Rank your personal Order of Importance when learning Japanese

You’ve learnt grammars for 6 month is quiet a lot. I don’t mean we need to master grammar before understand Japanese. We need its foundation. I don’t even think Japanese is impossible, its a langauge use by human after all.

I just said that because I’ve seen many people (notspecificly here) neglect studying grammar because it’s boring and then dissapointed by their langauge progress or regret why they didn’t start sooner.

After all, I’m not an expert by any mean. I might be wrong.

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I wouldn’t say learners tend to think they need to know all grammar to use a language. After all I think we all can agree that, after a certain point, grammar becomes very scrupulous and focused on extremely particular language usages which I’m sure most people would agree are not particularly that useful in the majority of circumstances (flashbacks of me learning the passé simple when learning French grammar…).
I agree that you do need a base, but I’m not sure if it’s “not that much”. How much is “much”? :sweat_smile:

I’m not an expert when it comes to Japanese grammar (I’ve just started), but I see all the particles, word order, relative clauses, verb and adjective conjugations, and so on, as grammar, and I would say that’s not superfluous at all. It seems to be a lot already, and I have no idea what’s yet ahead of me.

A bit hard since kanji is a component of vocab and vocab is a component of reading yet all three are on the list separated, but I guess in terms of deliberate focus it would go








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1 Speaking
2 Listening
3 Reading
5 Kanji
6 Grammar
7 Writing

I picked this order because learning a language the traditional way has failed me. I have made more progress in the last 6 months than I have made in the last 10 years by making this order the priority. If you can’t speak then you can’t practice. If your listening sucks then you can’t learn. Conversation leads to language acquisition. Reading is next because I have learned a lot by chatting with people in text in other languages but unfortunately in Japanese without kanji knowledge it’s very hard to read. typing is easy thus writing is the least important. Grammar should be learned through conversation and the repetition of patterns. Standard grammar practice is not the best way to learn. Also acquiring a bunch of vocab out of context is USELESS. Learning vocab has to be in context thuse learning sentences and phrases makes a lot more sense.


This is a particularly interesting opinion to me. I can count the amount of times I’ve had a conversation in japanese on one hand yet I can hold a conversation perfectly fine, can watch shows without an issue, and especially read books pretty easily. I think I’m at around 40 books read (all of which meant for highschool or older) and would account nearly all of my ability to things from those books and basically 0% of my ability from being a result of conversation.

You say the traditional way failed you, but I’ve always viewed speaking early on as the traditional method. On the other hand, doing my way would be what I consider nontraditional.


N4 is nuff. I’m watching Fma with jp subs and the only problem I have is kanji/vocab- deciphering sentences is not hard. It was super hard 2 months ago when I had 0 knowledge about conjugation besides particles like- ga/wa/no/mo. Iv read tae kims+ watched cury dolly basic course. I’m not planning to study grammar anymore. Will try to pick it through native content.


Traditional way of learning a language is not the natural way, the natural way is how we learn our first language. We learn our first language by absorbing the culture, nuances, body language, sounds, syntax, and patterns of the language. After enough listening we start to speak. reading and writing our last. Traditional 2nd language learning is in the opposite order of natural learning. Think of any language class that builds the text book on grammar and vocabulary. Speaking and listening are often last. What you did with reading and media was absorbing information, just without talking to someone. This is effective but doesn’t promote the confidence to speak for most people. I did get an associates degree and certification in 2nd language learning. Your way of learning is very effective had you paired it with weekly or daily conversational practice with a native I am sure you would have learned EVEN faster. At the end of the day what matters is making language learning fun. The more fun it is the more engaged and the more engaged our attention the quicker we learn and retain that information.

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Hmm, from what I remember speaking was definitely something that was encouraged early on and even required in the language classes I took and know about.

Is there any proof of this? I’ve heard lots about the input hypothesis and countless anecdotal success stories about the power of input and uselessness of outputting early. On the other hand I’ve heard just about nothing on the idea of outputting early being particularly beneficial.

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I think we’re on the same page. I just can’t say much about the Japanese grammar in particular (because as mentioned, I’m just starting). I think we all need to develop a strong foundation depending on our needs/intentions.
I place grammar high on a “ranking” like this because I feel that without that foundation it’s hard to go anywhere. Definitely I agree that after a certain point its position in this “ranking” will unavoidably drop in favour of immersion.

