My attempt at learning Japanese in one year

I already have a study log on the WaniKani forum, but since I’m lurking around in these forums as well, I thought I could make one here as well. So, here I am, I guess.

Background with Japanese:

I’ve been studing for about 4 months now. I started on November 30th, 2023 with the goal to learn Japanese in one year, which means I want to be able to comfortably read and listen to stuff in Japanese without too much troubles, and hopefully also be able to produce decent Japense text on a level where I can communicate with others. My ultimate goal will be fluency, but that will most likely take me way more than just one year. However, I’m confident that I can reach something like N2 level in one year.

I’ve already finished all the grammar on Bunpro up to N3, and would consider myself to be at around N4-N3 grammar wise. My vocabulary is pretty trash, though, I would rate it N5, perhaps a very weak N4. Note that I haven’t taken any tests yet, and I honestly don’t plan to take any official tests in the near future. What I will do, however, is do mock exams from time to time.


Apart from Bunpro, I’m also using WaniKani with a lot of scripts (you can find the list of scripts that I use in the OP of my study log in the WaniKani forums, which I linked above) to learn kanji and am currently at level 19. Of course, I’m going max speed there with one week per level.

Since WaniKani doesn’t prioritize teaching useful vocab first, I also use iKnow for additional vocab studies. I’ve got a coupon for that website that let’s me use it for free for an entire year. Not sure if they are still valid, but if you’re interested, you can find them here.

For reading practice, I’m currently reading all four NHK Easy articles every day since somewhere mid February, and I’m currently also reading through the Tile World Chronicles, but I’ll probably finish them during April. I plan to start また、同じ夢を見ていた as my first book in Japanese by the end of May, so I’m definitely looking forward to that! I also want to try to read more articles from normal NHK, and at some point, completely switch to normal NHK. Since I’m not that good yet with vocab, as I already mentioned previously, I also use Yomitan to quickly look up unknown words. This gives me the advantage that I’m already able to read N2+ stuff as well, because N2 and N1 grammar on Bunpro is mostly vocab and constructions, but not any actual grammar as in N5 and N4.

For listening, I’m currently pretty much only using Teppei 先輩’s Podcast for beginners, and I’m really struggeling to understand anything. My main problem is the speed with which he talks, I think. What I want to try in any case is using headphones, because that should kinda force me to pay close attention to him. I also thought about trying to listen to the audio from the NHK Easy articles first before reading the article, but I’m afraid that there would be too many words that I don’t know.

Daily Study Routine:

  • Do 25 new lessons on WaniKani
  • Do my WaniKani reviews
  • Do 20 sentences with the sentence builder on iKnow
  • Add 25 new vocab on iKnow
  • Do my iKnow reviews
  • Practice speaking with the sentences and vocab on iKnow
  • Cram three grammar lessons on Bunpro
  • Do my Bunpro reviews
  • Write one sentence with every grammar point I missed in my cram session
  • Read two chapters from the Tile World Chronicles every day
  • Read all NHK Easy articles every day
  • Listen to one episode of Nihongo con Teppei for beginners
  • Practice or learn the stroke order for seven new kanji every day

Happy studying!


April 1st, 2024

I managed to get everything done on my checklist, but probably only because the WK forums weren’t accesable for 25 minutes, and I managed to get a lot done in these 25 minutes lol, I think I’m spending too much time there. I did about 550 reviews on iKnow and have currently all but one courses on 70+%. I’m currently not adding any vocab because I noticed that the iKnow SRS is a lot harder to keep up with than WaniKani or Bunpro, but I’ll start adding again when I have all courses at 80%+, I think.

April 2nd, 2024

So far, I’ve got everything done except for handwriting practice and my evening reviews on WaniKani and Bunpro (because it’s not evening yet). I hit 0/0 on WaniKani today, and will unlock the rest of the level 19 kanji tomorrow, which should let me level up on Saturday again to level 20.

I unfortunately also read some sad news on NHK Easy:

I think starting from tomorrow, I’ll just post a short update in the morning and then edit my posts throughout the day whenever I did something worth mentioning, and I’ll also start writing down new words that only have kanji that I already know.


April 3rd, 2024

7:53 (am): Guru’d the radicals on WaniKani, did the new kanji lessons, did all available reviews and went through 20 sentences on iKnow, will probably start reading NHK Easy soon

8:02 (am): Finished listening to my daily episode from Teppei先輩

8:24 (am): Started reading the NHK Easy articles

New words:

First Article:

  • (りょう) = Fishing
  • X 回目(かいめ) = For the Xth time

Got a bit distracted, but started the second Article now

Ok I might take a few more words along with me if I know the radicals of the kanji, and just learn the kanji as well


  • … guess, support, suppose
  • … marriage
  • … law, regulation, control


  • 法律(ほうりつ) = law
  • 推定(すいてい) = assumption; estimation (する verb)

9:52 (am): Just got finished with 251 reviews on iKnow, I will try to do the reviews for course five as soon as they come up today to finally make some more progress there.

10:00 (am): Did my first reviews for the remaining level 19 kanji

12:11 (pm): Finished translating my daily two chapters from the Tile World Chronicles (TWC), will proceed to read the last two NHK Easy articles for today now

Third article:



  • (くま) = bear
  • 注意報(ちゅういほう) = warning

1:25 (pm): Reading the last NHK Easy article for today


  • … harbor


  • 津波(つなみ) = Tsunami
  • 警報(けいほう) = Alarm; Warning
  • (おお)きな = big, large
  • 鉄道(てつどう) = railroad

2:11 (pm): Just finished my daily cram session on Bunpro, surprisingly, I got only one item wrong.

