Using WaniKani with limited study time

Hey, all.

As of now, my main source of Japanese is through WaniKani. I also try to spend some time with Genki I & II to learn grammar, but currently as a father of two, my time is just incredibly limited.

Given that I keep learning kanji with WaniKani that I might be able to use later on in my study, I am hoping that it will still be somewhat useful even though my study plan isn’t «optimal». I have no time constrictions at all; I just hope to learn the language well enough to be able to read well some day.

What do you guys think? Any similar experiences? Is it a waste? Should I put WK on hold or keep going?

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How much time are you spending on WK right now? How many lessons are you doing on average per day?

How far along are you in Genki? If I had to choose between WK and grammar study, I wiuld go for grammar, especially as a beginner, because words you can look up, but grammar you need to internalize.

It’s a lot easier to do WK only, though :sweat_smile:. I would reduce my WK workload to maybe 5/10 new items per day, and focus on grammar a bit more. I would learn the words Genki teaches and try to learn to recognize those kanji as well, but they all have furigana so you don’t have to yet. I think knowing a lot of kanji starts to give big returns when you start getting into intermediate grammar, when you can comfortably branch out to native materials.


I’m not very far down the line of studying Japanese, but maybe my experience will help you. I originally started learning Japanese using Duolingo and Genki, which was great to become familiar with the Hiragana and Katakana and basic grammar, but it just didn’t help me remember the Kanji effectively. After that I mostly focussed on Wanikani, until about a month ago when I continued grammer, through a combination of private lessons, Genki and Duolingo.

I share Saida’s opinion that with limited time you may want to reduce your workload. But I’d strongly advice to do at least 5 new items per day, as vocabulary really makes learning grammar much easier. As a busy person, I really do like practising grammar using Duolingo. The app has a bit of a bad rep, because it is a bad way of learning new words, but a great way for practising grammar once you’re past milestone 2. I’ve gone through Genki by myself, and while it’s easy to understand the concepts, I found it hard to remember and master them without repeated practise.

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To pace yourself, just look at your apprentice items. Start at 100 apprentice items and if you feel it is too much, don’t take more lessons until you have let’s say 90 apprentice items.

I’d say at 50 apprentice items everyone will find their pace leisurely enough as older items don’t require your time, they just require time waiting in the back of your brain, waiting for that moment you’ve forgotten which one was Metropolitan Police Department / National Police Agency 警視庁 警察庁 and for 100th time, there is no such thing as Metropolitan Police Agency…


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