Some questions, wanikani, genki...japanese study

I have a few questions, in need of some opinions or advice.

On my very short journey of trying to learn Japanese ive started with WaniKani and reached level 8, then I decided to start with the Genki series textbooks, and reached level 9 on WaniKani meanwhile also.

Ive had quite a decent amount of free time this summer so everything went great up until I started with Genki for a few chapters, but now my life has gotten way busier again, and im actually struggling to find alot of time.

I feel like its pretty much impossible to do both WaniKani and Genki now, doing both just takes way too much time, so WaniKani has been on hold for quite a few weeks now, ive only been doing reviews consistently but not taking new lessons and focusing mostly on Genki.

What do you guys think and would you advise me another aproach? I do want to keep learning new Kanji too but it just seems extremely hard currently, if I do both I won’t be able to do either much at all.

Also the 2nd thing im wondering is what was everyone’s strategy when using Genki (the ones who used it), how did you aproach every new chapter and what was your step by step method.

The last thing im wondering is, did you find the chapters harder as it went on? I found the first few decently hard for a new japanese learner but they were not that bad and they were very well explained.

But now getting into the middle of the textbook its starting to get way harder, not because of the lessons alone but because there are no more explanations for old things anymore, you get new explanations for the new things your learning this chapter, but the old ones you don’t get anything anymore.

So you know what im talking about:
When you first learned verbs they were explained very well, all the rules and how they are used and what each verb means and what it is used for and all the forms present, negative, past etc…

But now, you get nothing, you get like 15 or 20 or 25 new verbs thrown in, in a chapter with no real explanation apart from the vague “to bring a person” “to bring a thing” where you have to basically make out the exact meaning of the verb by using common sense or logic (but some things are not logical) and you don’t get any conjugations only the base verb words so you also have to figure all that out urself.
So how did you deal with all this?

I can not answer as to usage of Genki, as I have never used that book. What I would advise you, is to do the exercises or drills provided by the book, as those are meant to cement your knowledge about the various structural patterns and grammar you’ve learnt in the containing chapter.

If something feels unclear, don’t feel bad about checking out another source for information. Tae Kim, Dictionary of Japanese Grammar, IMABI, some youtuber, whatever floats your boat.

As to your Genki/WK balance, I’d say do your reviews, do perhaps one set of lessons per day or something, and focus on Genki. At your level, you have learnt enough kanji to get through most of any beginner textbook without having to look up kanji. :slight_smile:

Good luck!


Remember that Genki is a text book. So it’s meant to gone through at a certain pace and later lessons build on the previous one. So the things they don’t explain later on are the ones that you’re expected to have learned fully over the course.

Also, as a textbook, it’s expected that you will have an instructor of some sort so they also will omit things that the instructor would then fill in.

It’s not impossible to get through solo because of that, but it’s just harder as you’ve found out. :wink:


The cool thing about Japanese is that pretty much all verbs follow the same exact conjugation patterns. You can use a tool like 活用 to practice conjugating verbs (and adjectives) in all kinds of ways, though I’d stick to what you’ve learned so far.

As for the meanings, I assume the word list is only words you encounter in that chapter, so the best way to get the meaning, is from the context the books provide for you. Or looking it up in an online dictionary like Jisho for some more information.

If you feel you’re up for it, you could try to do as little as 3 lessons a day, just to feel like you are making more progress in WK, but there is nothing wrong with just taking a break for a while! Great that you’re still keeping up with reviews! Learning new words might even be easier once you have some more grammar under your belt, because you’ll actually be able to use them, or at least understand the context sentences a bit better.


I agree with everything @Saida said.

My Genki routine was like that:

  1. Read grammar point explanations
  2. Read dialogs
  3. Listen to dialogs, make sure that I understand everything
  4. Do all textbook exercises with audio
  5. Do all workbook exercises (except for kanji, because I relied on WK)
  6. Do reading practice
  • I use Bunpro for SRSing grammar, really helps to not forget things.

