How not to get bored reading Genki?

Hey all, I think Genki is one of the best resources out there from what everyone has said! And I fully intend on finishing both books. However, I’m about 1/3 of the way through the first book and i’m finding it hard to stay motivated.

I’m finding self-studying to be a bit dry and unrewarding, has anyone got any tips for self-studying Genki? To make it a little more interesting and easy to get through.

Thanks all!

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My solution was to drop Genki and use Japanese the Manga Way instead.

…perhaps not the answer you were looking for, though. :slight_smile:


I’m looking for any answer that can get my fire burning again haha, Genki feels like eating dry crackers to me, so hard to get through!

That sounds interesting! How far does that book cover? :slight_smile:


It really is important that you’re having fun studying, even if it’s “less effective”. If doing Genki is like pulling teeth, you probably should try other resources. :slight_smile:

As for JTMW, I’d say it covers maybe…up to JLPT4, a bit of JLPT3 maybe? It’s kind of hard to say. At least the same stuff as Tae Kim’s guide. The only thing i disliked about it was the romaji. That really is a bummer, but otherwise it’s a lot of fun to go through. Also, unlike Genki, there are no exercises, so keep that in mind if you give it a look-see.

Tofugu’s piece with a few pictures: Japanese The Manga Way - The Tofugu Review


Thanks Dwarsen, I think for me it is really important to feel excited yeahh. Genki is a great resource but doing pair work by yourself takes the zest out of the process.

Can I ask how you study with the book? Do you just read it through? :slight_smile:

And also, have you finished it?


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Do you have the workbook? I don’t remember there being much pair work in it. I completely ignored all of the textbook exercises when I used it, as the workbook moved faster and had, in my opinion, more constructive exercises.

As for a way to make it more interesting, how much of the “optional” kanji are you writing? If you are a third of the way through the book, you should be far enough in that the book is giving you kanji for pretty much every vocabulary word. If you aren’t already, challenging yourself to use as little hiragana as possible (and learning stroke order) could zest it up a bit. I remember doing that and actually having a tough time at first. Since Genki’s vocabulary is based on relevance and not difficulty, you get some 15+ stroke kanji pretty early. Until you get a grasp on components, that can make you really stretch your brain.

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For me Genki was the right path, but I understand It can be dry at times. I think what kept me motivated was the though of actually using the new structures in every day sentences and live. Write a little diary of what you did during the day, or on Sunday with what you did during the week.

You can track the evolution of your own language and its pretty amazing going back and watching your language abilities raise from kid like sentences to somewhat elegant.

As for staying focused I guess for me the pure joy of leveling up and developing my own abilities was enough, but when it gets tough create some silly sentences with your new found grammar points. Change up textbook every once in a while with Genki staying as your main.

For me I used Genki 2 and the Manga textbook as I could learn more from Genki but I liked the silly examples in the manga one.

I hope this helped a tiny bit!!

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I mostly did just read it through. I had a JLPT N5/N4 workbook I did on the side, though obviously it didn’t match. My method was probably not the best. You could try using Bunpro to reinforce the learned grammar points (it didn’t exist when I read through JTMW). :slight_smile:

I finished it, and it was also pretty useful to use as a reference when stumbling my way through my first few manga. If nothing else, I honestly thought it was a fun way to learn.

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I have the same issue as you OP; just treat Genki or whatever textbook you’re using as a means to an end. The way I see it, the only way to really internalize the grammar is to use it (reading, writing, speaking). Textbooks are great as a quick and dirty how-to guide to get you to the point where you can kind of recognize stuff. Actually mastering the grammar will happen outside of the textbook.


Thank you!! I think maybe because the grammar introduced has been so little, that i’ve not felt able to use it practically. I did actually write little diary entries and found that to be fun! I will try to get back onto doing that :slight_smile:

So you completed both Genki 1 and 2? Did you use the workbook also or just go through the main text book?

Thanks again :slight_smile:

Thank you Reichter, yeahh I guess I just have to smash through it with determination. It is so hard to stay motivated with Genki for some reason though, I will try my best!

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I don’t know if something like this would be helpful to anyone but me, but I had a great time coming up with head-canon for all the Genki characters. Mary Hart is the alpha-bitch, Robert is a slut, Sue is a master troll, and Takeshi and Michiko are too dumb to live. I did the same sort of thing when I read the Ecce Romani textbooks for Latin.

I went through Genki 1 and 2 that way and I never really felt bored, but again I don’t know that helpful this is for other people. Since someone else mentioned it, I read Japanese the Manga Way too and I didn’t find that boring either.


Quick question, are you on Genki 1 or 2 currently?
yeah I completed Genki 1 relatively quickly as it was a recap of what I did during University and I finished Genki 2 a little while ago now.

Genki 2 is WAY more interesting that 1! I mostly went through the main textbook and used the workbook as an online resource when I really was lost.


Yessss, you gotta give all the characters back stories hahahaha helps things stick


I see Dwarsen, yeah Bunpro feels like a fun way to go through Grammar, I was using that till I got a bit busy. I will jump back on that to accompany which ever text book I choose!

hahaha I will try to give all my characters some crazy backgrounds, Mary Hart does look pretty savage. Thank you!

I’m 1/3 through Genki 1! I wish I could study it in a class because sitting alone reading it really is tricky for me. I’m glad to hear it gets way more interesting in Genki 2! haha

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To be honest, grammar is a real slog wherever you do it – I’m looking at you, counters. Just gotta get through it and dive into the real stuff. And be prepared to make mistakes and have it be hard – that’s where you’re gonna do the real learning. Here’s a handy ‘cheat-sheet’ that you can print out as a reference: Japanese Cheat Sheet Pack by » Basic Japanese


Yeah, I think it’s highly dependent on the individual. Personally, I find Japanese grammar to be very fun, so Genki was only boring for me because I doing every single exercise. For me, brute-forcing grammar through raw translation of Japanese LNs has been my real method of learning grammar. That takes some strong willpower and a decent dose of masochism to accomplish though! :wink:


OOh very nice! Thank you, I will try and stick this to my wall, will deffo help me form sentences more confidently being able to glance at it