Kitsun, torii, bunpro? something else?

heya guys!!

some people have recommended to me that my time may be best invested if I use a vocab and grammar program alongside my wanikani work, and some have recommended Kistun, torii (which I still can’t find online) and Bunpro.

can anyone tell me their experiences with these services?? which would you recommend!

My main issue is price, I am… well money is tough, especially since I just got robbed for almost all my student allowance :frowning: so the idea of another couple hundred being invested has become a lot scarier, so any tips on budget resources or if kitsun etc is worth it would be amazing :frowning:

thank u guys so much for the help

I hope next time we meet things will be better for me <3

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Torii is free, and can be found here. It’s an application, so you don’t do your reviews on a browser. I’ve had good experiences with it. A similar free service which is exclusively browser-based is KameSame.

Bunpro has a 1-month free trial, which is super worth it in my opinion. You can (although with some difficulty) go through the entirety of the JLPT N5 grammar points in that time. Plus, I think they still have that discount so that monthly subscriptions are just $3 — it’s an absolute steal, in my book.

some others will probably come evangelizing* about Kitsun eventually, I expect. I used it once, but it wasn’t really to my taste.

*just a silly joke :stuck_out_tongue:

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Torii is great because it is free. It is a good app for learning vocab.

I have gone through all of the N5 vocab so far and I have no complaints.

Anki is also free if you don’t mind setting it up. For those who would prefer not to Kitsun exists ( $8/month and there is a 14 day free trial). Bunpro is still $3/month (with a 30-day free trial as mentioned), yes. I have not used Torii so no comment there. Various YouTube channels that go over grammar and Tae Kim’s guide are also free. Supplementing those with Bunpro would be the best investment if you were going to pay for anything as there are free vocab practice options out there.

But make sure you are taking care of yourself and eating well enough first. Especially if money is tight.

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https://www.renshuu.org is another option. they have a free level and paid ‘pro’ level (has more exercises and listening, including pitch accent etc.) $7 a month but i’ve used free for long time to accentuate what i’ve been learning on my own.

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Satori Reader

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Honey, I’m hoooooooommmeeeee!

Yes, Kitsun is awesome. It’s like Anki, but not crap (UI/UX, ease of use). It’s also not expensive if you go for an annual or lifetime sub.
If UI/UX does not matter to you much, and if budget is really tight, then Torii is a good idea. If you can scrounge a little bit, then Kitsun has much wider applications.

Bunpro is definitely a steal at the current price. But it’s a completely different product.

Given the budgetary constraints, I’d go with Bunpro+Torii. I don’t like Torii myself, but free is quite cheap and it will pay off for the goal of vocab acquisition, even if it’s not great to look at. When the financial pressure eases, I’d move over from Torii to Kitsun.

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What do you mean, it has everything I need. A word appears and I just press spacebar and sometimes 1 :wink:.

On a more serious note, I mostly use the iOS version and have no complaints about the UI. Sure, the decks maybe take a bit to set up but 99% of my time is just spent tapping… And looking at statistics :smiley:.

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I personally use KameSame and think it is great. (=
I found it to be easier to navigate than Torii. It is also very lenient when it comes to “synonyms mistakes”, and provides easy access to Jisho and other sources for more in-depth analysis. You can learn vocabulary in order of JLPT or 10k core words, and it also connects to your WaniKani vocabulary acquisition… Above all it’s free!! I’d suggest you try out Torii and KameSame to see if you like any of those (and to see which you like best)!

I don’t use an SRS platform for grammar as of now (that’d be too much SRS for me…). So in my case, it’s WK + KKLC for kanji, KS for vocabulary, and Genki for grammar. :slight_smile:

頑張ってね!

I really don’t like Torii. If all you want is the 10k in a way that resembles WK it’s fine, but I feel like half the reason to any other SRS platform is more customized decks/works/ect. Edit: I’ll be nice and say the built in font randomizer is something more tools should pick up on.

Anki is probably the most popular choice and it’s free on pc. Mobile was pricy when I bought it, not sure if it’s still that way. It’s great if you everything just the way you want it, but getting there is a pain. I think most people do mining using Yomichan(?).

Kitsun is pay for convenience. It leans into my working process better than the above with less hassle and a better default UI. That said, some features might be bare bones depending on how far you want to customize it and I don’t like how a lot of the community made decks use custom css instead of leaning into the existing site styles. That said, some decks go above and beyond which alongside of the togglable layouts makes it fairly quick and easy to just get to the good stuff without much hassle (and eye bleed). Mobile app is really convenient, but is mostly there for reviews or easy dictionary adds in the last version I used.

I don’t use this, but huge shoutouts to Weow! Koohi.cafe - A WK friendly SRS [300 vocabulary lists!] For people who want to jump into that kind of content it’s probably to just use that instead of the usual approaches.

Bunpro, there’s a free trial and keeping your account free is supposed to still gives users access to the search and grammar information pages as well as a few examples sentences. The info pages also link to discussion threads on their forums as well provide links to external resources, blogs, page numbers for some textbooks, ect. It’s extremely convenient.

