also being a part of something that requires me to work on it daily is great for me to maintain my focus.
This has been a huge help for me.
But you have three levels to try it out before you need to start thinking about paying, so why not try it out for yourself? : D

The funny thing is, this is one part of your overall learning of the Japanese language. You could easily get to level 60 here and still be unable to form sentences, read, or converse in Japanese. Simply, what you gain here is an easy to follow method that enables long-term recognition of approximately 2000 kanji and a bit over 6000 vocabulary. Besides what can occasionally be found in the forums, there’s no grammar or extra reading practice (besides the given example sentences), nor speaking practice of any kind. Just keep in mind that this is a part of your study and you’ll be fine.


Buuut we do have a list here of things to help you with that, and the community is usually really helpful at recommending next steps.

Link to the list below!

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psst you can change the “summary” text to say something else

edit: NVM

Right. I should put emphasis on the fact that if you only follow the WaniKani system without utilizing the forums or other resources, you’ll have a fragmented understanding of the language.

I did - I didn’t realize that was a thing until it posted, though… XD

That’s what I meant in my initial post in this thread, when I said Wanikani and the community has really kept me on track. It’s working for me much more than just the self-learning I was trying (and primarily failing) to do for 15+ years before… Mostly because I kept walking away from it and putting it on the backburner.

Oh and having a Japanese speaking girlfriend can help a lot. 懐かしいな・・・

Yeah, not to make this user feel bad or anything, but just yesterday I was reading this thread about what is probably an N5 grammar point.

Well, maybe it’s N4, I’m not sure. But it’s below his (nearly) N1 kanji level.

thanks for all the helpful replies guys, I am aware that this is not my sole study. I’ve been using a few days and I’m already learning so much! Love this site, the phone app is on point too

WaniKani is great for learning how to recognize kanji and the different readings for vocabulary that uses kanji/kana, but just keep in mind that WaniKani is meant to supplement your Japanese language learning. You’ll still need to study grammar and vocabulary from other sources so make sure to mix things up with your studying! I’d recommend either buying Genki 1 & 2 or reading Tae Kim’s guide online if you want a free resource. And remember that lot of the more popular learning resources have their own Anki decks, so try and look out for those. (for example, you can get WaniKani Anki decks)

The funny thing is, WaniKani doesn’t even teach you enough Kanji-related vocabs either. For example, level 1-10 Kanji have many extra vocabs required for reading, and sometimes exceptional readings too.

If you want to take the challenge, it would be Core 10K Breakdown. Be aware that Anki can make you crazy (because it isn’t curated by Koichi and Viet). N1 vocabs and WaniKani vocabs sometimes go beyond Core 10K, though.

Also, vocabs are only one part of the language. The better place to study other parts of the basics would be textbooks.

Knowing a lot of vocab does help with sentence forming, but not so much with understanding. I still think it is essential to learn to be a better listener and reader, though.

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@polv Yeah, exactly. I’ve recently picked up a number of courses on memrise for extra vocab; one I like is @BreadstickNinja’s WaniKani expansion pack.

Welcome @fishingbullfrog! This site is excellent for helping your to recognise kanji and its associated vocabulary. It is a fun system because it acts like a game. The forums are a great place to get encouragement so that you don’t feel isolated in your studies.

As for communicating with your girlfriend, it’s not going to help with speaking. This is a kanji learning site. Learning kanji means you will be able to read things together. If you’re travelling in Japan together and you know kanji, you won’t be using her as a crutch to translate every sign.

While it’s true that WK doesn’t teach grammar, I wouldn’t say that WK can’t help for communication. A complete beginner will learn a decent chunk of useful vocab, and even if it’s in broken Japanese, you can communicate a lot of ideas with just vocab and gestures. You can certainly do more with that than if you have lots of grammar knowledge but minimal vocab.

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