Genki 1, 3rd Edition released

みなさん, Genki 1, 3rd edition was released today in Japan.

First impressions:

  • Not a radical overhaul; Exact same chapters (table of contents) vs. the 2nd edition.
  • Generally, the same grammar points are covered in each chapter as before.
  • The grammar explanations have been revised, some extensively. (Subjectively) the revised explanations are more clear and to the point.
  • Most of the dialogues remain the same but some have been refreshed to be more “up to date”.
    Situations such as visiting a “デパート” (department store) or asking for the current time have been replaced or removed.
  • Accordingly there are some new vocabulary like “スマホ” (smartphone), “メール” (email), while “チケット” (ticket) replaces 切符きっぷ .
  • Each chapter now start with chapter goals, which I find helpful.
  • As with the 2nd edition, the book audio can be downloaded via the free OTO Navi app. They re-recorded each dialog (even the unchanged ones) to be consistent throughout.
  • The 3rd edition now has colors for illustrations, section headings, etc. (vs. the monochrome 2nd ed.) The printed paper is of higher quality also (brighter white).

Overall, Genki 3rd edition is a definite improvement over the 2nd, but I think there’s no reason to “upgrade” if you have the previous version.


Thanks for this. I was thinking about getting it. I most likely will because I haven’t got the second edition yet.

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This is cool news but I find Mary looks better on the sleeve of the Second edition. :smile:


It’s always interesting to see how textbooks evolve with their respective languages (which are of course evolving alongside their respective cultures).

The removal of asking for the time, for example: it makes sense that since everyone has a phone, asking the time is far from the essential survival phrase it once was. And I suppose デパートs must be dying out in Japan just as they are in the States, although I do find its total removal somewhat surprising: I still found “mall culture” to be alive and well when I lived in Nagasaki.

With that said, the traditionalist in me weeps for every originally-Japanese word that gets replaced with a katakana loanword. (This isn’t really a gripe with the textbook, per se, more me shaking my fist at the sky: it’s good for the textbook to keep its terminology as modern as it can so students don’t immediately out themselves as newbies by using dated language.) I understand that languages evolve, and that native Japanese speakers are probably saying チケット more often than 切符. But the increasingly rapid Anglicization of Japanese is sad, at least in my opinion. In a hundred years, will Japanese have become an English pidgin? (Relevant Dogen video.) I stated initially that language and culture are inextricably intertwined: what would such an evolution mean for Japanese culture?

On a less serious note, メアリさん will always be black-and-white in my heart.


I think the major world languages are all in a period of blending right now, so don’t be sad! Besides, English has acquired some excellent Japanese loanwords in recent decades like emoji and otaku.

On topic, I can’t wait to start seeing the new edition in bookstores so I can check out all the differences!


Website says it reaches bookstores Feb 25-28 depending on bookstore.

Genki II, 3rd Edition is scheduled for release in Aug 2020.


Actually, as a teacher (of English, not Japanese), I find the removal of these odd for these reasons:

  • Although people have smartphones and do not need to ask the time around the world, the activity itself is a natural and interesting way to practice telling the time (and thereby practice the numbers)… and there will still be situations where one person asks another what time it is around the world.
  • Department stores are still a thing and they make the most natural location for asking directions and activities related to that (the McDonald’s is in front of the department store, the cafe is next to the restaurant, etc.). And yeah, mall culture is a thing in other parts of Kyushu (Saga, Fukuoka) too.

<____< what do you know about mall culture in Saga? Wanna play some rhythm games at Round One then hit up Youme Town for lunch and タピオカ in 佐賀市 sometime?


This is not directly related, though may be of some interest some. I notice on the Tobira (intermediate level) textbook website, they have an announcement of a new introductory textbook called ‘Tobira Beginning Japanese’ coming out in 2021… I wonder how it’ll compare to Genki?
Can see here, first item under お知らせ(announcements)

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just recently moved to Saga (near Saga station) a few weeks ago :slight_smile: and now sometimes walk to a Mallage for some shopping (there’s also a #コスモス where I get some inexpensive food). I don’t know too much about mall culture but in a somewhat rural town where the streets don’t tend to be busy, I’ve noticed that the mall (and inside the Saga station mall) there tend to be more people milling about. But yeah, if you’re in Saga, I only have a couple local friends, and I like boba. What is Round One? (I do like some rhythm games.)


Hey, welcome to Saga! がばい楽しかよ

I’m not actually in Saga city, but I wind up there every so often so if you come out to international events and stuff, perhaps we’ll cross paths :slight_smile: A friend of mine runs weekly “Conversation Community” events that are kind of a Japanese-English language exchange, you should check it out on Facebook.

Round One is next to Youme Town and it’s kind of a big arcade. It’s the only way I know how to describe it haha. The “mall” in Saga Station makes me so sad every time I go there. Mostly because I’m not a middle-aged woman so half the stores don’t really match my interests.


I wondered how many “traditional” Japanese words are really native Japanese (wago) vs. Chinese loanwords (kango) and after a quick google search the answer really surprised me:


So looks like the importation of foreign words into Japanese really accelerated after the Edo period, and the number of loanwords have eclipsed native Japanese words for 130 years and counting.


Aw I got excited I thought you meant Genki III.


This is great information! I already have the Genki I textbook and workbook and was bummed that a new edition was coming. I only bought both last year. But since you confidently say that it is no big deal if I have the old one, this will save me money!

Cool! I will visit a Kinokuniya around that time then. Hopefully they have it in stock as it is quite a ways from where I live. :sweat_smile:


Yeah, but those are acquisitions rather than replacements.

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Japanese: “ナオ、ジャパニーズレッスンタイムです。”
English translation: “And now, a short Japanese lesson.”


Why is it not レッソン😦

I initially thought it was that too! But I guess they follow pronunciation more so than original spelling?


Mall culture definitely thriving in Kyoto last week!
Also changed profile in honor of Genki.


But will they add an epilogue for Mary and Takeshi’s story on the Genki 2 book?