There are too many Memrise's Japanese courses. Can someone give me the lay of the land?

I’ve completed learning the Kanas and the first 100 words of the official courses (the one with the girl thumbnail).
Please list the best courses and the order in which to complete them.
Is there a Japanese Duolingo course? I’ve found two, but they don’t look like they follow the same tree structure. Is there a relation even? I’m not sure.
I want to study it on the side, so I’m not really looking to veer off to additional resources besides Memrise and Duolingo at the moment.
Give me a straight path to the first 10K words while trying to avoid duplicates.

Please keep it SIMPLE. Thanks :slight_smile:

I’ve posted the same question also at Duolingo:$comment_id=23241113

Well there are a LOT of great user-created Japanese courses. I’d personally recommend the SGJL series done by Nukemarine. More info here:

Also, if you want, there are other interesting courses done by JLPTBootcamp and JTalkOnline that are worth the check out.

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That looks like the definition of complex lol. :fearful:
I will try to look through it. Thanks. It will take me a while just to wrap my head around it.

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SGJL isn’t complicated. It’s divided into levels, start from the bottom and advance. It starts with teaching you hiragana, which should be easy if you did the Japanese 1 by Memrise, then teaches Katakana, which is used for writing non Japanese words, then kanji (which sounds scary, but trust me, the course’s layout and method makes it waaay easier), then a grammar course, followed by vocab course, and then it starts digging deeper and deeper. But trust me, it’s one of the most beneficial set of courses I’ve encountered.

However, if you’re not really looking into the idea of delving into Japanese, you could try the Genki 1 course, which contains basic Japanese phrases:

I hope this didn’t come off as too much info. And happy learning. :smile:


there are NOT too many japanese courses

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If you are looking to study the different levels and learn the words and kanji in each, I’d recommend doing the courses by JLPTbootcamp. I also second the SGJL guide. It’s been helping me a lot.

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I do daily live streams of my study sessions on these courses. If want, stop by and ask me while I’m live or just ask here or other forums (Koohii, reddit, the discord channel, etc) that I frequent. As RyouBakura points out, the courses are presented gradually and mix it up a bit so you’re concentrating on one area for a very long time.

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Thanks, I will check it out. Appreciate the offer for assistance. :slight_smile:
I don’t want to bog you guys with too many questions so I’m trying to read and research a bit first. Still, I’m not sure how much good that will do, as you will probably still be flooded anyway if we are being honest here haha.

Maybe it will be best if I specify some of the attributes I am looking for in a course. You can direct me more appropriately from there based on your experience, and what will be difficult to comprehend without prior knowledge. Let’s start.

How many kanji are there? How many do I really need to know for a B1 comparable level? (would that be N4/N3?).
Should I start with radicals? Are kanji used as separate words or can they also be combined with Kanas to form a kinda weird hybrid word? Will this interfere if learn Mandarin as well? They have the same meaning but different pronunciation, right? Are the kanji the same as traditional or simplified Chinese characters?

Regarding the Kanji, I would be interested in starting a course that maybe teach some radicals first, has concise definitions, pronunciation in Kanas, audio for everything, and subdivide the material into comfortable sections of about 1000 or less per course, and cover in total 2000 to 3000 kanji.

What is the best approach for you to memorizing them? Do you find them difficult to remember? I usually learn words without any special mnemonics or something like that, do you suppose I would be able to do it with Japanese Kanji too?

Regarding vocabulary, I want a basic course, like duolingo that will teach basic words (dad, cat, house etc) and is based on a frequency list. I see that you recommended the Core 2k/6k Vocabulary Optimized course. I also found the JLPT courses. Are they good too? I kinda like that they cover and follow official proficiency levels (N levels).

I would probably prefer courses that incorporate simple sentences, sparingly, to help ties words together. Similar to what Memrise does in their courses, but probably a bit simpler. My main goal is just to try to acquire a big chunk of words at first as quickly as possible.

What is the bare minimum of grammar that I need to know just so I would not be totally clueless? Can I really learn Grammar just on Memrise effectively? I prefer to try to learn mostly intuitively from examples as I go along.

What is your opinion on the Memrise Japanese course? I started the one with the girl thumbnail, which I didn’t like, as it is was not an easy start for beginners with no background, but I understand there is a newer version of it with the course with the flowers.

I see many of the courses in your list are based on books.
Are they useful as much for learners who don’t know about the books and don’t use them?

I’m very interested in the JDI series but I understand there is some issue with the quality of the translations. Do fan made translations mean learners of Japanese made them? Do they know Japanese well enough? Is it difficult to find a professional translation for Japanese’s content?
This is what I’ve been doing with German which is similar. You might find it interesting.

Sorry, for the long-winded reply. It is more than I intended it to be. Just the nature of such things…
I started poking a bit on your youtube channel. Looks interesting. I will probably try to watch quite a bit of your videos in the coming days to seek for advice.

It was well received. Thank you. I will probably try it in the coming days. The group link which added all the courses as one unit is a nice feature. A bit more sense of order in a chaotic world.
2000 hours though? geez. Sounds a lot. Quite extensive. At what stage in course are you, btw?

Thanks. It indeed caught my attention beforehand.
With which one do you start? Is it this one?
Do they also have a group link to organize them?

You’ve got a lot to unpack here, but I’ll try to help.

Kanji - Pretty much, you’ll want to know 2200 eventually (known as the Jouyou or Common Use Kanji). Now, N2 only uses 1000 of these, but it’s better for all concerned to not limit yourself on that. Kanji are actually simple to learn, it’s the vocabulary using those Kanji and kana that add to the difficulty (but not much so).

The method I use in my courses and eventual 120 hour video series is split all those Kanji among 4 courses, alongside 12 courses for grammar and 12 courses for vocabulary. The way I recommend learning kanji is primitive or element method alongside visual story/mnemonics (RTK method basically). Kanji learn at rate of ~15/hour

Vocabulary - The course I made uses frequency chunks then teaches those in an optimized order. A frequency chunk is sort words by frequency, then take them in groups of 1000 words each and sort those in a better order for learning. In this case, I sort them using the 2001.Kanji.Odyssey index which organizes words by grouped meaning along with same kanjis which helps progressively learning pronunciation and concepts. Vocabulary is learned at a rate of ~20/hour.

There’s also example sentences for all vocabulary which I use to train listening (native audio is used).

Memrise Official Course - Not too impressed with it thus far. It includes no training material especially on grammar. It also tries to test phrases which I’m not impressed with how they do it. I prefer the way I approach grammar with Tae Kim’s courses. It provides lessons (and videos) to make sure you comprehend the material before activating it on Memrise.

Hope these answers helped somewhat.


I did start with that link originally. And as far as I know, there isn’t a group that organizes the JLPT Vocab. But the courses are pretty easy to find. Although last time I checked, they only went up to N3.