Is TextFugu Worth The Time in 2020?

Up front disclaimer: I bought a lifetime membership to TextFugu years ago and never did much of the program.

Hello everyone. I couldn’t find any real discussions on this in posts from recent years, so I want to ask, strictly speaking, is TextFugu even worth the time to do in 2020? It’s been a dead project for years, and now there are so many alternatives that have appeared in recent years, ranging from great apps like LingoDeer, to websites like JapanesePod101, and of course classic textbooks like Genki are always around.There’s also the more to-the-point and intensive resources like Tae Kim’s guide, and so on.

Years ago, when I purchased the lifetime membership to TF and did some of the course, I probably made it through season 3 (of 8). It was great at helping me learn katakana/hiragana and the very basics of how to say some simple sentences, but I have to admit a few personal feelings about it.

I don’t find Koichi’s long-winded explanations/advice encouraging and I’m not as young/hip and endeared by the tone as I used to be (some of the references are also obviously dated). That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the approach or that it helped many people. I’m just a lot busier these days, and I tend to feel like every time he wrote at length about WHY I should be studying Japanese, or HOW to get through a rough time in studying, or went on a metaphorical tangent, it was just time I could literally be spending actually studying instead and was actually a distraction for me. I also don’t want to downplay that there’s a good deal of real introductory educational material in there that is basically free for me to access at this point, and I’m not being down on the program, but in the past I found it didn’t engage me enough to keep me learning at a reasonable pace.

So, all that said, is there a compelling reason I should try to continue through the rest of Textfugu? Is there anything unique that I could get from it that other language programs don’t offer? Or has it been largely eclipsed in usefulness by the myriad of other Japanese language programs that have come onto the market since (and are still actively adding new content)?

Please let me know what you think. It’s always been nagging at the back of my mind like “hey you should go do Textfugu”, but at this point I don’t know how useful it would be. I had a several year hiatus from Japanese learning and would describe my grammar knowledge as still absolute beginner level, but I wonder if TF is really the best out there these days.

P.S. - I don’t care about the money I spent on the program, so it’s not a factor in my decision. I only care about the time it would take me to do. The TextFugu lifetime membership qualifies me for 1/2 off my subscription to Wanikani and has definitely paid for itself already just because of that.

Bonus question: What beginner’s Japanese learning course (for self-learning) do you enjoy the most and recommend?


TextFugu is going to be replaced by EtoEto - it’s why they turned off new subscriptions.

EtoEto is due to be released SoonTM.


Don’t bother. Seriously…I love tofugu but textfugu is not good. They teach the と思う pattern as “with (と) thinking” instead of going into detail on the way と works as a quoting particle (which is totally unrelated to the “and/with” meaning). A lot of the resources they link to are obsolete. The Anki decks import separately because Anki has been updated since the material was written, and you’ll end up with a ton of duplicate option groups. I distinctly remember seeing だ after an い adjective in one of the examples, which isn’t allowed. That’s just off the top of my head two years later… I even submitted a bunch of corrections as I was going through it and as far as I know they were never resolved.

If you need a textbook, Take Kim is very well respected (and free). Alternately you could just use bunpro.


Thank you. This is the kind of response I was kind of expecting and I think it will really help me to just “put it behind me” like most seem to have and look to better sources that will be a better use of time.

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FTFY :sweat_smile:


shakes fist autocorreeeeeeeect


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