After finishing HJ, should I start reading from the absolute beginner book club?

Please, don’t go quickly… :slight_smile: It is really worth doing all the exercises in the work book and listening to the recordings for the exercises in the main book.

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Genki does not correct itself later. What it does it to present a particular usage in one chapter and then, two or three chapters later, it will expand and you will see the particular usage as a part of a more general pattern. For example, you learn verbばよかった to express regret for things you have not done and later we learn the ば form which means the the verb is on a conditional form. So verbばよかった now can be read as “if I had done verb, it would have been good” which does not invalidate that this is a way of expressing regret. Honestly I did not like this approach in the beginning but it works very well in cementing the knowledge that you learn. HJ explanations are good but they are too much hurried. Genki is slow but gives you solid ground. In Genki, grammar and/or vocabulary that you learn in one chapter (and you learn lots of vocabulary in each chapter) keeps appearing in future chapters (be in exercises or dialogues).

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Makes sense, I’m planning on dropping Anki once I finish the deck I’m using in it currently, and switching over to kitsun full-time. But I know I’m dealing with leeches from my previous deck, and they’re pretty annoying. What you suggested sounds like a good idea though because sometimes it just seems like I keep revisiting the same cards over and over, and it’s only those few cards that are the issue. The rest I have no trouble learning. I’m not sure how much time they add to my reviews, though, but they probably add at least a chunk of it. I think I might take your advice and look at my leeches, and see if they’re worth trying to revisit over and over again.

Sorry, by quickly I meant I’m not going to go through it like I am through the HJ apps, where I am using an Anki deck alongside them, and thus my pace through HJ is dictated by how many cards I can handle adding to SRS a day alongside what I add through Wanikani. While this has ensured I have a pretty solid understanding of HJ’s grammar concepts and vocabulary, it also means that my speed has been fairly slow. With Genki, I am already doing a Genki vocabulary deck atm, though it’s a lower priority compared to my HJI deck and Wanikani, so I don’t do many cards a day. Though I am hoping to have finished the deck by the time I start Genki, or at least the cards for Genki I. With that, all I need to do will be to read the textbook and go through the exercises in the textbook and workbook. Since I will probably know a decent amount of the grammar already from going through HJ and HJI, my speed will only be limited by how much I read and how many exercises I do, so I can’t imagine it will be anywhere near as slow as my HJ pace.

And oh, I see what you mean. That’s not as bad as I was thinking, then. HJ does that too sometimes, though they also usually make it pretty clear when they first teach you something that there will be other usages or definitions, just that they won’t go into that yet. I was more thinking I’d have to like, rewire my brain in a way. I’d have learned that something is a specific way, but then be told later it’s not, which would just be frustrating. I think another reason I was worried about Genki is there were a lot of Genki people asking questions on the subreddit that I thought had been explained pretty clearly in HJ, so it sounded like Genki just didn’t explain things as well. And yeah, HJ’s lack of exercises and expectations for you to remember everything through their quizzes is its main weak point, though I think using an Anki deck alongside it helps a lot. The ones I’m using have sentence cards as well as vocabulary, so they’ve been great for getting the grammar to stick too.

Thanks for explaining though! I’m glad to hear Genki isn’t as bad as I was thinking it was. I was still going to use it since it seemed the most complete textbook resource suited for a self-learner out of all the options, but I was a bit unsure of its methods.


Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours to do 4 pages of exercises in Genki. Writing down kanji in the beginning took me an awful lot of time but makes it easier to remember it later. Besides writing Kanji, compositing sentences for me sometimes is time consuming.

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I know you didn’t ask for grammar advice, but since you have an interest in manga, I wanted to mention that Cure Dolly’s channel on Youtube helped me understand manga grammar. The format can be a little jarring at first but if you stick with it you’ll learn a lot.


Oh, that’s true yeah. And nice, it looks like you also wanted to read Japanese books back then! Hopefully, you managed to achieve that. :slight_smile: Thankfully I already get writing practice in with a handwriting keyboard I downloaded for my phone, so my writing speed shouldn’t be too bad. But the sentences are probably going to be a pain, just because I’m more used to writing out words and kanji over entire sentences. Oh well, I hope it won’t take too long at least. I’m not going to be rushing it, but I also don’t want to spend a year on each text like it looks like I’ll be doing with HJ.

Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that channel! I watched a bit of a video once but it was a bit hard to get used to her voice. I’ve heard the actual content is pretty good though. I’ve also heard Tokini Andy is good too but I also only watched part of a video for him too, since I learn better through reading than videos or lectures. But I’ve heard that the Cure Dolly series is good since it teaches Japanese grammar in a more “Japanese” way, and less like a standard textbook. Not sure how true that is or not, though.

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I’ll second the recommendation for Cure dolly. She has the best explanation of grammar I’ve encountered. I’ll admit I don’t know how she compares to physical textbooks because I’ve never read one. I encountered her channel while I was just getting started with grammar and I’ve never felt the need to get a textbook. I don’t struggle with understanding grammar thanks to her. What slows me down is not knowing enough vocabulary.

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Huh, I might try watching her videos then. So far, I haven’t had serious issues with learning grammar, but my pace through HJI is fairly slow since I’m restricted by my Anki card deck and not getting overwhelmed by reviews, which means my pace on learning grammar is also slow. I didn’t want to confuse myself by studying extra grammar on the side, so I’ve mainly just been doing HJI and Wanikani atm (and Kamesame of course). But if I want to dive into reading, it might be better to study extra grammar, since that seems to be holding me back at the moment.

Her approach is similar to what a Japanese child would learn, rather than focusing on English. She also teaches a more casual grammar that you will find in manga. Genki is going to be very strict and formal.

Ahhh that makes sense then. That could be helpful to learn in conjunction with Genki then. I’ll try to watch her videos, then!

Honestly, reading any kind of prose at N5, except for the lowest-level graded readers, is going to be painful. More like deciphering than reading. A lot of what you see might not make sense without help. If you don’t mind only sorta getting the gist of things (or sometimes not even that) then give it a shot.

At N4 reading stuff like the beginner or absolute beginner book club material will be a lot easier.

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Yeah, I’ve noticed it really is more like deciphering than reading. I’ve started going through Doggy Detectives, and while there are a lot of words I know, there are also a ton I don’t know. I’m going to try to at least go through several pages though and see if it gets better. If I feel I can’t handle it though, yeah I’ll probably just wait till I reach N4 level.

You’re in a similar position I was in. After the two Human Japanese apps I was a bit lost, took me two years to find wanikani :sob:

I would check out satori reader, it’s made my same people who make Human Japanese, completely voiced and with instant translations and explanations like HJ. Kanji syncs up with your wanikani level and it has extra HJ lessons being added regularly.

I’d also check out TokiniAndi’s YouTube series on genki rather than using genki itself. Start from the beginning as a great way to refresh on things you know and you will pick up new stuff too.