Question about Intermediate Textbooks (Quartet, Tobira, MnN)

I’m approaching the end of Genki 2 and Minna no Nihongo 2. Within those textbooks, I’ve definitely got some gaps in my learning… but I’ve also started looking at the intermediate textbooks… and I find the content in those books much more stimulating and motivating as far as the reading and subject matter.

So, my question, if I start focusing on those books, is there anything I need to be aware of…? And, as far as causative, passive, and transitivity, would you recommend that I review sections in the beginner books, or, move on to the next level? What other grammar points or content should I watch out for…?

Edit: Follow-up Question
I’ve got a follow-up question.

I started all three textbooks (Tobira, Quartet, and to a lesser extent MnN Intermediate), but I’ve become bogged-down with WaniKani and reviewing the MnN2 content… (and life)…

So I’ve only really been able to do unit 1 Tobira and Quartet successfully… and I’ve been trying to navigate the second units in each book, which aren’t quite as stimulating/intriguing to me as a learner/reader/listener. Do any of you have any tips about how to move move forward?

Also, how much of the content should I already have been introduced to via WaniKani by Level 42/43? {I’m considering majorly hitting the brakes on WK (only doing reviews for a while) and making grammar my main focus indefinitely.}

I might not be the guy that could give you an accurate answer. Since I don’t use neither Genki nor Minna. I just jump around the internet and Tobira is the first text book I’m going through.

However, I think Tae Kim’s book could fill the gap for you. I think the gap between Genki/Minna and Tobira is quiet small.

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In some ways that’s helpful in that you jumped straight into it!

So to not provide you the wrong sense of Tobira difficulty or sound like I’m just trying to flex how smart I am lol.

While it’s true that I don’t use those beginner text books. However, I study the grammars that’ve been covered in those book on the internet thoroughly via different resources.

I think after you finish Genki II and Minna II you should be more or less ready for Tobira. The gap you need to fill (If there is any) should not be huge enough for you to concern.

Probably, it would be a good idea to learn Tobira vocab before jump in. That would make your Tobira study experience go smoother.

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Aye, to a certain extent, Tobira is designed to follow on from Genki - they’ve even got lists on their website of kanji that are assumed knowledge for Tobira that aren’t taught in Genki (or Nakama, which is what I studied). There isn’t more than a handful of said kanji, fortunately.

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I’ve got a follow-up question.

I started all three textbooks (Tobira, Quartet, and to a lesser extent MnN Intermediate), but I’ve become bogged-down with WaniKani and reviewing the MnN2 content… (and life)…

So I’ve only really been able to do unit 1 Tobira and Quartet successfully… and I’ve been trying to navigate the second units in each book, which aren’t quite as stimulating/intriguing to me as a learner/reader/listener. Do any of you have any tips about how to move move forward?

Also, how much of the content should I already have been introduced to via WaniKani by Level 42/43? {I’m considering majorly hitting the brakes on WK (only doing reviews for a while) and making grammar my main focus indefinitely.}

You should be more than fine with level 43 for quartet 1, there are occasionally N2-N1 kanji (which do have furigana and are basically all in the small red vocab book, often just for names or very specific things related to the reading topic), but you basically know all N3 ones (missing 6).
Sure, you will meet some unknown vocab made of known kanji, but thats bound to happen anywhere (also most of them were pretty obvious or again were in the vocab book).
Would be nice if you were closer to lvl 50 for quartet 2 (N2) as you are missing about 40 kanji there, but then again, not a big deal at all compared to 1400+ you know and thats still quite far away.
Same goes for Tobira, although it can delve into some N2 grammar points sooner, i dont think they really push N2 kanji too much (no personal experience with it).

All and all gains from WK are very small at this point compared to grammar gains you can make (many people even intentionally stop around 40-50), if you can prioritise only one of them, grammar seems to be better choice (although with N4 grammar and WK lvl 43 you should be able to immerse if you havent really tried to, not only is it really helpful in getting better, it can also prevent burn out and allow allocating more free time into it as its not just mentally hard stuff, but also fun stuff - so that should be the real priority eventually)

My workflow with quartet is do one lesson per 4 weeks (note for random people used to genki reading this, those lessons are much bigger, theres only 6 of them per book compared to Genkis 12, so its somewhat faster pace i would say)

  1. week - watch tokini andy video part 1, read explanations for those grammar points in book and add them into bunpro, then after few days im doing the workbook practice for them
  2. week - same as first, but for second half of them
  3. week - readings and workbook questions about readings
  4. week - listening, sometimes speaking (but i havent really liked quartet speaking prompts), wrap up
    (obviously you dont have to watch the same video, use any srs, etc, thats just up to preference, but doing grammar points before reading makes much more sense to me, even though reading comes up first in the book)
    (also not sure if you are aware, but there is answer key for quartet workbook on the internet, they just havent published it yet into book or something)
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This is helpful. This means I should mainly focus on the Quartet 1 book and similar content in the Tobira book… and then attempt to advance forward on WK if and only if I feel motivated to do so as I reach the end of Quartet 1.

My home life is immersion. And it’s like swimming in the deep end but I still am doing doggie paddle… or wearing floaties…

Anyways, I do want the intentionally graded and textbooks to move forward. While WK is still motivating as something I’ve worked into my weekly/daily habits, I think I need to change my study plan.

