I’ve been studying tae kim’s complete guide slowly for about two weeks. At first it seemed really great and the introductory grammar was clicking really well, but as I’ve progressed into verbs I’ve noticed the dialogues have gotten quite difficult for a beginner. They tend to use a lot of “advanced” kanji which I feel distract the focus from the grammar rules being applied to just trying to parse all the new kanji in each dialogue. Even though they spell out all the kanji and vocab before each dialogue, I still find this makes focusing on the grammar more difficult. Has anyone else had this issue before? Are there any more beginner friendly grammar guides, or am I just starting grammar too early? I’ve recently started bunpro alongside WK, but I’d like a more textbook style way to learn grammar in addition to spaced repetition.
Physical textbooks, like Genki or Minna no Nihongo will start you off with furigana on all the kanji. Of course they will also have wordlists you can reference and study from for each chapter.
I don’t think it’s too early to start grammar. Have a look at Minna no Nihongo, the first book is free online, this month. But it can get quite expensive if you can’t find them second hand, since you’ll probably be needing the grammar handbook as well, if you’re self studying.
You should be able to find the free online version after you sign in.
Try Lingodeer. It’s a great resource for getting started with Japanese. You’ll quickly learn basic grammar and vocab.
Is Lingodeer now only available as an app, and they don’t even have a website any more? Seems odd.
EDIT: I just saw their tweet that the website is under maintenance. However, that was 9 hours ago. I still think it’s odd.
I vaguely remember having this issue a while ago, but then when I looked through the guide again sometime after that I was surprised to see I knew most/all of the words. So they’re probably not that advanced. What section are you up to at this point?
No and no I think. I say this because grammar guides need to have example sentences, and example sentences need to use a variety of words to be useful. Most grammar sources expect you to make do with unknown words, or study them as part of a “word list”, making them part of the process of studying a given chapter.
I second this!
Most kanji on his website have an explanation linked into them. If you hover your mouse over them it will show pronunciation and meaning.
And i have to agree with:
Without examples with adequate complexity the grammar could be misinterpreted. It seems overwhelming in the beginning, but it will begin to untangle quickly.
I had pretty much the same issue when I started learning Japanese with Tae Kim. My solution was to learn a bunch of words and kanji with iknow.jp and wanikani and them come back later.
It was a lot smoother reading the second time around (maybe in my twenties level-wise)
Wow! This is the first I’ve heard of iknow.jp, and I’m falling in love with it.
Thanks to everyone else who responded too!
I second second this.
To the OP, your highest priority now should be Wanikani. The more Kanji you learn the easier studying will get.
I had the same problem with Genki. I checked it once at my start and I saw so many unknown Kanji and it felt awful. I checked Genki again after I was over level 30 and it was almost too easy.
Funny enough, I recently finished Tae Kim’s guide and it doesn’t have a lot of complicated Kanji(maybe things get harder in the special and advanced parts).
You are not expected to know all the Kanji. It’s fine if you google some of them. Just get further into WK to decrease the amount of time you spend on looking up Kanji