Waiting to read until you have 100% language comprehension

Jumping into reading native material can be quite intimidating at first, especially with the huge amount of vocab required and a complicated writing system like kanji. For this reason, some people tend to postpone the idea of “immersing” in favor of strengthening their grammar and vocab understanding by drilling exercise or studying textbooks.


  • A solid foundation of grammar and vocabulary knowledge can be extremely useful when reading native material


  • If you never practice doing something, you will never get better at it. If you never start reading things, you will never get to a point where you are comfortable at reading. No matter how much grammar and words you memorize
  • Textbook studying and vocab memorization is usually much more boring than consuming media that is made to be enjoyable.

Conclusion: While grammar and vocab study is important, especially early ] on, you will never feel like you are “ready” to start reading. There is never going to be a point where you will be able to say “I have perfect comprehension, now I can start reading” if you just study on textbooks. There are people who have passed the JLPT N1 but never opened a book or manga who are surprised to find themselves still unable to read either. There’s also people who are able to comfortably read manga or novels and still would not be able to pass the N1 or even N2. The difference is that the latter group just started consuming native material before they “felt” ready, and it paid off.