A question for non-native english speakers about grammar


Do you think it’s more efficient to learn japanese grammar with a reference book in your own native language or in a class in your language?

I don’t know if it’s my brain or something, but I’m french and doing fine with Wanikani, mostly thinking in english while doing my lessons and reviews. But when I try to learn grammar with Bunpro or any ressources in english, it seems that my brain doesn’t want to learn.
Should I take a class in french? But I’m mostly interested in reading japanese (and eventually speaking it), not really writing and I don’t want to spend hours learning the right stroke’s order of every kanji, you know?
Or should I just buy a good grammar reference book in french?

Thank you for your advices!!


I think it’s different for different people…
I’m a non-native English speaker too, but I actually find it easier to learn in English…
Anyway, good luck in your studies! :sweat_smile:

P. S. If your grammar knowledge is only at the beginning stage, you might want to try this one:


The advantage of learning through English resources is that you have more material available, so it’s more likely to find at least some high quality books or websites. The disadvantage is that they will spend a lot of time trying to explain you things that you might find obvious (depending on your mother tongue), and very little in explaining thing you might struggle with because they are natural for an English speaker.


I agree, although there is also the advantage of practicing your English while learning Japanese too…
For example, I try to read and watch everything in English nowadays, because I need more practice. Much more practice. I doubt I’d ever forget my native language as I keep using it in my daily life and at work, so for me - the more English - the better :sweat_smile:
If I’d ever learn Japanese well enough - I’d switch to Japanese :sweat_smile:


This depends entirely on the quality of the book. If you can find a good grammar reference book in French, by all means. But if you find a better grammar reference book in English, then don’t settle for anything less.

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I will try, thank you

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Well, if it’s really holding you back, than there is no use.

I’m a non-native speaker too. But my English is definitely good enough to lern Japanese. And I learn some new english vocab too. So I will defininely stick with English textbooks.

I really enjoy working with Tae Kims Guide. Its free and the topics are presented in a very concentrated way. All the exceptions I will leran later. And if I don’t understand a topic, I go to forums and search for answers.



Hi! I think it depends on the resources too. I have both resources in english and spanish and I find myself more useful the english one’s. In that matter, I would recommend you Genki. I’m usiing it as a WK complement and it works fine so far

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Salut! :slight_smile: I study Japanese in uni as my minor here in Finland, and I definitely feel like learning in Finnish is much easier (especially since the two languages are similar grammar-wise). Our books are completely in Japanese though, and that has also been useful in it that it forces us to start reading very early, even if slowly. I’ve tried to use other grammar resources online in English, but I’ve experienced the same as you. I suggest you could try a Japanese-only grammar book for beginners or just take a class in French like you said.

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Actually, the Tae Kim’s Guide has been translated in many languages. In french too.

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Oh, thats really good to know :slight_smile:

@tupuliini Can you recommend a Japanese-only textbook? Sounds very interesting to me :wink:


I went to a Japanese course for about two months. They used English materials (textbooks and mnemonics).

Minna no Nihongo.

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In our class we use Bunka Shokyu Nihongo, but it might be hard to understand without a teacher explaining the grammar. It’s mostly examples, no explanations. But I do like it so far :slight_smile:

I’d say that you should connect all the languages. You should study Japanese in English, French and Japanese.

I do better going from EN => JP then PT => JP because I exclusively study Japanese in English/Japanese.

A lot of people recommend going for Japanese only learning around the intermediate level, which I kinda dare to disagree. It’s okay to connect it with other languages you might know, as the important aspect is getting enough exposure to the language through other sources (not necessarily from textbooks).

To sum up, the best resources are in English. However, if you’re not feeling confident enough, use resources in French just to complement your study and see how it goes.


If your languages are one of the following: Korean, Mandarin, Vietnamese, (Maybe also Thai) then there are very good resources in those languages. If it’s not, the English resources are almost certainly better.


Have you tried learning Japanese grammar with French resources? Maybe the reason you’re having trouble is because Japanese grammar is so different from the grammar of western languages, and in that case a French guide wouldn’t help you a lot. Your English seems to be more than good enough to learn Japanese, and your greater familiarity with French probably wouldn’t make up for the fact that English resources are so much better.

Taking classes was one of the best choices I’ve ever made (after joining Wanikani), but I like and use English resources a lot as there aren’t many good ones in my own language. If you have the time and money for it I highly recommend taking classes.

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Of course, that’s a possibility, but I am under the impression that the few grammar I did with french ressources was easier to learn and in fact, I still remember some of it.

Moi je pense que ca viens surtout du français. Et ca depend de ta capacité a lier la logique grammatical anglaise >> (Francaise) >> japonais.

Je me suis intéresse au japonais lorsque j’étais a Londres du coup toutes mes ressources sont en Anglais. j’ai pas particulièrement de souci pour la grammaire mais si tu veux essayer de m’expliquer je pourrais peut etre mieux t’aider a comprendre d’ou viens le blocage et du coup savoir si il vaut mieux que tu apprenne la grammaire en francais ou que tu essaye de continuer avec l’anglais.

desole je suis pas sur que mon message soit tres clair LOL

Pour des ressources en français tu peux essayer;