What is your Current Plan of Study?

Very useful, thanks!

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  1. WK do all lessons and reviews 4-8 times a day.
  2. Do 10 lessons on 10k vocab on Kitsun and clear reviews a few times a day.
  3. Bunpro do all reviews and a few lessons once it calms down.
  4. Read using Satori reader, multiple episodes a day at the very least. (5-10 on average)
  5. Get as much listening practice as possible, may it be YT videos or anime. (About 5hrs atleast)

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Where do you go to buy manga/books in Japanese?

  1. WK several times a day. It takes approximately 1h a day.
  2. Two Anki decs with n5 vocab. One with single words, the other one with full sentences. It takes max. 10-15 mins.
  3. Bunpro for about 15 mins.
  4. One Genki I chapter (both textbook and workbook) every one or two weeks with several yt videos concerning chapter-related grammar (ToKini Andy’s Genki lessons and some shorter videos about particular grammar points. I usually watch each one at least two times). Probably about 6 hours a week.
  5. Audios with n5 vocab before falling asleep. Between 15 and 40 minutes a day.
  6. Reading something from time to time. Mostly on Todai Easy Japanese App.
  7. Other resources when I have some free time. For instance, I spent 6 hours yesterday reviewing vocabulary on KameSame.

I have been studying Japanese for less than three months so far so I’m speeding up with learning grammar so as to be able to focus more on reading.

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I use Wanikani for Kanji studies. Usually 40 lessons a day until I hit 0, review three times a day: when I wake up, when I return home, and before I sleep. I typically need 8-10 days to level up. I invest about one hour a day.

For grammar I use the Minna no Nihongo textbooks. I finished the first of four books, currently on Lesson 30 of the second book. I take 1.5 to 2 hours a day to finish a lesson every two days.

And that’s it! For now at least. I want to get through the grammar part as quickly as possible and then get into immersion. I hope to be at that point by July of this year.

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I’m focusing mainly on WaniKani reviews and lessons every day. I’ve been going at a slower pace recently and my level is still low, so it doesn’t take long. I’ve also been reading a manga in Japanese for the 2022 Reading Challenge here.
I also just try to read whatever Japanese I come across outside of studying. I’d like to integrate more things, but I’m not sure what to add. Maybe Duolingo or Rosetta Stone. I’m more focused on learning to read the language rather than speak it, but that may change in the future.

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You’re way better off installing Yomichan and reading some content than dealing with Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. Trust me, it’s a trap.

Pound vocab outside of WK and get to reading asap. And again Yomichan is your friend. (browser addon that translates words on the fly by hovering your mouse over it).

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Wanikani: I try to hop on wanikani daily but that just isn’t always feasible, I always clear all reviews when I do get a chance to get on and I’ll also complete 5-10 lessons after each review session. Again, ideally this is done daily but I too often I tend to have 1-3 day breaks every other week as life is busy.

Anki: I’ve been completing RTK slowly over the last 170ish days as well as going through the Tango N5 and N4 decks. At the moment I add 5 new cards per day in each deck and complete all reviews daily (haven’t missed a day yet). I tend to add more new cards on days where I find myself wanting to study more but having nothing left to complete just to get to the end a bit quicker, but of course that means more reviews down the line so I don’t go too overboard if I can help it.

Immersion: I’ve restricted myself to only Japanese music for about 8 months now, it’s cool picking up words here or there. I also try and do anything I would normally do in English, in Japanese if I can comfortably do so. In addition, I try to watch something in Japanese every day whether it be YouTube or an episode of an anime, at least 30 minutes is ideal for me just to get some listening practice with visuals for context.

Other: I have a kindle and I’m about halfway through Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide and I also have Yotsuba downloaded and ready to read on there as well but I haven’t really touched either in a good 2-3 months, hoping to get back into it when I feel up to it but I really wanna get through all the new cards in my anki decks and put most of my efforts into listening for the time being in order to hopefully develop decent pitch accent habits.

You don’t have 30min of privacy a day? What are you? A prisoner?

The thing with SRS is that showing up every day is important.

