Is Bunpro really worth it?

I’ve seen a lot of people here recommending BunPro, which I understand, since it uses the same SRS logic of WaniKani, so it’s no surprises it attracts the same crowd. I’ve started using it for a bit, and the whole thing is very well built, no doubt.

I just feel like it makes things more complicated than they should be. They present grammar as this list of countless topics, and many of them are really easy to understand by knowing what the words mean. For example:

約束を守ればいい - that’s grammar point, that you have to review in your SRS queue, even if you’ve already learned what a conditional is, in a separate topic.

It just seems way too time consuming to review all of these things in an SRS manner. I’ve been doing WaniKani, pre-made anki decks, and sentence mining in anki as well. If I add another SRS to my study routine, there’ll hardly be any time left for immersion.

What do you guys think? Has is worked/ been working for you guys? I just want to listen to some opinions before commiting this amount of time to something. Thanks!

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I tried bunpro awhile back when it first came out.

If I’m being as honest as possible, from a reading standpoint I think the entire srs aspect is a very poor use of your time and not well put together. It felt like nothing more than another program that makes people feel like they’re learning more japanese and achieving more than they really are. Its usefulness almost entirely started and stopped on the fact that it would just compile various grammar points by level and would have multiple sources and sentences for explanations. So its usefulness in my eyes is as nothing more than a resource indexer I guess?

If the SRS is still the same as when I used it, yeah its time consuming, doesn’t do a great job of prepping you for reading, and gives you a very shallow experience with grammar.

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It’s working for me but it’s definitely not for everyone.

For me personally just the fact that it’s an SRS helps me stick with it. I’m hopeless with textbook learning. But everybody learns differently.

If a grammar point already makes too much intuitive sense for you to bother SRS-ing though, there’s always the “I know this” button that instantly burns it. I can definitely see a case for that with some - like you said, stuff like 〜ばいい is a very logical consequence of what its parts mean, and there are a few others like that.

Though to add onto that

I can only completely agree with that. It’s good for building a basic concept of the grammar points it teaches, IMO, but you’re gonna need to actually read and write to learn how to apply them or they’re just going to be context-less bits of information.

That works as a starting point for me, but if it doesn’t do that for you, BunPro is probably not worth it.

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It’s really good for inputting the actual patterns, especially when you get to N2 level and above. A lot of the grammar points are quite long, have multiple variations, conjugations, unusual kanji, and are simply often difficult to remember. It’s a very good tool as far as I’m concerned.

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I haven’t used it for its intended purpose for over a year…
HOWEVER

I use it for grammar lookup quite frequently. I’m not sure they intended it to be a grammar search tool, but it works well as that (albeit I suppose pretty expensive compared to Jisho.org etc)

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I’ve found that the N4/N5 and some of the N3 stuff has this issue. I just did the lessons and didn’t bother with the SRS bits.

Plus, the fact that it’s a fill in the blank sentence based SRS kinda works against me since, after a while, I had memorized many of the example sentences.

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Yup that pretty much it for me. Plus some grammar excercise and voice line and Bunpro already worth my money. It’s not the best but worth it for it’s price.

Also agree with this. If Bunpro is not serve as your starting point, I think it’s not worth your time and money.

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I think there’s a difference between knowing the components of a grammar pattern and learning the pattern itself though. Being able to read that phrase as “if you keep promises… good” thanks to knowing the conditional isn’t necessarily sufficient to internalize how the phrase is used or exactly what it gets across in Japanese. Somebody who knows about negative conditionals but not that “must” is commonly expressed with them might have a bad time with なければならない, for example.
Seen another way, wasted time spent on a pattern with a component you already know might be doubly useful in reinforcing the component and helping convey the nuance of the pattern.

I don’t have an opinion about whether Bunpro does that effectively or not though!
(I found it useful for (at the time free) reinforcement for a period a long while ago when I had extra SRS time to kill, but I think it’s a pretty different site now and while I did find it useful I also drifted away from it and never really used it as my main grammar resource)

I’d probably say if you feel satiated on SRS go with your gut and don’t add more. Bunpro may or may not be worth it, but it’s certainly not indispensably required.

