Okay so, I don’t know if that’s in the right category, but I was wondering something. I just reached level 7, and I have to admit that this is by far the best method I’ve found for learning kanji and vocabulary. Now, as with any other language, I find that the best method for retention is to actually read (and watch stuff but let’s go with read first). I was wondering if there were any stuff that, at my level, I would be able to read without much difficulty? It can be manga, LN, anything, even for children.
If level 7 is too low, which level should I realistically wait until I’m able to do so?
The old WaniKani Guide used to have suggestions for reading timelines, but they have since been removed with the updating of the Guide. However, I have them here for you (:
You should get through these levels before trying to read too much. But, by level 5 you’ll have completed most of the kanji you’ll find in most beginner Japanese textbooks. This is a good time for you to start grammar study.
Begin reading simple Japanese text. It’ll still be difficult to read anything comfortably, but children’s manga should be okay (these are more advanced than children’s books, and actually have some kanji). You can also look through newspapers, books, manga, and blogs, though you’ll mostly be identifying kanji and words that you know, not reading for comprehension. It’s best to reach Level 20 before getting into anything too seriously.
This is when reading Japanese text really becomes possible. It’s difficult, for sure, but you won’t have to look up every other word anymore. Teen manga, NHK NEWS WEB EASY, and other “simplified” Japanese will be more than doable, though you will still need to look words up. You could even start dabbling in regular manga, Japanese books, and Japanese websites, though it will certainly be a challenge.
This is where we recommend you start reading as much as you can. It will reinforce what you’ve learned, and you will learn many new words as well, depending on the topic of your reading material. Japanese books, manga, and websites are all great learning resources for you now.
Keep reading! If you started reading at level 30 and kept at it until now, you will find things to be much easier for you compared to before. This is an important period in your studies. Read! Read!
These “extra” kanji are extras, but will still help you to read Japanese. Those nagging few kanji that you had to look up before will now become kanji that you know. As with the previous ten levels, just keep reading. You have to use the Japanese you’ve learned so it becomes yours. As long as you keep reading, you’ll keep getting better. It’s time to leave the nest, little bird. Fly! Fly!
I second that! For lack of Kanji, you can always pick a book with full furigana, but for lack of grammar, that’s a much greater struggle.
Have you checked out the book clubs? There are clubs for each level, and people discuss the books and answer each other’s questions. Often they also build a vocab sheet to ease looking up stuff. If you are interested in reading a book that has already been read, you can still use the old threads and even ask more questions, there are still some people around to answer them.
This is the list of all book clubs so far:
The Absolute Beginner Book Club will soon start a nice book of biographies of famous people, maybe that would be something for you? It’s written for second-grade schoolchildren and looks quite manageable.
At Level 7 you should absolutely be reading Furigana stuff. You can still vaguely “learn” Kanji with Furigana over them, when you learn them on WK you remember the words and you’ll say “ah it’s that one”.
Everything not aimed at really small children without Furigana is just too hard and frustrating, because looking up Kanji takes FOREVER.
Japanese short stories for beginners. This book has 20 short stories. There is the story, then the story with the English underneath. A dictionary of the words used in the story , a summary of the story and a few short questions to see if you understood the story.
I find this book really good and it is a confidence booster when you find a few kanji and vocabulary you understand. I love this book. I am Level 8 so it should be ok for you. Some grammar I don’t understand yet but that just makes me go and research it. It is on sale on Amazon and is part of the LingoMastery series. You could also look at NHK News Web Easy this has listening and reading to short news stories. Good Luck.