Japanese Grammar Resource Choice

Right. I suck at making choices. I have worked through Textfugu and it has given me the basics and the confidence to use other available materials. I have started Genki and I am finding it okay but I recently discovered Imabi and it looks right up my alley- dense with a lot of grammatical information. I am trying to work out whether it would be beneficial to grind my way through Genki (which I am not particuarly enjoying) and then start Imabi or do you think that it might work better to go through Imabi first and then use Genki and the Genki activities to solidify the grammar from Imabi? I am usin the basic grammar dictionary while using the resources by the way?
I am pretty sure they are both useful resources and I also know it is just a matter of opinion so… what do you think :D?

If you have finished TextFugu Genki 1 will mostly be pretty easy, but it introduces a lot of stuff that you won’t be familiar with. To be honest if money for buying the Genki books isn’t a restriction, I would say continue with them as they have a lot of good practice stuff in them. Imabi might feel good now but it might be too dense to be sustainable.

Although really, the answer is do whatever keeps you motivated to continue studying.

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I went through Human Japanese → Genki → Manga the Japanese Way and I’m starting Imabi now. It’s a couple steps over tae kim’s guide, but the concise explanations are kind of a curse and it’s easy to miss out on critical points if you aren’t paying close attention to or are familiar with the topics from somewhere else. I’d be having a lot more trouble with it if I hadn’t already dug into other resources. If you can put up with it do Genki first and follow up with whatever you feel like. It’s pretty much ideal for beginner material and will only get more annoying to go through the more you learn/put it off.


Ooooh I’m about to finish Human Japanese Intermediate. Did you start Genki from the beginning or jump in approximately where you thought you were in terms of ability? I’ll be facing this dilemma soon (assuming you did HJ Intermidiate too).

Yes- this was my worry. :confused: I am almost half way through Genki 1 as, at the moment, it is just cementing what I have already done before. I must admit there is plenty of practice which is helpful. I think I will persevere with this a bit before going onto Imabi.

I had about 10 chapters left in HJ Intermediate, but I struggling to recall the material some of the material and wanted a different perspective so I started from beginning. Genki I quickly gets into using kanji so it ended up being good reading and vocab practice, even in the earlier chapters. For anyone else reading this I still recommend HJ. It’s cheap, well made, and beginner friendly. When I’m further along in my studies I’m planning on going through it again for listening and vocab practice.

If you can borrow a copy of Genki I & II and want to gauge your progress before deciding what to do try translating the dialogue sections at the beginning of each chapter. They’re about one half to a full page long and are generally focused around vocab/grammar points introduced in their chapter. Unfortunately HJ covers most of the material in Genki I & II so rather than being able to jump into a certain point you’ll probably find yourself searching for bits of grammar that weren’t explained as well or were forgotten.

Maybe if I had started with it, it would have helped more, but I actually found Human Japanese quite unhelpful- (only 1- I did not buy number 2). I didn’t like the use of the Romaji and actually found it inferior to Textfugu (not in amount but in the way things are explained). Then again, I think both resources are good starters for people who then want to seriously get into Genki and other grammar resources. :confused:

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Imabi might just be the right resource for me, so I’ll check it out. I’ll finish Genki first though, even if my grammar is already somewhat beyond that. Just to make sure I cover everything.

I use Tae Kim, Japanese the Manga Way, and Genki. All are good resources. Tae Kim is very concise and right to the point, so you can quickly read through it and get “familiar” with a ton of different grammar points.

I like JtMW because it has a good amount of colloquial stuff since everything is explained with examples from manga. I want to be able to read raw manga eventually so its a good help for me.

Genki is good since its more concise and has a lot of practice you can do in the book. Obviously all three books overlap a bit, but the different perspectives help.

Most importantly, I’d suggest trying to read raw jp while going through whichever resource you decide. You might not understand a lot, but that is why you have the books to refer back to.

Just want to chime into say that the exercises in Genki that come with audio are really worth doing (and doing more than once). A lot of other resources don’t have anything like them.

Practicing a grammar point in the form of shadowing a native speaker in 10 similar sentences in a row is fantastic for listening comprehension, speaking, and for solidifying a grammar point.

You can’t go wrong with most of the resources mentioned here but that is one really special selling point for Genki. (I’m currently really missing it with Tobira).

I personally used Imabi to learn new material for the first time, then I used a genki workbook memrise course to work through and solidify and practice all of the concepts introduced (I’ll be done with the Genki II practice book that way in a few weeks, but I know a bit more grammar than that).

IMO, practice is absolutely necessary to retain the concepts. If you just read imabi, you can probably read fairly well, but you’ll struggle to form your own sentences and use that grammar knoweldge yourself. The SRS practice system is simply icing on the cake to allow me to keep going back to old concepts until every last mistake is gradually ironed out of me.

I’m not sure what I’ll do next. There’s a group putting the shinkanzen review books up on memrise, so I might switch to that for practice after genki, since there isn’t a good one for tobira, and I think imabi is good enough that I don’t need a real textbook for explanations, just practice exercises taken from a real textbook!

You are right there. The creation is definitely an area that I need to work on. It is just a matter of putting in the hard graft but damn- it takes it out of you to form a simple sentence that if you saw it written- you could read no problem.

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