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yh, as I said- until n4 grammar should be your n1 priority because you need to get the gist of how sentences get formed, how particles get used, where adverbs are placed, conjugation of verbs and adjectives, and ext. Once you cover it you are ready to dive.
As a side effect, it’s also important for vocabulary- we usually learn words much better by seeing them in a sentence.

You are lvl 10, it’s pretty much a perfect start to learn grammar. Once you reach lvl 15+ and cover JLPT 5-4 grammar you can just download Anki and install yomichan on chrome. It will allow you to hover your mouse over any Japanese word/text and get immediate translation+ you can save unknown words with full sentences into your anki deck immediately. It also works for vns and anime with jp subtitles. At that point, your learning going to take a light speed.

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Yes, I started with grammar a few levels ago, but I’m going slow with it. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the suggestions! I must say I particularly am not a fan of Anki (tried it twice in the past but didn’t work for me personally). I’m experimenting with other SRS for vocab acquisition and vocab “collection” throughout the general studies. It’s a work in progress :sweat_smile:

Humm I think a little problem with this conversation we’re having is the understanding of the word grammar and perhaps the bad rep it holds xD

We tend to talk about it as if grammar was external to the language.
A book of rules someone evil devised to keep us from learning our so desired foreign language, but such a book is only a compilation of what is used by the native speakers. No more, no less.

The level we have to learn it, I believe, is up to our aspirations.
Even among native people of any given language you find those who can barely string a sentence together and those who speak flawlessly and I think both types and the one in-between have the level that suits their needs.

Anyway, I’d better cut it short or I’ll digress hehe

The point I’m trying to make here is we vilify grammar but in the end I think what most people cringe at is grammar as a book.
If we learn to speak via conversation, immersing in native content or whatever recipe human mind can come up with, we’re still learning grammar, we’re just changing the source.

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Have you tried torii’srs? imo best srs app for vocabulary.
I also hate anki, that clunky outdated interface uhh. But after I downloaded a ready template ( you don’t need to set up anything) I actually found it quite useful- just click on the word, save, check it on anki with the sentence if you have the mood, move along.

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I did experiment with Torii, and I’m currently trying KameSame and quite liking it too. I found it a bit nicer to use than Torii personally, but to be honest I’m never sure enough ahaha
So far the way it is very lenient when it comes to synonyms is a big plus to me, and I can’t really find many cons (other than maybe the lack of a “list” of the learned words? Not that it really matters since it’s all being learned and memorized lol)
It’s hard not to be overwhelmed with the amount of resources! I’m still learning about and kinda trying different things. :slight_smile:

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For the first 2 years:

  1. Kanji (WK)
  2. Grammar
  3. Vocab
  4. Everything else

Now that I can read fairly well:

  1. Reading
  2. Listening/Watching
  3. Vocab
  4. Grammar
  5. Kanji, Writing, Speaking

I’m pretty much at the point where learning about Japanese is much less useful than actually using it with immersion. Basically, I have all the tools to figure things out on my own now.

Yes, It is in modern linguistic learning research. It’s been around for the past 2 decades.

Are you suggesting that if you did that someone wouldn’t help you find a sushi restaurant? I think they totally would.


I mean do you have anything like…that I can see? Input hypothesis has been around for over 4 decades but being around for x amount of time isn’t really an argument for something. Slaves have been around for almost 400 years but I ain’t in support of that either.

From a quick look up, comprehensible output hypothesis seems like what you’re referring to. A lot of the stuff im seeing seems to be pushback doe and not in huge support. I’m trying to be open minded here but I can’t say that this is particularly convincing.

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And if they knew vocab, they wouldnt just forget the word “want”. They would throw on a ほしいor something which would definitely get the point across.

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  1. Reading/Kanji/Vocab. Pretty much all tie into each other so it’s my priority.
  2. Grammar. Does also tie into 1, but I know enough grammar at this point that I study it less often now.
  3. Listening. I watch Youtube/anime as much as possible regardless so I feel my listening will improve over time.
  4. Speaking. I’ve spoken with a japanese friend multiple times over the months but I’m still really bad at pulling the words out of my head. This will also improve as I keep practicing and whatnot so I’m not really all that fussed.
  5. Lastly, writing. I dabbled in basic writing (仮名 only). I know how to write my name and that’s about it, not that i’d ever need to write it (assuming I don’t move to Japan, which is doubtful).