Not sure where to go next

Hello! I’ve lurked around the forum a bit, but this is my first post.
So, I’ve been following the tofugu learn japanese guide, and finally arrived at level ten (though i went on holiday so i’m at lvl 11 now). This seems to be about the time to start doing more than just wanikani, which has been pretty much my only form of study until now. after having had a look around the forums i recently discovered Bunpro and I’ve just started the free trial on the tae kim path. Will just reading tae kim and using bunpro be enough? I’ve tried a bit of reading and watching shows with subtitles, but I end up feeling a bit drowned in hiragana in between recognising the meaning of the occasional kanji. Should I stick with it, or not bother yet?
Thanks for any help!

7 Likes

2E559B0F-382A-4F04-92AD-EBA546D8BD08

If you are feeling overwhelmed by some content it might be best to go with something a bit easier so you don’t get burned out. Along with your vocabulary and grammar study you could look for native children’s content on YouTube, get some graded readers, or check out WaniKani book clubs.

Searching beginners #japanese-language:book-clubs on the forums brings up quite a bit.

https://community.wanikani.com/search?q=beginners%20%23japanese-language:book-clubs

6 Likes

Thanks! So this is probably roughly the time to start trying to read, just easier stuff. I’ll give it a go!

1 Like

I always recommend Satori Reader which has lots of great content organized at different difficulty levels. It also has grammar explanations, srs for words learned from the stories, audio for every sentence in every story, kanji can be set to be displayed by wanikani level etc.
You can read the first two chapters of any story for free if you want to check it out and see if it works for you. It’s a slow process to get comfortable no matter what you start reading, but I think Satori reader gives you all the right breaks if you’re determined to understand the Japanese :smiley:

5 Likes

ooh, that sounds great! Thanks!

1 Like

Bunpro has been great for me for drilling the basics of grammar, though now (halfway through N4), I’m not sure if I’ll actually “finish” it in the sense of actually SRSing every single grammar point. Will probably just use it as a reference. I feel pretty confident in (basic) Japanese sentence structure now, which was the part that had intimidated me the most for a long time.

Satori Reader is great, though I feel like they deliberately throw a lot of grammar points at you all at once, rather than gently introducing a few at a time. Of course, this is exactly how native content works too, but if you’re going to make materials specifically for learners it kind seems to defeat the purpose. Graded readers worked better for me personally. Then again, it’s been a while since I looked at Satori Reader (since before I started WK).

Just want to second what a great resources the book club are. I’ve been working my way through わんわん探偵団, and having the old book club thread with the vocab list and people explaining confusing sentences has helped a lot.

1 Like

My personal recommendation is always Comprehensible Japanese on Youtube. Yuki does a great job of providing visual aid when discussing a topic and speaks slowly and clearly. She also provides subtitles and transcriptions and separates her videos into absolute beginner, beginner and intermediate. I personally like the folk tales. Listening is a whole separate skill that needs its own practice no matter how well you’re doing with grammar and vocab.

I just want to second Bunpro and the book clubs on Wanikani. Both have been invaluable to me.

Other recommendations:
Yuyu’s Podcast - Listening practice
The Bite Size Japanese Podcast - Listening practice
Japanese Ammo with Misa - Grammar presented in an easy way
Dogen - Pitch accent and comedy videos

6 Likes

Thanks for all the help guys! I think my plan will be to work through tae kim grammar and bunpro a bit to get more of a handle on sentence structure, while attempting some gentle reading practice, probably using satori (I’ll give Comprehensible Japanese on Youtube a watch too). Once I feel I’m mostly getting through the sentences, ill take a dive into a book club. Does this seem a sensible way forward?

And don’t be afraid to switch resources if you find that the one you’re using just isn’t clicking with you. Nobody says you have to commit to one thing from start to finish. I bounced between Genki I, Tae Kim, and Bunpro before finding and settling on Cure Dolly’s “Japanese from Scratch” Youtube playlist for learning grammar, at least for now. And when I’m done with her content (or if I ever get tired/stuck on it), I’ll move on to something else (but in all honesty I think her stuff is fantastic, it feels like I’ve learned a lot from it so far.)

I’m only interested in reading so I can’t really recommend anything in terms of listening/speaking/writing resources, but for reading I’ve been dabbling with Satori Reader, Graded Readers, and I’m looking to join the Absolute Beginner’s Book club coming up on the 27th.

2 Likes

Just use the resources that you find interesting. There are many suggestions in the Resources thread. One thing that is almost guaranteed is that the study plan and resources you’ll be using 2 years from now will be different than your current ones, so don’t sweat specific resources too much.

If I was to make any recommendation, it would be to do a combination of reading, listening practice and some combination of grammar textbook and SRS. A multi-faceted approach is going to ensure you aren’t getting too lopsided in any area. And devote some time to just practicing building your own sentences. All study with no application is time squandered.

1 Like

I’m a fellow newbie here!! Currently ploughing my way through level 7, plus taking a somewhat disappointing online weekly lesson based on Genki, plus doing other self-study on my own including Bunpro, some Anki general vocab and Genki decks and YouTube listening.

I’d actually prioritize other things beyond WK at this point. I’ve been finding that I retain WK stuff better if I see it elsewhere, and knowing grammar and word construction is as important as kanji and vocabulary. Also, WK vocabulary in the early levels isn’t necessarily the most common or most useful one.

As for reading: definitely check out Satori Reader as mentioned above, I love the platform and the fact that you can look up pretty much every single word if you want, but I realized that I needed a lot of basic grammar before being able to comprehend the basics of the simplest episode - stuff like basic て forms, plain past, informal forms, adjective conjugations, etc.

Another resource for reading are the Tadoku books, many of which are free online. I’ve made it my goal to go through all the Level 0 ones in the next few days (they’ve very short, easy and some are funny and enjoyable). I’m sure there are millions of other threads with more info on them.

1 Like

Yeah this is kind of a fuzzy point it seems, it can be hard to know when you’ve studied enough grammar and vocabulary to be ready to tackle some basic reading material. At the point I am now with Cure Dolly, I’ve managed to eat a few Level 0 graded readers for breakfast in terms of understanding the sentence structure. Could I have started reading earlier? Probably, but I didn’t really have any way of knowing that I was ready to do so.

And yeah Satori Reader is great about giving you piecemeal definitions of stuff, but it’s not a grammar textbook. It won’t tell you why something means what it means or explain overall sentence structure, so you still need to have some grammar study under your belt even for the “Easier” category stories.

1 Like