2:53 (pm): Done with writing my Japanese sentences today. I complained about the time change that we recently had in Austria lol


3:04 (pm): Adding an additional kanji and word which I encountered because of @暁のルナ


  • … dawn, daybreak


  • (あかつき) = dawn, daybreak

The reading is very nice to remember because it’s あか (as in (あか))and つき ( as in (つき)), and while I’m not sure if that’s where the reading comes from, I think it’s still a nice way to remember it.

Thinking about this for a bit, if it was actually two separate words, it would probably be あかづき because kun’yomi readings tend to rendaku. Then again, kun’yomi do not always rendaku, for which 辛口(からくち) is an example that I learned just a few days ago.

Well, thinking about why the reading is the reading that it is will probably make it easier to remember the reading lol

4:46 (pm): I just realized that it’s possible to have a Japanese username here. I don’t think this is possible on the WaniKani and Bunpro forum, so that’s pretty cool

6:55 (pm): Just did my evening reviews and guru’d the first half of level 19 kanji, gonna do the rest of my daily lessons now

7:58 (pm): Finished with my daily WaniKani lessons, finished with WaniKani reviews for today, almost finished with Bunpro reviews


nice :slight_smile: btw it is a play on my favorite manga series:

Also my pfp is アカツキ from Log Horizon (both of these have excellent anime adaptations btw)


That’s really cool, looks like you’re あかつき through and through :wink:


April 4th, 2023

9:22 (am): Pretty lazy morning so far, only got my morning reviews on WaniKani and my daily meeting with Teppei先輩 done, guru’d the last few kanji that were available without the level 19 radicals, though

11:09 (am): Finally finished with my daily 25 WaniKani lessons, still pretty lazy lol

11:14 (am): Will start to read through today NHK Easy articles now

New Kanji and Words:

First article


  • … blossom, bloom


  • 入学式(にゅうがくしき) = school entrance ceremony
  • ペンギン = penguin
  • (ある)き = walk, walking
  • きれい = lovely, pretty, beautiful
  • ()く = to bloom

Second article


  • … deliver, arrive, report, notify
  • … quandary


  • 手書(てが)き = handwriting
  • (とど)ける = to deliver, to send; to report, to notify (Ichidan Verb)
  • (こま)る = to be troubled, to have a difficulty

1:32 (pm):

Third article



  • 子供(こども), ()ども = child
  • 成長(せいちょう) = groth, development

Fourth article


  • … aggresion, attack
  • … beat, attack, defeat


  • 攻撃(こうげき) = attack (する verb)

2:08 (pm): Just got finished with 337 reviews on iKnow

5:20 (pm): Just finished my daily two chapters from the Tile World chronicles.

Today is one of my worst days since I started learning Japanese, in terms of productivity…

7:22 (pm): Having a slight headache doesn’t really help, but I just finished my WaniKani reviews for today

7:43 (pm): Bunpro reviews are finished, gonna call it a day for today

1 Like

April 5th, 2024

8:09 (am): Done with my daily session with Teppei先輩 and a few sentences on iKnow so far; also added a new N2 grammar point to my reviews on Bunpro

8:17 (am): Completely done with the sentences on iKnow now, I will now proceed to my WaniKani reviews

8:57 (am): Ended up getting distracted a bit, but I am finished with my reviews for now

8:50 (pm): OMG WHAT HAPPENED WITH TIME??? So, basically, 12 hours passed without me really noticing it, and I’ve done pretty much nothing except for WaniKani, Bunpro and my daily chapters from the Tile World Chronicles lol. Honestly, I have now idea how that happened, but I really hope that I’ll get more down again from now on…


April 6th, 2024

11:33 (am): So far, I’m done with my WaniKani reviews, did my currently available lessons there (four), my daily 20 sentences on iKnow + speaking practice and had my daily session with Teppei先輩.

2:53 (pm): Did my daily cram session on Bunpro, only got one item wrong, but only because of a typo and I hit enter too fast lol

3:56 (pm): Finished the fifth part of Markus’ Ascent from the Tile World Chronicles!

4:01 (pm): Leveled up to level 20 on WaniKani and instantly did the radicals!

7:08 (pm): Almost finished with my daily 25 lessons on WaniKani

Also, not completely related to Japanese, but I finally found out how to make the Regular title being displayed in Japanese!

1 Like

April 7th, 2024

9:52 (am): Got more done yesterday again than the two days before, but not quite as much as I had hoped to. I also sacrificed my time for handwriting practice so that I could participate in the weekly Atomic arena on Lichess, and somehow, I got into the top 10 (7th place), and if I had won just one more game, I would have made it into the top 5. What’s more important, however, is that after nearly a year, I finally made it onto the top 200 leaderboard again!

Anyway, back to Japanese:

So far, I had a really strong start today: I did my WaniKani morning reviews and daily 25 lessons, finally read all the NHK Easy articles from Friday (I will write a list of new words and kanji later), had my daily session with master Teppei and did my twenty sentences on iKnow

12:49 (pm): Got finished with my daily cram session on Bunpro, only one item wrong

1:03 (pm): Wrote some Japanese text about what happened yesterday

7:46 (pm): Lost a bit track of time, but I’m finished with everything for today!

Time for some tea :coffee: