Is Bunpro a Good Subtitute for Textbooks (such as Genki)?

I started learning a bit of grammar through Tae Kim’s guide to Japanese but then I found out about Bunpro from the WK forums so I started using that instead.

What I’m wondering is, is it okay to only use Bunpro for learning grammar or should I use Genki as well?

On a side note, I installed Anki not long ago but have only used it for math formula/terminology flashcards so far (trigonometry and linear algebra). Should I start making flashcards for Japanese sentences now or should I wait until I know more grammar? I’m only up to N5 page 3 on Bunpro.


Bunpro can be used instead of Genki but I feel that reading through Genki and using Bunpro as a supplement is the better way to go.

However Bunpro is awesome so if you want to exclusively use it I don’t see a reason why not.


Bunpro is mostly a aggregate of existing online resources. I find it helpful for finding learning resources for particular grammar points and to help me keep track of what I’ve learned so far.

I would recommend using a textbook to study as a beginner as you will be given more guidance along the way, perhaps using Bunpro to support your learning.


Personally I’m not a huge fan of Bunpro, but I wont deny its usefulness. If you like it, yeah it covers quite a bit of grammar and provides links to other sites with explanations. Personally I prefer just making flashcards with sentences that use grammar points as I come across them. Im already learning 40 words a day/reviewing past knowledge and reading for an hour or so, consequently I dont have much time for grammar. My way, in my opinion, is much more efficient as you are learning what you come across and learning it in a context that is familiar to you (assuming you understand what youre reading). This causes for the material to stick much better and requires less time to learn the same things.

Again, not bashing on Bunpro. Overall, I would say Bunpro can replace genki if you are actually reading through all of the resources it provides and making sure you understand the example sentences. Just make sure you dont put blinders on yourself. It sounds like you are early on in your studies, so make sure you do what you find to suit you best. Just because you CAN use something as your only resource, doesn’t mean it’ll suit you personally the best.


Bunpro will also tell you where each grammar point is in genki as one of your readings, so it’s pretty easy to use them in tandem.


Thanks for the replies. I will start using Genki (which I already downloaded) and make flashcards as I go along like @Vanilla recommended. Just wanted to be sure =).

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I would agree with what Vanilla said overall. I think that Bunpro can be useful for the SRS of grammar points, but I prefer to learn them via studying textbooks and create my own flashcards with sentences that I’ve pulled from my daily reading. (This is after having gone through both Genki books, and currently going through Tobira.)

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I’m in favor of Bunpro.

Yes, it is not perfect, but the website has like what? 2 months of age? It has potential.

To make flashcards you need to know how to learn, which most people don’t.

Anyway, using Bunpro is not just about reading the example sentences that they show you. Far from it. You need to check the websites they recommend reading, check if you have any questions, research a little bit more, organize it in your head (I make my own notes) and use it with natives. Grammar is a lot more than a textbook, some flashcards or Bunpro.

Have you bought Genki already? If so, use it along with Bunpro. The moment you complete a lesson on Genki, check the extra resources on Bunpro in case they approach the grammar point in new ways that Genki didn’t and do the reviews on Bunpro. Study small amounts of grammar but do it everyday. That’s way better than reading a bunch of pages and forgetting them the next week.

Obs: Tae Kim’s guide is good too.


Well I haven’t bought Genki, I downloaded it. But I probably will buy it in the future. Just like all the anime I downloaded… Which will cost me upwards of £500. Okay, I’m only planning on buying the anime I actually want to rewatch XD.Thanks for the info.

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Whichever you choose, I wouldn’t recommend Tae Kim as your only source. It’s an excellent reference guide, but it is too condensed. It’s a guide, not a textbook, after all. You need to have grammar points reinforced through exercises, which Genki and Bunpro will provide you. I do like Anki for reviewing grammar points through example sentences and for set expressions, but I only started making my own deck after I a had a grasp on basic grammar.

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No, in addition to what others have said, the number of exercises is far to small. There isn’t enough variation and it is far too easy to just memorize the examples.

That said, the authors should continue with development… there is a lot of potential with the idea, but it has a long way to go before being a primary resource.

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You are absolutely right and we hope that it will get better as we update the site. We have just released an update where all N5 grammar points are accompanied by 12 example sentences and 12 study questions.

Having 12 new sentences in Reviews also means that you will never be quizzed on the same study question (you no longer simply memorize the sentence).

This is a major adjustment to how Bunpro has worked so far and it is our goal to extend this to higher levels, so that people like you can also benefit. Thank you for your patience as continue to build upon the site. Cheers!


At the moment I’m learning grammar with “Japanese the Manga Way”. Every time I got through another chapter, I go to bunpro and do the lesson for the grammar point. This way I get to practice what I learned.

Next year I’m going to start with the Genki books to reinforce the grammar. For me this works great so far. :blush:

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@pushindawood That’s great! I’m really glad I discovered it. Keep up the good work!

@Atani Just checked out the review for that on Tofugu. Sounds good, if I find it hard to get through Genki I’ll give it a try :slight_smile: Thanks.

Just to give a bit more background on my study (for any other beginners who may find it helpful), I also alternate between doing the hiragana or katakana challenge on each day. I feel like my kana read speed is slowly getting faster by doing this.


I would also recommend checking out nihongonomori youtube channel if you haven’t yet. Thanks to them I haven’t used a textbook in a long time. Their videos are especially great if you are not a complete beginner in Japanese.


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