Tobira study group

You sound like me! :grin: I sort of didn’t do anything on my Tobira-bunpro path for a week… :sweat_smile:

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My exams are finally over, and I’m waiting for the results now, so I might start Tobira again. I’ll be on chapter 8, but I’ll probably be taking my time since I’ll want to keep watching my anime series. Guess this means I’m finally (sort of) joining you all in this group.


Great, so you’ll know the answers to my future questions! :grin: :pray:


Hahaha. Kinda, I suppose. That’s why I pop in on the chapter threads for stuff I’ve already covered. But I have a tendency to skip the comprehension questions, so I may need to take a look inside the book if anyone needs help with those.

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Would anyone be interested in meeting for speaking practice/exercises? Seeing as most of us are mostly self-studying, speaking practice is always welcome, no?

The thread for chapter 7 is up! Tobira study group - chapter 7

I have a question - how do you study Tobira on your own? Do you just read the readings for each chapter, do you do the workbook exercises, do you work on the grammar for each chapter, do you use the publisher’s Anki decks, how deep do you go? And also, what does your routine look like?


Wait, they provide Anki decks???

As for my routine in general… I skip the comprehension questions because I find that they can be answered just by finding the relevant parts of the passage and copying them, with a few verb forms changes, so I feel they’re not very useful. I also skip everything that’s clearly meant to be in-class work, since I’m working on my own, excluding occasional questions for my friend. The things I do do:

  1. I read the pre-reading introductory exercises if they teach me new vocabulary
  2. I read all the texts and dialogues – my main objective is to pick up new words and increase my reading speed, and so I read aloud as fast as I can
  3. I read the grammar notes. If I already know a structure, I run through the example sentences to see if there’s anything I can learn

All the while, I look up new words in the dictionary. Even if I don’t memorise all of them, I know they’ll be more familiar the next time I see them.

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I read one reading part each day during the first week (pre-reading, readings, dialogs, notes), listen to the audio/watch the videos from the website during the second week, and add one grammar point to Bunpro each day of both weeks. I’m about a week ahead on the grammar to make the next chapter’s readings a bit easier.

I haven’t been prelearning the vocab or putting newly encountered vocab in a deck – I just look it up as needed and move on. So far I haven’t had too much trouble vocabulary-wise…far less than when reading actual books anyway.

I started out doing the exercises in the main textbook + PDFs from the website, but it takes more time than I want to spend on that kind of thing, so now I just skip that and rely on reading + Bunpro. :slight_smile:

What is your routine like @Marifly?

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I read the main text and vocab list on my own then listen to the audio while reading along. I was trying to do 1 grammar point on Bunpro but I’ve negated to do that lately… :thinking: I’ve got Tobira Anki decks but I haven’t used them - I tend to get a bit too busy so rushing a bit at times. I don’t do questions at all as I’m rather lazy. :sweat_smile:
I watch videos as well after I’ve finished the chapter. :slight_smile:

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Yes! They are super helpful if you don’t feel like making your own decks.漢字・語彙教材/とびらankiデジタルフラッシュカード/

My routine is all over the place right now, and I want to fix that, but I don’t know how. Part of my problem is that my foundation is shaky so I have been working on Genki along with Tobira. Just trying to do too many things at once I guess. I’m also working on Tobira with my iTalki teacher, and with her I’m about to start chapter 4, while I’m about to start chapter 7 here. I guess what I should do is to work through the chapter once here and then repeat it with my teacher later. I should also add a couple of grammar points from Tobira to Bunpro every day. That should help.

Thanks for your answers, all of you, you have given me some food for thought!


Oh wow, cool. I didn’t think that they had made the effort to prepare something like that for students. Good on them! I have a tendency to avoid flashcards though (I find committing to SRS time-consuming and troublesome, even though I know it works), so I probably won’t use them. My preference is just to make an effort to remember while learning what a word means and how to use it (e.g. by looking at examples). My objective is to understand why it means what it does and the words used. Afterwards, whether I remember it or not depends on whether or not I use the word. I mean, I remember the gist of this proverb about not speaking too soon/on shaky grounds (‘Saying, “Because one swallow has come”, it does not become summer.’), but the reason I always need to look up the exact wording of ツバメが一匹来たからと言って、夏にはならない。is that I never ever have to use it. I imagine it would be the same thing even if I had memorised it with flashcards.