In my 40s and already have a full-time job programming so I don’t have a ton of time:

Daily

  1. WaniKani reviews through out the day (try not to do more than 40-50 at a time to avoid big review spikes). I keep my Apprentice level around 100.
  2. Bunpro reviews once or twice a day (again, trying to keep from creating review spikes). Since I’m in a weekly online Japanese Class for the past 3 years I add stuff to Bunpro as the concepts come up in class (we’ve gone through Genki I/II and currently we are using AIAIJ).
  3. Trying to incorporate KameSame, but frustrated at how often the site doesn’t want to work :frowning:

Weekly
As mentioned above I attend a weekly Zoom Japanese Class (that grew out of an adult education Japanese Class) where we focus mainly on speaking/listening/reading, with some writing. For that class each week I usually have two NHK articles to read, a number of workbook sections to do, and we are expected to have a short topic to talk about for 3-5 minutes.

More casual stuff:
I don’t do this every day, but I also listen to Japanese music, not trying to actively understand most times, usually just for the immersion. Occasionally I will read/understand the live lyrics in Apple Music.

I watch anime with my daughter when she is back from college (who is also learning Japanese), but that’s more a casual thing. I’d like to find some shows to watch to improve my listening (listening and speaking are the hardest for me) and start adding in some manga to expand my reading comprehension, but there are only so many hours in the day…

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So interesting seeing what everyone else is doing! Esp @eoame for the katsu link, game changer :sob:

For me, daily is:

  1. Wanikani - aiming to keep apprentice between 50-100
  2. Bunpro - 20~ items in srs 0-5
  3. Ringotan - 20~ items in srs levels 1-2
  4. Twitch/Twitter/Discord/other socials for listening/conversation practice
    Optionals: youtube, podcast, anime, film, manga, visual novel or similar immersion activity

After Tobira I want to slow down a little to fit in a weekly italki lesson…and make better use of LangCorrect

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When I wake up:

  1. WaniKani - reviews and then 20-30 lessons depending on whether I’m behind on them or not
  2. KaniWani - all lessons/reviews
  3. BunPro - all reviews and if get over 85% accuracy I’ll do 3 more lessons
  4. Anki - I do 10 new cards a day

Throughout the day:

  1. WaniKani - I’ll do my 4hrs later reviews from what I learned in the morning
  2. Anime - I’ll watch anime hopefully with japanese & english subs if the jap are available
  3. Manga - I’ll read a chapter or two of my manga if I feel like, checking the english translation every page

Before bed:

  1. WaniKani - all reviews
  2. KaniWani - all reviews
  3. BunPro - all reviews
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I’m not using any textbook, I’m studying using apps and reading/listening to japanese. My studies are mostly structured like this:

  • Wanikani several times each day to keep reviews and lessons at 0.
  • Bunpro several times each day after i finish with Wanikani.
  • Read any new articles on NHK easy.
  • Read and reply in mostly japanese to language exchange partners. Sometimes phone calls.
  • Watch anime, listen to podcasts all in japanese or have streams such as Weather News on.

I’m thinking I should add Anki to the list. Sometimes I come across words useful to me but because I pretty much only use Wanikani for vocabulary studies I often end up forgetting them because I have no system in place for practicing them 🥲

You can find individual volumes to more mainstream manga on Amazon US. Just search the manga and set the language to Japanese in the filters.

Otherwise, I use Amazon Japan. Unfortunately there is quite a large shipping price but you only get hit with the charge once no matter how many items you’re purchasing. Manga in Japanese is also much cheaper (about $4 as opposed to $12). So, if you make a sizeable order (like the first 3 one piece sagas lol), it actually comes out cheaper.

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As for my routine, WK is the only absolute consistent thing everyday… everything else is interchangeable as time allows. I definitely need to do more grammar work. Bluetooth headphones have been a game changer for me to squeeze immersion into all the possible nooks and crannies of my day.

