Some general questions about grammar and vocabulary now that I'm 6 months into WK


#1

Hi all. I’ve been using Wanikani since late May, and my progress has been “slow and steady” (I’ve had two planned vacations where I couldn’t do WK for a week at a time and I swear, a week away from WK puts me back a month).
My first question is grammar related. I’m now 16 (getting close to 17) and I’m at chapter 9 in Genki. I’m wondering how other peoples’ pace has been with Genki? I personally get frustrated when I reach a new chapter in Genki and have to learn a bunch of vocabulary. It’s happening a lot less as I level through Wanikani, but I have almost put off the vocabulary of Genki completely because I use Genki for grammar, and don’t want two streams of vocabulary coming in (especially when I’m going to learn these in WK anyways).
Around what WK level did you finish Genki 1 (or a similar book)?
What about Genki 2?
What level did you start reading a lot?
What other tools do you use to compliment WK and Genki? I have found italki.com to be quite useful from the angle of being able to meet people in Japan who are just as interested in learning English as I am in Japanese. It really helps to hear a native’s take on things. A lot of people on the site are fully aware of Genki and WK as well (most of the paid tutors even own Genki), which helps give them an understanding of where I am in my studies.
I have tried reading Japan Easy News but I still struggle a bit. That is not to say I’m not amazed by how much I DO understand on Easy News, just that I wish I could fully understand it. I bought the first 20 volumes of Yotsuba, and One Piece to help with reading as well. I can vaguely get an idea of what’s going on in Yotsuba. One Piece is a bit too advanced for me at this point.
Also- what is the best way to distinguish between what is a “ru-verb” and what is a “u-verb” on WK? I’m sure this has been asked before but I couldn’t find a question on it. Sorry if a lot of this has been asked / addressed before.


#2

I didn’t finish Genki so I personally don’t have much insight into that, but as far as grammar recommendations go, I totally recommend bunpro :slight_smile: sometimes I don’t really have time to sit down and go through a textbook, bunpro enables me to learn at least a grammar point here and there on the go!

As far as speaking with natives, my go to is HelloTalk :slight_smile:


#3

WK uses the Japanese terms:
“godan” (五段)is the Japanese term for “う-verb”
“ichidan” (一段)is the Japanese term for “る-verb”

Also, had you done any Japanese study before starting WK? We may have different advice depending on your previous experience.


#4

Vocab-wise, there’s going to be a lot of vocabulary in Genki (and any other learning resource) that you don’t learn in WK, since WK doesn’t do hiragana-only words (and a ton of other essential words). I know that’s kinda stating the obvious, but I mean to highlight the importance of learning additional vocabulary elsewhere, because reading is going to be very difficult otherwise.

As far as finishing Genki goes, I believe I finished Genki II when I was in my late 20’s on here. If I could go back, I would’ve started grammar sooner.


#5

Yeah. I’m not necessarily trying to avoid learning vocab from other resources. It’s just a lot to learn vocab from WK (which takes at the least, an hour out of my day), grammar from Genki, and vocab from Genki all at once. If I had 4+ hours a day to do this I would be all over that, but I’m pretty hard-capped at 2-3 on a good day. Some days I can get in 4-5 if I’m really in the zone of learning Japanese. I did buy the Genki app for vocabulary to help with that too, as the exercises can be a bit difficult if you don’t know the vocab.


#6

Thank you!
No previous experience with Japanese other than watching anime with subtitles.


#7

Recently finished Genki I, almost level 20 as you can see, but I feel like I’ve been slacking still.

I use Anki, so whenever I get to a new chapter of Genki, I slowly start adding all the words into my Anki deck. Also with Wanikani, there are so many (some useless / uncommon) words that we learn, so I only had the ones I’ve heard, or think are useful to me, to my Anki deck.

But honestly, any pace you’re comfortable with, is good for you. You’ve heard it before, but it’s not a race. Do as much as can, and you’ll eventually reach your goal.

For reading / writing practice, I 100% recommend HelloTalk and Tandem. Both apps you can meet native speakers that are learning English, and you can learn so much. There is even voice and video calls.


#8

I’m guessing the rate at which people finished Genki will be different for everybody. I see that @SleepyOne finished in the late 20’s, whereas I finished before I was even level 7. Granted, finishing Genki was probably much more of a struggle for me, since I didn’t have as much kanji knowledge or vocabulary as someone who was much further through WK. But I wanted to start writing Japanese sentences as soon as possible, albeit extremely simple.

There’s no right or wrong pace, just do what’s comfortable for you. As mentioned above by some of my esteemed colleagues, I would highly recommend HelloTalk as a supplement to practice reading/writing Japanese. Also, there are audio options on there as well to practice speaking/listening. Good luck!


#9

And I am curious - am I the only one using TextFugu?
Actually I’ve started like 3 days ago, I am around the middle of Season 2 and I like it so far. It actually brings vocab and I am missing mnemonics from Koichi, but I like it in general.


#10

I use it too! It’s definitely nice having the WaniKani discount after buying it (and the guaranteed EtoEto access once that’s a thing).


#11

I don’t have discount ;( There was only monthly price to chose, no lifetime sub [*]


#12

I gave up on SRS’ing vocab from Genki some time ago, since it was hindering my progress and that wasn’t really what I was trying to learn there (plus, I hate Anki). So now I just look up the words whenever I need to, and that’s enough for some of it to stick.

I intend to learn most vocab not taught in WK by reading anyway, so it’s not a big deal. I started reading NHK easy news at level 12 or 13, but most of the time that just bores me (not because it’s too easy, I’m just not that interested in the news), so now I’m reading a novel (時をかける少女). It’s fairly manageable.

I don’t remember exactly when I finished Genki I, but I’m currently at lesson 18, and since this semester at college just ended today, I’ll probably be able to study the rest in a month.


#13

I’m currently on Chapter 5 in Genki, and I, too, have found the vocabulary to be a struggle. I’m using a Memrise course that has all the Genki I vocabulary to deal with it, although it’s quite slow. I’d recommend that you give it a shot; it’s pretty much Duolingo (short “lessons”, variety of ways to review) but with Genki I vocabulary.


#14

Really? When you bought TextFugu it should’ve given you a half off subscription discount code. I pay 4.50 per month!


#15

They give you a discount for monthly and yearly, but not for lifetime. The only discount for lifetime happens once a year during Christmas (and it’s not guaranteed to happen).


#16

I didn’t get any discount - I paid 20 USD for monthly TextFugu and I didn’t see any discount offers for WaniKani.
I’ve contacted Koichi, will see if he can do anything about that :smiley:


#17

Yeah, I’m basing what I said on stuff that I read in here. I actually didn’t buy TextFugu. I’m sure the problem will be solved after the team answers back :wink:


#18

Yeah. Genki is a bit strange because I feel like on a good day I could do a whole chapter (and the workbook exercises) which means that Genki 1 would be doable in 12 days in a rush. I have been trying to really absorb the content though. I tend to do a chapter, then re-read every chapter preceding it before proceeding onto the next chapter to really hammer the material into my mind.


#19

That sure sounds like a lot of work… It could be better to just find something you want to read, it’s a guaranteed way to get used to the grammar. It’s no big deal even if you forget something because you’re likely to remember it after looking it up. I just read the lessons and do the exercises, and that’s usually enough to start reading.


#20

It’s not too bad. I’m a pretty fast reader and it’s mostly to hammer in the grammar points. The chapters are pretty short too (probably 4-5 pages on average) so nothing compared to the reading I was use to in college. :wink:
I do try to do readings, but I feel like I struggle with it quite a bit at this point. I think maybe midway through Genki 2 it may be a bit easier.