What should I be doing besides WaniKani as a begginer?

I am very new to Japanese, know the hiragana and katakana syllabaries by heart but I am not sure what to do now exactly. I am looking into Genki 1 but I don’t really know. I have a bit of free time so wanikani isn’t taking up enough time to satisfy my desire to learn right now. Thanks for any help and sorry for any mistakes, English isn’t my first language (I speak very well just not writing as much).


Try to start doing KaniWani

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Sign up for kaniwani. It is free, and gives the reverse questions of wanikani. Created by someone here too.

Sign up for bunpro (grammar). Also made by a user here. I think there is still a free option.

Listen to stuff in Japanese. NHK has hourly news broadcasts. Also daily newsweb easy articles.

TBS plays short news clips around the clock. Most of them are subtitled in Japanese.
(連続動画|TBS NEWS)

Read the guide. Read the stories of other people who have succeeded here.
This is the a great one:

Other people will post many other ideas!
Also, read tofugu articles …

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If you’re learning outside of a classroom, I wouldn’t recommend Genki.

My favorite resources for total beginners are HumanJapanese, JapanesePod101 and DuoLingo

You can also watch Japanese Drama on https://www.viki.com . I wouldn’t start with anime since the way they talk there isn’t very natural.


Welcome to the study of Japanese! There are a lot of things you could try doing to get some of the basics of Japanese down.

Genki I is a good option. However, if you are not a native English speaker, you might try looking at Minna no Nihongo. It’s a bit more challenging at first, since it’s entirely in Japanese! But the good news is that the guides are available in multiple languages, not just English.

If you have a mobile phone, try LingoDeer. It’s a cute little app that teaches you a surprisingly large amount of Japanese in a very easy to use format. DuoLingo is another option, although it isn’t really recommended as anything other than a supplement to other methods.

People will recommend other SRS programs like Anki or Kitsun to get your vocabulary up, and that’s OK. But if you have free time right now, I’d go for LingoDeer, given that you’re an absolute beginner, but know the alphabets.

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Seems they’re throwing you everything it “might” help at this point, which I’m not sure it’s really that usefull tbh.
Many people start using tools, but few get to go over all the way with those tools and end up recommending them still. Specially now with web based tools, seems that because the interphase and user experience it’s good, then language learning wise it must be good too. Sadly that’s not really the case.

Actually I would recommend you to teach yourself a bit about language learning first . You know, it’s a fairly long road if you decide to stick, and japanese it’s like the hard mode of language learning… so results might be delayed in comparision to other languages you could learn coming with english as a mother language. Informing yourself about how language learning works, and what areas you should prioritize at a given moment will avoid waste time, get frustrated, and overall achieve a routine where you feel, even if slowly, you get results.

A few videos that could start you getting aquainted with language learning.

If I had to recommend one tool, even though currently I use still many that have survived the test of time, would be extensive reading. You can do a search about it, it comes in many formats, fancy websites, physical books, ebooks, etc… :+1:

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So do y’all think that wanikani/kaniwani for vocab and kanji, bunpro for grammar and japanesepod101 for listening would cover all my bases for a while?

An additional resource I have not seen mentioned yet is DeerLingo. It’s an app made specifically for learning Japanese.

Oh okay! Do you know what does lingodeer does well, other than being completely mobile, compared to other options?

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Of all those I would just go with WK, as a kanji learning tool (take the vocab as a plus, not as covered).

If you want to start learning japanese but don’t mind about looking into the “why” and “how” of language learning, a safer bet I think would be JALUP. The whole theme it’s a bit dorky to my taste, but I think the creator (Adam) it’s offering one of the best resources as a whole.

This is where I usually jump into the thread because I’m a huge advocate of LingoDeer.

It’s a well structured gamified app that teaches you all the same grammar as Genki I & II. Being completely mobile is what it does that other options don’t, of course. I studied one lesson/day (with no prior Japanese experience) and used my own Anki cards to review all older lessons as I went (not a fan of the app’s built in reviews section). This got me through the bulk of “beginner’s” Japanese in what I feel was a reasonable amount of time, and without having to sit down and pretend I’m two different people to do the exercises that make up the bulk of Genki, which is what you’ll be doing if you study Genki outside of a classroom.

I read through Genki afterwards to make sure I wasn’t missing anything from having used LingoDeer and … it’s all there.

Unlike duolingo, LingoDeer does actually thoroughly explain each chapter’s grammar at the beginning, same as a textbook. duolingo just throws stuff at you and you’re supposed to figure it out on your own, and imo you might as well just be reading native material and guessing at that point. I notice a lot of people like duolingo but they always seem to say “it’s great for my needs, it’s perfectly adequate as long as I have these other things to supplement …” and I’m curious why people need a grammar supplement to their grammar learning tool?

It also has native audio, and makes for decent beginner’s listening practice.

tl;dr complete beginner’s Japanese package (minus kanji but that’s why you’re here) in your pocket on the go.


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