Nooblet Question!

Hey friends!

I don’t usually partake in forums, how curious…

I’ve JUST started WaniKani yesterday… so far so good. I’ve read all the articles on Tofugu (at least I think… there are so many…) about each step to take and I’m currently in that 1-3 month phase of doing WaniKani. Unless I’ve misinterpreted it, I’ve been instructed to do nothing else at this point until I reach level 10 on WaniKani. I’ve learnt hiragana and katakana and feel pretty comfortable typing them both.

My question is: should/can I be doing anything else in the mean time? I’m currently on a little trial with Pimsleur (which I’m enjoying) and I also sift through this cute app called Bunpo for vocabulary here and there…

Maybe I’m totally on track and just need to patient… maybe not? Any insights? :grin:

どもありがと!
Colin

8 Likes

I personally disagree with the official recommendation to wait until level 10 to do other stuff. I feel like any extra Japanese you can absorb will help with handling new content.

29 Likes

Do things now.
All the things.
You don’t know when you can do them later.

4 Likes

Advice from a fellow newbie;

I’d say keep the Kanji / Vocab primarily with WK, just so you don’t overload your retention capabilities by stuffing too many new characters in your head.

Otherwise, definitely get out there and explore! Grammar, listening, speaking practice, check it all out. The more aspects you get started on, the more things are going to make sense as you go.

Good luck!

3 Likes

I think that advice of not doing anything else is for the sake of people sticking with at least something (wanikani). A lot of us here give up a little after starting, so doing 1 thing increases the chances of feeling less overwhelmed and therefore sticking to it. It also helps that kanji is probably the most important thing for a beginner after hiragana.

However, if you’re up for the challenge I’m all for recommending you to do other stuff. I’d say the 2nd biggest focus should be grammar at your stage, so look around the forums, see what people are recommending and go for it! :slight_smile:

8 Likes

A little grammar goes a long way. Other than that, watch lots of Japanese TV listening practice. The earlier you get used to hearing Japanese, the better. As a bonus it really helps with retention when you’ve heard some vocab in context.

1 Like

Welcome to our community! I hope you stick around awhile and can make it to the cake at the end (I’ve been promised cake, at least).

I guess a question to reflect on is why you’re choosing to study Japanese. Do you want to visit Japan? Read manga/watch anime? Motivation tends to run high at the beginning of a big project like this, so invest some of your energy into your interests. For example, try looking at some manga and figuring out what you already know. Or, watch some youtube videos on travel in Japan and see what Japanese you can pick up on (or notice, if the video is mainly in English).

I waited until level 10 before branching out, and I haven’t regretted it. WK starts off small, manageable and you feel that sense of accomplishment when you suddenly realise you can at least recognise 2000+ “bits” of Japanese.

I’ve now got my copy of Genki and a Bunpro account and am beginning to start learning grammar. But I find it really helpful that I took a few months to really establish the habit of learning Kanji, so that I can now focus on working how how/when I’ll start filling in this next step without getting overwhelmed.

I do remember my first few weeks of WaniKani though, with all that drive and zero lessons to spend it on. I spent that time/drive:

  • Going slow with the vocabulary lessons and reading the bits you can of context sentences out loud. I remember it used to take me a good few minutes to do a single sentence. I found there was a big gap between being able to successfully recognise hiragana (and katakana) and being able to read them.
  • Reading the additional foundation articles on Tofugu. The pronunciation guide is really helpful, and definitely something I try to come back to periodically because I know I still do my "r"s wrong :confused:
  • Browse the community! There’s some cool stuff here. I’m a big fan of pictures of dogs: https://community.wanikani.com/t/犬-doggo-appreciation-thread-aka-puppers-lovers-unite/18157/3430

Also, Hello! Welcome! and Good luck!

6 Likes

Aw right on I was just reading your ultimate level 60 celebration/WK guide hahaha thanks for stopping by. That’s what I was worried about as well I don’t want to drown myself to the point of snapping… it’s the same with physical fitness I reckon. Cheers!

2 Likes

Heh, I thought Nooblet was some kind of Pokémon…

3 Likes

I was (and still am) using RocketLanguages.com before I found WK. I found out that all the vocabulary I had learned there really stuck with me and I learned the Kanji very easily and remembered them when I got to WK. So for me, knowing some vocabulary before learning the Kanji really helped.

I developed a habit of consistently doing WK every day for about 2.5 months before starting anything else. I am doing small steps to prevent any burning out.

1 Like

I would recommend doing Genki alongside WaniKani to get the basics down. That way, you will be able to read much more if you understand the grammar as well as the kanji. However, while Genki is an all around textbook (by that I mean it covers grammar, vocabulary, and kanji) there are also invaluable resources for grammar, such as Cure Dolly’s youtube channel that was recommended in the forums somewhere. It’s an amazing resource that breaks down the fundamentals of the Japanese language for absolute beginners - and those looking to refresh their minds/fixing any misunderstandings they may have had. Sorry for ranting lol, as somewhat of a beginner of myself, eg: been studying on and off for a little over a year… mostly off tho oops, Cure Dolly is a fantastic to get you understanding grammar fast!

It depends on how you came to WK itself. If it’s part of a comprehensive course, self study or otherwise, that you’re already doing then go for it.

If not, then I would stick with the recommendation. Not because it would “ruin” your learning to add stuff while you’re doing WK, but because you won’t have an idea of how much time WK takes for you on a daily basis and whether you have room for something else.

I started WK and Bunpro at the same time and quickly dropped BP at around Level 5. I just couldn’t allocate the time to both. I’ve only recently started doing some BP in the last month or so, but only a few times a week. I honestly can’t juggle any more given a full time job, family, life, etc.

The best advice I can give for additional stuff is to watch YouTube videos. It’s more passive and feels less like work.

Here are some good series to start with:

Cure Dolly’s videos provide an amazingly intuitive way to think about Japanese. The content is quite good, but some people are turned off by the gimmick of the voice and having a CGI presenter. The titles are also a bit click-baity, but I honestly prefer her method over Tae Kim or any of the others I’ve seen.

Cure Dolly Japanese Playlist

SambonJuku 三本塾 does videos entirely in Japanese but he speaks clearly and is much easier to understand for a beginner. He’s a good teacher and his videos provide a good way to watch/read if you turn on Japanese subtitles for the videos that have them.

Sambonjuku Beginner Videos - Very basic. A good foundation but you’ll quickly grow out of them.

Sambonjuku 日本語おもしろい Videos - Much more fun to watch, and more information. Watch with subtitles to supplement your WK.

Sarah K. is a professional translator and her breakdown of the pilot episode for the original Sailor Moon is a great resource for learning how Japanese in Anime is different from regular day-to-day conversation. She goes over how different characters talk and a lot of the contractions and shorthand that they use.

Sarah K. Sailor Moon Series - Fun to watch and very informative for Anime fans.

6 Likes