What else do I need?

Ok. I rode the wanikani free train for a while now and decided to go all in. whoop whoop
Let’s celebrate that I found my credit card and courage to actually press “confirm”. Took me only a couple of Zolofts and a massive panic attack, but here I am now. :partying_face:

I think Wanikani is pretty perfect for Kanji. I love it.
I wish more apps were like that. You sit down, you are told what to do and have fun on the way.
:thinking: Should that make me worried about my mental status?

Anyway, I am also using Memrise and Lingodeer for easy learning sessions and I am reading Genki slowly when I have time to actually sit down. But damn Genki is rough. Would be easier to eat it in a bowl without milk.

Thanks to you guys I also put the list of all non-Kanji Vocab in Kitsun.io. Will publish a link once I know it’s good to work with.

But I am still having a mild anxiety that I am missing something and my OCD would appreciate if you could help me out.

What would you recommend to me that I could do every day a little bit or extensively every week or so?
What did you wish you started when starting your Japanese journey?
Mistakes you made and websites/books/apps you wished you had when you started?



Congrats on joining the community !

I’d say:

  • Learning how to write the kanji (really usefull, help to remember better and differentiate similar looking kanji). There is already an Anki deck aligned with WK for that.
  • Already starting to work on grammar, Bunpro go very well with any learning ressource, like Tae Kim grammar guide.
  • Optionaly you can go with IKnow if you want more vocab (more or less sorted by frequency).

If you’re finding Genki hard to swallow, Japanese from Zero is more like the bite sized version:

Course 1 is completely free (I think it gives a message that you have to join to do the later lessons in course 1, but you don’t, they are all free). The guy who runs it has at least one Youtube video for every lesson in the course, which makes it much more interesting and engaging, and it’s written to be self study not in class, like Genki is.

The videos are supposed to be reviews after you finish each lesson, but I find it’s much more enjoyable to simply watch the videos and then skim through the lessons afterwards, as he explains everything in the vids anyway.

My plan is to finish the five courses there and then hit Genki to shore up anything missing.
I like Genki, but as I go through it I find an increasing urge to staple my eyes shut…


This what I wish I had done.

Read through Genki 1 - 2 don’t bother with the exercises. if you don’t understand a chapter re read again, then move on weather you get it or not.

After doing that move on to tae kim. Introduction – Learn Japanese

Download anki and use this Anki deck with TaeKim.

after that use this website https://japanesetest4you.com/jlpt-n5-grammar-list/
and make a card for each grammer point. pick one from a list, pick the easiest example from the list and add it to anki.

By around level 10 in wanikani I would recommend Making flash cards for each Kanji and practice writing them, doing 5 a day.

after every one hundred vocab burned add it to Anki, as Wanikani caps reviews at 4 months.
repping burned vocab in anki is almost like reading english… so it’s easily done.
You can find your burned items here. https://wanikaniexplorer.com/

It’s better to study grammar early on as you have less reviews a day. by the time you get in to level 20’s reviewing on wanikani and reviewing those grammar points will take maybe 3-4 hours a day. Do your reviews and studying first thing in the morning. when you start to feel distracted start doing some push ups and body strength training in between, it will help keep your mind focused.

when you get to about level 30 start ajatt.

add all your sentence cards to an mp3 player and listen on repeat.

Completing wanikani in edition to this will take 1- 2 years If you revolve your life around it…


If you want to be able to understand spoken Japanese, start actively listening to Japanese as soon as possible! The best material to use is the one you find most interesting and easy to stay motivated with!

I started with listening to music and learning the words.


I definitely wish I’d known about the kaniwani app when I’d started. I would recommend doing kaniwani along with wanikani. If you search the forum you will find it, sorry I don’t know how people link things. Good luck to you! :slight_smile:


Try to find some Japanese people to speak to. Depends where you are as to how easy that will be. Through my University I found a couple of language exchange partners. Speaking forces you to use it. It’s painful (especially at the beginning) but if you want to go to Japan at some point is essential


I am going to buck the trend and suggest not starting with WK until you have done a fair amount of Japanese grammar. I did this - accidentally as I only found out about WK after I had been studying for more than six months.

WK is good for learning Kanji and vocab but it isn’t teaching you to read, understand or speak Japanese. This is hammered home now that I am trying to read Manga. Knowing the vocab helps but without an understanding of how the language works it struggle to see how you could decipher what is written (even knowing the key grammar it is difficult).