  1. Wanikani - 15 lessons and clear review queue
  2. Kaniwani - maybe 50-100 reviews
  3. Self-study Quiz Userscript- 100 jap. audio → eng. meaning
  4. Anime 1-2 episodes with Jap sub or no sub
  5. “Easy Japanese Podcast” on spotify… check it out
  6. Comprehensible Japanse YT vids and a few other 'tubers
  7. Duolingo lessons in my down time at work for the heck of it
  8. Anki - 5 lessons + reviews from the Tango and Core2k deck

I came back from a long break (~4 months) of no study, and right now I’ve found a very enjoyable routine:

  1. Wanikani - 30min - All reviews and up to 15 lessons (more than that usually has a hit on my accuracy, and I’d rather delay a bit the level up instead of going back again to the apprentice - guru hell)
  2. Bunpro - 15min - This has completely replaced my textbook right now. The plan was to use it to review N5/N4 grammar before going back to Tobira, but I might just stick with it and use the textbooks as a reinforcement for harder topics, or just for cramming for the JLPT when the time comes.
  3. Anki - 5 min - I create cards with expressions I find in manga/anime/books. I add screenshots from the original material to provide context so its not challenging, but its a good refresher for vocabulary that I find useful.
  4. Read manga - I started this year with the Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: The Way of the Househusband and it has already helped me a lot with my reading ability. I’m still trying to build my reading stamina, so I try to read at least a few pages every weekday, and at least two or three chapters on weekends.
  5. Passive immersion on Twitter/Youtube/Internet while I’m browsing in general (I don’t count this as study, but depending on how I’m feeling at that moment I pay more or less attention to the content)

Due to work its really hard to get more than 1 hour to study every day, but I’ve come to terms with it! In the past, forcing myself to a strictier plan has caused me to burnout and stop studying for a while (and then suffering to get a ~1000 pile of Wanikani reviews back to 0).

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I’ve been learning slowly for over 6 months now. I started out investing an hour or more per day on top of a more-than-full-time-job but now that I’m well out of the honeymoon period and some of my other hobbies have become more important, I’ve both intentionally and unintentionally scaled it back to 30min or less each day (usually less).

Current plan:

  1. 1-2 Duolingo lessons per day (3-10 min?). Like other people have mentioned, I can’t say that Duolingo is particularly good for explaining anything or even helping me retain it efficiently, but the gamefication is definitely a huge part of what’s helped me stick with Japanese for far longer than I had ever thought possible. When I started, I assumed I’d lose interest and quit around the 4-6 week mark, but over six months later I’ve only had one big break in my streak. Even when I neglect my other studying for a week or two, wanting to maintain my Duolingo streak keeps Japanese on my mind. I probably do my Duolingo lesson and absolutely nothing else at least 2/7 days of the week. It’s been central to the whole process, and not just a starting point for me. It really goes to show that the best study resource is the one that you use.

  2. 10-50 Wanikani reviews a day plus 5—10 new lessons if available (5-20 min?). Wanikani was what I first graduated to once I realized Duo wasn’t cutting it. I obviously like it a lot and it helps retain things very well, as you would expect from SRS. I do find though that it’s a bit TOO easy to use–doing kanji and vocab SRS is a very mindless activity for the most part and so I found myself spending too much time on it relative to more demanding tasks like grammar, native content and my other more important hobbies, honestly. So now I’ve scaled back. I don’t care that it’s not optimal for the SRS; I still get some of the benefit of the SRS timing and I’m staying in the groove which is the most important thing of all, always.

  3. 5-10 correct Bunpro reviews a day (5-15 min?). I don’t know that Bunpro is worth the money for most people but I really like SRS and otherwise have difficulty doing the necessary grammar practice (I’m of the “textbook put me to sleep” crowd). I follow Tae Kim’s guide mostly but have just now found Cure Dolly’s videos and have been loving them as a supplement. Bunpro reviews are very mentally taxing for me so I have to be really gentle with myself when I am having trouble getting through them.

  4. One anime episode a day (25 min, with my rats). I just keep an ear out for familiar words while I watch with English or French subtitles (trying to keep my French skills up). This is primarily entertainment, not studying though. I myself would not consider Japanese subtitles or no subtitles until I’m good enough that I can be properly immersed in the show. Just what I want in terms of my hobbies. I’m sure it would be excellent studying though.

  5. 1-3 pages of a very light book a couple of times a week (15-30 minutes at a time?). And I mean VERY light. I spent months picking my way through an artbook I had, painstakingly looking up the kanji in the art titles. It’s not efficient studying because it’s mostly new knowledge that I don’t review later, but it is native content in microscopic doses of something interesting and meaningful to me. And I was extremely surprised that by the time I finished it, I actually could pick out more words and phrases than I expected upon flipping through to the earlier pages, so I must have made some good progress!

