What did you use before WK? How did / didn't work for you?


Hi everyone. I’m getting to the end of my free lessons period in WK, and so far I can tell I’m rather enyoing to use WK. Maybe a bit time consuming, and really could only recommend it for the dedicated ones, as those reviews tend to add up fairly quick :sweat_smile: … even when I’m sleeping…

Anyways, I’m interested in knowing what did you guys used before WK. For me I’ve used a lot of learning strategies to get into kanji learning, some of them I don’t necessarily consider to drop right away, as they are less time consuming and still I think they reinforce what I learn.

I’m doing Genki for grammar, lesson 8 so far. And the kanji lessons there, most certainly aren’t too good to actually learn the kanji, nice appendix to the book, but, I could do fine without it. I’m also doing side by side Minna No Nihongo, and the extra material with it (reading, workbook, listening, and… kanji). And of all the MNH method the kanji book (with the kanji workbook too) are the ones that I sent back… they’re really bad methods… plain bad. The rest of the MNH series it’s a good series and can easily be self thought.

On the other hand the material that I was actually using to learn kanji was both Heisig RTK (currently in lesson 13) and the Kanken books (the ones with cute animals on the cover). I’m only in the Step 10 in the Kanken series, but I’ve to say they are the best books I could find (after searching a lot… Kanji Look and Learn, Basic Kanji, Kodansha Learning Course, etc). They’re designed for children, so they’re really nice to look. 4 kanji per lesson, great vocabulary (common and actually used words, not those rare examples I sometimes find in othe books), and most important the readings are introduced gradually, since they are marked when they are for junior highschool level or senior highschool level, so you don’t have to worry beforehand, as they will appear on later books.

So far the last weeks I’ve continue to use Heisig and one lesson of the Kanken book a week, as I was doing before. But I can notice how WK it’s like steroids to my routine :joy: … so I’ll be that athlete :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Are you using any of your old methods along with WK, did you for a while?

Sorry for the wall ot text…



My subscription just expired, so, uh … I’m using Kodansha Learner’s Course along with Anki in the present tense.

I think WK is a great resource if you enjoy the mnemonics, and is definitely worth the money to test out and see if it’s for you. WK is nice because it forces you to type the answers, uses a reasonably logical order and structure of Radical -> Kanji -> Vocabulary, and provides mnemonics for readings as well as the meaning, and provides example sentences as well.

I personally went with Anki because material I already know quickly becomes a nonissue (jumps 4 days ahead after seeing it for the first time), I can delete material I don’t care about or see a use for, and like adding pictures (by Google Imaging the words in Japanese) to help clarify/reinforce meanings. I also use it for studying/reviewing sentences and audio clips.

I was going to try and use KLC and WK concurrently, but realized that wouldn’t be possible while continuing to study grammar and practice with native materials. We’ll see how it works out I guess.


Lots of Anki.

Japanese for Busy People I & II Kana version with workbooks (III was garbage)


Drinking at Japanese bars where they didn’t speak english.

Watching as many movies and TV as possible either natively or dubbed in Japanese.

Went through RTK in a huge sprint over the course of a few months, but never reviewed it, so lost all of that knowledge. May someday do RTK again after finishing Wanikani so I can remember how to write the darn things.

All in all, that worked pretty well for me. Conversational level for many topics, sometimes I’m totally lost though for a given subject.


I use memrise - works really well for me. Spaced repetition flash card style.


For kanji, I used pen and paper, a joyo kanji chart, and the old version of jisho.org
It…wasn’t very effective especially since figuring out which reading to learn was so confusing and even the meanings can sometimes be rather fuzzy.


Came here straight after learning hiragana, so all the materials I used before amount to tofugu’s guide to learning hiragana.

As of right now, I use WK, KW, Genki and read NHK news. I was using Anki too until recently, but I found that it’s too much of a pain for me, and I think two SRS tools are my limit.