I don’t think it would negatively impact your Genki studies necessarily, but if you pile on too many resources you could get study burnout, so just watch your schedule and be sure to do fun stuff too! In the end, if it works with the way you learn and you can keep to it, I would say go for it!
When I started Japanese, I was using four sources of grammar - Nakama (the class textbook), TextFugu, Japanese for Busy People, and the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.
Maybe you already know this but you can select a “Study Path” in Bunpro. One of the options is Genki I Grammar Order.
IMO no. Using SRS is pretty important to keep the grammar points you have learned from Genki in your memory. I think Bunpro is especially good with this because it has Genki grammar sorted by chapters, so you can add your Genki learned grammar to your Bunpro SRS after each lesson. The textbook and workbook questions are great of course to introduce you to the grammar but is not enough to remember it forever. Also, Bunpro has multiple sentences for any given grammar point (and I believe they add new ones occasionally) which I find to my advantage since you will often seen Bunpro present the grammar point in a way not previously shown on Genki.
Personally my speed on each lesson has slowed down drastically because I have been spending a lot of time on reviews and vocab. This is mostly a time management issue on my end but I don’t think its necessarily an issue because I am still reviewing grammar points and learning them better.
In my opinion you should always use BunPro or another SRS system along with your grammar textbook to help reinforce what you’ve learned. If you only see it once you’re going to forget it. Bunpro has a Genki mode, which indicates that it’s meant to be used with Genki.
+1 for also using BunPro. Before I started with BunPro I was just reviewing older grammar material at random whenever I had extra time. Early on in your studies that’s pretty easy. “Well I’ve studied five chapters, let’s review a chapter this weekend and I’ve refreshed 20% of what I know.”
When you’re 100 grammar points deep you start to feel the futility of such an approach. That’s where the magic of SRS comes in.
I think different study methods work for different people, so try and find what works best for you. I’ve never really seen the appeal of BunPro, because personally, I think SRS is best suited for vocab and other low-level memorization kind of tasks. To me, grammar is at a higher level of reasoning and is something you have to learn by reading about it and understanding which parts of speech it can be used with, what connotations it has and how it compares to other similar grammar points, and so on. Whenever you learn a new grammar thing, it’s a great opportunity to connect it to native material that you’re reading/watching/etc. by watching out for it. SRS probably is nice for memorizing verb conjugations though, since that is essentially rote memorization.
When I learned grammar, I would read lots of different sources on the same topics, including Tae Kim, TextFugu, imabi.net, and anything else that I could find. I also second the recommendation on A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar; it’s what I tend to refer to these days and I like how thorough it is and how it lays out everything concisely and to the point.
If you’re comfortable with what you’re using and you’re seeing results, by all means keep at it.
All grammar below N1 is going to come up often enough regularly to not need SRS, I think. Just make sure you pay attention when listening to/watching/reading stuff. Also textbooks make a point of combining grammar, as it builds on previously learned grammar. At least Minna no Nihongo does.
Quite a lot of grammar is rote memorization though. Sticking かもしれない on the end of a sentence isn’t that hard of a concept to grasp, it’s just a matter of remembering that what you’re looking for is かもしれない. Even somewhat more complex grammar points aren’t necessarily that different when it comes to how we learn them. “This noun gets より … this one gets のほうが.” Just a matter of remembering what those strings of sounds are and which goes where, but it’s really barely more complex than memorizing a vocabulary word.
But when you’ve only been studying 6-24 months there’s a good chance you’re not going to be able to read enough material to constantly come across all these various points and SRS makes perfect sense to help with that.
Bunpro is more of a grammar tool than a grammar resource
Grammatical words sure, but things like transitive versus intransitive verbs, correct particle usage, when you should use the passive tense or not, what certain conjugations or grammar words mean in different usages, and how the pieces fit together are all things that I feel SRS isn’t the best at training. I think seeing them in action, and analyzing how they work, whether that be in native content or example sentences, is a lot more helpful than trying to map grammatical words to rough English equivalents.
You could argue that SRS isn’t good for learning words, for much the same reasons.
The brain is great at pattern recognition. Memorising enough examples of something is equivalent to learning the rules behind it.
I do agree with the bit about native materials, but once again that applies to words/kanji as well - personally I don’t feel like I’ve learnt the word until I can recognise it being used in the real (or televised) world.
Heh, this is pretty much the opposite of what I did; just letting the grammar come in without much thinking, and later maybe checking some usage if there’s anything unclear. I’d argue you can’t really learn grammar by reasoning alone, and most get trapped in thinking they have to understand something they don’t even yet have the tools to understand. I agree on the part about native material, but I think a lot of grammar learning is subconscious. Depends how you define knowing grammar, but I guess I’ve been trying to absorb it ‘naturally’, without thinking about rules and what not too much. Trying to get in the mindset of a native.