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I still do Genki 2 textbook exercises (amongst other things) with my partner and our tutor – I skipped all of them when I read ahead, and our tutor goes into more detail with examples, nuances and speaking practice anyway, so I’m still learning!

Sounds like you’re doing a lot, but I guess once you figure out your ideal routine, everything should fit into place a bit better alongside your other commitments! :slight_smile:


Hi again, just wanted to add something, even though it’s not really relevant to what @Marifly asked. It’s a thought that popped into my head while watching an ad for a language learning app (from Fluent Forever), and it’s something that matched my personal experience: whenever I learn a new language/study new words, I try to stop using translations ASAP. It doesn’t matter if I have no choice but to use a translation to pick a new word up, coz sometimes the monolingual definitions are just too hard. However, I try to attach that word to its meaning and usage in the target language (Japanese) as quickly as I can, so that I no longer need to use a translation as a crutch (this is another reason I don’t use flashcards – I don’t memorise translations).

Here’s an example you’ll see in Chapter 8: 掛け軸. It means ‘hanging scroll’. If you know what each component means though, you can drop the translation entirely and replace it with a mental image. No need to think in English anymore, and no need for flashcards if you already know 掛け and 軸.

Ultimately, we should all use whatever works best for each of us, but there’s going to be a point when we want to be able to think and process things directly in Japanese, and I believe this is the first step.

(PS: I have this personal theory about language being processed fundamentally as some sort of mental language that’s based on emotions and impressions, since that’s how we intuitively understand what something means in our first language, so I make an effort to ‘translate’ every language I learn into that sort of abstraction so I can cut out translations ASAP. It’s also the reason I often seek to summarise multiple definitions of a particular word in a single ‘gist’. Again, not imposing this on anyone, but you might want to try this with Tobira, esp coz studying it means you probably have enough Japanese knowledge to start explaining some things to yourself directly in Japanese.)


It sounds like you’re doing the best thing. :+1:
Also depending on your learning style you might like to just practise translating or try something like I do: just get on with it and read through once without worrying about checking the dictionary then re-read again and check up words you don’t know (write them down in a book or underline with a pencil in the book). For me it keeps my motivation up as I’m not going too slow and I love my “ah I get it now!” feeling. :slight_smile: I also always highly recommend reading the text aloud though you’ll be already doing that with your tutor so you might not need to but the pre tutoring practise might give you more confidence!


The chapter 8 thread is up!

I have also posted a schedule for the last 5 chapters. We’ll be done with Tobira just in time for Christmas!

Chapter 9: August 24 to September 6
Chapter 10: September 7 to September 20

BREAK AND CATCH UP: September 21 to October 4

Chapter 11: October 5 to October 18
Chapter 12: October 19 to November 1
Chapter 13: November 2 to November 15
Chapter 14: November 16 to November 29
Chapter 15: November 30 to December 13


The chapter 9 thread is up! Tobira study group - chapter 9

I see that many of you click: “I’ll study chapter x later” in the polls in the beginning of each chapter. Please feel free to post in the previous weeks’ threads too! I plan to go through the book again slowly later, and I hope the threads stay open and active as a resource for a long time!


Thanks to the infinite generosity of @skymaiden I’m now in posession of Tobira again!! I’m definitely too late to catch up, but I’ll use the previous threads for info and maybe questions :blush:



The threads are always there, so you can use them any time! We’ll start chapter 10 next week and then we’ll take 2 weeks break, so it will be 4 weeks until we’ll start chapter 11. Just do what you can and want and post in the threads for the previous chapters! I’m slowly going through the book with my iTalki teacher and I’ll start chapter 5 with her soon. I’ll use the chapter 5 thread for sure!


:tada: Back in the Tobira club!
(I think you’re at the same point as us grammar-wise, I saw your September Bunpro goal on the study log)

Don’t hesitate to ping us if no one sees your messages (I don’t get notifications on all threads)! I received some great help in some of the threads for previous chapters thanks to helpful people :slight_smile:


I’m usually lurking somewhere on the forums, so I’ll probably be there to answer questions. (I typically only check the current chapter thread though.) However, uni has restarted for me, and it’s intense, so I’m not sure I’ll still be around as often. I might even lose my ‘lead’ on the group because I don’t think I’ll be able to start on Chapter 10 even though I was on Chapter 9 about a month ago. Might have to shelve Japanese for a bit, random chats with my friend aside. Still, I’ll see everyone around when I can. :slight_smile: