What is the purpose of WK and how should transiton into speaking?

I have just now passed the half-way point in my 1-year sub to WK and have decide that my next purchase would be a lifetime one, since you know, I’m ducking slow.

In light of this I thought I should really get a grasp of what WK offers and what it is used for so I can learn as efficiently as possible. Right now I’m also using Genki 1 along with the workbook which has been helping a lot when it comes to the speaking side of things.

Anyways the question of the post is

What is the main point of WK and what will it teach me
What should I use as a supplement aside from Genki 1 and later 2

Thanks for all the help I can get :smiley:


Wanikani teaches you to read most of the kanji you will need. Also 6000 vocabulary words which vary considerably in usefulness.


All right, thanks! So how would I proceed in my learning past GENKI 1&2? (and WK)

Specifically speaking, thanks! :slight_smile:

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I did Shin Kanzen Master after Genki I and II

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Wanikani gets kanji checked off your bucket list, and then it teaches you some random words.

If you want to get better at speaking you should get a tutor on iTalki. Aside from that, Dogen’s video lessons on phonetics are invaluable. He’s a real big-brain lad. I’m talking 250 IQ


You should find a language partner. If you don’t have access to native Japanese speakers, then I agree with Raionus on iTalki. Also, listening to Japanese radio and watching TV shows/news is crucial I would say, because as difficult it is to become a comfortable speaker without talking to Japanese people in real life situations, I think it’s even harder to understand what you hear when they speak Japanese at native speed. It’s a long but rewarding process.

WaniKani teaches you the Kanji. That’s it. Well it also teaches you some vocabulary, but that is primarily to reinforce the learning of the Kanji.

What you will also need:

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Reading practice
  • Listening practice
  • Writing practice
  • Speaking practice

Genki is a popular choice for learning grammar and some vocabulary. It didn’t click with me personally, but it’s definitely worth a try. I like Tae Kim, but many people are critical of his approach. Most likely you will need to compare several choices and see what works for you.

For vocabulary there are obviously some core words that everybody should know, which can be drilled in with an Anki deck or whatever.

But more importantly I would encourage you to ask yourself, why are you learning Japanese? What is it that you want to read, or watch, or who is it that you want to talk to? Focus on the vocabulary that is specific to that goal. Same with reading - Sure NHK Easy News is great at the start, but I would try as early as possible to read whatever it is that you’re interested in, even if it’s at a glacial pace.

With talking, obviously the best thing is to just talk to a Japanese person. Most people don’t have a Japanese person to talk to, so online services like iTalki are a good idea.

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