Wandering Across the Rainbow Chopsticks #6: Getting Denki with Genki


Genki is often cited as one of the best textbooks to study Japanese with (maybe because of the MaryXTakeshi storyline?).
However, each chapter has a lot of vocab to remember it and I’m far too busy (or maybe just lazy) to write up Anki cards for every meaning, reading, and kanji for everything in each vocab list. Though, admittedly, I’m not actually a huge fan of Anki compared to other SRS apps such as WaniKani.
So, for me at least, it’s easier to study the vocabulary used in another app alongside reading the content in Genki.
Which is what this blog post will be focused on.
I have previously touched on a few of these apps in one of my earlier posts for WARC, but this time I’ll mainly be writing about how they can be used alongside the Genki Textbook and Workbook.
First of all, we have the Genki Companion Apps. There are technically three, but for some reason the third never came out for Android, so I only have the Vocab and Kanji companion apps.
These are a couple of dollars and basically offer flashcards for the Vocab and Kanji (depending on the app used) sorted into which lesson in Genki the vocab/kanji is from.
The user is presented with the flash card and will click buttons depending on if they know it, are unsure, or do not know it. Saying that you know it will result in that card being marked as clear, saying otherwise will result in that item remaining active so you can still review it.
I feel these apps are fairly slow in the way that you can press the screen for the answer to pop up to see if you were correct in your guess, the answer fades in and then slowly fades away, locking you out of making any action – even if you were correct.
I only use these apps if I really need to review the vocab list for each lesson when I’m fairly confident I know most of the list pretty well as, due to there not being any SRS, I would have to manually clear out my cleared list if I wanted to review anything I’d already covered in the app.
It’s also not free and, personally, I don’t think it’s worth the price of around ten dollars each.
The next app is currently my favourite app and I’m constantly checking to see if I have any reviews – WaniKani.
This isn’t free but it’s well worth it considering all the content that is covered. A lifetime is usually around 300USD but they have a huge sale on for Christmas/New Years and I managed to snag it pretty cheaply there.
While it’s not really a companion piece for Genki, a lot of people actually suggest getting to level 10 or 20 before jumping into Genki so that the user already knows most of the vocabulary that comes up in the list.
It’s certainly sped up my progress getting through Genki where I would usually be stuck trying to remember each piece of vocab since I’m almost level 10.
It means I can actually focus on the content that Genki is teaching me.
Finally, I want to talk about Memrise. This was my favourite app for learning Japanese prior to purchasing the lifetime WaniKani subscription.
You can add multiple courses (Memrise created and user created) AND it uses SRS.
While the Memrise created courses are just okay, (I mentioned in a previous WARC that, for some reason, they refuse to teach Katakana, and, while they teach the meanings for Kanji, they don’t teach readings or start using those Kanji in sentences), the user created courses are all pretty amazing.
I currently have 6 active courses and 2 cleared courses (Japanese I and II – the first two Memrise courses)  that still pop up reviews every now and again.
The course I’m most fond of is actually the Genki I course, the user who made it clearly put a lot of effort in to make sure everything in Genki I is covered in the Memrise course.
Although I love Memrise, I feel that reviews seem to stack up more than on WaniKani even if you get the word right often it feels like the time between seeing an item, getting it correct, and then seeing it again is far too short.
Memrise does have a paid option with extra features and offline mode and I almost subscribed during there Christmas sale but I had already splurged on WaniKani. I’ll probably subscribe this Christmas, since I’m a pretty big fan of Memrise and I don’t expect to be done with my Japanese learning adventure anytime soon.
Hopefully that was some what helpful if you are looking for extra resources to help you get through Genki.
As for goals, I am currently at the end of level 9 of WaniKani, and according it wkstats.com, I’ll be leveling up to level 10 tomorrow morning, I’ll probably burn through some of Genki to celebrate me reaching level 10. I’d like to be coaxing through level 10 the next time I write a post. I’m also coaxing through Lesson 4 of Genki but I would like to jump into Lesson 5 soon. I’m reviewing the Lesson 4 vocab list on Memrise at the moment.
I want to go through the Genki companion apps and clear out the items for the first four lessons to confirm I know everything I should (see, I already have the apps so I might as well use them).
Surprisingly, I’m not actually sure what my next WARC post will be about. Hopefully it’s more fun and isn’t as dry as this one.

What are your thoughts?