But I also find reading about grammar alone very boring; so this method worked for me pretty well.
Yeah, I’m relying mostly on immersion for actual learning. Knowing the rules behind it can help make things quicker though (it’s faster to find a pattern when you already know what it is), so I’m slowly working through bunpro as well.
Funnily enough, I think grammar (in the abstract) is one of the most interesting things created by humanity. That you can create meaning out of the arrangement of a bunch of abstract symbols is amazing. That what the particular rules or symbols are don’t even matter is mind boggling!
My point is just that it’s something you have to think about a bit more than you do when you’re memorizing vocabulary. I also prefer to think more intuitively, but I think that’s kinda hard to do without a foundation. I think you certainly could learn grammar just by listening and repeating, but unless you have a native speaker to put up with your baby talk I feel like you can save yourself a lot of trouble by using your adult brain to study a little bit first to get you started. It probably helps that I really love Japanese so I can have fun reading about grammar stuff.
Yeah, I agree you do need some kind of foundation and basic understanding before you can start adding stuff to it intuitively. I find that just a shaky understanding is usually fine and the nuances will come later by itself.
This, and I don’t usually find the textbook answer anymore useful than the really basic explanation bunpro gives in practice. Either way you get a really superficial view of what the grammar is doing. Actually understanding the thing tends to come down to repeatedly seeing/trying to produce the pattern in different contexts.
I’m with you on nerding out over grammar. I think I just see the more academic sides of language as a different subject. Something like “studying” the language rather than “learning” it…
Yeah, I should rephrase that I don’t find grammar boring per say. It’s probably just that when my goal is to “learn” I feel like it’s not the best use of my time and get a bit impatient
I find BunPro to be very good, especially for JLPT levels N5 to N3 (the furthest I’ve gotten so far). N2 is still missing some planned grammar points, and N1 is still pretty sparse. However, they are continually working on it, updating it, and adding more grammar points.
What makes me put a lot of trust into BunPro, despite it technically being a work-in-progress, is that the development team (mainly @pushindawood is the one I’ve interacted with the most) is very professional, competent, and responsive. I’ve submitted several bug/issue reports (mostly minor, though a couple more like larger feature requests), and they’ve responded to them all, usually with a rapid fix/update for minor things, but even with well-considered responses to the larger, more complex, longer-term issues and feature requests. In other words, as a former software developer myself, I consider the BunPro team to be a really professional, solid, reliable, and trustworthy software dev team. I like 'em a lot!
In case no one’s mentioned it yet (probably have, I just haven’t read the replies yet), you’ll be glad to know that BunPro has a feature where you can select various ‘study paths’, including the default JLPT ordering, but also including several textbooks and grammar-related website courses: Both Genki I and II are included, so you can use BP to help you along with your Genki studying. There’s also Tobira, Tae Kim’s course, and I think another one recently added, but I’m not sure which one.
You can also study any grammar points in any order if you want to. Very useful when you find things ‘in the wild’ that you want to understand better.
Finally, I think I should add that I’ve also found that another SRS tool, KameSame, which is very useful for using alongside a grammar resource (Genki, BunPro, both, or any others), since it works much like a cross between WaniKani and KaniWant, except that you can add any vocab words (from a huge corpus of words), and study them very similar to the way you study WaniKani vocab. I’ve been finding this very useful to use in combination with BunPro, because there are often words in the BunPro example sentences that are either not in WaniKani, or which I haven’t unlocked yet, so KameSame allows me to ‘skip ahead’ or ‘fill in the blanks’ to help me with some of the trickier BunPro grammar points/sentences.
In fact, since KameSame uses much of the same source data that Jisho.org uses (e.g. the JMDICT corpus), many of those entries include actual ‘grammar points’, as ‘expressions’, rather than strictly ‘words’ as WaniKani tends to restrict itself to. Thus, you can often find exact matches to specific BP grammar points, and add them as SRS cards to your KameSame lessons. This has been greatly helping me to solidify my grammar studying at BunPro.
So, TL;DR: Yes, use multiple tools, especially if they enhance or complement each other.
Then again, I’m also finding more and more of my free time being diverted into studying Japanese from all these different angles, so I’m trying to reduce how much I use each one, so I don’t get stuck into an ‘overload’ state where I just end up overwhelming myself with too much time spent per day, leaving no time for other stuff.
E.g. I’ve kinda paused adding new lessons on BunPro, trying to ‘catch up’ in terms of vocab SRS study with WaniKani, KaniWani, and KameSame. My BP reviews/day has dropped steadily, leaving me with more brain juice to focus on catch-up vocab, but even that is starting to get overwhelming, so I’m finally slowing down my WaniKani levelling-up speed until I can get my total time spent SRS-ing down to something more reasonable per day.
Good luck! Cheers!
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