Self Study

Hey, I was wondering what resources that y’all use in addition to WaniKani? I’ve started Genki and Tae Kim’s guide, but I was wondering what else there is. I was considering using Anki but got a little freaked out by the interface and stuff

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I tried Anki once for like 5 minutes, and I also got overwhelmed by the interface. There’s a relatively new SRS website in development called kitsun.io. I think it’s going through a redesign, and it’ll become paid at some point after that, but I think it’s much friendlier than Anki overall.

Other than that, I’ve been bouncing around intermediate level grammar textbooks, having trouble finding one that’s not terribly boring. And I’m using bunpro.jp alongside the grammar textbooks to help reinforce what I learn.

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I started out with Duolingo and a couple small Anki decks, but rarely use either anymore. Right now, I’m using Genki as a textbook and reviewing/supporting it with WaniKani, KaniWani, Bunpro, Human Japanese, and A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.

Edit: This is what my Japanese shelf currently looks like

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Kitsun
BunPro
Try N5-N2 books series.
にほんごそぅまとめ N5-N4 books series.
the dictionary of basic Japanese grammar.
Essential Japanese vocabulary. Learn to avoid common and embarrassing mistakes.
A handbook of Japanese grammar patterns.

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I use:

  • About a dozen different WaniKani script extensions.
  • For extra mnemonic help, I use KanjiDamage when WaniKani’s mnemonics don’t stick.
  • Jisho as a general resource for looking stuff up.
  • KaniWani and KameSame for reverse-recognition training.
  • kitsun.io (specifically for the katakana word deck, nothing else atm)
  • Torii SRS for the vocab that WaniKani doesn’t teach (just started this, so I can’t fully vouch for it yet).
  • bunpro for grammar SRS (and the links from it for learning resources, though I usually use Tae Kim)
  • Dogen’s video series for japanese pitch accent and enunciation
  • “Situational Functional Japanese” as a general textbook and for speaking practice.
  • Cure Dolly’s blog / videos, sometimes, if other explanations aren’t clear.
  • Probably something else I forgot.

I’m still looking for good writing practice SRS apps (with automatic handwriting recognition). I found one mobile app for hiragana that works fantastically (it took about ~5 hours to learn to write them all from memory with the app), but one for katakana and/or kanji would be great.

I’ve been using WaniKani for Kanji/Vocab and LingoDeer for Grammar. Lingodeer presents things in game like way and presents the lessons core points before you do it which helps me a lot. I am considering trying Bunpro as it uses an SRS approach not unlike WaniKani for Grammar.

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I, like English, lurk in dark alleys and rifle through anything and everything for spare resources.
Here are some probably yet-to-be-mentioned resources of varying quality for various things described relatively briefly:
Grammar:
Wasabi: A site with a grammar reference, a roadmap, pronunciation lessons, and listening and reading practice. The grammar pages often link to other grammar pages, so you sometimes find yourself on a Wikipedia-esque information dive.
日本語の森: A YouTube channel with N5 and up (save for, strangely enough, N4) series about grammar and the like. They could also serve as listening practice.
Maggie Sensei: For whatever reason, I can’t seem to link to this properly without getting the “this domain is registered” screen. Anyway, it has detailed grammar explanations accompanied with photos of dogs. Try searching something like “GRAMMARPOINT Maggie Sensei” and it will hopefully come up.

Flashcards and Like Testing Systems: (“Anki Alternatives”)
Memrise: An SRS with lots of Japanese decks. See JLTP N4 Grammar, Core 1000 for examples. They also have their own not-user-created Japanese decks.
The Mnemosyne Project: Another SRS, but more like Anki. I haven’t used it, but it claims to be easy to use with dynamic cards. It’s a research project, but you have the option to say “no” to the anonymous data collection and you still get to use it.
Genki’s Website: Includes conjugation practice for all introduced conjugations, various videos. There’s more out there, but the website is difficult to navigate.

Textbooks, etc.:
Remembering the Kanji: I’ve heard this one recommended a lot. The approach of RtK is one in which you memorize the meaning of the kanji and learn the pronunciation later. It uses radicals like WK, but they sometimes have different names.

Lists of Media for Listening/Reading/Watching/Etc Practice:
List of Starter Japanese Media: This is an extensive list of various starter Japanese media which includes visual novels, video games, and manga. It has substantial notes on the difficulty of each piece of media and why.
List of Japanese IOS Applications: Having made this, I’m quite biased to it. It has various games available in Japanese from non-Japanese app stores along with a few reading/radio apps.

