I'm Conversational in Japanese Thanks to LingQ

I haven’t really shared much about my progress lately but would like to say that I’m now able to converse (and read) in Japanese.

Thanks to LingQ.

I can: Talk with friends, tutors, about everyday life. If I read a news article on NHK Easy, I usually try and discuss the same topic and voice my opinion, which can be difficult depending on the topic - but I still manage. Besides NHK Easy, I’ve been reading a lot of podcast transcripts. This hovers around the intermediate (N3) level I’m guessing. Passively, I watch dramas and YouTube videos.

Here’s a very short walkthrough of my progress:

  1. Month 1-3: Went through LingQ’s guided course material and watched YouTube channels such as Japanese from Zero and JapanesePod101.

  2. Month 3-24+: To be honest, it’s been the same routine for a while now…import content I enjoy into LingQ and read/listen. That’s it. I also started speaking with tutors around the 4 month mark.

Thankfully, Japanese has so much content that I’ll never have trouble finding something I enjoy. Not too mention, there’s a ton of content with audio and transcripts available. It’s incredible really - I can’t imagine learning this language prior to the Internet (like Steve did)!.

A few pieces of advice:

  • Everyone has a different routine, find one that best suites you

  • Set a schedule for the first few months until you’ve made it a habit. You’ll start to automatically pick up a Japanese article without thinking about it once it’s part of your routine.

  • Mistakes are necessary.

  • Your level of fluency is not a reflection of how smart you are, it’s just a reflection of how much time you’ve spent. Anyone can learn a language, those who learn faster just put in more time.

As for me, I’d like to be a better writer in Japanese. As of now, my writing is brutal so I’ve been using the LingQ writing exchange and getting feedback. I really want to be able to watch dramas with ease - but I figure this is going to take another year…or two.

I used to care about my LingQ streak but in my opinion, the activity score (the color of your apple) is a better indication of one’s progress.

Would be happy to hear how everyone else is doing.

P.S. here are a couple of helpful posts if you’re learning Japanese:


Hi Eric,
I do envy you, but in a good way :wink:
I’m roughly at half of your known word count,
and I know around 300 kanji.

What is your kanji recognition in your opinion?
By this I mean how many can you read, I’m not to bother about writing kanji.


I’ve been making a serious attempt at improving my Japanese for about a year and half now. I learned Japanese 20 years ago - and its never really changed since then - doesn’t get better…doesn’t get worse - but I’m basically conversational and can read a little bit. I don’t understand anime, dramas TV etc and when natives speak all together I’m pretty lost unless I really concentrate - and even then… I lack vocabulary - so that is my focus. I’m not sure if lingq is working - but I’ve recently come to the conclusion I need to vary my content more to include easy beginner stuff to get to more comprehensible input. I’m going to try to increase my volume - so high volume of input and decreased difficulty level.
I get pretty frustrated with where my level is which I know is quite counter-productive. It feels like I’ll never get there and there’s just too much to learn…goals? I suppose my goal is to increase my vocabulary to the point where I can read more interesting material and anime/drama/movies etc - get away from “studying” and more just enjoying the language.

Maybe listen to some Japanese music or something? Just include something that can get you away from studying. You don’t have to wait until you get to a certain level to start enjoying the language.

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Hi Adrian,

My Kanji recognition is probably not as high as you’d expect. It’s under 1000, that’s for sure. Maybe 500 or so?

I think the reason for that is because I kept sticking to content that was roughly around the same level (NHK Easy) for too long. Now I’m going through my first novel to increase my Kanji level. I also take time to write Kanji by hand, strictly for memorization (I do not care for writing Japanese by hand).

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What kind of content have you been using? From the sounds of it, you’re probably around the same level as me. Sites like www.animelon.com and podcasts like Let’s Talk in Japanese have helped. Especially the latter (not too difficult). You can find these resources here (and a ton more):

You can import them into LingQ and read/listen. I highly recommend going through the sheet. Good luck!

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Hey thanks!! This list is awesome. I’ll get to work! I usually try to find something to watch that I can import and then read and watch listen a few times. I find passive listening really challenging as most interesting material is too high level for me and I just tune it out. For reading I’m currently working through Clay and Yumis ebooks to have some easy reading to enjoy. I’m looking into the following sites as well:


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Just out of curiosity: have you found a site like TheChairMansBao (= for Chinese) that provides graded news in Japanese (text and audio)?