Wanikani as starter point - what to do next?

I already did my research and already saw that there are pieces of answer to my question here and there. Anyway, I still want to ask the question the old way and see what people have to say.

Inspired by Tofugu article, I started to learn Japanese, by solely doing wanikani. Now when I’m already few month in, it’s supposedly time to start studying actual language, and I wonder what would be the best way to do that.
Few details on what I’m looking for:

  • I’d like to utilize this small kanji knowledge I already have, so materials that use kanji and not just hiragana would be best.
  • Being able to both read and listen is crucial.
  • I tried to do Bunpro, but learning grammar without the context of the language doesn’t really work for me. I found it easier to grasp basics, while trying to translate some Japanese I saw somewhere. I had similar experience while learning English and German - I get impression that I learned grammar from listening and reading language and not by applying rules I read in the book.

Concluding I’m looking for some steady flow of very simple texts with recordings, ideally with some additional features, as srs, grammatical explanations or taking into account my wanikani level. LingQ looks quite good, but free option allows so little, that it’s hard to tell.
It is also possible that I’m wrong with my assumptions, and something else entirely would be a better option - please let me know!


Well, if you want to utilize WaniKani kanji – I recommend

Iirc, you can actually enter your WaniKani user key there, and set it to show only kanji you’ve already learnt on WaniKani. And it is a great reading resource in general. And each article is also voiced by native speaking voice actors, so it’s a great listening practice too. The catch is that it is not free (though it is worth it, in my opinion).

If you want free resources, then I’d recommend

It is voiced by artificial voice, but, afaik, it still uses correct pronunciation, so I always listen to each article after reading it.

is another great free resource and some of the books there are voiced too.

I would also like to recommend


It is checked by native speakers.

There is also great listening resource


Unfortunately, it doesn’t have transcripts though, so it’s purely for listening.

Anyway, best of luck with your studies; I hope this post was at least a bit helpful!


They can be pricey, but I think the best way to go if you’re starting from zero with grammar is a good beginner textbook like Genki.

  • It has downloadable audio, so you can read and listen
  • It does introduce kanji, although it does so fairly slowly and gradually
  • All of the grammar points are introduced with plenty of context

I think it’s a lot easier to use things like Satori Reader once you at least have a minimal understanding of Japanese grammar and the way that sentences are put together.

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Satori Reader and / or Genki.

Genki doesn’t have to be expensive though.
This textbook is so popular that many people have made great tools to go along it. Those tools are so great, that I ended up using them and not really opening the actual book anymore. (So basically you can skip the step where you buy the book and use the resources for free).

The way to do Genki, without buying Genki, is as follow.

For each lesson, first watch the video of TokiniAndy on youtube go through it:

Then do the exercises for the lesson on this website: (even the audio exercises have the original audio included)

Then repeat with next lesson :slight_smile:


Thanks a lot! I think I’ll give Satori Reader a try. Having to pay for something is actually a benefit, I would rather just pay small fee for good quality, than waste my time.


Im using marumori and i like it alot because it teaches with exercises and sentences


I will second the recommendation for tadoku graded readers. There are some at level 0 you can read with literally 0 grammar and still somewhat enjoy. The kanji always has furigana but try not to look unless you really don’t know so you can practice using what you know. Sometimes they also have audio.

This one looks especially easy. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything though. The idea behind these is to just go through them as best as you can without having to look up stuff.

I remember reading this one when I first started. I didn’t get everything but it was still kind of fun, especially with the illustrations.
I also suggest the youtube channel Japanese Immersion with Asami. The complete beginners playlist starts from 0 and teaches you basic grammar in an entertaining way—with puppets and wacky stories!


Thanks, this is great, I think I’ll go at least through a couple lessons like this.

And if like me you’re not a fan of the “schoolish” Genki there’s Tae Kim and Cure Dolly. They also have the advantage of being completely free.

The main inconvenient of these is that there’s no proper exercises to go along for the most part (or only very limited ones) which is why I use bunpro for practice.

There are also some decent anki decks that can help, such as the JLAB one. I personally wouldn’t recommend the “core” vocab decks but they’re pretty popular as well.

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I would suggest Human Japanese App before jumping to Genki. The Human Japanese gives you a nice overview of the structure of the Japanese language.