What should I be using WaniKani with?

Woow, wow, so I’m new here! Hello!
First of all, I’m surprised that I remember as much as I do already, cool! It’s working!
But… I’m worried. I’ll be honest, this system really DOES have me coming back for more, it really is as addictive as people say, and I’m only on the start of level TWO (nuts!). I understand that this is only for kanji and a handful of vocab, so I know I need to be using it alongside other things, but… What? I’ve seen BunPro recommended as a sort of… Grammar alternative to WK, but if I were to use these two together, what ELSE would I need? (If you guys would even recommend BunPro!)

I know that Genki is very popular for a textbook, but honestly, I feel like my motivation isn’t that good for textbook learning/studying, and I’m not even sure of the best way to go through a textbook. Would it be something like learning vocab, trying to think over it for a while and adding it to a personal Anki deck?

Ah yes, and then there’s Anki… Well, I mean, I get why people like it… Kinda? I’ve seen people recommending that you download one of those huge vocab packs and stuff, but somehow I just don’t know how it teaches you. You see a word, you don’t know it, you say you don’t know it because you’re trying to learn and it basically counts it as a fail… I kinda don’t understand it.

Basically, I’m mostly wondering about how you guys would suggest I studdy other vocab and grammar outside of this! I know this is a very long post, and a bit rambly… And I could maybe search for myself too, sure, but I’d like some answers based on what I’m personally kinda going through with this and all… But thank you! :smiley:


Welcome and hello! :smiley:

you say you remember some things, how far have you gone before?

I primary focus on WK and bunpro if i have the time. I also watch CureDolly on youtube for some more grammar understanding. When you get to the higher levels WK will take much more time than now, so I would recommend that you wait a bit with Anki to see if you need even more SRS in your life.

I like to read on Satori and watch Anime on Animelon where I can easily look up words I don’t know. Satori will also help you with the grammar in the sentences if you are not familiar with the grammar points. I write down the words I look up, but I don’t memorize them. (I have way to many reviews to find time for that.) I remember some, and forget others and look them up countless times before they eventually stick. The ones that shows up much is often so normal for the story that you remember them in context soon enough.

There will be many ways people will recommend you do this, but i think that if you don’t like to study with a book, then you should find ways you wont need that. Bunpro + some other place you get a more in dept explanation for the grammar will help you with that. The most important thing that I think you should do beside WK is something for the grammar, you will learn a lot of vocab here, and by immersion when you are ready for that. Dont study grammar from a book or a static webpage if that ruins your flow, take a slower route if that can keep you motivated. :slight_smile:


Welcome! In addition to studying Kanji, I’d recommend getting started on Japanese grammar. There are a lot of different options out there, so it might be best to experiment and see which one matches your learning style and budget.

Think of Bunpro as a review system for whatever grammar you’ve learned from your primary source. It’s not a very good tool for learning, but it can really help reinforce what you’ve already learned.


This is a very unpopular opinion, especially amongst the Japanese learning community, but I found that once I got the hang of the basic Kanji through WaniKani, Duolingo was able to offer the grammar lessons and extra vocabulary that I needed. Being new to the Japanese learning communtiy, I haven’t tried Anki or Bunpro enough to see whether they’re good or not. At the end of the day, application quality varies for each person and how they learn. Hope that helped in some way : )


There are other ways to use Anki besides downloading a huge vocab pack of 6K or 10K words. You could just start reading and add newly encountered words to Anki which you would like to learn. You can start reading knowing much less than what those large vocab decks have. The vocab from Genki alone could be enough to start with. Or you could start with a much smaller deck (the 2K one which will have a ton of overlap with Genki and probably even WK) before jumping into reading. Or, you could spend a week or so learning the most common verbs in Japanese, because in my (very limited) experience, knowing just the main verb in a sentence enhances my understanding more compared to knowing just another word.

I have always held that Anki (and of course other SRS based flash card mechanisms) are built for reviewing, not for learning. The learning that comes from actual reading will stick a lot better. That’s why I was also very hesitant when it came to WK because I would be using a flash card based tool for learning, not just reviewing. However, I made an exception because kanji is such a huge hump that I need to get over before I can start reading and learning in a meaningful way.


