Your WaniKani Level VS Your JLPT Level

No one here is recommending not reading. But we’re just not denying that there are people who are fluent in Japanese that aren’t the greatest kanji readers out there.


Well, yes, they are native, so it’s a bit different than the discussion that we were having. However, they are also fluent in English and German, which would be the same problem in reverse: they can’t “read” English or German.
They do actually read a lot, though, just audiobooks instead of regular books.

I assume people who do not care about kanji aren’t trying to reach level 60 here :thinking:


Greatest kanji readers and not reading at least the most common kanji are two different things though…we’re talking high school kanji here not obscure ones…if you don’t know those kanji you are very limited in acquiring new vocabulary. Getting new word from listening only is very time consuming, and less efficient…and if you can’t read kanji you cab only write that word in kana and remember it waiting to listen again at it.
I don’t deny people can live without Knowing N1 kanji, I only say they’re not fluent in my opinion of fluency at least. That maybe is the reason why most company look for N1 in candidates, or at least (rarely) N2 (but they would be at a disadvantage with the previous one anyway and they would have holes in their proficiency just like I have…).
Anyway I really wouldn’t want to discuss and argue too much about this…I’m really here to learn and be happy about all the new grammar and vocabulary and kanji I’m learning and if people disagree with what I think is not a big deal…:relieved:

Well, considering how caught up your definition of fluency is on a number of symbols someone understands the meaning of (something that doesn’t impact the way words flow out of their mouth at all) we should probably just leave it there.

Proficiency might be the word you’re looking for btw.


Yes we should :relieved: even if symbols don’t impact how that word flows out of your mouth but if that word was in your head before that :laughing: because you can only pronounce what you have previously learnt. So yes, we can agree on disagreeing here :relaxed::+1:

Uhm…proficiency maybe? I don’t know but you can define fluent someone who has a grasp of the most basic grammar but can apply it well? Because I believe you cannot define fluency like this but I’m not a native English speaker so maybe I’m wrong.

From an English dictionary definition, ‘fluent’ is most likely referring to spoken/writing ability but I think broadly, it’s just the ability to communicate accurately.

Able to express oneself easily and articulately.
‘a fluent speaker and writer on technical subjects’
More example sentences
1. 1.1Able to speak or write a particular foreign language easily and accurately.
‘she became fluent in French and German’
More example sentences
2. 1.2(of a foreign language) spoken accurately and with facility.
‘he spoke fluent Spanish’

1 Like
  • WaniKani Level: 4 (depending on how you look at it, will be 5 in a few days but the levels have a lot of vocabulary)
  • JLPT Level: Any practice questions I’ve taken for N5 have been mixed at best - it’s too early to answer anything other than below N5
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Current resources are currently WK, Bunpro, Tae Kim/Imabi, and soon to be Torii and something in the Anki/Kitsun area. Materials completed are none to this point, but Bunpro N5 isn’t that far away one supposes :slight_smile:
  • Your Next Goals: (note that this is quite short-term, so I’m sorry about that ahead of time, think my next post here in a month or so will be long-term)
    1. Determine a primary vocab SRS tool (maybe have a secondary that lets me easily store a word into a phone app or laptop document or something without being logged in and then easily import it in later case I’m reading on a handheld or with a physical book on the go) - would be best if this tool worked for more than one language
    2. Start learning more kana-only words
    3. finish Bunpro N5 and be able to start using cram with it to keep doing practice sentences
    4. figure out a new avatar…for here at least hehe

EDIT: Maybe this is too fast for this WK level and not having any prior Japanese experience before, I don’t truly know


thanks this is useful :blush::+1:

1 Like
  • WaniKani Level: 41
  • JLPT Level: My last JCAT a few months back said lower-intermediate (just barely). Personally, I feel JLPT N6.
  • Your Next Goal: To just keep at it. Read more. Not keep forgetting to do Anki all the time.
  • WaniKani Level: 17
  • JLPT Level: I just passed JLPT N2 (December 2019)!
  • Resources/Materials: I’ve never completed any of them but 完全マスター 文法 and 読解 mostly. Also just living and working in Japan.
  • Your Next Goal: Take the Business Japanese Test :sob:
  • WaniKani Level: 7
  • JLPT Level: This is a best guess, but the grammar would be close to N5 level, total number of kanji and vocabulary could be higher, but ability to listen…not quite yet XD
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Current resources are WK, Bunpro, Torii, Tae Kim/Imabi/many other grammar sites, and possibly another SRS tool. Completed materials are Bunpro N5 except for one old grammar point and some very recently added points
  • Your Next Goals: (this one will be more long-term)
    1. Determine a primary vocab SRS tool – hopefully that can be used for more than one language far in the future (like German or Spanish) - and get to adding words
    2. Keep progressing with Bunpro N4 (but much slower), cram and review more website links for N5 grammar
    3. Read some Graded Readers and N5 level books, and progress upwards
    4. Create a small script (temporary or not) to allow for starting radicals a little earlier, and look into a dark color script once the new layout is live
1 Like

Sorry to bother you but did you find the Kumon Kokugo program satisfactory? How did it impact your studies?

