What do you recommend I need to complement WaniKani?

Just the interface of the website makes me not want to try it, but thank you for the advice I appreciate.

I recommend you to read Minna no Nihongo books, in the original textbook, and in your native language if it’s available (it’s even available in my native language, Indonesian), or in English if it’s not available, and to really listen/do the exercises you got from this book, and others, such as Genki. Edit 1: I’ve just checked your profile. You’re a French?! :blush: There is a French version! Minna no Nihongo 1 and 2.

How do I train myself using Minna no Nihongo? I read out loud in Japanese while reading Minna no Nihongo in Indonesian. And vice versa (although I don’t need to read out loud in my native language, it’s okay if it’s English though, but it’s just my personal preference, anyways). And Genki, there is a workbook for Genki.

Longer review for Minna no Nihongo, you can get it on Tofugu website.

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The reason I am using both Genki and Tae Kim is that they appear to me to be different (I am just starting out with both, though, but have had a good skim through each). I have used textbook/workbook pairs similar to Genki before, and I like the opportunity they give for listening and reading as well as writing and speaking practice of the sentence patterns and grammatical structures. Tae Kim is just notes as far as I can see, so no exercises, but the very first grammar point (だ = it is) was never taught to me, not in 2 years of uni Japanese classes, not in my grammar/kanji classes in Japan - I picked it up from the speech around me but never learned about the workings of the grammar behind less formal speech - this is what Tae Kim appears to offer that other textbooks don’t.

I have a different set, but yes, this sort of thing - and yes, pricey but I was lucky enough to get them as my Christmas present from my partner last year.

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Very insightful, thank you for your replies it is appreciated.

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I would strictly refer to Tae Kim as a reference guide. Don’t think of it as a textbook. It is a valuable resource, but you need some way to practice what is taught. You can read through it and get a decent understanding, but not be anywhere being able to use Japanese for anything useful.

Genki is very comprehensive, but I seemed to lack motivation to ever finish it. You can do it yourself, but I think if you can afford it the ideal situation would be to hire a tutor and go over the exercises. If I were to start from scratch, I’d put myself in a situation where speaking was the primary instruction - you will learn faster that way.

Minna no Nihongo is a great way to get yourself reading hiragana very quickly and at a glance. It is a bit dry as well, though, and going through the exercises starts to feel a bit robotic. I had trouble memorizing the patterns and gave up after the first book. I should give it another go since I own both of the first two books. It is great JLPT prep - I think when I took N5 I finished the first two sections in less than half the allotted time.


I’ll definitely try using Genki since it seems like a lot of people first choice. The only thing I keep reading about it is that it’s made for classroom and not for self learner so I have some doubts about it. I’ll also use Tae Kim for reference. Minna no Nihongo (first one) seems like a nice tool and I’ll check it out if I can find it at a reasonable price. As I understand I need the original Japanese book and the English version too. When I think I’m ready I’ll try and find somewhere I can listen and speak with a tutor.

Genki was made for a classroom, but it’s perfectly good for self-study. The only real issue is that some of the exercises included are group exercises. Feel free to skip those, and have a sense of humor when a workbook exercise asks you something like “Do you like your teacher”, or “Was your homework hard?”

Something I forgot to mention, though- With Genki, you definitely want more than just the textbook. You’re going to want the texbook, workbook, and the answer book, which contains the solutions for the exercises. The solution book is critical if you’re doing self-study. And, of course, it’s best to get the audio files as well.


I just received mine last week - both the text and workbooks came with their own CD attached to the back flyleaf which were included in the cost of each book.

Great, thank you for the information I’ll get the answer book too.

Thanks, I’m in Ch 2, and it’s doable, but yeah a bit slow.

I briefly tried Tae Kim on Kindle for a few sessions and found it very tedious. Partly because Kindle, and partly because it used Kanji immediately. I had to keep flipping back and referencing the vocabulary it established at the start of a section and that made me feel like it wasn’t efficient. So yeah the absolute beginner can use Tae Kim, but be aware that you might find it tedious.

I started using KaniWani as a suplement to Wanikani and so far, I really like it!

However, I do find some bugs and other small annoyances in Kaniwani from time to time. Is there any forum to report bugs and such?

The creators of KaniWani usually respond to issues posted in this thread:

Like Pimsleur, you may be able to find the graded readers in a library if there is sufficient interest in Japanese in your part of the world, or if you are lucky enough to live near a Japanese Cultural centre they may have this sort of thing available as well.

Sadly I live in a remote area in eastern Canada where people don’t even speak English. I would have a better chance finding a book on how to talk to the cows in the fields. I got my hand on the first three of the Pimsleur’s Japanese however, I hope it does an equal job. Thank you

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I am also in a regional area with lots of cows, which is why the readers went on my Christmas wish list :cow2:

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Seems like Tae Kim is quoted a lot! To me, I heard of Tae Kim and used his guide for Korean a bit, and read a bit of his Japanese guide. But Imabi is very good too, recommended a lot on reddit, and there is a lot of content, ranging from complete beginner to veteran. The guy who maintains it is genuinely interesting in Japanese and you can contact him for any question you have. Give it a try, and it’s free!

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