Too much practice?

Hello! I’m brand new and had a quick question. In all the material that I was reading about wanikani, one of the main ideas that came up was that the hardest part was waiting. I work a job in IT and have on average 4-5 hours of downtime that I have been devoting to learning Japanese. Currently when I have finished the Lessons and Reviews I go over to the extra study and drill the “recent lessons/mistakes” for hours at a time. Could this be hindering me since I am not giving myself hours of rest and am instead of going over everything multiple times? When I get off work I go do other stuff till night time and then finish all the reviews that have piled up in that time span, so I’m not necessarily reading all day long.
Thank you!


For the first few weeks, sure, once you start burning, and you regularly get 300 reviews a day, you won’t have much of a problem with waiting anymore.

I don’t think it would hurt you the way you would think it does. What you are doing this way is basically resorting to rote memorization. Honestly, it wastes a lot of energy if you constantly drill these words. Let the srs system take over and rest a bit inbetween, the biggest issue you would face this way will be burnout.


It’s not like you will progress slower if you review more often. It’s just super ineffective. The intervals are spaced for good efficiency. So instead of going over the same words again and again how about reading up on some grammar, doing some writing practice or listening to an anime/music/TV in Japanese instead?
That might be more fun and will accelerate your learning more than drilling the same words again and again.


I’m looking forward to the constant flow of review and lessons. I’m sure once I get closer to your level though I will look back on this comment and wonder why I jinxed myself though haha.
I’ll try to take it easy and really let the srs method take hold. Thank you.

I was told that the grammar portion would be lost on me until I got to around level 10-20 or so and have a good kanji baseline understanding. I do enjoy listening to anime/music, but I’m kinda facing the same issue. I’m able to pick out some stuff but not a lot. I’ll try it though. Thanks!

This is just not true at all. Lots of people learn Japanese grammar without ever studying kanji. And in fact, kanji is just a sideshow in both Genki and Minna, the two most used textbooks for grammar. Don’t let whoever told you that dissuade you from early grammar study. You won’t get nearly far enough with grammar where having a foundational kanji knowledge will really matter before you are drowning in WK reviews.


I’ll take your word on it! I bought the “a dictionary of basic japanese grammar” but found it to be a bit heavy at my current level. Would you say that the Genki and Minna books are a little lighter for noobies? Also assuming you are talking about “Minna no Nihongo: Beginner 1,” and “Genki Workbook Volume 1”?

It’s often recommended that you wait until level 10 to start learning grammar, but that definitely doesn’t mean you have to wait until level 10 (in fact I think it’s better to focus on grammar asap, but that might just be me). I believe the “wait until level 10” guideline is just so people don’t get overwhelmed with a ton brand new information. It’s not that grammar depends on kanji or anything like that

So if you’re finding yourself wanting to study more, instead of studying kanji outside of SRS, I recommend using that energy to learn some grammar and non-kanji vocabulary outside of Wanikani. Personally I recommend Human Japanese, but from what I’ve heard Genki and Minna no Nihongo are really good too.

To answer your initial question about too much practice: like others have said, it’s not so much that it’s harmful to study outside of the SRS, but rather that your time and energy could be better used on other things.


What is human japanese?

I am honestly sad and mad whenever somebody recites this piece of „advice“. Like @skatefriday said, there is no issue whatsoever with early grammar studies. Actually it’s rather on the contrary: you will be able to learn the vocab much better if you can already understand their grammatical function, and some are even a free lunch when you can see how the one is just derived from the other.
So if you have so much free time at hand, do yourself the favor and dive into grammar as quickly as possible, and also make sure to start reading early to put everything into practice. You can check out the Book Clubs here in the forums (starting with Absolute Beginner) to get inspiration for suitable books, and you can use the existing discussion threads to confirm your understanding and to even ask questions if the need arises. Happy Studies!


Rote memorization isn’t bad, it’s just less efficient than SRS. They both have their place, and there will almost certainly be items where you’ll have to go the rote memorization route—the Extra Study feature is probably best used for your recent mistakes so either they don’t become leeches or, if they already are, so you can hammer them out.

As others have said, if you have the time, it’s probably better spent using other resources to help fill in the gaps of what WK doesn’t teach you, and don’t be afraid to start grammar before lv 10. (Don’t be afraid to start reading, either!)


Thank you so much! So you think I should grab a few of the absolute beginner books and take a crack at reading them while studying grammar inbetween srs sessions?


Sure! Reading will be quite rough until you have the grammar basics pat down (verb conjugation and these things) but if you have the stamina then there’s nothing wrong with it. Textbook studying gives you more structure while studying through reading is more difficult in the beginning because you won’t even know what is grammar and how to search for it, but if you are interested in reading a book it will probably be more motivating in the long run. If you can mix both approaches, that sounds like a very solid foundation to me :+1:


Okay, that makes sense. There is some of the vocabulary that didn’t click with the explanation they gave so I was just hammering it out as you said. I’ll try to do this with only the ones that need it.
Thank you!


The DoBJG is a reference work – the intention is that you have a textbook (eg Genki or MnN) that introduces you to the language gradually with plenty of examples and reuse of vocabulary, and you look things up in the dictionary if you forget what they were about or want a second explanation later.

I don’t think you’l regret buying the DoBJG – the series is hands down the best grammar reference work and I expect you’ll find it very useful as you go along with your studies – but don’t try to use it for a job it isn’t meant for :slight_smile:


Basically just a beginner’s textbook like Genki or Minna. It’s actually an app (well, 2 apps), but really it’s more like a textbook that just so happens to be downloaded as its own app. I recommend it b/c the grammar explanations make a lot of sense and it’s affordable ($10 USD for each app). It’s what I used when I first started learning Japanese, and to this day I still love it, so that’s why I recommended it.

I agree with everything you said! The “wait until level 10” “advice” has annoyed me for such a long time…


That’s more of a reference book, so I wouldn’t really recommend trying to “read” it. Flipping through one of the beginner books would be a better start.


I guess it would be equivalent to reading an English dictionary for fun is what it sounds like.


I read straight through it and found it interesting and useful for filling in gaps in my self-learning, but that was at least 7 years after I started learning Japanese, and I may just be a weirdo that likes reading dictionaries and grammar explanations. I haven’t made it very far into A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar yet lol


Figure I’d mention Tae Kim’s grammar guide, since noone else seems to have brought it up. Worked wonderfully for me, and it’s completely free available online.