[Course Forum] Suggested Guide for Japanese Literacy (SGJL) course series



Unfortunately today Memrise torpedoed the Memnote system which means all the stories I’ve uploaded cannot be seen by others. Until this is changed, I recommend creating an account with https://kanji.koohii.com and using those user created stories as that’s where most of my stories came from.

If you’d like to protest with your wallet, you might donate money meant for Memrise and have it go toward Koohii creator Fabrice’s patreon page instead.


So Im doing lesson 3 remembering the kanji, but is that all it is? trying to remember kanji symbols? Do we learn how to read kanji at any point? Thats what Im stuck on in my journey to learn japanese, How to read and break down kanji… Hiragana is simple enough to learn and understand, Id like to be able to understand kanji as well before going into grammar and structuring.
Ive even been looking into different sources like mastering kanji, but it throws me for a loop with the on and kun readings and still doesnt really teach me how to say it. I know if I was studying the correct way Id have no problem but im just lost…


The RtK courses are simply for getting accustomed to the Kanji and being able to distinguish them properly from one another. This makes it easier so that when you encounter them in the vocabulary courses, you already have an association with the kanji, and then you can apply the pronunciation and exact meaning to each individual word as you learn them.

If you want, you can take the bonus Core 2k Kanji and Yomi course in tandem with the RtK courses, but it’s not recommended, I’d wait until you’re done with the vocab courses before starting that one. You definitely want to learn the pronunciations and exact definition as you learn the words themselves, as some pronunciations and definitions are much more common than others, and you want to be able to learn them in the proper context.


I see then, I ask because the next lessons are vocab and they have kanji within them so I was confused and thought I was suppose to know kanji already.


Kanji kinda have layers to them that you gradually learn over time. First you just wanna be able to recognize and discern them, then you learn roughly what they mean, then their specific pronunciations and translations. Over time you’ll get a more sophisticated understanding of each kanji, but you almost never completely ‘know’ a kanji right away.

For example, 学 has the keyword ‘study’, but you’ll more often see that kanji in words like 大学 and 学校 in which case the kanji roughly means ‘school’. Also the pronunciation is がく and がっ respectively. There’s 学ぶ which is pronounced まなぶ which is where the study keyword comes from, but more often than not ‘study’ will be translated as 勉強する whose kanji means ‘exertion’ and ‘strong’.

Basically the keywords will only get you so far, the only way to really know a kanji is to learn the words it appears in and update your knowledge of the kanji accordingly.



I’ve finished SGJL 05 - Core 2K/6K Vocabulary Optimized Pt 1 and I’ve now started SGJL 07 - Core 2k/6k Vocabulary Optimized Pt 2. When doing part 1 on mobile I never got the option to turn off the audio questions, which is useful when you’re on the bus trying to catch up. However I’ve noticed it is an option in part 2. Nukemarine, could you please toggle the option on part 1 of the course if possible? As mentioned it’s useful in certain situations and the function would be much appreciated.



I just wanted to say thank you for your work, the memrise method is so much more engaging, and I find myself learning so much more than I would If I were using only Anki. Keep up the good work. :slight_smile: I’m sure a lot of japanese students are moving forward thanks to your efforts.


Not sure. I think users have the option per course to set their own audio options to include getting a button to press “don’t test audio for xx minutes”. I can check later to see if there was a different setting between both courses on my side.


Thanks for the kind words and good skills to you in your studies. I’ll try to keep this going as well on my end.


I wanted to thank you for making this guide. It has been immensely helpful so far. At the moment I am going though the SGJL 04 - Tae Kim’s Japanese Grammar pt 1 course and I noticed that the audio for basic sentences is not working (at least for me). I’ve tried basic sentences 01,02, and 03 so far. Is this normal? The audio for basic vocab 01 and 02 worked.


Are you using Firefox by chance? The Tae Kim courses use .aac files instead of .mp3 files like the vocab courses do, which is an unsupported file type by Firefox. I haven’t found a workaround for this other than using Chrome or mobile devices. Nukemarine is aware of the issue, and there are plans to switch to the .mp3 format on those courses in the future.


Yes, I use Firefox. I just tried in Chrome and the audio works. Thank you for informing me of this :).


Hi Nukemarine, thanks for the guide.

I have been following the koohii forums for a couple of years now (maybe 5-6 years??) and have seen your posts around but have never tried to follow your guide, until a couple of days ago.

My japanese journey has been rough - and once I get to the end of a beginners textbook I always seem to give up. I tell myself that learning Japanese won’t better my life - and that I shouldn’t make it a priority, especially since all my time goes to college. (I’m in computer science but struggle heavily with math so it takes me 3x as long as a regular student.)

(I’m trying to learn math (catching up in calculus), programming (all the sub topics of this damn field), and work out regularly leave me with little time. Not to mention summer classes - hur.) (And yes, I have now moved closer to my school, but my previous commute was over 2hrs every day and left me only time to do my homework.)

However, I always end up coming back. It’s like there is a itch that I need to scratch - and this time I’m going to stick with it (hopefully). If I keep coming back, that obviously means I enjoy it, so why should I quit it? Yeah I won’t be one of those kids who can study 2+ hrs every day, but I can take my time (slowly) and learn little by little every week. Eventually it’ll add up and hopefully a couple of years from now, I’ll be further in progress than I ever was.

One problem I noticed with my past attempts is that I focused too much on grammar and did not have a large knowledge of vocabulary. I appreciate that this guide focuses on learning kanji/vocabulary before starting grammar. Too many times have I read a chapter in a book, or online, focused on the grammar and did nothing with the vocabulary.

Rambling aside, thanks for the guide! I really appreciate it and memrise seems to be really engaging unlike anki. :innocent:


Thanks for creating these. I’ve just restarted my studies from zero after a longer absence and have started with the basic courses in the series.


Small update;

I am almost done with SGJL 03 (KLC version) and have been having a blast so far. I never thought I would enjoy this, but it is almost relaxing. I ended up going through the course in between my regular school classes as a “break”, and it is working quite nicely. I’m surprised at how many I’m actually remembering!

I’m excited to start Tae Kim soon, and hopefully Core after that.


Congrats. By the way, have you tried to put your kanji knowledge to fun use? Something I recommend to people living outside Japan is use Google Streetview and “walk” down a street in Tokyo looking around and see what you recognize and try to guess what some stores do or sell.

Have fun with Tae Kim as well.


I found /r/japaneseinthewild on the koohii forums. I’ve been having a blast looking at the beginner images.


First of all, I’d just like to say thank you for making this course. You’re a legend in the Japanese learning community, and I really appreciate all you’ve done to help others learn in the most efficient way possible.

Would you mind giving an update on the status of the course? Are you still working on it?

I’m working my way through ADoBJG pt. 1. I noticed that in a post about a year ago you said that “Audio upload is not complete for ADoBJG pt 2. That finishes the first half of the basic course.” Were you able to finish the audio uploads for all four parts of ADoBJG?

Thanks again! You’ve inspired me to make a similar course for “Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication” which I hope to work on after I finish your ADoBJG courses.


Just for fun and out of curiosity since I’m only on lesson 3 and know it’s a ways off, assuming I’m following the lessons in order when would I be able to put what I learn to use by for example reading a very simple manga without having to look up every other word?


The Basic set of courses are all done. They include 16 listed plus two bonus courses. Unfortunately, Memrise Forums archives posts after 3 months or so, which means I can’t update the first post any more. That means I now use this Kanji Koohii Forums thread to post all updates. As you can see there, I’ve began uploading Intermediate courses.