The first 4-5 chapters are easer because they explain very basic grammar, but I’d say that the rest of chapters are the same in terms of complexity. Each chapter has more or less the same amount of new vocab and grammar.


I have done Genki and WK at the same time, and I agree with what others have written above.

Pacing doesn’t seem to have been addressed yet, so I’ll speak to that. I would recommend you get back to doing both; if you have time to do Genki now, then you have time to do a little less Genki and add WK back in. They each help support the other.

If you find yourself needing to constantly look back to earlier chapters to understand current grammar or remember previously-learned material, it would suggest you are going faster than your brain can absorb the material, so slowing your pace would make sense for that reason as well.

Do you have a particular deadline imposed upon you that you are working towards, or is there another reason for setting your pace so quick?

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Hi! I’m pretty much in a similar situation as you, WK levels included. I’m going through Genki I and doing WK at the same time. For WK I do my reviews everyday and a maximum of 10 new lessons. As for Genki, I always start a lesson first by looking at the textbook and taking notes about the grammar points. Then I have a look at the lesson’s dialogue. After that I do every exercise in the workbook and finish by doing the textbook exercises. Then I review again the lesson’s dialogue.

I can relate to your struggle of doing both things at the same time. What works for me is doing Genki little by little, there’s no need to finish a lesson in a specific period of time (unless you want to). So there are days where I only do WK, days where I do WK + just one Genki exercise or WK + a bunch of exercises. Just keep in mind than doing a little bit everyday is better than doing a lot from time to time.

About the lessons increasing difficulty, I just stick to doing the books exercises, and if I don’t remember something I just fresh it up with my grammar notes or I check the vocab in Jisho. With enough repetition things get easier to recall.


I don’t really have a deadline im just suprized how much harder and slower it seems, the first few lessons I needed around 1 week to go through each lesson, but now it seems much more difficult.

Suprizingly enough, someone mentioned they go through the dialogue as one of the first things and make sure they understand everything, ive found it a bit different, my routine was usually like this:

1.Go through the vocabulary
2.Listen to the dialogue of the chapter (And not understand almost anything)
3.Start doing lessons, exercises, workbook etc… and slowly go through everything
4.Simultaniusly to number 3, also writting down the vocabulary words in my notebook and also going through them frequently to remember them
5.Once I finish the whole chapter go back and listen to the dialogue of the chapter again (this time suprizingly I understand the whole dialogue, which makes me feel quite good)

Hi! So I use four things simultaneously. WK for the kanji, Duolingo and Lingodeer for practicing putting together sentences/saying things out loud while laying in bed at 10 at night, and I use Genki for my iTalki lessons. I picked up iTalki because I needed speaking practice, and it’s so nice to be able to speak with someone native that can tell you nuances, and little things like intonation, and “yes, that’s technically correct, but in Japan we’d actually say it THIS way.” My instructor there likes to use Genki as a framework, and she jumps around a lot. The extra help/explanations from her are SUPER useful!

If you have the time and money, I would really recommend the lessons. iTalki works great for me cause it’s all virtual and easy to schedule, but there are tons of other options. Lots of language students at universities are looking to make a few extra bucks tutoring, so that could be an option!

I find that everything outside of WK helps reinforce remembering the kanji I’ve learned, and sometimes I pick up something in my outside lessons that I already know by the time the kanji pops into my review queue. Hope all this helps, it’s very ramble-y!

My strat was horrible.

. Write Grammar over and over again to drill in my head
. Two workbook sections a day.
. Wanikani 20+ words a day
. Already knew many vocab from here and Memrise

In terms of memorizing grammar I HIGHLY recommend Bunpro, it sort of hard for me at first but try and see what you like.

I was given the advive on here to study every other day.
I now do that other than reduced Vocab every day. So, I guess pace yourself don’t try to blast through everything.

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