What else along with WaniKani?

I just took the annual plan of WaniKani and I’m not level 4. What else should I be doing alongside my lessons and reviews to learn Japanese??


Grammar and probably try reading the graded readers.


I know this isn’t an introduction post, but since this is your first post and I am going to post the ultimate additional resource list, I may as well post this with it. From that list, I’d personally recommend BunPro and LingoDeer as additional resources, but if you prefer books over apps, there’s the Genki series or Minna No Nihongo.

\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}

welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already.

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you, like:

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resource List
The New and Improved List of API and Third-Party Apps

I hope your Japanese learning journey goes well and that you enjoy your time with us on the forums.


Hey, thanks a ton! The 3rd party add ons seem great and I think I’ll dive it into grammar once I reach level 10 through Tae Kim or Genki!

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Tae Kim is fine as a beginner resource but suffers from a lack of exercises. For that reason I would recommend Genki over Tae Kim.

Reading about grammar isn’t enough you should have exercises to do too so you can practise what you’ve learnt.

Since abandoning Tae Kim and going onto Genki my grammar has come on considerably!


Thanx for the suggestions, but I’ve heard Genki doesn’t introduce polite v/s casual grammar well… is that true?

If you want casual grammar you might like Cure Dolly’s Organic Japanese series on Youtube. She teaches casual speech but also explains how to make anything formal. It’s free so you could give it a try right now. Some people don’t like the presentation style, but I’d say try the first two or three lessons, which should take about a half hour. Likely you’ll be hooked by then (I was).


I had no issue with how casual and polite grammar is introduced.

They introduce it relatively early on, and I can see why people would find it difficult to understand, but I already knew grammar basics when I started Genki so I didn’t find it too bad.

I agree it might be worth watching some Cure Dolly to get a foundation, but again you need something with exercises. Online resources are usually exercise light and so only useful for reference.

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I can definitely echo this experience :). Since I started learning from Genki, my fluency skyrocketed. That being said, I would recommend both Tae Kim and Genki together, since there is a couple of points they cover slightly differently and many of them don’t overlap (at least thus far, I’m still on chapter 10 from Genki 1). However, in cases when the explanations are contradictory, Genki wins, since it was created by native speakers :slight_smile: .


Genki has been helping me quite a bit. That being said, the longer you hold off on Genki (and still do WK), the less of an issue the Genki vocab will be.

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Is it alright to ignore the Genki vocab and just focus on the grammar and exercises? Since I will get the vocab from Wani Kani anyways


If I was (hypothetically) forced to choose between her and WaniKani, I’d pick her. She’s that good. I’ve learned more Japanese grammar in her first 10 videos than I learned Spanish grammar in 3 years of school.

WaniKani alone is not sufficient for vocabulary. You need another SRS tool like KameSame or Ankii as well. You can take the Kanji and Vocab from Genki, or reading material, or anime subtitles etc. and toss them into your SRS prior to going through that material. That way you’ll know all the words you need to get through it, and learn useful vocabulary as you go.


Hearing about Cure dolly a lot! will definitely check her vids out. As for having another SRS for learning Kanji I come across( in Genki, anime or other resources), does that not become too much? learning the On, Kun and vocab readings of soo many words alongside Wanikani.

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WaniKani’s vocab is limited to what is useful for learning kanji, and is organised according to the difficulty of the kanji. a lot of common vocab doesn’t appear in in WK because it doesn’t use kanji, or only appears late because the kanji is complicated.

so learning the vocab in Genki is probably a good idea


Yes it can become too much if you are not careful. So take care not to go too fast on WaniKani or to add too many words to your secondary SRS tool. Don’t feel obligated to go the maximum speed.

At a beginner level you should only add the most common words to your secondary SRS, to create a core vocabulary of the most useful words. Cure Dolly has videos on immersion as well as grammar that will guide you on how to do this.

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Right, so as Genki introduces Kanji later on, is it a good idea to look up the Kanji of the essential vocab words I choose to add in my SRS on Jisho.org ? this way I can also see if that will be later covered in Wanikani.

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I’m not that much further along but KaniWani was huge for me. Being able to recall vocabulary starting from English > Japanese is very complimentary to WK. It was frustratingly difficult at first (new way of thinking?!?! especially since I started at level 3 and had a ton of catch up to do. It was frustrating how much I couldn’t immediately recall I had a good angry laugh about it) but right now I feel it really helps with the reinforcement learning/retaining current material.

I’m also using Bunpro but I’ve been processing that content really slowly. I find that it’s a good suppliment when WK review periods are being a bit “slow.” As I learn more about grammar it really does reinforce the intial tofugu advice that you’ll have an easier time with a stronger foundation of vocabulary.

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Well personally I don’t recommend Genki. And I would say there’s no need to learn the English translation of a kanji. It’s really only an approximation. Just learn the Japanese word that contains the kanji and you’re fine. WaniKani will give you more than enough imperfect English translations.

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Try out Cure Dolly first. If it suits you, just stick with her and you will rarely need anything else grammar-wise. I’m speaking as someone who wasted 3 months doing Genki 1 before giving up, searching for something new, and finally discovering Cure Dolly.

Also, you will hear people recommending KaniWani or KameSame to do alongside WaniKani. As someone who’s done KameSame for 54 WK levels I can say that it definitely helps to remember the words and get used to Japanese inputs but keep in mind that it is basically forcing words into your active vocabulary. And it adds a ton of work if you stick with it for as long as I did. At some point you will get frustrated when it asks you to input words like “nuclear submarine” after 4 months of not seeing it anywhere else in your study or immersion.


If you want exercises to go along with Cure Dolly’s videos, you can try Bunpro, which gives SRS items for grammar. It allows you to go at your own pace and add items from the video lessons you just watched. I like to use the grammar search feature for this. Just don’t listen to any of the grammar explanations, they’re so bad.

Or you can join the Japanese sentence a day challenge and make sentences with the grammar you just learned. Ask people to correct you if you get it wrong.