Alternatives to Cure Dolly videos?

Given that it seems like no one else on the interwebs has packaged anything similar in English, I’d still call that pretty secret.


There are plenty of books and things that don’t break things down the way that the educators of non-natives traditionally do.

But has she ever once just said “this is just how we they learn grammar at school but with some examples you can understand. I didn’t invent or think of this myself”?

“What the textbooks don’t tell you! (Unless they are the textbooks I Japanese kids learned about grammar from)”

At the same time, there are reasons not to use this way of framing Japanese grammar with non-natives. There are good reasons to use the framing that does traditionally get used in some cases. So “secret” is not inherently “better”.

Edit: thank you to Ayokana for the correction below


But has she ever once just said “this is just how we learn grammar at school but with some examples you can understand. I didn’t invent or think of this myself”?

“What the textbooks don’t tell you! (Unless they are the textbooks I learned about grammar from as a child)”

Curedolly didn’t learn Japanese as a child because she isn’t a native speaker. From what I’ve read on her website, she used Genki (not sure if she did one or both) and then went full-immersion by watching a ton of anime and other content with Japanese subtitles. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, for example Jay Rubin’s book, but this is the method she’s talked about using on her website and in some interview articles.


Okay, then I misunderstood where she came into contact with it (and is that why she uses the robot voice then?) I’ve never been able to watch many of the videos. But has she ever explained where it comes from? In other words, she’s not herself a linguist studying the Japanese language and making these discoveries, right?

Does she talk about the pros and cons of choosing one or the other in various circumstances?

(And I mean in the videos, not side things)

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I haven’t watched every one of her videos, so I can’t say for sure if she’s ever explained it in them. Though from the videos I’ve seen and the articles on her website I’ve read, I haven’t seen her explain where any of her information comes from. But no, she is not a linguist studying the language or anything like that, since she’s said she hasn’t learned Japanese at school, and her method was immersion through native content.

Honestly I’ve never seen her talk highly of other grammar methods in any context, though I haven’t watched all of her videos so I can’t say for sure. Every time I’ve seen her bring up other grammar methods, namely textbooks, she’s talking about how confusing or incorrect they are, or how they DESTROY your Japanese.

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Yeah, I’m no fan of the click-bait titles. :roll_eyes:

I can understand how she’s trying to build her channel and to stand out in the recommendations to get hits, but words like “destroy” are too dramatic for my tastes. She tends to back it up with examples of how students might end up a bit more confused with the “conventional” methods, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of people learn Japanese with those resources, so obviously they have merrits and aren’t destroying people’s Japanese skills.

But I guess “This explanation makes a confusing topic a little less confusing than you might think it is!” isn’t as catchy for the algorithms.


There are numerous times where she says something to the effect of “this is how Japanese learn/understand this”. I don’t recall her ever saying she’s developed a method herself (although if she did, maybe I forgot that part).

There are so many destructive textbooks out there. My high school Japanese language class text book basically said, “は and が mean the same thing, and even Japanese people have trouble knowing which one to use, so always use は to be safe.”

The concept of helper verbs as being “conjugation” also made verbs and adjectives far more difficult for me than they ever should have been.

And I won’t even go into how が is the subject except when it’s the object, wherein に becomes the subject…


Ah, so that’s why in book club you split いる after ている as its own verb? Not wrong of course, but I found that way to be harder to explain the meaning.

But に doesn’t become the subject. Aren’t you talking about the agent in a passive sentence? (At least I think that’s what it’s called.)

Correct, that’s the reason why. It makes the concept of what いる contributes make much more sense to me (personally).

Exactly. I was textbook-taught that に becomes the subject in “passive” sentences. (1990’s textbook.)

But after watching Cure Dolly’s video, I’ve thrown away the word “passive”. Instead, I go with “receptive”, and I know が is always the subject, and に is never the subject.


There’s something to be said for using generally accepted terms like “passive” though. If you asked a question about a “receptive” sentence I don’t think most people would know what you mean.


She does make it clear when she uses terms that differ from the norm. So if a complete beginner goes through her stuff, it’s not like they won’t understand when someone uses a term like “passive.”

While I also prefer the CureDolly terminology, I use the more standardised terms when I try to explain things to others, since most English-based Japanese teaching methods use them. That way they can have more fruitful google searches and such.


For a written resource I came across by Richard Webb. I was having some trouble going through my Genki textbook and came across a few of his blog articles that completely blew me away. I haven’t purchased his book yet (waiting until I hit level 10), but if it’s anywhere near the quality of his free lessons then it’ll be more than worth the price.

These are the lessons:

Japanese Sentence Structure

A breakdown of “Desu”


I don’t have the full book either, but I really like his online material too.

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Oh god, I’m only now finding out about these videos, and I wish I didn’t. So creepy, plus the voice sounds very weird.

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I too wish she didn’t use an animated avatar and synthetic voice.
But I love the content of her videos, her dedication to answer question in the comments, plus the Precure reference :dizzy:


I watched a few videos and I was not a fan as well. Having a doll as an image is alright, but the voice makes it hard to keep listening. To the point I was paying more attention to how off the speech was than the content itself.


I opened the playlists now and I noticed that it’s in the order of Shin Kanzen Master /o/


That’s not a helper verb; that’s a compound verb.

In the context of Cure Dolly and conjugation, “helper verbs” are those extra verb bits like ~ます and ~られる that get stuck on the ends of the stem forms of verbs. The native term is 助動詞, I believe.

Okay, I do see some Google results that use the phrase “helper verb” to refer to true verbs like いる and くる that get stuck after the ~て form, and others that instead call 助動詞 “auxiliary verbs.” Whatever.

I’m pretty confident that I’ve seen English resources insist that the “passive form” switches around the meanings of particles so that に marks the subject. I guess maybe I’m actually thinking of the term “agent,” but that hardly seems any less confusing.

As far as confusing English resources go, I definitely know that even the actual A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar insists that 私はウナギです literally means “I am an eel.”

And don’t even get me started on “Group 1” and “Group 2” verbs…


The term I know in English is “auxiliary verb”. Unfortunately this seems to be ambiguous. A listing for いる says:


While a listing for られる says it’s [助動].

But both 助動詞 and 補助動詞 include translations of “auxiliary verb”, though the latter also says “subsidiary verb” on, which means nothing to me. Looking up native definitions for a linguistic thing like this won’t get me anywhere, so I can’t really add anything else…

Either way, I wouldn’t use the term “compound verb” for that. But I don’t know what term to use.

Those terms are so stupid. What’s wrong with godan and ichidan? :sweat_smile:


A little bit late for the input but I noticed it as a resource during Bunpro reviews and felt the same way. Honestly dont mind the avatar but the voice is a huge turn off and just generally hard to understand.