Useful sources for studying alongside WK during earlier levels?

WK has been amazing so far - so amazing that I can hold back my enormous will to just speed through my studies relentlessly seeing how fun it is. (I’ve talked about how much fun I’ve been having on WK in nearly every post/comment of mine. I should stop. I should stop having fun. Yes.) However, I’m wondering if there are additional topics for me study as well as of right now. Obviously, grammar would be a good choice, but I don’t know if it’s the right time + don’t want my grammar source of choice to bombard me with new vocab for me to learn and thus take a huge dump on the thought-through WK SRS.

So, my question is - what should I study right now besides WK’s level 1 options, and whatever that is, where/how should I study it?

Sending the loves. All of.


The right time to start grammar is… right now!

I wouldn’t worry too much about the WK system in relation to other studies. Reality is… like here I am 1.5 years into study and there’s still ample new vocabulary every day. I didn’t even start WK until 10-ish months in. So if you learn vocab from new source and it comes up in WaniKani months later and it’s easy - then great!

As for resources… there are a lot out there. I tried to use as many as possible. There’s Tae Kim’s grammar guide, Misa’s Japanese Ammo YouTube channel, there are apps like LingoDeer (Google Play store link), textbooks like Genki (Amazon), reference resources like the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (Amazon), etc etc.

There’s probably going to be some unique combination of things that works best for you personally. This adventure is a bit like going through a maze - gotta try some different things and find the best path.


Never stop having fun! Don’t worry, things will soon start speeding up. The choice of resources that you’re going to use will depend on your personal preferences and available time. If you have the time, I would totally go for grammar.

I personally been using the Genki series as my main grammar resource, and the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar or A Textbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns as secondary reference. Misa’s Japanese Ammo on YouTube is also pretty good for total begginers!

I’ve been studying Genki beginning chapters and while there is new vocab, it’s not a huge amount compared to the flood of info from WK. Some of it helped me in later WK lessons and some of the vocab from WK helped in the Genki lessons. “A rising tide floats all boats.” So the more you know, the more you know.

WaniKani covers a lot of vocabulary. However, it covers it from most simple kanji to most complex kanji. For example, 大変たいへん is a very common word, and anyone who’s watched even a bit of anime will likely have heard it. However, while 大 is a level 1 kanji here on WaniKani, 変 (rightfully) doesn’t show up until level 15, at which point the vocabulary word appears.

I’m a fan of using iKnow! for vocabulary. However, this is partly because I had an unfortunate bad experience with the Japanese Core 2000 deck with the SRS flash card program Anki. (The deck wasn’t sorted, so I was thrown right into the middle. This was my first experience using Anki, and had no idea about sorting the deck.) Since iKnow is a subscription application (like WaniKani), I might choose Anki (free, offline) if I had it to do over, but I have a lifetime subscription with iKnow!, so no reason to switch now. I’m at almost 2,000 vocabulary cards on iKnow!, although I almost completely stopped learning new words with it last year when I started reading manga and learning words that way.

Regardless of whether one uses iKnow! or the Japanese Core 2000 deck (via Anki or another SRS flash card service or application), you can’t go wrong learning vocabulary starting with the most common words as these decks cover.

I also started using Bunpro (another subscription flash card site like WaniKani) for grammar. However, the more time I started putting into WaniKani and reading, the less time I’ve been putting into thoroughly learning new grammar points, and trying to understand the areas I’m struggling. I need to see if Bunpro has a feature similar to a level reset in WaniKani, then slow down with it. (Not that I was going that fast to begin with. And, yeah, there’s no way I’m finishing N4 grammar this year.)

Last year was my first year reading through a whole volume of a manga in Japanese. My number one resource was Google. I’d type in the portion of a sentence I didn’t know, and add “meaning” or “grammar” to the search, and would often have at least three really good resources come up.

I also like because I can type in a sentence in Japanese, and it’ll break it down into words and conjugations for me. Sometimes I find phrases and expressions I wouldn’t have discovered if I tried taking the sentence apart one word at a time on my own.

Remember, the faster you learn new kanji, vocabulary, grammar, the better chance you have of not absorbing it all. Make sure you’re understanding the material properly before moving ahead. (In the world of WaniKani, this means learning the mnemonics, as they’re the tool that makes it easy to learn new kanji and vocabulary.) Take your time, figure out what pace works best, and if you feel you’re getting overloaded, there’s no harm in focusing on reviews and holding off on new lessons.

Good luck!


I would recommend you take it slowly. An introductory listening course perhaps (Pimsleur, Mitchel Thomas or something like that) so you don’t overload yourself with hours attached to your computer screen or sitted reading too much, since you’ll soon make the unconcious mental connection of studying japanese = butt sticked on a chair = boring :confounded:

Also,really take your time to make sense out of those mnemonics here. Actually thinking on how WK is setted up and the similarities it has with other popular resource also using mnemonics, I would stress for you to read about HOW and WHY is more efficient for you to make use of them in a correct way.
Here is the sample pages of RTK.
Even though the method is different from WK, I’ve went recently through the book and I would recommend to people starting with mnemonics to take some minutes to go through the preface of the book, it’s perfectly aplicable to WK as well. Kinda wish they had a similar explanation here.

Also, I would even say that it’s better to spend more time teching yourself about language learning as a process than giving too much specific recommendations. Look in youtube for language acquisition videos and come first with a well rounded idea that what you are signing up to and how it fits your daily routine… and then… look for material.

Avoid getting suck into signing up to every other SRS app. Those are nice, they are comming in different flavours and with pretty UIs, but those end up been the succubus of japanese learners :sweat_smile: (I was once signed up for Wanikani, Kaniwani, Bunpro, and Anki… it was madness… and if you pretend to keep them at 0 at al times… you’re in for a treat :dizzy_face: ).

As an alternative to a listening course, you could pick up a text book, but go gently with it. Genki, MNH, etc. I’m with the mentality that drilling textbook excercises doesn’t add much in thel long run (others seems to praise them a lot), so I would recommend even first taking a look at Tae Kim’s, which gives good explanations and don’t overload you with shores and extra activities (in the end much of what you learn will get solidified upon exposure, so slowly climb your way to consuming even the most basic material once you’ve covered the basics… no matter how flimsy you feel your understanding it is at that point).

Anyway, best of lucks!


Part one: Learn Hiragana and Katakana

Part two: Learn basic grammar, especially particles.

Part three: Incorporate your Kana + Kanji + Particles knowledge to create the avengers equivalent of studying japanese, actually reading something in japanese.

Part four: We are in the End Game now… welcome to grammar hell

Part five: Japanese people do actually exist, you can talk to them and stuff (Plot twist you actually still cannot)

Part six: I’m not there yet, so no spoilers :eyes:


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