[STUDY LOG] Setting a routine, what do I miss?

I don’t think I had a good strategy for grammar in the long-run.
Before starting WK I almost finished a beginner japanese course in Lingo Deer, which was very helpful to get the basics down.

Then I’d do sessions with a tutor once or twice a week. We would spend time reading and translating stuff. And I’d have questions about grammar. So, the tutor would explain and ask me to write sentences with the new grammar points as homework.

I’d research the grammar using the Dictionary Basic Japanese Grammar and other resources like http://maggiesensei.com/.

But only about 3 months before JLPT I started learning grammar in a more structured way using Shin-Kanzen Master N4 and N3.

Salut et merci @Noursaidana! So there’s quite a consensus RTK is overkill, so for kanji, I’ll stick with WK for now.

As for N5 or N4 I’ll definitely see how it goes! In any case I think passing a test is just a secondary incentive, yet it kind of “rationalize” things a bit in terms of progress.


Really depends on your review accuracy. For me it takes from 20 min on a good day to over 40 min to do 100 reviews. And 100 reviews is about the minimum number of reviews you can expect per day if you are doing 1 level in 9-10 days. For me it’s more like 1.5 - 2 hours per day.

Also, you will be getting more and more daily reviews up to ~lvl 20 if I remember correctly.


I see. I think I’ll stick with MNN as I need a somewhat structured method when it comes to learning a language. I cannot go all explorer way as you did in the beginning.

I also like that Bunpro mentions the MNN lessons of each grammar items. It allows working with these two different tools in parallel.

It also depends on how quickly you progress through the levels - if you are levelling up in 8-9 days you are going to end up with a much larger workload than if you are levelling up once every three weeks.

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Hi nopiro, welcome to the WK community!
I’ll give my input, although I’m not that much more experienced anyway.

This is the one that needs some more work: I agree with d-hermit’s advice, the first thing you have to keep in mind are the review times, especially the first ones. Doing WK at least twice is a good idea (morning and evening), doing it three times a day (morning, lunch, evening) is perfect.

@cehrlich’s advice is also great. Timing lessons is very important.

Seems good to me, timing is less important for grammar. But it’s good that you are following a structured and well organized grammar.

It sure helps. But I haven’t read it so I can’t say. Since a lot of BunPro’s points point to Minna No Nihongo look them up after you study them on Bunpro.

I guess the experience varies, and as others said, without some grammar foundation it’s not really useful, but after a (really short time) watching and listening to japanese movies/anime does help (a lot, vocabulary is much easier for me because of that!). Still it’s not work. Do enjoy it too :wink:

I don’t think you’ll need RTK. I tried it before WK (only 200 kanji). It’s an alternative so focus on just one. Writing is for me an optional long term goal so I’m not the best to give advice about that. But right now I want to learn Japanese, writing Kanji can wait till after I learn how to read stuff. I do use the “stroke order userscipt” to write the new kanji (I’ve written all kanji/vocab + readings + meaning) but I’m not worried about it that much. If I can’t remember the strokes, I guess them. Unless you want to impress someone with your writing, can’t that wait?

When you see that you can do this amount of work without burning up (trust me, it will get much more difficult than what it is at lv 3), you could focus a little bit more on vocabulary. Either Torii or Anki 4K/6K.

Finally, if you keep that program, I’ll be damned if you can’t pass N5…I think you can easily aim for N4. (Maybe N3 if you never slack off)

Good luck with your Japanese studies and your animated series. (I thought about Radiant when I read you are from France) Tell us the name if/when it becomes real!

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daily WaniKani reviews

This is good at minimum, though I’d recommend doing them 3 times a day to maximize the SRS benefits, as others have said here already.

daily Bunpro reviews

I haven’t used bunpro but it seems like a good system, daily seems like a good pace for bunpro.

2 weekly 1H-sessions studying Mina No Nihongo (I intend to do all the exercises)

This sounds good, I’m not sure exactly what the pace of Minna no nihongo is, but since it’s entirely in Japanese, it may take some more work to get through it. You may want to increase this a bit, but 2 hours a week is still decent, especially if you’re using bunpro as well to help retain what you’re learning.

frequent watch of movies and series in Japanese (I’d say at least one anime episode every other day, and most certainly one full-length movie per week)

Other people are criticizing this, but I think it’s a good thing to do. It’s always a good idea to start practicing listening very early. It takes some time for your ear to adjust to the sounds of japanese. No matter how much vocab or grammar you know, you won’t be able to understand what you’re listening to without practice actually listening to stuff (at least from my experience). Until you know more grammar and vocab, you won’t be learning a ton from immersing like this, but you will be training your ear, which is a good thing.

2 weekly half hour-sessions studying ‘Remembering The Kanji’

I personally don’t think you need to do this, but you mentioned wanting to be able to write, so I think RTK will be good for that. However, writing kanji isn’t really used much nowadays, especially if you’re not living in Japan (even those living in Japan report not having to really write much). An hour a week isn’t a huge time commitment for it though, so if writing is something you really want to do, then go for it.