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Are you looking for filler to bridge the gap between the elementary books you are finishing up and intermediate level books? MnN has supplemental books that can definitely assist with that (there are actually 9 books total for each of MnN 1 and 2 I believe).

To me it sounds like you’re pretty much done with elementary and are just looking for ways to stay motivated and active while getting over the pre-intermediate hurdle. The TRY! series is always a nice little booster that I enjoy. TRY! N4 and N3 together will certainly get you through Quartet and about half of Tobira. Also, check out the Marugoto website and download the additional materials for their pre-intermediate (A2/B1) book. The materials are free and you don’t actually need the Marugoto books themselves to get use out of the downloadable content.

Pre-Intermediate (A2/B1) | Marugoto

I like this plan in general, but I have mixed feelings about tokini andy. He’s sometimes really helpful, and other times… he just goes to fast with weird accents and weird ando-san idiosyncrasies which I find too distracting. Maybe digesting his videos over the course of a week would be better. My other thing is that I just never got into (or enjoyed) bunpro), … but I’m glad the system works for you. :slight_smile: A good 4-week (or so) plan would help me.
Btw, How is the Quartet Workbook? I don’t actually have that because my local bookstore didn’t have it in stock…

Thanks for this recommendation. I like what I’ve seen so far and I’ll keep looking for things I can use.

If you’re not averse to a little spending, the actual Marugoto books are pretty fun to work through, and they just look neat on a bookshelf with bright colors (except the intermediate ones, I don’t know who did the colors for those but they are weird).

How are the colors for the pre-intermediate book(s)? I’ll look to see if they have them at my local bookstore. In general, I’ve already done most of the spending I wish to do on the previous books mentioned in this post (MnN, Tobira, Quartet), but I’d be willing to spend on a motivating pre-intermediate textbook.

Ordered top to bottom, left to right, you can see the the first 7 books all look great, and then the last 2 are just random and weird. I mean, the content is still good, but something about the inconsistency and the color pattern is a turnoff for me. The 3rd to last book (the green one) is the pre-intermediate. The orange and green striped one is the lower intermediate, and the blue striped one is the intermediate, so those would be the 3 of interest to you. The yellow ones on the same row are upper elementary, the same level you’re at, so basically the bottom row is where you are.

Also, the books do seem a little bit thin (less than 1/2 inch). They are very dense though at a jam-packed 200pgs apiece, crammed with conversations and full-color images that go hand-in-hand with the additional web content. I’m a fan if you can’t tell, but they are very non-traditional textbooks, whereas the TRY! series has a very traditional layout and may work better for self instruction.

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I have been using an integrated approach to intermediate Japanese for self study and, while dry, it helps a lot coupled with the other sources I use. I regularly visit IMABI, use a lot of other tofugu resources, and have a weekly tutor 1:1 session on Italki. Without the supplements, I could see WK and ANIATIJ to be very dry and boring.

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I finished Genki 1 and 2 and then started Tobira. Like others have said, it’s a bit of a learning curve getting used to Tobira, but it’s within reach. I found the first few chapters of Tobira the least interesting, but then the subject matter became more compelling to me, and I’m really glad I stuck with it. FYI, chapter 2 is especially a slog but I found it really helpful for better understanding different communication levels and styles.

I’m almost 2/3 done Tobira, and according to Bunpro, the grammar points have covered about 40% of (the more advanced) N4 and 40% of N3, plus a smattering of N2. For comparison, this apparently is the equivalent of completing 64% of Quartet 1 and 24% of Quartet 2 grammar. However, there are a lot more grammar points in Tobira.

The thing that helped me most was learning all the vocab for Tobira prior to starting a chapter, and then using Bunpro to help me learn and regularly review the grammar. There is A LOT of grammar to keep straight.

You probably don’t have to do Quartet I if you choose to go with Tobira. (I haven’t gotten far enough to know if there’s any value to doing Quartet II after Tobira.)

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While all of this is fine, i cant imagine not having a way how to train or get more used to those grammar points, i would forget half of them after week if i didnt use srs or workbook (and maybe misunderstand it without watching some video on it), not saying it is impossible and some people might even preffer just going over it so its just somewhere deep in the memory for time they encounter it during immersion, but its just not something i would do myself.
For question about the workbook - i can recommend googling downloading the answer key (someone on reddit linked the pdf, as i said there isnt any other way to get it, it has been sent to the OP by publisher for free, so i wouldnt call that piracy if you are concerned), from which you can clearly see the layout or workbook and decide if you want that or perhaps something else, its very helpful for me as i cant just skim through the book, but i also have to focus and learn, questions are much more open than in genki too so its not monotonous writing of expected short answers.

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It’s my honest opinion that the best way to hammer home grammar is with sentence pattern drill exercises. In-context repetition that is more than attempting to memorize grammar facts through SRS. If you build enough sentences, you speak a language, and that is a given.

This is exactly the reason I have the Minna no Nihongo intermediate book around… But it was just a bit too challenging when I first started it.

I actually agree with you! I wish my local bookstore had the workbook available. I’ll look again and consider ordering it online.