  6. Casual daily exposure through porn, Twitter and porn Twitter (10 - I-don’t wanna-say minutes). My main goal in learning Japanese is to be able to read naughty manga untranslated and to understand other things that the naughty artists write on social media, etc. Yes, I read porn for the plot. Yes, you can all laugh at me now, just get it out of your system. But it’s been fun actually, because I’ve started to be able to make a stab at reading a tweet and then comparing with the auto-translator to see how I did, and also since I’m the kind of person who rereads the same materials over and over I can come back to something I couldn’t read two months prior and find that I can pluck out and understand a little more each time. I know it seems like a ridiculous motivation but learning the language has genuinely been so fun and interesting and every day I’m shocked that I’ve stayed with it and am still improving. I’m not sure what a reasonable timescale is at this rate for getting anywhere near where I want to be (~2 years?) but I know I’m slowly getting there and that feels good.

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In an ideal world, this is what it would look like:

  1. Wake up at 6AM to do Wanikani reviews. Do no more than 15 lessons somewhere between 7 to 9AM (depending on how many reviews are waiting each hour).
  2. Read something light (currently that would be the Pocket Monsters Special manga). Record every word I don’t know (meaning and new kanji) through a voice to writing app to write out later. Since I usually run into about 2-4 words per page I don’t know, it’s easier to look it up later and read through everything one more time to help commit the words to memory.
  3. Either practice writing 10 kanji characters in kanji notebook or do 5-10 pages of a Kanji Drill book.
  4. More Wanikani reviews!
  5. Practice reading formal speech dialogue aloud (via Genki textbooks).
  6. Either watching a movie in Japanese with Japanese subtitles or a western movie in English with Japanese subtitles. (We have a handful of DVDs of some of my favorite movies I bought here.) More likely to watch anime on my laptop with English subtitles instead because I’m usually in my bedroom with baby.
  7. Read a more challenging text (not necessarily challenging as in difficulty in level but sometimes more time consuming because there’s more words that need looking up). In this case, it would be なぜ?どうして? みぢかなぎもん一年生 because most words don’t have kanji, which means sometimes it takes more guessing word to figure out what the meaning of the word is. Since the list of new vocab and kanji is longer for this one, first scan the text and record vocab and meaning. Then read a second time while referring to the vocab list to help commit the meaning to memory.
  8. Do the last of the Wanikani reviews before bedtime.
  9. Listen to Oyasumi Story podcast while falling asleep.
Here's what my schedule really looks like

Now since I have a baby, if I can accomplish half of that list per day, then I’m pretty lucky. For the most part, I could do a quarter of it, but that’s mostly counting doing the WK reviews and lessons. If nothing else, I’m definitely keeping up on the reviews (constantly doing them every hour if I’m free as well). I also manage to do 10-15 lessons a day too (if I have any available).

I might be able to read two books a day or very many pages a day either, but I definitely make room to read a little bit at least. It helps signing up for the Read Every Day Challenge to help keep yourself accountable, and I haven’t missed a day, so it’s important to keep that streak going! I do have the chance to record new vocab and kanji, and I keep a record in a new post in the thread so I know I’m not just rushing through the text but learning something from it, and I have a reference point to look back on.

The なぜ?どうして?series is really helpful because I’m actually curious about “why this thing is what it is or why it does that, etc.” so I make the extra effort to try to translate everything not only for practice for me, but some of the info might be interesting to other readers keeping track of my reading progress.

When I got back into Wanikani, I decided to ditch the flashcard way and just record all the kanji in notebooks (organized by level). That way, I get writing practice, and it’s easier for me to study from something I’ve written myself than looking at a website or a textbook. I completed two Kanji Drill books for 1年生 level last year and ran into some new vocab and got a little tangled up in some of the readings, so now that I’ve learned all of the kanji for that grade, I’d like to get a new copy and see if I’ve made any improvement.

