Self-study advice

Hi everyone!

I’ve spent enough time watching subbed anime to shock any mother, and I’ve been lazily trying to learn Japanese for years. All that laziness has recently changed, I’ll be going to Japan for a year in about 2 months, and so I’m doing my best to self study as much as possible!
I’m sure the rest of you self-studies students have reached the same issue as I have, there is a wealth of information on the internet, and its really easy to spend your time trying to find the ‘right way’. I tried the free edition of TextFugu, but I found it to be (sorry Koichi!) really slow and a bit rambly. On the other hand, I’m told that Genki I is an ‘okay’ alternative, but I cannot seem to find an online copy.
If anyone knows of a good, online workbook, I would be much appreciative if you could point me in the right direction!!

Could you go to a bookstore and buy a copy?

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Sounds like he doesn’t want a physical book.

There are PDFs of Genki you can find for free, but I doubt WK approves of those being distributed here.

See “This Google Docs”

*she :stuck_out_tongue:

I wish I could buy a copy! But I live in South Africa, even if I get it shipped there is no guarantee it’ll arrive, and with that, it’d be yet another heavy book I’ll have to put in my suitcase! Pity they don’t just sell an e-book version XD

Thanks for the link polv!

sigh… Time for me to recommend Human Japanese again…

Human Japanese is a textbook in app form (available for both Android and iOS) which covers everything from the most basic stuff, to around N5 level. It’s definitely not the fastest resource, but it’s extremely friendly to people of any level (they explain every grammar term they use). It’s available for quite cheap (much cheaper than most textbooks like Genki), and it took me about 6-8 months to get through the whole thing, and afterwards there’s an intermediate version available.

They’re not the best when it comes to learning a ton of words or kanji (kanji isn’t even introduced until towards the end of the first volume), but they are great for grammar, and contain (very good) audio for everything.

The only other thing I’d recommend is downloading the Anki decks for each volume after you’ve finished learning them, since otherwise you’ll just forget everything like me.

(this is not a paid endorsement although I wouldn’t complain if they wanted to pay me)


I’ll second this. I’ve used textfugu and Genki 1, but I much preferred Human Japanese to either of those. I’ve finished the beginner version and I’ve now started Human Japanese Intermediate. :slight_smile: __


Human Japanese it is!
Thank you for the advice! Haha! They probably should pay you. N5, gosh I hope I get there soon!
I have WaniKani for Kanji :smile:

Thank you everyone for your help!


I learned my grammar from Tae Kim’s guide to japanese and used anki flashcards to test myself on the knowledge aquired. It’s free and it definitely got me up to speed well enough.

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
Tae Kim Anki Deck


I would also recommend Tae Kim, even as an additional resource to help you understand things you might have trouble with in other grammar guides.

Tae Kim’s is good and I have a PDH version of genki 1 and 2 workbook and textbook but for fear of the consequences (hahah nervous laughter they are always watching) I shan’t post it here

I’m using an amalgam of things, but I really like the textbook “Japanese for Busy People.” It makes you write stuff out a lot, and it helps with sentence building. Everyone I’m sure has a different favorite, but if you can afford to go to Japan for a year a textbook is a relatively minor investment in your future. I always think of it as “voting with my dollars” and encouraging people who do great work to keep producing it. The other advantage to good-quality textbooks from reliable publishers (like Kodansha) is that they are well-vetted. Nothing worse than learning things incorrectly from a “free” resource that was worth what you paid for it.

Can you get it shipped to your Japanese address?

2 Months wont be nearly enough time to learn japanese grammar. I recommend you start listening to Japanese as you are going to need it when you arrive it japan. I know some people dont like it but I like Jpod101 for listening. Every grammar point is succinctly explained but it will take a you a couple of time listening until you get it.

@larrydeluca I’m certainly willing to spend the money. Learning Japanese would be the only way I could stay in the country after my Working Holiday visa expires. Once I’m there I’ll be able to ship any textbook, but Human Japanese looks fantastic because I can start working my way through it now (seeing as its totally online). I’ll take a look at Japanese for busy people too :slight_smile:

@gtsui87 I find listening to tutorial-esque stuff incredibly slow… but I’ll take a look non the less. I’ve got a basic grasp on some grammar points, but I need to level up considerably.

@Skittles-H I found it :wink: (nervous laughter)

I took a look at Human Japanese Intermediate and while it’s fairly well-lauded, there are a few complaints (namely that it’s almost all in hiragana even at the intermediate level so no option to have it in kanji or kanji+furigana). While I haven’t been unsatisfied with what I’ve been using, I was considering it as long as it seemed good enough to use in addition to or over other resources I’ve been using. I might try the lite, but without it having kanji, I’ll probably keep using what I have been while transitioning into native materials. Other than SRS apps, I mostly use youtube, jp101, learnjapaneseonline intermediate articles, lang8 (sorta), and HelloTalk.

Depending on your level id suggest checking out nihongomori (日本語の森) on youtube. Thats a good way to get used to spoken japanese. Its completely in japanese (Except for some subtitles) but they tend to use simple words and phrases. Invaluable resource imo :slight_smile:


(Late reply) It does use Kanji + Furigana, but due to the pacing, the kanji is introduced slowly over time. That being said, this definitely isn’t the resource for you if you want to get through a lot of kanji and vocab. Human Japanese definitely doesn’t blaze through pages of vocab and kanji before teaching you any grammar like Genki, the author tends to hold your hand more, teaching them alongside each other when they become relevant to the topic of the chapter.

Wow, this is incredible! This channel is exactly what I needed, thanks!

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