I studied on and off for 5 years and got no where. (I mean like barely able to read hiragana… no katakana at all… no kanji… and doing 1/4 of a genki lesson at a snails pace with a teacher 1 hour a week on and off for 2 - 3 month periods I was basically a fool for allowing myself to be ‘taught’ like that but i didn’t know any better as a beginner… this was before I started researching about polyglots and how they do things then ajatt and MIA came along recently)
Last year I said “i want this” and so i started wanikani at my own pace (still daily) 5 months later level 11 almost 12 now.
Studying grammar every day (coscom.co.jp)
Reading manga every day (even when i dont understand it)
I listen to Japanese music 24/7… but then i try and participate by learning the lyrics (again… even if i don’t know what they mean)
Now… i wouldn’t say i could produce anything but i can consume content quite easily NHK Easy news i understand 50-60% of what I’m reading.
Manga like Yotsuba I understand 3/5 words, look up 2 - 5 per page but can ‘fully understand whats going on’
I can read and every day i find myself having those moments "Oh i know this word’ “Ohh did he just say ‘Saikin ha ginza de (don’t have jp keyboard atm)’ in that song i know that”
I’m seeing kanji all over the place and having this feeling like I’ve seen that before!! and sometimes 20% of the time i know it!
I think what I’m trying to say is…
Its up to you how fast you go, but be consistent or you’ll spend 5 years and get no where. if you put in hard work even in the times where you cant see the progress (which last for weeks at a time… and are super demotivating) you’ll always look back and say wow I’m better today than I was 2 weeks ago.
I mean ask yourself now, you’ve put in what 2? 3? 4? months so… 2-3-4 months ago, did you know as much as you do today? nope. no way, feel happy in knowing that and take another 2-3-4 month step forward then reflect back.