My Problem With BunPro and Suggestions for Alternate Grammar Tool

One thing I love about WaniKani is how easy it is to pick up the lessons in flashcard format and immediately jump to testing and drilling them. I reached level 7 in WaniKani and felt ready to try grammar so I jumped to BunPro. My problem with Bunpro is it feels like it’s meant mainly for practicing grammar you semi-know already. It doesn’t seem really suited for learnign grammar from scratch. The lessons are kind of barebones and as a result I feel they don’t really prep me for the flashcards, which I get wrong a lot. I actually end up going to websites and books to get the grammar lesson down and then go back to BunPro and do better on the reviews. For example, Bunpro just told me that “wa” is for topics and “ga” is for subjects without much else. To me that doesn’t say much as both a subject and a topic seem kind of indistinguishable to me without more explanation.

I don’t mind keeping BunPro around primarily as a grammar drill app, but I’m interested in finding another resource that makes grammar as easy and fun as Wanikani made Kanji for me. It doesn’t even have to be an app like Wanikani and Bunpro, although that would be fun. It can even just be a book.

So far I’ve tried Tae Kim’s book and it’s okay so far and I’ve already read some entries at the blog for 8020 Japanese, and the grammar lessons there I thought worked for me much better , so I was considering trying that.

So please, anyone, share the print books, websites, apps, software, whatever, that made grammar learning easy and clear for you.


Are you reading the external grammar resources included with each grammar point?


I was going to ask the same thing as Seanblue, and I’ll add that if you want another resource to add in (I’m all for using multiple resources, I use several myself), take a look at Lingodeer. It was originally a mobile app but their webapp just hit beta. It’s great for the very beginning stages, which you seem to still be in, and is what I used to start.


You might like the book Japanese the Manga Way.


takes deep breath

KawaJapa CureDolly!

A youtube channel that made a world of difference for me. She approaches things a bit differently than many grammar resources, so if you’re not gelling with Tae Kim and such, she might be worth a try.

She teaches “organic Japanese” as she calls it - teaching Japanese without really equating it to Western grammar. This was extremely useful to me as I’m not a native English speaker, and using ENG to JP grammar resources often required me to teach myself about English grammar in an attempt to understand what they were talking about. I credit her channel for my ability to incorporate native reading into my studies.

The presentation bothers some, with the visuals and audio something that many find bothersome. I certainly rely on the addition of the subtitles she adds to the video, but the content made it so worth it for me. Her method isn’t for all, and I can understand that (as she discards or disagrees with quite some things that are common in ENG-JP learning resources), but if it clicks, it seems to click very well for people. ^^

@jprspereira I’m becoming as much CureDolly’s cheerleader as you are Kitsun’s cheerleader. Watch your back-!


I recommend Genki when starting to learn grammar. When I first started learning Japanese years ago, it’s what everyone would say to begin with. I feel like it teaches grammar in a really easy to understand way. It’s also good for learning basic non-kanji vocab. Plus there are lots of exercises (writing and audio) that you can do to reinforce the information. There’s also a second Genki book - I was too lazy to read that however and switched over to BunPro lol.


Is that even possible though? :eyes: :purple_heart:


I actually haven’t found a single resource that covered は vs が in enough depth to really explain all the various nuances. I had to compile information from multiple sources before I felt like I got the hang of it.

Yikes, no. I must have missed that even was there.


No, but I can dream T^T


Do androids dream of… electric sheep becoming CureDolly’s cheerleaders?


As CureDolly calls herself an android, I guess… bots dream of bots? :thinking:

I feel so bahsic. How unoriginal.


The textbook ideas in this thread are all sound and provide some good exercises to work on to help you learn which most of the online resources don’t do. I also like using apps for a quick dip into grammar anywhere. Good for an introduction but I’ve not come across anything as good as Bunpro for locking in the knowledge once learnt.

Some app resources to try


There was a recent thread on Bunpo


No worries, it happens. Here’s a picture in case it helps.


This article made this が vs は distinction clear for me:


This one did it for me. Really great explanations with heaps of examples.

well I have a tab open now to give this a shot!

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I have also found that many of Bunpro’s examples are very clunky and feel a lot more like direct translations that were not reviewed by a truly native speaker. I live in Japan now and when i started Bunpro I ran into a few examples that left me scratching my head so I asked a Japanese speaker that I work with and he agreed it was ちょとへんだね。So i would say don’t get too down about not getting all the reviews.


I’ve personally been using DuoLingo, and I feel like I get quite a bit out of it (especially for it being free). I also haven’t tried anything else, so take that with a grain of salt… XD

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Okay, I’m not jp. Just wondering why you didn’t mention CureDolly site like this if you’re becoming as such?

PS. Tsundere never recommends.

PS1. Learning grammar hurts.

PS2. I like this. No I’m not saying this.

PS3. Worshipping The Crabigator hurts.

PS4. Everything hurts. Pointing to everything: hurts. hurts. hurts. @I-am-nothing @Whologist curled into a ball of flour which human often saw as a fat rabbit.

PS5. 最後まで聞いてくれてありがとうございました。