When to start vocabulary srs and grammar?

I am now doing wanikani, but was wondering when should I start learning vocabulary via srs. I am also wondering when to start grammar (using bunpro and textbook.)


You should start right now. To make progress, you need to learn grammar, vocab and kanjis. The early levels of WK are not teaching that much useful vocab, so you need to learn vocab from another source. At the same time, in the long run it will be easier to learn vocab if you know all kanji.

You also need to apply this knowledge through immersion (reading, watching anime, etc…).


what do you mean start vocabulary? it i included in WK to reinforce kanji that you learned.

For grammar, you could start when you have some vocab basis, otherwise if you start now, you spend most of the time translating the sentence and not focusing the grammar point. Well, if you have lots of free time you could do it anyway.

I started bunpro around lvl 33 here in WK and it helped me a lot from n5 to n3, great tool for those lvls specifically.


You could start right away, and I would recommend starting as soon as you feel comfortable doing so.

Once you feel comfortable doing WaniKani once a day (a highly recommended habit, IMO), then it will be safe to add on an additional SRS tool. One thing you don’t want to do is to ‘dive into the deep end’, e.g. by taking on too many new tools all at once, not getting into a good daily habit with any of them, getting overwhelmed, and then burning out on Japanese study for a while. Better to start in the ‘shallow end’, wade around a bit, have fun splashing some water around, and then venture deeper when you feel at ease in the water. (So to speak, haha :sweat_smile:)

When you’re ready, I highly recommend BunPro for both Grammar and Vocab. It is already a mature SRS tool, and they are also constantly improving it.

They recently released their Vocab review SRS (based on the JLPT level system, starting at 5, and going up to 1), after a successful beta testing phase. I’ve been using it for several months now, and it blends right in with their Grammar SRS system.

They’ve also announced plans to further integrate the two types of reviews, so you’ll be able to, for example, pick a word out from an example sentence during a Grammar review, and add that word to your Vocab reviews, etc.

They are constantly polishing and improving their app and are nicely responsive to user feedback as well. Worth the investment, IMHO.

Of course, there are other vocab options out there, some of which are free, so you may want to check those out. As for grammar, though, I’m not aware of any that approach the quality of BunPro, although admittedly I haven’t really looked around for any other grammar SRSs (anyone who knows of one, please mention it!).


You might find the roadmap that Tofugu made, it’s quite detailed and gives some timeframes and an idea of when to begin certain parts.

For grammar it recommends you get to level 10 on Wanikani, so that you can recognise most kanji in a textbook. This will make it easier to take in the grammar. That said, I don’t think it hurts to start earlier, since I did. I think you can also start vocabulary as soon as you want, but personally I found it hard to learn words that I didn’t know the kanji for yet, so maybe focus on words with kanji you know, and the words that only use hiragana/katakana.


from day 1


Asap. It’s all part of the same tool box.


If you’re mostly interested in learning to read Japanese in the short term (over speaking/understanding spoken Japanese), I think that focusing most of your Japanese study time on wanikani early is worth it because knowing a few hundred kanji will help you massively. The early returns until level 20 or so are huge.

You should still study grammar and vocab though, personally I can recommend the JLAB Anki deck that takes you through all the basic grammar and a lot of vocab with N+1 flashcards. You can just do 5 or so cards a day when starting, it won’t be overwhelming but it will provide some practice in context.

I also like bunpro for grammar practice. They have vocab decks there too but I haven’t tried them so far.

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Ah. I like bunpro for grammar and didn’t really considered vocab. Is there a way to quickly send words up in the SRS system ? I am already about 1000 word into anki / renshuu, and don’t want to add another SRS on top.


You can choose to start you vocab reviews at any of the n 1-5 levels, so if you are already a 1000 through, then probably just select n4 as your starting location and I don’t think you will have to many repeats. It will depend on the deck you’ve been studying on anki though.

Yes, you can adjust any item’s SRS level individually at any time! Also, there are ways to set many items at once, such as to set the default level for items from a particular deck (for example, each JLPT level has its own deck). It’s not the best system for doing such mass changes at once, but you can usually get something to work out half-decently, depending on what your goals are. (They are planning to improve this over time. Getting more user feedback on it may help shift the priorities on such a feature.) But in any case, you can always go through the items you want to browse and add them as ‘new’, mark them as ‘known’, or set them to any SRS level in between.

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