What should I be doing next?

Hello everyone! I just wanted to get some ideas on what I should be working on right now, as I kinda feel like I’m not progressing.
I’m level six currently and have read some of tae kims first few guides on grammar, and I’ve begun listening to JapanesePod101 to get more exposure and speaking practice.
Should I double down on more tae kim and really study the material that’s available there? Or should I begin a textbook? There’s just simply too many options to know what to do next!
Any help is greatly appreciated!


Take a nap, eat more meat


Stick with something until it proves unuseful any longer.


Join our cult Haikyuu Club.

Jk jk :sweat_smile:

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Consider trying Cure Dolly’s video series on Youtube.


Use bunpro.jp honestly couldn’t recommend this enough, supplement it with whatever grammar text works for you. Honestly tae kim doesn’t really go into to much detail into his grammar points so I’d get something else to go along with it. But luckily, the internet has some awesome Japanese grammar guides. I am currently using IMABI.net but that is really dense and has a ton of information, some points are written better than others but it has so much in it. Other than most people recommended Genki I but without a teacher or someone to guide you through it may be difficult. Bunpro also provides reading for each of the grammar points it introduces so you could just do a few grammar points a day and use the recommended readings they provide.

I’ve heard some pretty bad things about Tae Kim’s guide, but since I’m not a grammar expert, I can’t comment on whether his guide is good or not. If you like his guide, I would say keep going, but maybe take everything with a grain of salt.

I will always advocate for immersion. Watch anime/JP shows without subtitles in your native or another fluent language, or even better, watch anime/JP shows with Japanese subtitles. Go back and rewatch shows you’ve watched previously and see what you pick up on. It’s incredibly motivating (at least for me) to pick up on a word I’ve learned and go “hey, I recognize that!” It also gives you listening practice (and reading practice if you watch with Japanese subtitles.) I’ve already been able to pick up on some stuff and I’m only just starting level 7.

In the age of the internet, especially with how much it’s advanced, I would say textbooks are almost unneeded. You just gotta be careful with what you use. That being said, textbooks can be extremely helpful for people who are a bit more handsy and just like having physical copies. Textbooks might also be able to clear up some ambiguity you come across when using online guides. The biggest drawbacks for textbooks is that they can be extremely outdated and stupidly expensive.

All in all, it’s about your personal process and how you retain information (if you care about that.) Personally, I like to make physical flashcards whenever I do my lessons because it helps me remember everything better. When I fail a card multiple times over and over in multiple review sessions, I then make a card in anki for that word. I spend only 45 mins a day max studying right now. For others, the process is very different, such as the speedrunners of WK who want to complete the levels in a year. Other people want to take it reaaallllyyyyy slow. It’s really about what you like, but don’t be afraid to test the waters.

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And fish as Meisa from Megaman often recommends :smiley: .

I was following a similar route for a while (last year), too. Did a couple of lessons from Tae Kim and the JLPT N5 (Ultra Beginner) course from JapanesePod101 + several JLPT N5 exam sets to gauge my progress.

I can honestly recommend continuing with Tae Kim’s complete grammar guide, since the N5 course on JapanesePod101 didn’t really cover all the grammar which is used in JLPT (things like から/ので to link sentence clauses and けど instead of が for expressing contrast; I actually do hear a lot of ですけどwhen listening to the news). I’m not saying JLPT should be used as reference, but grammar is super important and if you mix it with vocab, you’ll quickly start picking up structures which you encounter in news articles, anime, manga, etc.

I’ve heard this before, but my experience has so far been positive. Do you maybe remember what were the issues with Tae Kim’s guide? :slight_smile:

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It was something about the author being stuck up and believing he knew everything, as well as explanations being too ambiguous or outright wrong. I remember seeing a thread about it, I’ll go try and dig it up.

Found it. I always expect to have to go on some great expedition to find a thread but I never do… guess that’s a testament to how good the search function is lol


Big thanks for finding that thread! :slight_smile:

Honestly, I’m not at a level at which I can judge how much of Tae Kim’s work is flawed or unhelpful, but for me it worked so far. I learned of は vs が before, but the issue with this is that a lot of the resources give very clear, basic examples and once you get deeper into grammar, the line gets more blurry (at least to me) or more context-dependent :frowning:

The chapters on particles and verbs I particularly (pun intended) enjoyed as actually clear.

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Watch some anime with Japanese audio and Japanese subtitles :smiley:

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