When should I start using Genki?

As the title implies, when should I start using Genki? I’m already at chapter 6, but some friends have told me to use WaniKani first.

You can start Genki (and grammar study in general) whenever you feel comfortable to do so! The earlier, the better :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s recommended in the WK Guide that level 5 on here is a good time to start textbooks because you’ll have learned most of the common kanji you may see in them by then, but if the kanji and vocab aren’t holding you back/slowing you down, then it’s perfectly fine to continue doing Genki and using WK concurrently ^^


^what @MissMisc said.

Also, if you’re already at chapter 6 and you feel fine, then by all means continue! It’s always good to keep up with the other aspects of language learning, and Genki is a really great place to start!


I agree with the other posters that you should start to work Genki into your routine asap. I’d also caution against having your study get either too grammar-centric or too kanji-centric…you need both. Balance is key.


I was going to say that yesterday is the best time to start using Genki (or any reputable grammar resource, there are a lot of options out there), but it seems you’re already there! If you find you can grok both kanji and grammar simultaneously, then keep on trucking.

To add to what’s already been said, you can know all the kanji in the world, but it’s not going to help you read or speak Japanese if you don’t understand the scaffolding grammar that makes a sentence a sentence. To use an analogy, if kanji are the wheels on the car, the grammar is the engine that makes everything move. Having the wheels is nice (and you most definitely should have the wheels!), but you’re not going anywhere without your engine!


WaniKani is not a prerequisite to anything other than reading kanji.

- A quote I just made up


Literally right now. Get off of this forum and start using it. Come back, of course, but start using it now! It’s always a good time to start grammar. I think I started Genki around the same time and look at me? spins around… see?


Wanikani isn’t even a prerequisite to reading kanji.

Or maybe it is and @Nath has been lying to us about his capabilities.

(But its really not)


Wanikani has been slaughtering the leeches I have in terms of reading, in particular long sounds vs short sounds
For the longest time I was wondering if 住民 was じゅうみん or じゅみん
Same for 〜所 is 場所 ばしょ or ばしょう
Also, kun’yomi in general. When I was coming across 勇む or 栄える or 敗れる I would read the kanji as ”なとか” (“something”), because you don’t need the actual reading to understand the sentence. So I could read as much as I wanted, that was never getting better.

Well, all the examples I just gave have been fixed already thanks to WK.

So, to conclude, not a prerequisite to reading kanji, but one of the best methods as far as I am concerned.

As for starting grammar/ genki/ whatever, I agree with everyone else that the answer is “as soon as possible”.


How about asking your friends why you should WK first? If it convinces you, you can do some WK first :slight_smile:

Genki is designed to have no prior knowledge at all, so you can start right away. However, I felt some “mental interference” by having to actively remember what that kanji/word meant again, getting the words down first greatly helps to concentrate on the grammar.


I completed genki 1 and 3 chapters of 2 before i started WK (which is how im learning kanji).
Before i started WK last month all i could do was read hiragana, katakana and 「私、今日」

I wasn’t self studying however, I use a tutor every weekday for 1 hour from italki.com → so this might actually be harder to do self studying.
But aslong as you’re enjoying yourself, why not!

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I would never tell anyone to use Wanikani before Genki. Your friends are madmen.

Wanikani is vastly, vastly better if you already have both the two syllabaries and foundational grammar down. I honestly wouldn’t suggest starting it until at least a little way into Genki.

(I mean, I guess I’ll never know what it’s like to use WK first, but even its early vocab seems to depend on being contextualized in at least simple sentences, for which you need some basic grammar and obviously hiragana and katakana.)


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