When to start learning vocab decks?

Hello! I signed up to Bunpro less than a week ago and I’m enjoying the process so far. I noticed that grammar and vocab reviews are separate in beta. But since I’m just starting out on N5 grammar, I was wondering when I should start going over the vocab decks.

For some context, I’ve been studying Japanese on-and-off for the past decade. I took classes in college, reached Level 30 in WaniKani, and read a few online textbooks. I retained quite a bit more than I realize but I still feel rusty.

That said, I’m gonna start from square one and go over grammar in Bunpro like a total beginner. I’m also considering going back to Level 1 in WK to refresh my memory on everything.

When did y’all start tacking vocab here in Bunpro?
Thank you!

Another question to those who also use WK: How much time do you spend studying each day? And how much time do you allot on Bunpro and WK? Thank you!


Hello! はじめまして!

You did good joining Bunpro, you won’t regret it.

As for the vocabulary, start right away, the sooner the better and as much as you can. Vocab in Bunpro is well structured and full of example sentences graded by difficulty (N5 upwards).

I’m afraid I can’t help you with the WK question.



I do both Bunpro and Wanikani. For Wanikani I keep my apprentice level items capped at 100 max, and just keep up with reviews throughout the day. I found 100 apprentice level items to be a good compromise between speed, time spend on reviews and actually learning the words. Reviews are taking me at most 30 minutes a day.

For Bunpro I haven’t found a good item cap, I just add more items based on gut feeling. Doing 3 new items a day seems doable though, making sure you’re keeping up with reviews of course. If you feel overwhelmed just stop adding new items for a few days and work on reviews and ghosts.

Just remember it’s not a race. And make sure you do other things with the language besides studying, grammar is just a means, not the end goal. It’s fun reading something and recognizing words or grammar structures you just learned!


Any time you want!
The vocab decks are big, so it’s better to do them bit by bit over a long period of time.

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Hey Christian and welcome to Bunpro.

I have been in a similar situation. Been studying on-and-off for around 10 years. However I never made it past N5 level.
So I signed up for a 3 month language course in Japan and dropped my old learning stack… which was just Duolingo and the things I remember from the first Marugoto book.

During those 3 months I found a lot of useful tools and settled on: Anki, Bunpro and WaniKani. (ordered by priority) :wink:

I get away with:

  • 30-40 mins of Anki (10 new cards. ~120 reviews)
  • 20 mins of Bunpro (0-5 new cards. ~10-30 reviews)
  • 20 mins of WaniKani (<100 apprentice. ~30-120 reviews)
    a day.

Though I honestly wish, that I could mark vocab in wanikani as known. Since I use Anki as my main source of vocab learning. If I hadn’t setup Anki and more than 3000 cards (a great deal self-made), then I’d probably focus on Bunpro vocab over wanikani. Since they have pitch accent and show the words in context.


How do you find studying vocabulary/kanji without WaniKani’s mnemonics? I’m currently on level 8 of WaniKani and I presume that if I’ll add N5 vocab to my BunPro queue - I’ll start seeing a lot of kanji that I didn’t encounter yet.

I don’t personally use bunpro’s vocab feature since I started with Anki and used the tango n5 deck. I believe I started right away after I learnt the kana, its best to do grammar and vocab together!

Logged April Japanese study times. WK level 20; level up every 9-10 days. 2 Bunpro lessons/day, currently working through N4. Do not recommend this much effort.

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It would definitely be good to start it as soon as possible I think. The way the vocab is organized is that the first 2 to 4 sentences are around the same level (grammar wise) of the vocab decks that they appear in. Meaning that you should already be able to read a few of the example sentences for the vocab as you are learning the grammar.

One of our goals with vocab is that as you improve, so does the amount of sentences you can read. Because of this, whenever you learn new words at N5, aim to read at least 2 example sentences, at N4 aim for 4, at N3 aim for 5 to 6, etc etc. They are all written as a yardstick to help you monitor your progress along the way. Of course there will sometimes be other words in the sentences that you haven’t learnt yet, but the grammar itself should reflect your level.

I have personally studied every deck, and although there are some admittedly boring bits, we are doing the best we can to figure out a way to rearrange the learning order in a way that keeps it as interesting as possible. As you go through the deck, feel free to message me whenever with stuff that bothers you. The more feedback we get, the better we can make it for everybody :blush:.


Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I appreciate it all.

What ended up working for me is to show only Japanese hints when reviewing vocab and go by context of that when answering. I think it helps with thinking about the word/sentence in Japanese instead of reading it in English and then translate to Japanese, if that makes sense.

I was going to do the cramming route but I also don’t want to burn myself out hahahah.

As far as grammar, since most of N5 is a refresher, I’m able to ‘take it in’ and also see why grammar looks the way it is instead of just learning it blindly.

I also decided not to reset my WK progress at all as I realized I still remember an awful lot of kanji/vocab even though I haven’t touched WK in 3+ years. Having 750+ items to review is gonna be a huge challenge but I think I can take care of that.

I think right now I’ll do:

  • 5 new grammar points each day
  • 10 new vocab in Bunpro
  • Review until 0 since I don’t have much in the beginning
  • Allot remaining time in WK

From day 1.

Vocab is all encompassing, truly enriching and seemingly never ending. It’s the one thing most people will probably be studying way past grammar, reading, and Kanji.

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Well if you’re already level 30 on WaniKani I’d say you’re pretty safe to just add vocab as soon as you want.
But for anyone else I’d say maybe after they’ve spent a couple of weeks adding grammar into bunpro. Especially if someone was really green, that way they can get used to using bunpro to learn grammar.

Also for me I’m normally more comfortable adding larger groups of vocab at a time then I would be grammar. Grammar is just faster to study for me. If I know the word, write it, if I don’t then push a and enter.

For the last question, I only spend about 1 hour a day. But I try and break that up into around two sessions when I can. I normally attempt to empty the queue for reviews but if it was a busy day I don’t get that worried and just do a chunk. I don’t use WaniKani because I don’t uhh…like WaniKani, but I do read some low level mangas and I try to do about a chapter a day…but it’s more like I get 2 chapters done a week.

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Right away! WaniKani + Bunpro is a great combo. They sync, and Bunpro will hide the furigana for WaniKani vocab you’ve learned. The example sentences for Bunpro grammar SRS thus helps reinforce the vocab you’re learning. It’s been fantastic for me as a beginner.

As for time spent, I don’t have a fixed goal. I have a desk job so pop into WK/BP throughout the day rather than all at once. I’ve been keeping my Apprentice level items on WK between 70-100 and that seems to keep me at a reasonable pace. For BP I’m even slower, maybe a new grammar item or two a week on average.