Thank you! I would agree that Anki feels much more like a reviewing system, and It’s crazy to me that people use it to learn, but maybe I’m just weak. Do you think it may be a good idea for me to just suck it up and go with Genki, and add the vocab I learn from each chapter or so that I find useful into my own Anki deck?

That’s the kind of approach I like, so I think you should definitely try it out. You could actually download an existing Anki deck for Genki, suspend all the cards, and only activate the ones you come across in Genki and you want to learn. That should save you some time compared to creating all your own cards.

I also wish I had the mental fortitude to push through a deck of 10K words, because it would make reading so much easier once I am through. But, that method is just too painful for me, lol.

Congrats on completing level one!

Genki is a good text book if you have somebody else studying with you. I also had consistency problems with text books.

With your kanji knowledge growing at a fast speed through WaniKani, I’d recommend actually using the language by consuming native material. One way to do that is to read texts on Yomi.ai. You can even get recommendations based on the kanji you burned on WaniKani (which will take you still a little bit though).

Personally, I’d advise against using multiple SRS systems. You’ll be fine with WaniKani for a while. It’ll get a lot more busy as you progress through the levels. Other than that, use the language and see what kanji, vocab, and grammar comes up.

Enjoy the journey!


Welcome to the party, you’re going to eat those words!

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I use WK, kamesame, anki, bunpro and Genki.

My main focus is WK as I’m paying for it and it’s a lot of money to me so I want to get as much done as I can with my 1yr of subscription then I’ll probably cancel for a while and focus on other areas (on a side note, can someone tell me if it’s possible to continue doing reviews without a subscription?).

I use kamesame purely just to train production/recall of what I’ve burned in WK.

In Anki I study a 10k deck but suspend all the WK kanji and vocab cards so I’m effectively just using it to fill in the gaps although that’s a bit of an understatement as there’s obviously a lot of important vocab that WK doesn’t teach you like all the kana only stuff. Some people are saying they can’t be bother with a 10k deck but remember that you dont have to push through the whole thing. At the end of the day it just covers all your bases 2k/4k/6k etc. Study as much or as little as you like.

It’s been mentioned that Anki is good for review but not so good for learning and I actually agree with that to some extent but I will say that being able to recognise the kanji in new vocabs helps a lot with learning them. Because of this I only learn a few new cards a day in Anki just to make sure I don’t get too far ahead of my kanji learning. To that end it would probably be helpful to get a deck of vocab that pays some respect to the order that you learn kanji in WK…

I use the Genki books for grammar. After using duolingo for a long time and not learning that much, using Genki rly accelerated things for me. It was like night and day. I am the sort of person who is happy learning from textbooks though. I did take a break from it shortly after starting Genki 2 though as I was getting annoyed that I didn’t recognise a lot of the kanji and vocab. going back to it after getting through a bunch of levels in WK really helped a lot.

Finally I use bunpro mostly just to review and practice grammar I’ve already learned. Helps to stop things slipping away from you. It’s notarised form of grammar explanations really help for just refreshing you on the details so you don’t have to go back and reread a whole section on a grammar concept but if you need to do that then they’ve handily compiled links to external sources that provide that for you.

Beyond that though I do use it as a bit of a grammar dictionary and to learn new stuff. If I encounter a some grammar I don’t recognise when reading I’ll search it in bunpro then add it to reviews. Also it integrates real well with Genki or whatever other textbook you may be using and it’s not that expensive either…


I have to start with this: YOU NEED SOME KANJI!

If you don’t have at least a couple of hundred Kanji under your belt it’s gonna be hard to do anything. Native material is impossible and even studying grammar will feel tedious. That means your priority is to use WaniKani and get to at least level 10-20 as soon as possible(after that you can slowdown if you want).

For grammar the only thing you need is Tae Kim’s guide and it’s free. It’s also included on Bunpro if you want to practice some of the grammar points mentioned there. I don’t recommend using both WK and Bunpro as you will burnout very quickly especially once you to get to higher levels and the reviews start to pile up like crazy.

I also hate textbooks so I feel you on this one. However, you need at least a basic grammar level to do anything else. So you can read the “essential grammar” part from Tae Kim’s guide then go back to the rest later.