1 Like

WaniKani Level: 3
JLPT Level: N4
Resources/Materials Completed: Japanese for Busy People 1 and 2, community college classes Japanese 1 and 2, Minna no Nihongo 1and 2 (at lesson 35)
My Next Goal: Complete Minna no Nihongo 2, learn 500 kanji by end of June (total of 800), be able to read at N4 level comfortably by end of June

1 Like
  • WaniKani Level: 46
  • JLPT Level: Passed N2
  • Resources/Materials: (In approximate order of how I did them)
  1. Human Japanese 1 & 2
  2. Wanikani + Kaniwani
  3. Some of Genki I (hated it)
  4. iTalki
  5. Some of Nihongo Sou Matome (grammar book–I think it was N2) (didn’t love it)
  6. Moved to Japan… that helped
  7. Try! N2 Grammar book (loved it!)
  8. Now trying to watch more TV. Bought the Try! N1 Grammar book and will probably do that later.
  • Your Next Goal: N2 was a big goal for me, so now I’m trying to relax a bit and rediscover the joy of learning Japanese. I’ll take the N1 eventually, but I’m not thinking about it much now. Working on my writing recall skills (Can you write the kanji from memory?) using Kaniwani. I’d say the main goal is to finish Wanikani this year–and we’re on track for it :slight_smile:
  • WaniKani Level: 22
    JLPT Level: I’m at an N4 level, but listening kicks my butt every time I take the test :sweat_smile: :cry:
    Resources/Materials(Completed): Genki I, Lingodeer Japanese 1, and the odd N5 and N4 JLPT practice books
    Your Next Goal: Complete Genki II (on chapter 16!), start Tobira this year (2020), and finally pass N4 (Listening is my weakness :sob:)
1 Like

Hey, sorry for taking so long to answer. I haven’t been on Wanikani recently.
I have a long post on my experience with Kumon in case you are interested, but it’s not focused on Kokugo.

I think the main thing to have in mind about Kokugo is that it is a material meant for natives. So it can be either awesome or awful depending on your goals and current level.

For instance, since we are at the JLPT post, I think it’s a bad choice if one’s goal is to pass on JLPT in a short time. It’s simply not meant for that. I also wouldn’t recommend it to someone with an intermediary or below level of Japanese. The lower levels are meant for Japanese elementary school kids, so they are FULL of animal sounds, 擬音語, overly informal speech, age-specific dialects (old people inside fairy tales, etc) and such. This may seem interesting from outside, but it can get extremely frustrating when you are not able to follow the texts without help and realize most of the words are not even in the dictionary to begin with.

On the other hand, it’s great for increasing your vocabulary, for exposing you to several genres of text and also for increasing your reading speed. (that’s what it’s meant for, right)
It can also make your Japanese sound more natural, since it gives you grammar as natives study it.

In general I would recommend it to people who already have a solid base of Japanese and are searching for advanced material (which can be pretty hard to find). Also, if you ever plan on working or studying using Japanese as your main language, it is great.

Sorry for the long post, feel free to ask anything in more details if you want.


Thanks so much for replying! Funny thing is, I’d commented right below your post on that thread :woman_facepalming:t5:
I recently finished the 日本語 and wanted to hear a little more of someone’s experience on the 国語 (if they enjoyed it though frustrating lol I got really tired of answering those questions). Unfortunately, I can’t write kanji so I’d have to start at a low level again if I do the 国語 :sweat_smile:
The main reason for doing Kumon is to increase my level of comprehension which I thought would help with JLPT but not solely for that.
Thanks again. If there’s anything else I’ll definitely ask.


Oh. I had even liked your reply. :man_facepalming:t4:
After finishing the (old) 日本語 material I started 国語 from 4A, what would be kindergarten level, I guess.
Honestly, I think I only started enjoying it from middle elementary school and beyond, like stage C, maybe. Because that’s when you get to study parts of speech, particles and etc. The exercises on rewriting sentences and summarizing paragraphs are also quite interesting. Also you get more “adult” texts and less nursery rhymes, bedtime stories and such.
Before those stages I can only remember going desperate over flower names, beetles and how different crickets had different onomatopoeia :man_facepalming:t4:


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: the lower levels are so painful but I do like getting familiar with parts of speech. I’ll try it out for a month or so.Thanks again!

1 Like