Any decent free resources as alternates for Genki?


Heya~ recently I joined a small Japanese learning group on Facebook, and we agreed to use Genki as main material. However, I can’t own the book cuz I’m a broke soon-to-be uni student. I’m grateful enough that my mom is willing to pay my yearly WK subcription (* ´∀`*)

I’m afraid if I’m gonna be a bother to others in the group and I wanna keep up with them, so…
Got any recommendation?

I don’t know which category this thread should be in, soo forgive me if I posted in the wrong place…

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Well, it might be difficult to keep up with the group if you don’t use Genki because the order and exercises will be different. It depends on what the group is going to do together, just talk about learning Japanese and support each other or work on the book chapter by chapter.

But there are plenty of free good grammar resources online at Genki level. Check out the list here: The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List! and you might see one that meets your needs best. Tae Kim’s is a fine grammar text in my opinion, but it has a different approach to Genki.

And you also might want something for listening/speaking practice to make up for the lack of audio exercises. has Genki vocab decks and I’m sure they’re floating around for Anki too, although you might as well just do WaniKani + a better vocab list.

When are you going to university? Your school might have it or another Japanese textbook in the library - almost certainly any copies left over will not be for loan, but it might be handy to have it as a reference to keep up with what the group’s doing.

Are there others in your situation in the group? Genki is an expensive book, especially with the workbook and/or answer key. You could sort out what you’re going to do together.


こんな コミュニティ は嫌だ


I mean, sure, you can illegally download a free copy of Genki. Or you can use a free legal online textbook like Tae Kim’s guide or


You haven’t actually posted a link, so it may not be a problem, but just a heads-up that facilitating illegal access to materials is not permitted on these forums.


Thanks for your recommendations, guys :heart_decoration:

Next year lmao. But only if I pass the test…

Tbh I planned to do this at first ehehe, but only if I can’t get free legal alternatives that match


No one has mentioned BunPro yet?

IMO the best website for learning Japanese grammar. It’s not completely free though, you have a free 1 month trial that gives you everything the site has to offer, after the trial month has passed, you can still use the website, but in it’s “lite” form.

Blockquote What if I choose not subscribe after my free trial?
Bunpro “lite”, a free version of Bunpro, is still an excellent grammar resource. You will still be able to view each grammar point’s meaning and structure, a limited number of example sentences and all of the reference links and textbook page numbers.

One month only costs $3 though, a full year is as cheap as $30. If you’re serious about learning Japanese then this shouldn’t be a hurdle IMO.


I used Tae Kim’s guide, which is really well organised and includes a lot of basic grammar for JLPT5 to 1. I learned all of my Japanese grammar from it, and I’m able to read articles on NHK Easy etc.


I use BunPro for drills, but one won’t really learn without studying grammar a bit more comprehensively and in context. The site links to good explanations, such as Tae Kim’s, which have been mentioned.

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Oh I’m currently using Bunpro too~ forgot to add that lmao


Frankly, I’d just find a used copy of an older edition of Genki. I think I got Genki 1 in a previous printing in decent condition for like $20.

Cheapest on ebay right now is $24, that really isn’t bad.


There was a thread here recently about free access to a Genki university course. Didn’t read it or try it, but thought I would link it in case its relevant:


Ummm like I said, I don’t have that much money to buy anything that costs much… And $20 is pricey to me, especially with my country’s weakening currency and stuff but thanks tho (^∇^)


Since both, Tae Kim and Imabi were mentioned, I just wanted to bring up the old conflict between the two, which can i.a. be read here and here. Admittedly, on Reddit only the creator of Imabi seems to be defending his position. But, I think he has a point. As he mentioned here I’m not saying to completely avoid Tae Kim, just be careful and always check multiple resources.

As for my part, I decided to go primarily with Imabi, but it’s a matter of choice. To be honest, in my opinion you can’t learn a language with a textbook (or website) anyway. Sure, it’s necessary to learn the grammar, but the best way is to actually speak a language. Find a native speaker, in times of world wide web that shouldn’t be a too big problem.

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Yikes, Reddit links (it’s blocked in my country). I might open those links later after I get a VPN installed on my phone tho

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I know it goes against the forum rules so i won’t post anything that shouldn’t be posted

But living in a third world country my whole life has made me a “caribbean” person :pirate_flag:
The amount of things you can find for free just by looking them up is overwhelming.

just saying


Yep. Totally can relate ʅ(◔౪◔ ) ʃ

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worst comes to worst, see if you can get another fellow student to let you photocopy the sections you are studying (including photocopying the workbook if possible). the audio may be tougher w/o resorting to …less savory means. :wink:

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B-but we live in different parts of the world ⊙︿⊙

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If you’re able to watch videos or YouTube, I really like the explanations offered in Japanese Ammo with Misa: