Small story and Various questions about Japanese learning

TL;DR I haven’t learned Japanese properly and would be thankful if you answered some questions.

Hello everyone, although I am a mere level 6, I have been with wanikani for over a year, stuck on level three for so long I burneed most of it, and finally got a subscription last month.

I will share with you my little story (and vent a little :sweat_smile:)through Japanese learning and ask some questions in the end, please be patient.

I started learning Japanese when I was 14 years old, went to Japan for a month at 17 years old and quit going to classes due to lost of interest. Last year, aged 22, I went back to Japanese classes and quit after 6 months, this time, for being unsatisfied with the learning speed.
You see, in those almost 4 years I had classes, I just barely finished “Minna no Nihongo II”. That is really slow, I am sure you know that. Also, I was kanji illiterate, practically zero kanji knowledge. It was however just my fault as it was the schools fault.
I was a lousy teenager that liked anime and had no study discipline and so were most people who started learning Japanese there. The classes were once a week for an hour and half and I never studied at home, and that in combination with the type of students there resulted in us learning at a slugs pace. We took on one minna no Nihongo chapter a month and zero kanji study.

So, after all that here are my questions.

1- Is there a premium service for easy grammar learning such as Wanikani is? I have read the resources guide and seen Bunpro, is it just as good as Wk? Is is as surefire learning as WK is?

2-With Bunpro will I have to slug through the grammar I already know, just like the early WK levels for people who already knew them?

3- I know wk is great for kanji, but does it teach me most of the vocabulary I will need to understand day-to-day Japanese? Is 6000 vocabulary enough? (Yes, I am aware of the phrase about 10000 words being needed to become fluent)

4- Do you have any other advice?

Excuse any misspellings, autocorrect is a little stupid at the moment

Thank you so much for answering and sorry for the long thread, I just feel like talking a bit. So far the WK community has been great, feels like going back to the good old internet forums.


You’re doomed.

I’m not helpful.

Hopefully Kumi is.


Bunpro is new and unpolished. Its method has not been tested over years as WK has. In its current state I would recommend it primarily as a service to review grammar, not to learn it. This might not be the prevailing opinion, however.

No, you can start from anywhere, I believe, although I’d recommend you start from the beginning to ensure your foundation is good. So far there is not much content and I could easily finish all the available material in a matter of three days. Sign up for the month long trial if you’re curious.

No. It does teach a lot of common vocab, but the vocab’s main function is to reinforce the kanji, do not count of it to be common in general. You will need to supplement your WK studies with proper vocabulary studies.



You’re right, you aren’t very helpful :stuck_out_tongue:


Neither are you, mister.




If not Bunpro, Is there something else? Or should I just stick to textbooks?

Thank you for the reply

As far as something with SRS, I think Bunpro is the first. If you want a free grammar resource, there are a few out there such at Tae Kim’s Guide.

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I do prefer textbooks, but I can’t say I’ve tried a lot of what’s available. Textbooks work well for me. If you’re curious about what your options are we’ve compiled a list of grammar resources here


I like Bunpro, but I agree with Kumirei that it could use some refinement. When it was a free resource I’d say definitely check it out. Can’t say whether it’s worth the subscription, but the price isn’t crazy to try for a month if you like the trial.



The thing about Bunpro is, unless it’s changed since the last time I looked, it doesn’t actually teach anything. You still have to learn grammar elsewhere and then you use Bunpro to review grammar points.

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One last question not to bother everyone. If bunpro is a good reviewing tool, whatever lesson I complete there is it safe to assume I know that grammar?

Thank you, everyone.

How do you feel about textbooks in general? Do you feel you really have a good grammar foundation from your old classes, or are you shaky there? If you feel shaky, I would recommend starting with something like Genki to refresh your knowledge, and if need-be you can skip the first few chapters to get to more useful things like te form. You can couple Genki with its workbook to get some additional practice. I also took detailed notes on each grammar point and wrote practice sentences so I could help cement that knowledge in my head, while somewhat improving my writing skills along the way.

If you feel you really do have a good foundational knowledge of grammar, you can move to something like Tobira or Shinkanzen Master, which are both books that teach intermediate grammar. Tobira provides more extensive reading passages and dialogues for practice.

I’m personally not a huge Bunpro fan, although I can admire the work they put into it. But you really do need to actually learn the grammar points somewhere else, and merely use Bunpro as a review tool.

In general you’ll have to use some external method for learning vocab, because WK does not cover enough of the most common words, nor do they cover kana-only words. Some people use things like Memrise or iKnow for this. There are also varying levels of Anki decks available.

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I feel shaky about my grammar. I intend to review it. I however am really terrible at learning through textbooks. I never feel like I dominate a subject unless I repeat it a lot, which is why bunpro caught my eye. I like wanikani because I know if I have burned an item, I know that kanji for sure, even if it takes me a moment to recall. Thats what I meant for surefire.

What I am thinking is review the grammar I know with bunpro and after that foundation, go towards textbooks. Is that sound?

I wasn’t crazy about Bunpro when I tried it briefly. I found the UI confusing compared to WaniKani.

Other than learning grammar from textbooks, one tool I’d recommend is Human Japanese. I think it’s well-written and you can jump in anywhere. It’s not subscription-based; it’s an app that you pay for and seems to run on most platforms, both desktop and mobile. There are two levels, beginner and intermediate, and both have the first few chapters for free so you can see if you like it before spending the $20 or whatever.

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Great! I will check it out. WK has made it so easy learning kanji, I just wish to do the same with grammar.

Hmm, honestly I think the best process for basic grammar is…

  1. Learn the grammar point. Whether it’s from a textbook or an online source like Tae Kim’s guide, read over it and get an understanding of its usage. How much time you spend on this can vary, because you can take additional notes of your own here for things like similar points, nuance, etc. But you need that initial introduction to it.
  2. Practice the grammar point. One of the best ways to practice is with some beginner-level reading, because you can see the points used in natural sentences, rather than repeatedly referring to some example sentences you may’ve already memorized. For practice with Tobira grammar points, I also mined sentences and put them into my own Anki deck. Practice can also consist of things like Bunpro or workbooks that accompany textbooks, like with Genki.

And repeat! It’s really important to ensure you have a solid understanding of N5 and N4 grammar, because that will make it much easier as you continue to learn new points. It’ll also allow you to expand your reading, and like I said, reading = grammar practice.


For grammar, I’d say check Japanese Ammo with Misa on youtube. Her content is still very beginner (N5 and maybe N4), but since you didn’t mention your level of grammar… It might serve as a great refresher nevertheless. You can complete your knowledge with the textbooks already recommended.

But yeah, for grammar, there’s nothing like WK yet.

Bunpro might be useful for you, depending on your learning style. They offer 1 month for free, so trying won’t hurt.


O grande pereira, ja li tantos posts seus. Haha.

The thing about textbooks is I dont feel safe just reading and not exercising. English was easy to learn, in fact so easy I didnt even use a textbook. The internet was great at correcting my grammar and giving me practice. When you say reading, do you mean actual books or just what the textbooks present you?

Thank you. I will take every piece of advice here and form a plan to get my Japanese back on track.
Thanks to every single one of you.
Keep them advices coming though!

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Don’t die

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