I have more to say, but I’ll have to stop here so that I can get a full 9 hours of sleep. I might write something up later so that I have something to reference in times like this.

Oh, also, I think there’s a forum post on WK called “Starting Resources” or something of the like with a bunch of starting resources. I’ll find it tomorrow if you or another forum member hasn’t linked it by then. It’s really useful.
You could also try hunting for resources in the other WK threads that have people looking for resources. Something like “Japanese Resources” in the forum search bar.

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I can’t with Anki. Too much onus on the user. I’m a big fan of iKnow for additional vocab acquisition (think Wanikani but for vocab; though I’d maybe only recommend it to those who have at least finished elementary materials, because of its sentence-completion), and Quizlet for a vanilla digital flashcard app for adding my own words and phrases from the wild.

Otherwise, once you finish Genki/another elementary course, I’d highly recommend just moving onto a JLPT N3 book line (either Sou Matome or Kanzen Master), even if you aren’t focused on the test. I think their structures make the most sense for continued learning as a self-studier.

日本語の森 is excellent for review/as a supplement, but if your main source of learning new grammar doesn’t provide comprehension checks (problems, drills), I feel like you’re doing yourself a disservice.

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I totally forgot to mention that page, and the Genki Self-study room. Both are great to check out, especially if you’re using the Genki textbooks.

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You’ve got a lot of really good answers here, so I’ll try to keep this short.

Lingodeer: Both and app, and now also a website, that’s similar to Duolingo. Main difference being that it was designed from the ground up for Asian languages, so it actually works well for Japanese (unlike Duolingo).

Bunpro: An SRS system for studying grammar that also includes curated readings/videos for the grammar taught. The team there is fantastic and they’re constantly working to improve the system. Well worth the money.

Pimsleur: Incredibly expensive, but I credit these with why I sound less foreign than some of my friends when I speak Japanese. I was super lucky to have my dads support when I started learning Japanese, and he happened to have extra Audible tokens lying around, so I got them for significantly less than the price listed here. I’ve heard they have an app that’s much more affordable.

日本語の森: The Nihongo No Mori channel has some fantastic videos explaining Japanese grammar in easy-to-understand Japanese. I honestly think this makes it easier, as it doesn’t force connections between the two insanely different languages, but rather relates Japanese to itself.

Dogen: This just links to his course intro video, and only the first 4 videos are free. However if it’s something that interests you, his Patreon course is phenomenal in helping understand phonetics.

Aside from these, I’m also working my way up through the Kanji-Kentei test levels using their “Step” series and then reviewing using the official 3DS game.

And again aside from actual resources, I’d recommend you throw a few scripts into your WaniKani study. They can greatly enhance the experience if used appropriately*.

*You should 1000% not download the Re-Order script without a will of pure steel. Way too many people fall into the trap of "Gotta go fast!!! and end up woefully behind on lessons, not retaining everything, or burning out entirely.

Edit: Almost forgot Kitsun! It’s another SRS system, similar to Anki but in my opinion easier to use. I actually had to stop temporarily while I finish WaniKani because having 3 SRS systems to do on top of other studying/work/hobbies/sleep was getting to be too much, but I do really like the system and how user-friendly it is.

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My primary resources are NihongoShark and JapanesePod101 (both paid).

I recently bought A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and I’m also reading Tae Kim’s guide. And I have an old edition of みんなの日本語 that a friend gave me years ago.

I also love an Android app made by a French guy, JA Sensei. There is an English version but I don’t know if it’s 100% translated. Anyway, that was my first app using SRS and I learned most of my vocabulary with it.

But I’ll also read/watch basically everything Japanese-related, as long as I can understand it. That’s a lot, now that I think about it xD

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I was also one of the people who hated the interface and avoided using Anki because of that for years but I recently got a deck for Anki that I really wanted to use so I gritted my teeth and decided to try again. A quick google search and I found CSS that made Anki look much better so I’ve been using it ever since without changing much else and it’s been a delight. I honestly don’t know why Anki doesn’t come with some simple pre-installed CSS to make it look nicer.

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Love this soft and elegant card styling!

Does the ‘play button’ trigger AwesomeTTS playback?