1 one-hour talking session every two weeks with a native Japanese teacher

As others said, as long as money and time isn’t an issue, you might want to increase this once you have some grammar and vocab under your belt. You might not benefit from increased practice right now, but once you start learning more, it’ll really be helpful to have more regular practice. If you’re not able to increase it, you might want to practice your Japanese either in the Japanese-only section of this forum, on Hinative, LangCorrect, or Hellotalk.

occasional flashcards sessions with Quizlet to review sentences and vocab from WaniKani and Mina No Nihongo (like 5-minute sessions squeezed here and there)

I personally think Anki would be a better program to use than Quizlet. It’s SRS like wanikani and bunpro. I’m sure there are Minna no Nihongo decks on Anki. It’s not extremely user-friendly, but it’s not difficult to use if you aren’t worrying about advanced customization.

I was thinking trying the JLPT N5 in December 2020, is it a realistic short-term goal?

I think you could definitely reach N5 level within a year. You may even be able to reach N4 level. I assume by the time you finish both Minna no nihongo books, you’ll be at about an N4 level, so I guess it depends on if you can get through them both in a year.

Or do you think I miss something?

Once you finish the first textbook and reach about level 20 in wanikani, I recommend beginning to read. There are a ton of beginner-friendly resources you can use. I personally use NHK Easier, Hukumusume, and Tadoku readers. There are more resources in the thread Starting to read Japanese content. With reading, like listening, it takes practice before it gets easier, no matter what level you’re at, so once you’re able to have a basic grasp of beginner grammar and vocab, I think it’s a good idea to start reading.

Edit: Also, you will want to start learning vocab from another source. WK doesn’t teach kana-only vocab, and it doesn’t teach a lot of common words that use kanji. I recommend Tori for this, they have a mode where you can organize vocab you learn in order of wanikani level, so you only learn vocab using kanji you know.


Something to keep in mind, are you looking to hand write Japanese? Or are you more likely to be typing? As long as you are typing (which is probably the majority of all Japanese I will ever write), you setup a Japanese keyboard. As long as you can remember the reading for the Kanji, you can type it!

FWIW, I do plan to get a stroke order practice workbook at some point, just to work on my handwriting for the rare case I’d need it and to help with reading handwritten kanji that looks like chicken scratch. But it isn’t a priority for me right now.


Wow, thanks for all these remarks @Ayokana! I definitely want to read as soon as possible. I was actually wondering what are the prerequisites to read simple things, like graded readers. Thanks for the resources, I’m bookmarking everything for future use.

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Thank you all, full routine is On starting tomorrow! :pray:




'kay, I ended up picking Genki, feeling it’s more in tune with my way of learning.

So just another question: what would be the best Anki deck to plug to my Genki sessions? Ideally one that’s divided into lessons and that includes the additional vocabulary?

One month in, time for some feedback/examen de paresse (laziness self-assessment (?!)).

  • 3 daily WaniKani reviews
    4/5 - I’m going my own rhythm. My memory is quite bad, I deal with it. I decided to stop thinking in terms of slow/fast pace, and just follow my own. As long as I do my 3 daily reviews, I’m good with it, and I’ve been good at motivating myself, even quite late at night. Some Saturdays end up being WaniKani-free but it’s fine.

  • 2 daily Bunpro reviews + 1 Bunpro grammar point in-depth study
    3/5 - I’m good at reviewing on Bunpro, I like that it’s not too heavy. Besides the reviews, I decided to study one-grammar point a day, meaning I read all the sentences and some of the extra content (I particularly like Tae Kim). I also write three sentences using this grammar point.
    For now, I often fail at doing this “in-depth” study so I end up adding new grammar to my reviews very slowly. I intend to be more regular in the coming weeks with these “daily grammar point”.

  • 2 weekly 1H-sessions studying Genki
    1/5 - previously on - so I decided to ditch Mina Nonihongo mainly because of Mike fuck*** Miller-san. Sorry but I hate him. I picked Genki and it’s true it’s much bette for self-learning. That said, I’ve only done the 1st chapter. :sweat_smile: Laziness and social life have been hindering my progress.

  • frequent watch of movies and series in Japanese
    4/5 - My queue list on Netflix is full of Japanese shows, I get to watch one episode of something almost every day. Also (not on Netflix): EIZOUKEN!

  • 1 weekly one-hour talking session with a native Japanese teacher
    4/5 - I really enjoy these sessions with my teacher Yasuko. First we review the sentences I’ve written based on my Bunpro grammar points. Then we go through new grammar points but, most importantly I get to construct my own sentences. I’m focusing on simple, concrete things, and it’s a huge plus to be able to ask “how I would say this” and get an instant human feedback (as opposed to looking things up on the web). I end up hijacking my self-learning experience: some points I would learn in 6 months, I just digest them instantly through the exchange. I only need to do more thorough reviews post-teaching session to remember everything.

  • occasional flashcards sessions to review sentences and vocab from WaniKani and Genki
    2/5 - I don’t do these quick sessions very often. When I have these 10 minutes here and there I usually prefer going through my WK Study List. I intend to really focus on Genki vocabulary in the near future, so first I need to be more regular with Genki.

