I love the user created courses on Memrise
in class i use minna no nihongo, i like it but i guess its something more class oriented.
you can use this to learn japanese while watching anime
Memrise is moving the user made courses out of Memrise into a new platform (aka, they’ll stop caring about them) btw xD
KW for Eng-Jpn and handwriting kanji, Memrise for vocabulary (we’ll see how this goes once they move the user decks), Anki for grammar and listening, textbook for general improvement (right now, Tobira), and misc native sources (books, TV, etc).
The things I found to be most effective for me over time:
- Kanzen master textbooks on grammar
- Nihongonomori grammar explanation videos
- Translating Japanese sentences to get familiar with sentence construction
Basically apart from Wanikani which I use for kanji and vocab, I focus mostly on grammar, although the videos from nihongonomori also help for listening practice.
Along with Bunpro I use Dictionary of (Basic/Intermediate/Advanced) Japanese Grammar – I can’t imagine doing anything in grammar without them.
I also do 2 weekly hours of Japanese lessons via iTalki tutoring, and have been for … 3 years? It does get expensive, but it gets me a) talking, b) listening, c) reading (we read books!), and it keeps me learning even when I’m on hiatus from anything else.
I don’t do handwriting anymore (used to for the 2 years of Japanese I had in uni), but for chatting I every now and then log into a Japanese-English language exchange Discord server that has native Japanese speakers looking to improve their English, and chat with them. I once even managed to hold an entire conversations on moras and syllables in Japanese, it was great.
I’m not the most focused student around, and for a self-learner I’m awful at self-learning, but with these tools I manage to at least make steady progress (albeit slow).
Kanji: Just WaniKani.
Vocabulary + Reading: I add the new words I find while reading to Anki. (Currently spending an hour reading, will increase that when I’m done with WK)
Listening: Was mostly anime uptil now. But since real Japanese is spoken way faster, I’ve started following some Japanese YouTube channels. Also, part of a discord server where I participate in vc sometimes.
Grammar: Bunpro + Reinforcement through reading + other grammar books (currently doing Shin Kanzen Master)
Speaking: Probably shadowing (Haven’t done anything yet). vc on discord server.
- textbooks and JLPT study materials (currently finished Genki I and II and some haphazard JLPT practice, working on n4 新完全マスター grammar, then will test myself and learn from any mistakes with a 完全模試 practice exam, then I hope to start Tobira)
- graded readers and easy Manga
What I do with them:
- work through study books to fill out my weak points
- make sentence recognition, grammar cloze, and some other kinds of cards as appropriate in anki for new things and questions I missed
- read stuff
- sometimes make anki sentence cards for new vocab I come across reading
- shadow dialogs from textbooks and JLPT practice (I used audacity to cut the JLPT tracks down to the actual dialog)
- I also have kanji production cards in anki for burned WaniKani kanji
Kanji: Wanikani, RTK 100 lazy kanji in anki. (25 new cards/day)
Vocabulary: Wanikani and going though JLPT 単語 book series, have n5 and n4, half way through n5. Using anki for sentences to learn words i+1 style. (20 new cards/day)
Reading: Working through Yotsuba book series on first book.
Listening: Listening to anime episodes on phone all day, Haikyuu and Shirokuma Cafe
Grammar: Went through most of Genki I. Once done with RTK within a month or so, will go through a dictionary of basic Japanese grammar with anki.
My current beginner methodology:
Kanji: WaniKani + KaniWani
Vocab: Anki 10k Frequency + 10k Katakana Deck
Grammar/reading: LingDeer + Genki 1 (pdf version)
Game plan is to move beyond this once I reach around level 10 wanikani. Going to hopefully completed the first level of Lingodeer and be pretty familiar with Genki 1. I then want to move into graded readers and start iTalki lessons. After that transition into easy web news and Netflix movies using the extension that assists your reading of the subtitles.
Vocabulary: Kitsun (the Genki deck, JLPT N5 deck, and the core 10K deck)
Reading: Graded readers and the Easy Japanese app on my phone. I’m planning on trying the Shirokuma Cafe manga when the Absolute Beginner book club starts it next month.
Listening: I just started watching Terrace House on Netflix, and I can catch about half of what they’re talking about. I also listen to the NHK Easy Japanese podcast sometimes. It’s really easy to listen to, and each lesson is only 10 minutes.
Grammar: Genki, Tae Kim for reinforcing things, Japanese Ammo on Youtube, and Bunpro
Wanikani, Kitsun, Genki, Japanese Ammo, and Bunpro are what I regularly use. The rest is just whenever I find extra time.