Anki is very similar to Wanikani as it’s another SRS(spaced repetition system). The main difference is customization. Wanikani is great but you can’t customize anything so if you don’t like the vocab that you learn, the order of the Kanji or stuff like that then you will end up with a lot of frustation. It’s kind of: “You have to trust the process, just show up”. Anki on the other hand gives you all the freedom that you want but it takes more of your time as you have to customize everything. You can get a pre-made deck but it’s always better to create a deck yourself to make sure that it meets your specific needs. Obviously, as a beginner you can get a pre-made one and delete the vocab that you think won’t be useful to you.

Regarding how Anki works the concept is simple. You see a card then you think about the answer instead of typing it(like on WK). Once you want to see the answer and confirm what you were thinking you display the second part of the card and you will have some options(was it hard for you? was it easy for you? etc…). Based on your answer, Anki will show you the card again when it thinks that you need to see it(so that you don’t forget it).

Finally, native material. Play your favorite game, read your favorite manga, struggle, repeat until fluency.


Not even my thread, but you helped me a lot.



Glad to see that :wink:

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Just to flag it as an option: kitsun.io is a newer and (I think) easier to use flashcard/SRS system than Anki. It also has decks for Genki etc. It’s paid, but I think you get your money’s worth.


Not too much I can add to the above except… check out Japanese.io for free reading practice and kanji help. You can even add your own texts to practice and save them to collections. One of the best resources for studying Japanese IMO.


I really love RocketLanguages.com Japanese. It’s also a paid site, but it is well worth it. It has conversations, grammar, reading, writing, listening, vocabulary, culture, and loads of fun reinforcement activities. They have sample lessons so you can try it out first. I have used it for two years now and make fast progress, and it’s fun.

I reckon Duolingo is great for beginning a language, it gamifies the learning and for me it became super addictive. You learn basic words/phrases and get a fundamental grasp on how to use the language. I think it’s trash for any intermediate or advanced learning though outside reinforcing what you already know. Do not expect to get anything beyond beginner level proficiency with it.

I got up to level 6 and was finding more and more mistakes in their answers (which as a beginner who relies on the answers to correct their mistakes is something you do not want) and the questions were accepting less and less a variety of answers to the point where they were so strict you had to basically memorise the particular answer they wrote for that question. I get emails to this day saying they’ve now accepted a particular answer I submitted so they’re constantly improving it. Perhaps I’ll go back someday and finish the course for the sake of it. I wanted to finish it then back when I did it a few months ago but the questionable nature of the later levels and frustration I felt made me seek greener pastures. That was around the time I really got into wanikani and joined the forums and found other ways to learn a language through the great people here, and learning how to learn a language in general really.

Lingodeer is another app that’s very similar to duolingo if you want to try something else. I haven’t played much with it as I was immediately reminded of duolingo when I did it and I was sick of duolingo. That owl can go f himself. Now instead of the owl I have the crabigator on my case.


Hahahaha I’ve never heard truer words! I agree with everything you said and I honestly don’t spend too much time on Duolingo because I, like you, get very annoyed with the its reluctance to validate an answer.


Hey! Thanks for recommending https://www.satorireader.com. I thought I would check it out after you mentioned it and, honestly, it’s the next best thing to WaniKani that I’ve found; it’s so adjustable! They literally went out of their way to link with WaniKani in order to find each exact kanji I knew. The articles and stories on there are stimulating and the overall app is just really enjoyable!
So once again thanks a lot! :slight_smile:


I know textbooks can be really daunting, but I think they’re an important resource to learn grammar. You can think of Kanji and Vocab as building blocks and grammar is the instructions on how to use said building blocks.

I’ve recently went through Genki 1 after taking a year long studying break and my method is to just sit down and do 20 minutes of it a day. I read through the dialogue, vocab and grammar point explanations and then move on to doing the exercises. It’s pretty straightforward. I personally don’t use the audio files, but they’re there if needed.

I’m also using a Genki Anki deck to keep learning the vocab as I move one through the book.

There’s also other resources for learning grammar of course, like other textbooks and stuff like Tae Kim’s, so I’d say have a look around and see what fits your learning style better.