Should I keep or return Genki I?

So last weekend I randomly go on to Amazon and purchased a bunch of stuff, including Genki I book and workbook. Now that they has been delivered, I took a look at them and realized they are made for a more traditional way of learning Japanese, that is, for the classroom.

I have been on the edge for the last 3 hours, to return or not to return them, and I thought you guys could help me make a good decision (unlike the decision to randomly buy them in the first place :cry: )

I have been studying TaeKim basic chapters, so I wonder if Genki is going to help at all with my grammar. The vocabulary comes with each chapter is still nice I guess, but I could probably get them from FloFlo as well.


I personally liked Genki’s explanations, and I just skipped the classroom/partner activity sections :upside_down_face: the accompanying workbook is great practice and reinforces things nicely too, I think you can get a lot out of it regardless

Maybe just go through the first couple chapters + corresponding workbook questions (on another sheet of paper or something just in case you do want to return it) and see if you like it – if you do, awesome! And if you don’t, return it and explore other options that may fit your learning style better ^^

がんばってね ! :crabigator:


Genki significantly gains value with its workbook imo. The only thing I hate about Genki is how they start (I think it makes the learner extremely confused). The explanations throughout it are good enough though.


it doesn’t matter which textbook you have.
you could learn with “taro’s toilet paper - a shitty guide to japanese”, as long as you do it from start to finish, it’s well worth it.

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Well, to be fair. This is why I haven’t got myself a copy of this book. So what I’ll say is just my opinion since I’ve only studied using Minna no Nihongo

I’ve come across a lot of topics here about Genki books and the major opinion is that they are great, even if you are a self learner so if you have already bought em. I’d say keep em

There is, by the way a course from the MIT here in the forums using Genki, with enough people it might become a classroom.

Genki genki
げんき だして!


Thanks for the replies guys. I guess I will keep them for the time being. :smiley:

The simple exercises that have the audio icon next to them have the answers in the mp3s. And for the other ones they’re still valuable to do, but I found having a conversation with myself annoying so I started skipping those after a while. You can also go farther from how it would be used in a classroom, and ignore the exercises altogether and use it as a source of anki cards (I do sentence recognition and some grammar cloze; I find single word vocab cards don’t work past the very beginning level because there isn’t a tidy 1-1 correspondence between Japanese and English words, though other people seem to value out of them longer than I did).

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Just wanted to say that you’re not the only one; I impulse-bought Genki I and its workbook (along with some other books… I don’t spend my money often, okay??) and they should be arriving today. :smiley:

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I bought Genki I for a Japanese 1 course I took in college. We finished up to chapter 6 of the textbook by the end of the semester and I never took a japanese course again for *reasons totally not related to me trying to save my GPA by cutting out all non-graduation related courses*

After I graduated, I picked up exactly where the course left off.
Today (year and a half later) I’ve completed Genki I & II, and I’m now on chapter 7 of Tobira.

I liked Genki. Enough to use it beyond class, and even go as far as to buy and complete Genki II. Didn’t bother with either workbooks though.

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Until someone comes out with exercises correlating with Tae Kim’s guide, you should keep Genki just for the ability to work through lessons. This is probably the best value in that no one has useful lessons like Genki. (My hopes are that one day Etoeto would do this well, but if it ever sees the light of day, it will probably have outlived its usefulness for me personally.)

Genki is decent in that Tobira sort of picks up where you left off. It is also widely used, which is an advantage if you ever try to study with someone, take a class, or use a tutor.

The biggest downside is that just about every Japanese textbook I’ve seen is lousy - but Genki is the least lousy out of all of them. (My first exposure was “Japanese For Busy People” in romaji and it is a complete turd.) I don’t have Genki I, but I do have Genki II and Tobira. I was lucky enough to pick up Genki II and workbook on a business trip to Tokyo and expense them through my employer.


I used Genki I, II, An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japapnese, and 中級から上級への日本語 as mainly self study years ago. I found them incredibly helpful. It’s targeted at classroom use, but going through all of the writing exercises in the book, and doing the workbook on my own helped me learn the grammar pretty well. Even though it’s technically made for a classroom, you can still get a lot of benefit going through the books as self study. I recommend keep them and go through them doing as many exercises as you can. If you can find someone to check your answers, that’s even better. There is an answer guide but it’s 100% Japanese, you may or may not find use in that, but I didn’t use it.

Additionally, I mined example sentences in all of the books to make a sentence anki deck. I put the sentence on the front of the card, and the sentence with furigana on the back, with the grammar point the sentence was trying to teach. As I went through the deck, if I consistently got vocabulary wrong, I put only those words on the back as well. You’ll get the most benefit with this method if you don’t put a full translation of the sentence.


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