Of course if you have lots of time to learn Japanese and also the motivation and energy you can do both. However what I am finding is that now that I am up to level 20 I am spending at least an hour per day on WK. I work full time (and have a wife, daughter and dog to look after). I just don’t have the time and energy to do that much more actual study so if I am not doing as much grammar as I want or need. Luckily because I focused on that before WK got tough I did manage to work through Genki I and II. Had I started with WK I expect I would be struggling.

Just an alternative viewpoint. You have to go with what works for you.

  1. Keep an eye out for the discounted lifetime membership in December.
  2. Learn about userscripts in the API and third party apps category. Install wanikani ultimate timeline, self study quiz as a minimum. There are plenty of other good userscript suggestions if you read around.
  3. Here is a link to a MIT course for Genki readers. That might make the grammar study more interesting for you.
  4. Don’t go overboard with resources. You have more than enough suggestions here.

Addit: include the link for MIT course using Genki


Thanks for posting a link to this! I’ve had Genki sitting on my shelf for months and I’m finally getting around to reading it now that I’m in Japan and super need to work on my grammar. Gonna follow along with it and maybe it’ll make reading a regular old textbook more enjoyable!


Definitely every day. I think the biggest determiner of how good you are going to get a japanese is how well you can stick to a routine.

I would just read genki (or tae kim). Don’t do the exercises, just read it. And do it multiple times. (if you just sit down and read tae kim you can do it in a single sitting… a couple hours maybe). I would use something like bunpro N5 level for practice on getting the conjugations to be second nature. It makes you write them out.

You cannot have enough practice listening to japanese. This takes sooo much longer than you think it will. And is suprisingly difficult. I like watching dramas. Watch a show with english subs once through so you know whats going on. Then repeat, no subs, multiple times.

i wish i had started a practice of writing the kanji by hand when I started. In fact if I had it to do over again I would have just copied genki 1&2. What I mean is I would have just physically written all the japanese in the book by hand and then written the exercise answers by hand.

I wish that I had started earlier using Anki with my reading.

I think the main thing is that you are going to have to find what works for you. There are many facets of learing a language and depending on your goals, your talents, you time commitment, and what you find interesting, the best (most efficient, or most fun, or whatever you want) strategy is going to be pretty individualized.
But, all language aquisition research agrees, the only thing proven to be correlated to learning is amount of comprehensible input. So you have to find a way to make the japanese you input comprehensible, and you need to find a practice that will allow you to consume a lot of it.


yeah. that is actually an awesome idea. I am already doing that and was amazed by how different it was to remember it the other way around.

OMG audio quiz. That is amazing. Love it. Thank you.

Yeah, I am actually eyeing the lifetime december deal. Have to look on my finances atm :frowning:

Haha, exactly how I feel.

Thanks for the yesjapan link, I really like his videos. That is a great addition to my daily learning.
Are the books worth buying?
Are there any other youtube courses you can recommend?

bunpro is oriented at the N5-2 JLPTs, that’s great. Probably most grammar books/apps will do that in that order, but it’s super interesting to see how much one is missing from each level. Thanks

Ya, I am kinda realizing that’s a whole different level to hear and understand japanese. Though I put on Spirited away in japanese the other day and I understood a couple of words. That made me somehow proud :smiley:

What dramas did you start listening to?
Which Anki decks are you using?
Have you tried Kitsun.io?

I actually have a japanese colleague sitting next to me at work. But it will a LOT of time until I can actually ask him anything, it’s not that he is selling watches or wallets on a market and I need to ask the time. lol
But yes. I’ll do that in a year or so. I’m not in a hurry. :slight_smile:

That’s actually a good call. I bought my fave Ghibli movies already anyway, so I’ll just pop them in for japanese listening skills very now an then.

What japanese music are you listening to?

Those links are awesome. Already looking into Bunpro and Tae Kim. Liking it so far.
Thanks :slight_smile:

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I subscribe to warner music Japan and Sony music Japan on YouTube so I can find out about new artists. Recently, I’ve been into Tofubeats and Mr. Children.

A little bit of grammar everyday with focus on particles, there are a lot of particles so start early. This will ensure you have a grasp of them as your vocab grows it will make sentence building an ease.