First post here but I’ve been learning Japanese for a few months now and I’m starting to feel overwhelmed so my question is this:
How do you manage all the different resources available and not get overwhelmed?
For instance, I’ve been self-studying Genki I and reviewing/practicing twice a week with an iTalki teacher twice a week.
For the vocabulary, I use Anki which has greatly increased my ability to retain the words and has given me a solid footing. But now I’m also using WaniKani, which is great because I’ve always struggled a bit with Kanji but in addition, I’m learning even more vocabulary which is awesome until I try to use it and I use it completely wrong or something.
And now in addition to studying Genki, Anki, and Wanikani, I read about Bunpro and was like, whoah this is awesome too but again, it’s teaching me things that Genki hasn’t taught me yet.
This feeling was hard to articulate in words but basically I’m wondering, how can I tie it all together without feeling like I’m being pulled 50 different ways? I appreciate any feedback
Usually, it’s a matter of organizing things better and making different things into priorities in different days. For example, you could study grammar on the days where you have more free time, allowing you to focus more on the SRS tools on the other days.
A quick tip: you can use Bunpro together with Genki. Go to bunpro, click on “grammar”, and check the section “Paths”. It has Genki in there.
It displays a list of grammar points in the order that they show up on Genki. This way, you could do your normal workload on Genki, go to that “Path”, and add the grammar points you just learned from genki. You can even do the extra reading of the grammar points (in different days if needed, to not make it overwhelming) that Bunpro gives, as a reinforcement of knowledge.
I try to just keep a checklist and use/portion the time I have appropriately. And honestly, I sometimes do get overwhelmed, but the best thing I can do is to just set a time to jump back on the wagon when I fall off, and that gives a clear goal and end date to any rest I take. The other thing is that I try to force myself to stop when I realize I’m studying too much all at once.
I wouldn’t worry about Bunpro for now if you’re already doing Genki since they’re both grammar resources. I honestly don’t think I would have found Bunpro super helpful as a beginner because of the way the material is presented. My personal feeling is that, unless you’re very diligent about clicking through to the reading resources, you really need a solid foundation in the basics before turning to Bunpro. After that, Bunpro is a wonderful tool, especially if you struggled learning through other methods. Like JP said, it can go along with Genki as an additional review resource, but may feel like just another thing adding to your daily SRS workload.
Welcome to Japanese where people spend more time on how to learn than what to learn! You’ve reached your first roadbump. This is a big moment and one that will either speed you up or slow you down. You’ve luckily sought the right way.
Simply put… keep it simple. I’d say there’s 3 parts to learning Japanese: Kanji/Vocab, Grammar, and talking.
WaniKani is your Kanji/Vocab
Genki is your Grammar
iTalki is your Speaking practice.
Don’t deviate from that. Every book teaches you a certain way to get you where they want you to be. So narrowing your resources is a good thing to maintain. BunPro is a great assistant for Genki to reinforce the grammar points. So I wouldn’t say that’s adding on as much as ensuring you remember what you learn from Genki.
Japanese is a marathon, not a sprint. But it does require focus. I can’t tell you how much money and time I wasted essentially starting over because someone recommended another resource. Keep it slim, and keep it strict. 頑張ってね。
If it feels over whelming, it may be too much. It should feel uncomfortably exciting, but not like you can not keep up.
I may be as far as you, but I have found focusing on one thing at a time yields more consistent results. Instead of studying from 4 Japanese sources, I chose just wanikani for now. Though I have lived in Japan previously, and have had a lot of Japanese practice prior, I just never learned to read, herpderp
I would agree with not overwhelming yourself with tons of different things at once, but I don’t know that I would agree with only doing WK and nothing else. Learning a bunch of kanji and words but having no grammar to glue it all together doesn’t seem like a great idea.
For the OP what I would recommend is maybe doing WK and choosing a single source for grammar study and scheduling time to do both. And then when you feel confident maybe once or a twice a week, schedule doing a bit of reading as well. That way you can get a more well-rounded bit of studying but you aren’t trying to do multiple grammar studies and multiple vocabulary studies all at once. That’s just setting yourself up for burnout. I did this to myself and had to take about a month off during the summer because I so burned out trying to juggle 5 different resources between reading, grammar study and vocabulary/kanji learning.