As I have progressed through my studies, I have finally settled on a steady routine of studying (this is after going through genki and most of tobira)
Kanji: Still WaniKani! Almost to the finish line!
Grammar: Bunpro SRS for refreshing on grammar I have already learned and learning new ones through the links provided and my dictionaries!
Vocab and Reading: This is what I do the most of, I play most of my video games in japanese, play some visual novels, and now I have started to read light novels! From here I get words that I have encountered a lot and put them into my anki flash cards!
Listening: … okay this is the one thing I have neglected the most, but I mostly watch youtubers and try to passively and actively listen… I still suck at it though!
It took me a bit to get to the point of being able to do things I find fun (reading VNs, playing games, and reading LNs) and also have that be my resource for studying.
Wow a lot of people are using KaniWani. I tried myself but after I was level 10 and it got really overwhelming having 400+ reviews if you didn’t start with KaniWani from day 1 what was your strategy to catch up? I feel like the gap is getting bigger and bigger
Thanks to everyone for they responses so far! I’m glad to see all the different things you do! A wake-up call for me to try more things
You can change the setting to only show lessons that are above X level in the WK SRS; I set mine to give me vocabs only after I’ve guru’d on WK. If you do 25 vocab lessons a day, every day, you’ll eventually catch up on the WK items. (It’s worth mentioning that you can set lessons on KW to not be separated by level, so you might get lessons from level 3 then followed by lessons from level 10. Personally I really like that approach, it keeps me on my toes).
Re: reviews, do 25 reviews 3 times a day (or whatever). It’ll take some days to catch up, but that way you wouldn’t get stuck with huge unending waves of reviews further down the line.
I tend to do KW less than WK – I do my reviews/lessons only twice a day, as for WK I try getting to my reviews at least twice a day. I’m okay with that – it means more exposure in a less regular interval etc etc.
tl;dr - every day is WaniKani, KaniWani, Bunpro, iKnow, and Kitsun. My life is SRS…
Resources I use/have used extensively:
Grammar - Started with Tae Kim for basics. Ran through Human Japanese. Now I mainly use a combination of A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar, Bunpro, Genki, and Japanese Ammo with Misa
Listening/Speaking - iKnow, watching things that interest me, talking with my partner
Kanji - WaniKani, KaniWani
I have to say, I actually really despise the HouHou/Kitsun mathod of vocabulary learning; words are defined in English with a very very long definition (most of the time) which I find impossible to remember accurately enough to type it all.
For vocab learning, I really prefer stuff like Anki where you evaluate yourself. (Caveat: I hardly ever cheat.)
It’s good to hear you’ve got a good system in place with Anki! Personally, Kitsun has been working out really well for me. I haven’t encountered any super long definitions, but I suppose adding synonyms could fix that? In any case, I absolutely love the dictionary to flashcard feature on Kitsun. It’s a big time saver for me.
To each their own, though! What’s important is that we find things that work for us individually.
For me, I have a pretty steady routine of studying and a number of resources I use:
KaniWani Not as consistently as WaniKani but once level 60 comes, KaniWani is priority one- it really does help with recall and what not.
HouHou/ Memrise Combination Right, on Memrise, there is a wonderful fan made pack called: HELLO ワニカニ拡張パック( WaniKani Expansion Pack) which esentially gives you additional vocabulary based on the WaniKani kanji level. I then use the SRS in HouHou to act as a sort of psuedo WaniKani.
Grammar: Have completed TextFugu (up to where it was finished at least), and Genki I + II. TextFugu is a great place to start as without it, I don’t think I would still be studying Japanese (as I had tried Genki initially and hit a wall). After TextFugu, Genki was the next logical step and it helped solidify and expand the knowledge found on Textfugu. Now, I am currently using Imabi (website). It is wonderful- there is so much information. I would not recommend anyone just starting out to go there, but for the serious learner, it is a pretty wonderful resource.
Reading: I have quite a substantial Japanese manga collection on Bookwalker. Recently, I have also been doing a lot of reading on 小説家になろう(Shousetsuka ni narou- Esentially, lets become a novelist)- which has a great selection of online light novels ( and is where a lot of LN authors actually get their start). Also video games, but to be fair, not often ( I just prefer playing in English)
Listening Podcasts (SokoAni is a personal favourite) alongside anime and a crap ton of Anime Music. I have an Ipod (from 2007!) full of songs. Can’t say if it helps that much though…
Writing: This is much more recent- using Anki Flashcards in conjunction with The Kodansha Kanji Learning Course. Fairly effective but can give you hand cramps…
Anyway, that was my self-serving info-dump…
Kanji flash cards
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