I also joined a Genki 2 study group on Second Life, which was a great way to get a refresher course on the stuff I learned way back in university. I originally joined so I could get more practice on keigo - the polite forms and humble forms - since I don’t use it regularly, and when I’m in the situation when I know I should use it, I don’t know it completely so I feel like I’m insulting someone if I used polite form once for a verb I know the conjugation of but suddenly switch to just plain formal form for a word I can’t quite say in polite form. But last night’s session made me realize how off my pronunciation has gotten and intonation needs a lot of work, so it’s definitely helpful to fine tune what I already know. (It’s like learning Calculus, most of the mistakes you make is simple arithmetic even if you understand the more difficult concepts. So it’s important to revisit the basics.)

I have the advantage of living in Japan and being able to talk to my husband 95% in Japanese every day, so I’m constantly exposed to the language and get plenty of speaking practice. The problem is, we’ll mix some English in our conversations when it’s easier to get a point across or when I don’t know the Japanese equivalent of the word, so I’d like to be able to have more solid Japanese speaking practice with a native speaker where I’m required to use more formal Japanese because I’m used to speaking casually most of the time.

The funny part is, when I first came to Japan, I had a hard time speaking casually because you learn predominantly formal speech from textbooks, so I had to adjust to speaking casually with my husband (because a married couple speaking formally to each other would give people the wrong idea as you can imagine) but now I’m too used to casual speech that I struggle with speaking formally, or worse, I mix up the two in the same conversation. :sweat:

Also, when I’m watching TV with my husband (especially Friday feature film night), we watch with subtitles for my benefit, so I get practice there. I just wish I could find something online where I could watch movies with Japanese subtitles too (just not Netflix because I don’t have a subscription). One of the fun things is watching American movies with Japanese subtitles to see how they translate certain dialogue that seems untranslatable in Japanese.

If I were overseas and didn’t have the advantage of having a family member to practice with, I’d look on italki (if I had the extra cash) or HelloTalk for a tutor or someone to do a language exchange with. The former is better if your only interest is improving your Japanese without feeling obligated to teach English in exchange. The latter is better if you want to use a free service and maybe connect with someone you share similar hobbies with and have a mutual beneficial relationship with. The only problem with HelloTalk is it’s hard to find someone who’s constantly on there. Many people create an account, go on hiatus when life gets busy, and come back a year later when they’re bored or have a lot of free time and think they want to practice English again.

But the bonus of having a tutor or a friend or a coach is you can report your successes or your troubles with, and if they’re a good match, they’ll cheer you on and/or help you out when you’re struggling with your studies. I always feel more motivated to work harder when I show my husband the new level I’ve finished in WK and proceed to read out all the on’yomi and kun’yomi, and he’s impressed and happy that I’m putting in so much effort to learn his native language that it makes him work hard too. So yeah, if you can find someone like that who can be your cheerleader, that’s an extra amount of motivation than just “I want to learn Japanese to do x amount of things” because it’s easy to give up when you start struggling and no one is there to support your dreams.

Lastly, I try to keep my study log updated because it’s not only motivational for me to know where I started and how I’m progressing, but it’s also a good reference point because I list new words I encounter in the wild and I try to explain the nuances of words with similar meanings (usually by asking my husband). Not only is this helpful for me, but I think it helps others as well, so it makes me even more likely to keep it updated so other people can benefit from it as well.

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I love this!!

My routine in order of priority:

  1. Weekly conversation with Japanese friend
  2. Daily reading (Satori 1 chapter or 2年生・10分で読める伝記)
  3. Weekly Genki II study or online grammar course
  4. Anki reviews
  5. Kanji (currently trying Wanikani and comparing to KKLC)

Study plan:

  1. At least 10 WaniKani lessons a day
  2. Review at least 50 items on WaniKani & all reviews on Houhou in the morning &
    evening
  3. Read at least one news article or short story or listen to a Japanese podcast a day
  4. Take a lesson Japanese lesson at least once a week
  5. Write a post on lang-8, HelloTalk or italki at least once a week

I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to make it less overwhelming for me. I do tend to study more than what I plan to do but this allows me to not feel guilty on days where I don’t feel like doing much. I need more speaking practice so may take up shadowing.

My goal:

To become proficient in Japanese. I struggle with goals as my main motivation for studying Japanese in the first place was due to liking the way the language sounds and wanting to have a second language.

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