When to study grammar, pitch accent, supplemental vocab?

Hi everyone! ( ^…^)ノ

I just started on WK a few weeks ago (just lvl 3 now) and I’m shocked by how much progress I’ve been able to make on here so far. I’ve been trying to learn Japanese on and off for soooo long without much success until discovering WK so now I’m re-energized and ready to go into full-on learning mode!

What are your thoughts on:

  • When to start studying supplemental vocabulary and grammar? I’ve started reading Genki I and Tae Kim’s guide. Both have been great but I don’t know if it’s more productive to wait until I’ve learned more kanji/vocab.

  • When to start using Anki or Kitsun? Should I wait until after I’ve completed lvl 60 on WK, or use it simultaneously to learn Genki I and JLPT N5 stuff? Do I also drill WK stuff on there or is that counterproductive for the SRS?

  • When to start studying pitch accent? Is it more useful to learn pitch accent for every kanji/vocab I learn on WK as I learn them? Or is it faster to learn once I have more of a foundation and incorporate “retroactively”?

I know these are loaded questions(!) and a lot of this might be personal preference/learning style, but I’d really appreciate any/all advice you guys may have! :slight_smile:

It is much easier and more fun to study grammer. When you can actually read the kanji instead of using furigana on them (personal experience). I wouldn’t specifiy a time for it thought because some people might already know some words.

Same answer for me at least. I couldn’t really handle two SRS systems. And i am learning vocabulary with wanikani so i am going to wait after that.

Pitch note huh… um i would say around the time you feel you can construct sentences without to look up words and stuff. The thing is especially when reading online you won’t need to speak unless if you have japanese friends. So maybe around 1000 words and decent grammer. But i prefer honestly to leave it for last.

Welcome friend hope you have wonderful journey…

You will already have a pretty good flow of vocabulary from WK, I wouldn’t necessarily add much more vocab on top of that for now. Grammar however, I would start immediately.

If you do have extra vocab you’d like to learn, it would make sense to do so through one of these two. But I’d agree with the other comments that it’s easy to overload yourself on SRS, especially with being in the very early stages of WaniKani.

Give it another few weeks and get a feel for how much spare time and energy you have after daily WK reviews, grammar study, and whatever else.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to study pitch accent for every word you come across. That’s going to be a lot of extra work. I do think it’s important to be aware of pitch accent and listen for it, especially when doing listening practice. You’ll naturally absorb some of it that way.

The only time I’ll actively go out and look for correct pitch is if I’m doing an audio recording of a short passage and I’ll check myself on pronunciation.


I think this really depends on you. My mother tongue has no inflection. I still struggle in English to place pitch correctly even though I’m perfectly bilingual and have lived in english speaking countries for over half my life.

Like you I’m a beginner so when I heard about pitch, I looked it up because I did not even know what it meant. Then I looked up those videos recommended elsewhere on the forum: https://youtu.be/jakXVEUTT48

So, that guy basically moves his hands from high to low or low to high as the syllables in the word change pitch to demonstrate it. I changed my settings so the lessons automatically play the sound. And every time I do a lesson/review, I move my hand to match the pitch to my voice like he does. I try it if I think I remember before the sound plays. Otherwise I wait and copy. The added benefit is it makes me notice how much I rob the japanese vowels of their rightful place: I tend to muffle them too much. It does not add much time but I cannot imagine being able to retrofit this added feature after I’ve gotten used to saying the words with no pitch or my own pitch.

I’ll add here that I have a strong auditive memory component to my learning so basically, I will remember saying the word wrong and have a very hard time correcting it later.

In another port, I said I also draw the kanjis and radicals with my fingers during lessons. The kinetic component of learning.

We all learn differently and we all bring different pre-skills to the table. Have a think about what you want. Do you want to speak well and sound natural. Do you want to be able to write?

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