My Problem With BunPro and Suggestions for Alternate Grammar Tool

I’ve also been preaching the ways of the LingoDeer a bit, but I wasn’t aware they had a webapp until today!

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The “Dictionary of Japanese Grammar” books are wonderful. Very in-depth explanations, tons of examples. You could use the order of the lessons in Bunpro to structure your studies, but use the dictionary to really learn how each grammar point works.

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This is exactly what I’ve been doing, and it works like a charm. :+1:

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If you are satisfied (or when), I recommend modifying your title thread to reflect that so not to discourage future users. I admit, they could improve for beginners but grammar SRS is FAR more complicated than kanji SRS. The grammar dictionary series has well over a thousand pages of in depth content. The true gratification comes when all the repetitive exercises pay off in the wild.

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I’m sorry but what do you mean by “Grammar Dictionary”?

Look a few posts above, where a link for “A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar” was posted.

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I gave watching her video on は/が a shot and it was very informative!

Also, while I found the doll and its frantic head movements pretty freaky, and she may have added some filter to her voice, I did really like the way she actually speaks (intonation and whatnot).

As an aside, I was also kinda stoked that when she gave examples of having a は where you expect a different particle, I could actually feel that difference! (Like how 今年はよろしくお願いします would give the impression that this had not been the case for other years)

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IMO, the yellow book is essential while the red book is definitely advanced. The Handbook is very good as well and certainly more travel friendly than 3 books. If not aware already, there are the grammar paths that BunPro built in for users of Genki, Tobira, みんなの日本語. Anyone here using these with BP and how do you like it? For JLPT grammar prep, Kanzen gives a little explanation while Soumatome barely gives any at all so it they kind of expect outside learning as well.

I keep hearing good things about this channel and gave it a try again and again but I just can’t manage to listen to the videos. I really tried and I can’t explain why it is but I just… can’t deal with the audio.

However, you just made me realize that I can just turn off the audio and turn on the subtitles. Then it is also possible to speed the video up a bit to save some time. Now I can finally give some of her videos a chance.

(edit: double speed, low audio volume make it more bearable too and so far I‘m finding it interesting)

Also thanks everyone for the reminder that the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar is still sitting on my shelf, waiting to finally be opened for the first time…

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Thank you. I made it about 50% through the app but I really hated using my phone to study. Critical heads up…Cheers!

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@Oshin also reminded me that she has a website with articles. That may help, too. ^^

For - I think - 6 or 7 USD, she also has a grammar ebook on Amazon (and a kanji-related one but that seems less important to plug on WK. :wink: )

I can understand the issues that people take with the presentation. It’s one of the reasons why I basically always mention it when recommending the channel - I want people to be forewarned so that they might give it more of a chance. XD

I used to have quiet doubts about whether I’d be able to ever master grammar, since I often felt like I didn’t truly understand. Now I feel the same about grammar as about kanji and vocab: a very long road requiring years of dedication - but doable. I feel hopeful and even excited about grammar, while I used to feel extremely dispirited at the thought of this grammar beast blocking the path of progress

I don’t expect everyone to have the same experience with it, but if anyone that feels the same as I felt might be helped, I’ll keep bringing her up. XD

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That is one weird presentation style. I quite like virtual YouTubers like Kizuna Ai but I couldn’t get the thought of a middle-aged man with a voice changer behind that anime girl avatar out of my head… at first. I actually got used to it really quickly until the voice took on a light ASMR effect and now I quite like it. I really like her (I’ll go with ‘her’) theories on language learning. Overall a great recommendation so thankyou!

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Could you please link the book? I’d like to have a look at it. Thanks :slight_smile:

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Sure! ^^

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Definitely check out the “readings” tab for each grammar point. In the case of は・が specifically, that Japanese Ammo video (which is excellent) is linked right there.

I like Bunpro learning system! It is not like having a real teacher, but their efforts in that direction are commendable. Especially their hints can be very nice at times … :laughing:

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I have both the Handbook and all three Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar. As someone who bought the Handbook on the recommendation of an Amazon review saying it was as good as the Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar, I feel I must now warn others! :slight_smile:

Although it’s comprehensive for a single volume, the Handbook is nowhere near as useful as the DJGs as a reference for learning Japanese grammar. Speaking as someone who’s hit the end of N4 on Bunpro and is midway through WK Level 22, this is why.

Approach:

  • The DJGs go deeper into each piece of grammar, assuming less prior knowledge. Grammar is sectioned into basic, intermediate and hard over three colourful and petite volumes, with each progressively more advanced volume containing an index that refers back to the previous volume(s).
  • The Handbook opts for sheer density with less depth per entry. It has no sense of progression from basic to advanced. It’s also only slightly smaller than two volumes of the DJG laid spine to spine. (I checked.)

Presentation style:

  • The DJGs offer well-chosen, well-explained and well-presented usage examples, discussing them in detail. They also contain discussions, charts, tables and other helpful bits at the beginning and end of each book. Cross-references are listed at the start.
  • The Handbook contains barely explained usage templates then firehoses examples at you with a paragraph or two afterwards. Cross referencing takes place at the end of the entry because why not.

Anyone who’s far enough in Bunpro knows the agony of mastering the difference between the difference between だろう, らしい, そうだ and ようだ. The Handbook devotes a few “columns” to it under the entry for みたい and explains the nuances fairly well. By contrast, the DBJG goes into pages of detail with examples, helpful charts and shorter examples that get to the point.

Typesetting:

  • The DJGs are exquisitely typeset with different colours and font-weights. Everything is made very clear.
  • The Handbook contains no such niceties, cutting the text into columns, and everything looks annoyingly samey and even.

Controversies:

  • DBJG has romaji but no furigana; intermediate and advanced have a combination (pointed out by @Myria)
  • Handbook has furigana but no romaji

In short, the DJGs are altogether more expensive (in total) than the Handbook but you seriously do get what you pay for. The Handbook is way less accessible as reference to learn from and has gathered dust on my shelf since the DJGs arrived. That said, I expect as I get more proficient, the Handbook will come into its own because there really is a lot of stuff in there!

(Edit: Ncastaneda’s reply to this post about where the Handbook outshines the DJGs is worth reading too!)

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Does it cover conjugations and such? It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at those…

I also think that as you progress, the dictionary structure becomes a problem. It lacks abstraction and makes little effort to group similar things together, from what I recall. Well, just my two cents. :stuck_out_tongue:

Cure Dolly is great if you can’t get past how f’ing weird it is. I’m always terrified someone will see me watching it.

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DoBJ does cover conjugations and counters and the likes, but outside of the proper entries. It’s covered in the preface and in the closing notes, with tables.

I agree with you that it’s not perfect, and there’s plenty I had to look up elsewhere because it either didn’t match up with the context of what I was reading or because it outright had no entry for what I was looking up.

Despite that what it does cover is excellent and pretty in depth, so I use it in addition to Bunpro as a review tool and to make sure I hadn’t skipped over some crucial grammar bit in my weird, long, and out of order learning process.

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