Overall score for January 2020: 18/30
Motivation is definitely here! I can be a better student and I have confidence I will.

Peace :v:


Spring update!

Following the explanations below, here’s my current lock-down routine:

8h30 - 20’ WK review session
13h30 - 10’ WK review session
13h40 - 10’ BunPro review session
18h30 - 60’ Genki session + BunPro with Genki learning Path
23h30 - 20’ WK session

WK learning sessions are scattered throughout the day, kind of the equivalent of “cigarette breaks” while working.

Add to that “dishwashing material” and other short moments of passive learnings. I currently go for a straight JLPT N5 vocabulary list.

And of course the regular movies and series in Japanese!

My lock-down selection so far: Mizoguchi retrospective on Mubi, Beastars (Netflix), Cyber City Oedo 808, Devilman Crybaby (Netflix) and anything Yuasa/Science Saru but I just finished Eizouken!, have to get my hands on Kaiba. Have to catch-up on Carole &Tuesday as well when I’m done with Beastars.

Some notes:

First: due to social-distancing policies, currently no session with my teacher Yasuko Sensei. I don’t feel like having my class through Skype/Zoom for now.

I currently dedicate more time to Genki. I’m trying to do 60 minutes session every evening.

Steady rhythm with Wani Kani, although I had to rationalize a bit my time on it. Through Level 6 and 7 I started to feel it was a bit too much to often dedicate more than 1 hour on a half every day. So instead of forcing myself to bring my reviews to 0, I now minute my review sessions : 20 minutes waking up, 10 minutes after lunch, 20 minutes before sleep. These reviews are pretty efficient without feeling like a burden.

My approach to these WK sessions:

  • I speed run. I try not to think too long, without caring too much about the accuracy. I say I do about 70 reviews in 20 minutes, with an accuracy varying between 68% and 84%

  • I allow myself 2 “time jokers”, meaning I can stop the timer twice. I usually do it for new Kanjis when I know I can find the meaning/writing with extra memory effort.

  • When the session ends, I allow myself to keep going until I hit a wrong answer. It’s like a little time bonus.

Once I reach Level 10 on WK, I intend to add Torii SRS to my routine, while not exceeding 1 hour and a half cumulated SRS sessions every day.

I’m trying to find how I can put BunPro back in my routine because I currently left it on the side. I’m thinking following the Genki learning path, and maybe do two 5 minutes daily review sessions.

Take care :pray:


My experience has been mostly wanikani only. I think you are going in a very good track. I think(i have never taking any JLPT yet) you can pass the JLPT 5 pretty easily. Don’t worry about it

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Thanks for the encouragement! :hugs:

You could try to add daily short grammar sessions. Even 15 minutes will get you somewhere!


よかった!I reached level 10 on WK!

To celebrate this milestone I was thinking getting my first Graded Readers.

Level 10 on WK also means I’m starting Torii today to improve my knowledge of common vocabs. I’ll start with 10 [updated from 5] lessons a day and for now only two 5 minutes review sessionss, while bringing down my WK review time a bit so I’m still at 40’ of aggregated SRS sessions every day:

09AM - 15’ WaniKani review★session + Torii 5’ review session
01PM - 10’ WaniKani review★session + Torii lessons x10
11PM - 15’ WaniKani review★session + Torii 5’ review session

★session are sessions where I allow 2 time jokers and a “keep going till you get one wrong” time bonus after time’s up.

I keep my WaniKani lessons unmonitored, some days it’s up to 30, some others closer to 5.


Hi man! Great routine and congratulations on reaching level 10! I wish I had something like this already (just started over again with WaniKani).
Bunpro is definitaly in my routine at the moment. I’m following the Genki path together with my Genki studies.

No really a routine at the moment but because of the quarantine i’m doing so much more japanese at the moment.


Same here actually. ; )

That’s cool you got back to WaniKani AND work with Genki!
I’m sure you’ll find out what’s the right routine for you even after quarantine.

Enjoy yourself and keep it steady!


Wow, leveling up from 10 to 11 was one mean struggle! 28 days!
But here I am, ready for more.

I’d like to keep my leveling-up average below 18 days, which would mean reaching level 60 around December 2022.

Apart from WaniKani: slugging a bit on Genki, but I really want to have solid foundations, so I’m currently doing a lot of verbs. I also need these adjectives rules to feel intuitive, and am not quite at it yet.

First weeks with Torii are positive. I decided NOT to skip words I also learnt on WaniKani. Here’s why:

  • some reinforcement for common vocabs is actually much welcome

  • compared to WK, Torii tests you both with oral words and from English to Japanese, making it more a of a dual reading-conversation learnign tool, as opposed to a more purely reading-oriented WK

I’m glad I’ll be allowed to go to my local Japanese bookstore next week! I intend to pick up my first graded readers! Can’t wait! :frog:

That is all, take care :v:


That’s nice! I’m feeling the say way at the moment - a bit slow on Genki (Lesson 5). Good luck and keep going!

I also intend on getting these grades readers, but they are pretty expensive right?