Should I switch textbooks?

Hey! I’ve never used the community forums before so I hope I’m not doing this wrong, but I have some questions regarding which beginner textbook I should use. I know this is probably asked every day but I think my situation is a little different. I just finished Genki 1 3rd edition and luckily Genki 2 3rd edition was just released, but I’ve been looking into other resources and many people seem to say Minna no Nihongo is a better resource and I was wondering if making a switch from Genki 1 to MNN volume 2 would be possible. So I guess my questions are: Is the transition doable? Would it be worth it? Would it be better to just start from scratch with MNN but at a quicker pace (or would this just be a waste of money)? My original plan was to finish both Genki books and the go onto Tobira, but from what I’ve heard the Genki->Tobira jump has a larger gap than MNN->Tobira.

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I’ve never used either of the books, but I think it’s largely personal preference. Did you like Genki 1? Do you feel like it’s working for you? If so, just continue with Genki.


In my experience, I gained more from studying consistently, even with bad tools, than I did by jumping from one place to the other. Genki is not even a bad tool (from what I know, never used it), so I’d say you ought to just complete the “Genki track”. Once you’re done, if Tobira is too difficult, pick up another textbook like An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese, and use it to bridge the gap so to say.


I’ve just started with Tobira (1st chapter) after Genki I and II, I’m only on the first chapter, and it feels fine. Next chapters might be harder, though.

Don’t forget that there is also a gap between Genki I and MNN II, as well as between MNN II and Tobira, so if you decide to switch, you’ll experience it twice.

Regarding the gap between Genki I and II and Tobira, it is totally possible to fill by yourself. I, for example, completed all missing N5 grammar, and now I’m in the process of catching up on missing N4 grammar points. Most of them are just variations of things that I already new, so it is relatively easy.

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You should probably do Genki II (or equivalent) before you start Tobira.


Thanks, I didn’t express myself properly, I updated the original message. When I wrote “I finished Genki” I meant that I finished both Genki I and Genki II. Otherwise the gap would’ve been enormous indeed :slight_smile:


Good good, I thought (hoped?) that was what you meant. Needed to make it clear to OP, though

I used Genki I and II and found it fine to reach Tobira level as well. It’s definitely a little intense to suddenly have a textbook be entirely in Japanese, but Genki did prepare me sufficiently for the grammar used.

However, I would recommend getting The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar as an additional reference source. The grammar in Genki is deliberately presented in a somewhat simplified manner so that you can learn it easily, which is fine for picking it up, but you do miss out on nuances sometimes. The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar is an absolute godsend for filling in those little details. It often includes comparisons to similar grammatical constructions and explains the differences. Honestly one of the best Japanese learning resources I have spent money on, right next to WaniKani.


Hmm… I think Genki is just fine, when you are learning at your own. I used Minna no Nihongo in a (really bad) course and tried to continue on my own, but this didn’t work for me… The book won’t describe grammar or explain stuff. I think it’s mostly used in courses, because the teacher can give you the explanation, that’s lacking in the book.

After using Minna No Nihongo on my own for some sessions, I started learning with Genki on my own and I think it worked. :slight_smile:

The answer for me is, whatever resource you actually use and read is the right one. :wink:

If you liked Genki and you learned, most likely Genki II will get you to the next level.

I’ve tried using Genki but gave up because I go tired of writing sentences then having to spend an inordinate amount of time looking my sentences up to verify they weren’t off grammatically.

Other than that, I cannot speak to the MNN to Tobira transition but I hope you find something that works for you and you stick to learning Japanese.


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It’s great to have you here!

If you haven’t already check out the Forum Guidelines and the Wanikani User Guide .
There’s also tonnes of things on the forums to help you on your way such as The guide, The Ultimate resource list, and API and Third Party Apps.

If you have any questions, check out this thread; but if this doesn’t answer your questions, feel free to create a thread like @xoltia did here, or email The Wanikani staff.

Good luck, and I look forward to seeing you around!


Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

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Finish Genki and then start Tobira. I did, and the supposed “gap” was mostly just kanji. WK takes care of that.

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