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Anki definitely isn’t crap

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Because I’m not sure if I want to SRS my grammar in the future, I’ve looked around and someone in here once mentioned JALUP (https://japaneselevelup.com) and I’ve found their app (iOS/Android) looks very interesting and I started using it this week. So far, I’m happy with it, the only drawback being the voice in audio is female-only. Despite the voice being very beautiful (at least to my ears), I think, being male, I prefer to have a male pronunciation being bounced off me at this stage. They have grammar, kanji, audio and speaking training.

Another one is Kaizen - https://www.kaizenlanguages.com - does a similar thing as JALUP does plus Kaizen does writing kanji, too.

Both might be worth taking a look at, especially if you’re on a budget. Jalup doesn’t require you to pay on an annual basis, as it’s got modules and you decide if you want to get the next one or not. Kaizen is 1/2 and annual payments afaik.

ah, my apolgies, I misspoke. It’s a steaming pile of monkey doodoo. Only difference is, even monkeys are reluctant to fling it at others. That would be beyond the pale.

Interesting. I’ve only ever seen mixed reviews about Jalup. Like Anki, it seems people either hate it or love it. Could you please elaborate about the pros and if you’ve seen any cons beyond the voice?
I started the sample deck not too long ago but was put off by the initial cards. Not that they were too simple but that the content choices seemed odd. You likely made it farther in the product than I did so do you ave any opinions about the content?

I’ve looked at Kaizen in the past, but I am suspicious of any product that flaunts AI given the poor experiences I have encountered with AI-centric products.

Just randomly stumbled into this conversation, but I’m using Jalup fairly actively (about 3500 sentence cards in, 2500 of those are J>J cards). I feel like Jalup isn’t any kind of revolutionary thing, but I’m not sure how you’d end up hating it. (except maybe for the price tag)

Jalup Main is basically just grammar+vocab taught through +1 sentence cards, which ended up being my preferred method of study. What makes it somewhat special is that it’s built for an early J>J transition (after 1000 sentence cards). Transitioning that early is reasonably only possible with a premade deck. Nothing much else to it though.

First ~300 cards of learning words with Japanese definitions was fairly rough, but now I’m glad I did it.

I also see @sycamore is currently typing, who uses Jalup on the side, probably just to make a joke about me only showing up when theres talk about Jalup :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Thanks for the comprehensive response.

How effective do you feel Jalup has been for grammar? Have you been able to retain a lot and apply your knowledge effectively when consuming content?
The attraction to Jalup for me was specifically the fact that it is a +1 deck. It intuitively seems like an effective approach.

You’re like Eminem in his last battle in 8 Mile. You killed the joke on your own by pre-empting it :expressionless:

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Jalup starts out fairly grammar dense, but the focus shifts more and more towards vocab. The first 1000 cards teach you mostly all N5+N4 grammar, with some N3 sprinkled on top. It does that because you need the grammar for J>J, but after that I wouldn’t really call it a grammar resource. Sure, it still teaches you grammar, but it’s far more spread out. The focus is definitely on learning words through J>J.

If you’re already nearing the intermediate realm in terms of grammar (N4-N3), Jalup probably isn’t the proper fit as a grammar resource because of its structure. For higher levels, the grammar comes with lots of vocab.

As for retaining and applying, Jalup teaches you to recognize and understand grammar when you see it. It also teaches the grammar in a fairly minimal way, not with thorough textbook explanations. For me the grammar stuck, understanding it while immersing wasn’t an issue.
By now I’m fairly comfortable with easier native podcasts and novels, not sure though how much of that credit belongs to Jalup and how much of it belongs to buttloads of immersion.
What Jalup doesn’t teach you however is production. You’re just learning the grammar through minimal explanations and seeing it in context over and over again. This is all passive, I have no illusions about how horrible the active side of my Japanese still is.

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This is fascinating. If you would indulge me a little longer:

  1. Do you feel like, for the points that you understand passively, you’d have a significantly easier time studying the explanations in textbooks because you already understand the grammar points implicitly?
  2. Could you link me to the decks that you find are most effective in Jalup for N5/N4 grammar? Ie. Which deck contains those “1000 cards” of which you speak?
  3. While you can’t say how mch of your ability to understand Jalup can be credited with, can you comfortably say that it earns any credit for it?
  1. Honestly not sure how to answer that, because I feel like there is no need for textbook study if you already understand it. I do sometimes look up more complicated ones I’ve recently learned, but that is before an implicit understanding has formed.
    Personally I feel like one doesn’t need to be very precise about grammar right from the start. If you don’t fully understand it, you’ll spot that while immersing. Then you’ll look up the thing thats giving you trouble and move on.
  2. It’s Jalup Beginner, the first 1000 of 5000 cards in Jalup Main. You can access the first 100 cards of this for free, but it starts out really basic.
  3. Haha, yeah, it’s definitely some. Jalup has basically been my only SRS study since I transitioned to J>J and especially early on during that time I saw huge improvements.
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