How to learn Japanese grammar?

Hi Guys,

How do you learn Japanese grammar? is there a website like wanikani just for grammar?
and should i start writing simple sentences in japanese or should i start later?

kind regards
alex

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Bunpro is like Wanikani but for grammar, and is run by a Wanikani user.

Genki is an easy series of beginner grammar textbooks.

Curedolly is an awesome series of intuitive grammar videos.

If you have time in your schedule it is never too soon to start.

also you spelled grammar as grammer in the title :slight_smile:

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Misa’s videos are another great way to study, can highly recommend them. I think she’s currently redoing her beginner videos, too, so perfect timing I’d say :slight_smile:

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I agree, Misa’s videos are great. If you take your time with every video and write down or make a word file with every sentence and words she says, you will learn a lot of things. Plus, she talks slowly which makes it easier to understand her.

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I keep hearing about Curedolly - but only on the WaniKani forums and nowhere else. Is it really that good?

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I’ve watched a few and, so far, really like the content and explanations. Can’t entirely vouch for the presentation though!

I’m using Minna no Nihongo as my primary grammar text but have only had it for a few days so am not far enough in to give an objective rating.

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I’ve only discovered her because of Wanikani too.
I really like her content but the presentation sucks a bit. I guess that is the main reason her channel is still small and unknown.

Sources I’ve used so far:

Tae Kim’s: Basically the OG of Japanese grammar sites on the internet. It’s all basically free as well.

Genki Textbook and workbook: Pretty much the de-facto text book if you formally learn japanese since all the courses seem toe use this. It’s petty good I guess but it’s really expensive (since it’s a formal textbook/work book). I basically HAD to buy it for my JApanese language course.

imabi (https://www.imabi.net/): Kind of like Tae Kim’s but FAR more detailed. I think the site is run by a real Japanese language professor or something. So it can be quite overwhelming but it probably has the most detailed grammar descriptions and discussions. Also free.

Japanese from Zero Series: It’s a set of text books and accompanying videos. I do have the kindle version of the books but tbh I just like to watch the videos since they are easy to watch. Not the most detailed or “scholarly” discussion of the Japanese language but for a beginner like me it’s been the easiest to digest. The youtube videos are free and the textbooks (at least the kindle versions) are quite inexpensive.

Best one I know, and most likely, ever will know.
She goes far beyond behind what Japanese language is, than average Japanese learning YouTuber joe.

Seemingly dissecting it like from almost Philology-technological level standpoint if not actually are. Very unique approach for YouTuber content creator and actually in general from what I see.

And yes she is top 1 underrated youtuber channel about learning Japanese, as far as I concern

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I’m not a native English speaker, and I’m a flaming dumpster fire in any language when it comes to learning dry grammar facts.

A lot of English resources try to teach Japanese through the lens of Western grammar. Which can be fine, if you’re up to par on your English grammar terms.

Telling me that が marks the subject of a sentence, or that the difference between 上がる and 上げる is their transitive properties doesn’t help me. I would have to be teaching myself what all these things are to actually get to the Japanese that I set out to learn. It was confusing, demotivating, and boring. With CureDolly, I could understand the Japanese as Japanese.

Some sources would go over a grammar point like い-adjectives, and then list the conjugations to memorise. In a completely different chapter, it would cover something like ~ない, and give a list of conjugations to memorise. I realized there wasn’t actually as much to hopelessly cram into my brain as I thought, with CureDolly pointing out connections like the fact that ~ない behaves like an い-adjective in its conjugations.

Her pointing out the use of word stems in conjugations, and how she divvied up the memorisation of 一段 and 五段 also stuck very easily for me for some reason.

There is no one, perfect resource that everyone connects with, but CureDolly was brilliant for me. Everything just opened up, after months of beginning to fear I was legitimately too stupid to learn Japanese grammar. I’ll be finishing my first visual novel in Japanese soon. :+1:

Agreed on everything said about the presentation not being something that will mesh with everyone. I personally got used to it very quickly, because finally understanding things that had seemed so complicated before was very important to me.

There is also the advice to turn the audio low / off and use the subs. She manually adds full subs, so you’re not dealing with the auto-generated stuff.

It’s a free channel to watch, so you lose nothing by giving it a shot. :slight_smile: Either she can help you learn what you want to learn, or you move on to one of the many other options out there.

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Whether you like Curedolly or not will probably depend on your learning style. She breaks grammar down in a very unique way that you won’t find in most textbooks. If you struggle with learning from textbooks and feel something missing from them, you will probably enjoy curedolly. However, she does seem to act like she is sharing this “big secret” about how japanese really works that the textbooks and professors don’t want you to know. Her videos and website are filled with this kind of stuff (even if some of it is just for a clickbait-y title), and it puts me off a bit. I happen to really like textbooks, they work well for my learning style, and I don’t feel that the textbooks are confusing me or hiding things from me like she seems to imply, so she wasn’t the best fit for me as a primary resource, though she is good supplementally. Also, the presentation of her videos are a bit off-putting, I don’t think it’s hard to get used to, especially if you use subs.

The method for learning japanese that she advocates is to learn some very basic grammar and then immerse yourself in the language, primarily through anime. So if you want to learn in a similar way to that, then you will probably like her content even more, as she has a lot of information on that method. Her website has a lot of great content for immersing.

Overall I think she’s worth a shot, she’s done great things for many people here in helping them understand grammar.

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Sorry to hijack the thread but, I’m browsing through her YouTube channel and I see that there are some initial videos with different topics and then she starts with numbered “Lessons” (Lesson 1, Lesson 2, etc.)

What logical order would you recommend to follow with her videos?

She has a playlist called something like “Japanese from scratch” or “Japanese made easy.” That’s a good place to start. ^^

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Fortunately or unfortunately, I do recommend the CureDolly beginner series. The content really worked for me, the excruciating voice notwithstanding.* At the minimum, hearing things explained from multiple perspectives and angles can only help, and CureDolly has a bit of a different take from most textbooks. When I’m reading a more “conventional” explanation, I try to figure out how that and CureDolly can both be right, and that’s probably the answer.

* I feel like that’s gotten better, either there has been some change, or I just got used to it. In any case, it’s got closed captioning so you can just turn the sound off and the captions on if it’s really distracting.

** There’s not really much you can do about the irritating hair swing animation.

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Thanks, I’m seeing multiple playlists with that description.

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Ah, yeah, I see.

Back then, I mostly used this playlist:

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Thank you! Will try that one for starters.

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Another shout out for CureDolly. The clickbaity sounding “One Big Secret Professors Don’t Want You To Know!!”-sounding sort of stuff… well, it’s justified most of the time. She breaks down the language in an intuitive, organic way. Of all the resources I’ve ever used, CD is the only one which seems to actually try to teach the learner to UNDERSTAND Japanese, and not just be able to tranlate it to and from English.

I don’t think it’s a case of other teachers / resources not understanding Japanese as well structurally as CD does (though I wonder sometimes) but it feels like they talk down to the learner. They talk like Japanese can be understood through English grammar.

For example, how willing CD is to twist English to better represent what is being said in Japanese, compared to most resources which focus too much on sticking to English grammar. Her video explaining the “passive” form of verbs is a perfect example of this.

CD is 100% the very best resource I’ve come across for actually understanding Japanese not just structurally, but at a deeper level.

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In addition to all other options, nihongonomori on youtube is also really good!! They have a playlist in English for n5 n4 grammar, then at n3 they start using Japanese only. This is difficult at first but really helps developing both grammar and listening skill simultaneously!

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