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I doubt it’s Bunpro deciding what is or isn’t a grammar point. They’re just making what other sources describe into an SRS-able set and providing some example sentences as well. So, I imagine the argument that ~ば and ~ばいい are not separate grammar points is probably something you’d need to take up with the larger Japanese teaching community.

Also, the question seems to be about you personally having too many SRS’s going simultaneously. The topic title makes it sound like it’s about whether it would be worth it for anyone to use Bunpro.

Sure, if you have too much on your own plate, it’s probably not worth it, but that’s hardly a comment on Bunpro.

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I’ve done all the lessons on Bunpro. It is certainly a more efficient way of doing exercises than the old workbook method. In that regard, it wins. I’ve learned a lot of grammar using Bunpro, much faster than I would have with a workbook. This helped me get started with reading native material because seeing unfamiliar grammar went from constantly to sometimes. There are actually many things I learned on Bunpro that I have never seen IRL.

My criticism of Bunpro is that it is too easy to memorize the sentences instead of internalizing the grammar. You get a sentence wrong once, it turns into a ghost review, and eventually you memorize that sentence X = grammar Y. Anki sentence decks have this same drawback IMO, which is why my decks are always simple word to definition (unrelated).

In the end, I stopped doing Bunpro reviews because it was time that could be spent reading. Reading has done a surprisingly good job of making me internalize grammar. Maybe try out the Bunpro free trial and see what you think.

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To extend my post, the alternative to bunpro is not workbooks in my opinion. Workbooks suck, so maybe bunpro is better.

The alternative is using the resources that bunpro already provides you to understand grammar points as you come across them while reading. In that front, bunpro hard loses in every area but coziness.

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The alternative is just sentence mining and cutting the grammar component you dont know and looking them up online. Dont need workbook or srs in that case

I cross-referenced every lesson in Bunpro to the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series, which often had better explanations. You could just as easily find a list of grammar points and look them up one-by-one, or look them up as you encounter them while reading (as you know).

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Yeah, that works too. I never personally worried too much about the quality of my explanation honestly and just got some general idea. The important part was just that it was good enough to understand the sentence I saw it in and the example sentences. I left the rest to exposure.

My post kinda boiled down to “its shit for learning how to read”, so I wanted to elaborate for the posts where people say “I learned stuff on it and like it”. Its not a bad choice because youll learn nothing. Its a bad choice because you’ll learn a lot less than the alternative.

Bunpro may only win out in coziness, but thats really all you need to get a userbase as duolingo has shown. Its just up to the individual to choose the value of coziness to learning.

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What I think a lot of people don’t realize is that the entire reference aspect of the site is FREE (this may have been a relatively recent change, but I have had a lifetime account for a while so I forget).

I use it primarily as a grammar dictionary. When I come across a grammar point in reading that I feel I don’t quite understand, I head to Bunpro and from there find some good resources for explanation. I also add it to the SRS. It also has tools for adding your own example sentences to include in the SRS, so if I come across a grammar point I struggle with while I’m reading, I’ll often add the entire sentence to the SRS.

What Bunpro is:

  • An excellent compendium of grammar points that’s easily searchable, ever-expanding, and organized by JLPT level and by popular textbook paths
  • An SRS for those who like SRS, with the gamification elements and pre-determined subject-matter that make WK appealing to so many people
  • A pointer to resources with deeper explanations and more examples

What BunPro is not:

  • A textbook with its own detailed descriptions and explanations
  • A substitute to reading and learning in context
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It changed so much… I barely used it back when it first started.

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Oh it absolutely has. I used it when it came out, but i’ve checked in on it numerous times with the most recent being today. Still think its pretty bad for getting better at reading haha.

The problem is just in the core approach to the srs and only a full rework will change it.

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The point you are raising can be made also regarding textbooks (Genki) or grammar dictionaries. But lots of nuances or rules, you cannot get by just understanding the components.

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Are you referring to their new “Reading Practice” sections? I never tried them yet. Bunpro might not be good for getting better at reading but in my busy schedule it at least forces me to read some Japanese sentences on a daily basis.

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Oh no, I just meant in general as understanding grammar for the purpose of reading.