Should I tone down Wanikani?

I second this advice. Personally I didn’t use the tests to gauge my skill, but rather the difficulty of the things I was reading. Either way though, it’ll let you see your progress and maybe some spots you may need improvement in. The only time I personally would recommend specifically focusing on passing the test is if you actually need it for some sort of job or something, but I can’t see that being the case based off OPs post.


If you’re focusing on N5/N4, then you can tone it down after level 16

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Yes, that’s the problem. I’m not… I can barely do 100 WK reviews on my days of work, consequently my grammar and vocabulary pay for it.

That’s a very good advice. In this case it would certainly translate to what I lack the most at the moment.

Conclusion: I’ll take WK from the spotlight as I already have sufficient knowledge for the upcoming exam and focus on other Japanese points. To balance them out.

Several people have said it’s better to study Japanese but not focus on the limited knowledge needed for the JLPT exams. I agree with this in nature but how do you study Japanese? As it is divided between Oral, Kanji, Grammar and Vocabulary and the JLPT tackles these points, is not not the perfect way to progress, a focus on each JLPT exams?
Yes, it is possible to just read books and consume video-content etc but one can only really start doing that by N3 (I think).

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What is obvious to some in some matters, may not be for others. :slight_smile:

To be honest, I don’t know if it would. But I appreciate your answer and yes, I think of decreasing my time on WK.

I’ve been reading since having only N5 grammar. It was painful at first, but it’s definitely possible. Also, there’s a reason we have different level book clubs here. I think at your current level you could certainly join the Absolute Beginner and/or Beginner book clubs.


Yes, I think this is the best approach. Thanks for your take :blush:

I agree with SeanBlue. ^^ With around N5 knowledge and level 20-30 something on WK, I started with native material aimed at teenagers. I’m not studying myself up to N3-ish before beginning to read - I’m using reading to teach myself.

If I pull out a Japanese book, of course there is N5 grammar, but usually buried in a lot of other grammar things. If I teach myself all the grammar points that I often encounter while reading things that actually interest me, I can read other things that interest me as soon as possible.

It also helped that I followed along with a youtube grammar playlist that specifically starts using a book after going through the very basics. From the get-go, it mixes N5 up to N2 grammar points - because they’re not following JLPT stuff. They teach what comes up a lot in native content, and that opens up a lot of avenues to start and keep up the important consumption of native content.

I’m not saying this is the one, right way to learn. I understand how many would find it boring, frustrating or demotivating to bash their head against the wall that is picking up a foreign book way above your level and teaching yourself to read it.

After many months of the dry textbook studying, I find this worlds more enjoyable, and far more motivating, so it works for me personally. ^^ If focussing on JLPT tracks gives you structure and motivation, more power to you.


Currently I’m in a japanese academy at the same time I’m with Wanikani. I started learn japanese at the same time with Wanikani, so the grammar level I have is only the first 10 leassons of Minna no nihongo and I really appreciate this website because even though my grammar level is low, with the Kanjis I know it’s possible to me understand some news on NHKeasy news. I don’t think you only want the N5 and stop with it, after you need to learn more kanjis and more grammar in order to take the other test, so at the end a perfect balance between wanikani and grammar is a good choice, at least in my opinion.

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Yeah totally. Right know with my N5 exercise book, what I have most difficulty with is Grammar and Kanji so guess I’ll focus on those. I’ve somehow become obsessed with WK and feel really bad if I don’t do the reviews, but couldn’t careless when it comes to Bunpro & iKnow. To be corrected.

I probably knew the answer I guess, but didn’t want to admit it. Can’t deny it anymore. ^^

Yeah, kinda sounds no fun & robotic. The most important is always the next step, not matter how wide the gap between the steps. :v:t4:

(But then I seem to recall that you live in Japan so you kinda have your daily dose of vocabulary and grammar indirectly… :thinking:)

@LucasDesu That’s very interesting. How did you study Japanese in the beginning?
At the first levels, trying to learn words from dramas is kind of a no-go. Then you have reading but what’s accessible is only Graded ones, which I can read fairly easy (at least the current level I’m on), but then I jump into simple Japanese text and can’t understand a quack…

@seanblue I think this is the best advice I’ve had. I see the wisdom of having the basic grammar grounded then just reading as much as I can, instead of focusing solely on N5 and then N4 words. (Slowly slumbering into depression after having memorised 1000 words.)

@Omun We both do! :smile:

It doesn’t. I do enjoy Wanikani as it is the most amusing of my resources, but yeah, trying to memorise a lot of stuff in a never ending manner can be exhausting. And graded reads are no fun!
But while I agree with you both, I don’t think that’s a good way to learn Kanji. Grammar perhaps, and Vocabulary certainly, but not Kanji…

@lRenkinjutsushi From what I got from these replies, it’s better to get your grammar to N5, and then just read and do WK. No need to study the vocabulary and the +N5 grammar.

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Rather, don’t do those things instead of reading. There’s nothing wrong with formally studying grammar and vocab if it works for you (and if you have the time). But reading is (in my opinion) the best way to solidify what you’ve learned, and it’s a great way to get exposed to new things too.


But you didn’t tell us what you’re doing for grammar and vocabulary so there’s no way any of us would either

Wait so what you were looking for was someone to tell you to study more N4 grammar and vocabulary if you need more N4 grammar and vocabulary knowledge?

Apart from the people telling you not to focus on the N level and whatnot, the answer to your question is gonna be very general and simple advice with what you provided us.

My approach has kind of been to read and then actively study more grammar when the reading got too frustrating because I didn’t know enough grammar

(This has so far happened twice, the first time I went through the non-advanced parts of Tae Kim, the second, over a year later I went through the N3/N2 grammar videos on nihongo mo mori)

I did mention it. And it doesn’t matter what you’re doing but at which speed are you progressing, that was the problem.

What I was looking for was to see what people thought of the passage I quoted. How they dealt with this problem themselves and their advices regarding the subject.
It did help me admit some things and opened new ways of proceeding.

If I were in your place, I wouldn’t bother answering if only to bring negativity. You were rude from the start, and frankly for a first topic of mine I’m quite surprised at the uncalled mood. Goodbye.

The archetypal Hero journey, to Japanese :+1:t3:

Whatever works, the most important is the progress. Yours seems to be a very practical way of advancing!

I think you’re being a little overly defensive.

All I’m saying is that you asked a very vague question that has a very clear and broad answer, as seen by the fact that everyone gave the same very general answer at the start. I dont think I’m bringing any negativity, just pointing out that these questions

Should I tone down Wanikani?

Arent something we can properly answer from your OP.


I have Duolingo to teach me some of the more commonly used vocabulary. I’m going to finish the program in probably a month, so I was wondering if you have any recommendations for learning useful vocab or sentence structure? Any useful websites that work well?

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Go look through some practice test questions for N5 and N4 (e.g. For Examinees: Let's Try Sample Questions! | JLPT Japanese-Language Proficiency Test ) and decide on which test you want to prepare for. If you have no troubles reading hiragana and katakana quickly and no troubles reading Japanese sentences, then maybe you’re ready to take N4. But I wouldn’t underestimate the difference in difficulty between those two tests.

Try LingoDeer if you want something Duolingo-like that you’ll actually learn sentence structure from.

As for vocab there are core vocab decks out there or even decks made up specifically of vocab WaniKani won’t teach you. Can’t go wrong there!

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