What do you use to practice reading and what level did you start to read more at?

I am currently level 7 and I am moving through N5 grammar on bunpro. What level did you start to read at and what materials do you use to do so?


I started reading long before I started using WK. If manga has furigana, you don’t really need kanji to read, just a grasp of grammar and vocabulary. Those are separate skills from what WK mainly teach you, though it also has vocab.

I’d say, start reading as soon as possible. It’s both a matter of getting used to it, and a matter of using it to learn what you need to learn (grammarwise, vocabularywise).

As for reading text without furigana, that’s more a matter of possible frustration and very slow progress if you’re not at a high enough level.

I’ve done it anyway, with digial texts a least, where I could use online dictionaries to easily look stuff up. But, physical texts or games with no text-extraction possibility, is much slower going.

I still think it’s worth giving it a try before giving up. As I said, it’s also important to assess where you stand learningwise, to know what you need to focus on right now. :slight_smile:


kindle is great as practice tool if you’re into reading books. With manga you can’t use builtin dictionary but with books you can just tap the word and definition shows up. I started reading ~1 year ago when i started language school, but there i read mostly shorter texts. I’m on beginning of the journey with books - but thanks to book clubs it’s fun and not so intimidating :slight_smile:


I would pound the first 3000 most common words, read up on the most basic of grammar and start reading on satori reader if I was to do it all over again. You can sync it with your WK-account and have it remove the furigana for words you already know from WK.


Around level 21-30, I think - to start reading outside textbooks, Japanese Graded Reader Level 0.

But I finished Tae Kim before starting WaniKani. Also, some of Minna no Nihongo.

Also, there are other kinds of resources, like without Kanji, like Japanese Children’s books. I think, in the end, it is more vocabulary-focused, than Kanji-focused. Many of which, even though there are Kanji, they are either rarely used, or not used more than needed.


Too late. Around 28-30-ish seriously. It will be a struggle at first either way you go about it, so it’s better to bite the bullet and start as early as possible. If you know some basic grammar, you will be alright on that front, but you will have to look up both grammar and vocab you don’t know, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Join the absolut beginner book club, those are very nice, because you have grammar explanations right there if you’re stuck.

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I used to struggle my way through articles and a few books I managed to pick up before I even started WK, around the same time I started Genki. I would sometimes take over an hour to figure out a single sentence :sweat_smile: I worked my way through about half of the first Harry Potter book before completely giving that up as I just couldn’t follow the story :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d advice to get started as soon as possible, but make use of the easier reading materials available to get accustomed to it all. Graded readers, NHK Easy News, Satori and the like. The more you read the easier it becomes! (Also, do join the book clubs here!)

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I started reading a few months into learning Japanese, maybe level 10ish on WK and I think I’d made it through about 2/3rds of N5 material. I started reading ハイキュー with the book club here. It was very hard, but it motivated me to really get stuck into learning grammar and started my journey to the place where reading is my favourite thing to do in Japanese :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Bookclubs are a big help if you are trying something a bit above your comfort level.

Around level 30-35 I think. Started with some kids detective novellas. After level 40 started reading NHK articles more often.

I think around level 13 or 14. I got to level 10 and tried going through みんなの日本語 to start learning grammar, but I lost steam on that. Then a few levels later I got into Cure Dolly’s grammar videos on YouTube and started reading some Tadoku graded readers.

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Do I have to subscribe to it, or would you use the free edition? I just looked up that tool, never heard about it before… it looks fine, how do I sync it with WK though?

Think I started reading around level 18/19 with a visual novel that had just come out. Really worked for me since all the dialogue is voiced and I can practice reading out loud the stuff that isn’t.

Was using textrator in the early days but then I read a thread on here talking about learning kanji through context and that has been really nice. I’m about 50% done with N3 grammar on Bunpro but I haven’t done any serious vocab studies outside WK so I don’t get all the nuances :sweat_smile: but the immersion is really nice. Hoping to replay in English when it’s finally out so I can see how well I actually did.

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I started reading before I started with WK.
Since then my main sources were:

  • NHK easy News
  • An App called Todai (which includes many japanese news articles from different news papers, and articles are ranked in JLPT Levels based on their vocab and Kanji)
  • YT videos with subtitles written by the YTer

Recently I bought the Persona 5 Mangas, I don´t understand them fully, but since I am a big sucker for the franchise and already am familiar with the story, it´s not the biggest dealbreaker. I also come across newly learned Kanji from WK regularly, which is neat.

I agree with the others bookclubs are nice, my personal advice is to read anything you´re interested in, no matter what. If you´re enjoying the process of reading you´re good to go.

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I like using podcast transcripts since I can confirm pronunciation, kanji readings and enjoy short, current-events or history-based content. Some good ones to start would be Nihongo Switch, Haruka the Real Japanese Podcast, Japanese with Noriko.


I recently started watching anime with jap subtitles. 1 episode per day.

It does 2 things necessary for reading IMO:

refreshing your memory of kanji (especially those burned you surely forgot) and reading speed, since you have to keep pace as the characters speak.

I realized that reading manga I am really slow because I do at my own pace, and that’s not good. So anime it is!

I wish raw anime episodes were like USA tv shows that already have subtitles. It is a pain to find synced subtitles :smiling_face_with_tear:


i started reading before i started using wk. Just start with some easy manga or short stories and make sure they have furigana. N5 is probably enough to read level 3 or 4 books on tadoku and as you progress your grammar just keep at it. I have a bad habit of stopping books after halfway, so i dont read as much, but you should read as much as possible. Also, it may be slow at first, but just keep going, and then you will gain some fluency and speed.

oh and yes, make sure to read nhk web easy, its great!

In my case I started reading when I was around N4 level for grammar and around Wanikani level 15. I was reading NHK Web Easy and Shinkanzen Master for N3. Shinkanzen Master is aimed for JLPT exams, but it has explanations about how to read a text and offers a large variety of texts (mail, letter, pamphlets,…).
I also started video games quickly after that. For example, in a couples of level and a solid N4 grammar, you could start Pokemon in Japanese. You will encounter some unknown kanjis, but you should be able to understand most of the game without major difficulty.

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I think I started around level 30ish, but you would be well served by starting earlier.

I actually started with Harry Potter even though it’s fairly difficult. Some of the advantages are:

  • I can have both the Japanese and English versions side by side and the translation is pretty close sentence by sentence
  • Japanese and English audiobooks are easily available

Start as soon as your time and frustration tolerance allow.

Choosing material to read is a tradeoff between difficulty and interest: more advanced books will be harder to read, very simple books will be boring.

I’m right now about at the point where I can read material for Japanese middle school children without having to look up every. single. word. So I’ve reached the point where (for me) I’m actually reading, rather than practicing dictionary use.