Waiting for Genki II 3rd edition

Hi, everybody!

In addition to being a satisfied WaniKani user, I have recently started to study grammar with the help of Genki I and his workbook.
I’m really enjoying the book and since the third edition is on the market I wanted to buy that one (I would say, obviously).

The problem is that, Genki II is not on the market yet and it will be out not before September from what I know… considering the waiting time and many other things, probably for October I will receive the book.
Since I’m studying voraciously with Genki I, I’m afraid to complete the book before October and as far as I know, I can’t do much just with the knowledge of It!

What do you suggest me to do? Switch to the second edition for Genki II?
To me it seems relatively stupid considering the continuity that the texts have.
Is there any book I can study with, while waiting for Genki II?

Do you think it is possible to read and translate at least children’s books with Genki I and a level 10 in WaniKani?
By reading I mean: Sitting at my desk with the dictionary and the book, not understand at a first glance.

Thank you very much!

The general advice is to just go for genki 2. The updated version will only have very minor changes. Not enough to have a partucularly negative impact.

And you can look up grammar points, so she you could (roughly) translate a children’s book with just genki 1 and looking up grammar and words, just like you could with no Japanese knowledge. It would be thoroughly unpleasant though. Generally reading only becomes somewhat pleasent at an N3ish vocab and grammar level. Children’s books still have a lot of grammar and vocab, just not Kanji

So you’re telling me that after I completed Genki I is like I’ve no grammar knowledge at all? :cold_sweat:

Till lesson 6 I learned lots of grammar… present, past, possessions, “te” form, adjectives, and so on…

To read a book made for childrens I need N3 grammar?
How can a japanese children read those books so? :joy:

Maybe I need Genki 2 for a deeper knowledge of grammar, but till now with just Genki 1 I can talk about my day easily… maybe I need to check vocabs but grammar is enough.
(Not saying perfect…)

I can check more differences between 2nd and 3rd edition of the Genki I…
I think that the 3rd edition has got a more modern vocabulary and a better approach overall…
Is that not enough?

Thanks a lot for replying!

The issue is that even children’s books will have things like “if, then” and passive formations for verbs, among with a lot of idiomatic verb constructions (ie: adding直す to the end of a verb to make it “re”). What you know is obviously not nothing, but there are hundreds of grammar points covered in the JLPT, and even that excludes some informal stuff (ie: ぜ and ぞ). You won’t see all of it in a children’s text obviously, but N5 isn’t reading ready. Grammar is something children already have a fairly good intuitive grasp on by the time they enter school.

This isn’t saying you absolutely can’t, but note you will definitely need to google a lot of things and/or reference a the grammar dictionary series.


Something I should add is it does no harm to skim. I’m skimming the Japanese version of a manga I like, but this is purely for motivation to see how much I am improving. I do it pretty much weekly to compare my knowledge before and after. But there is a reason thay going through a short children’s book still takes the beginners book club (all at least at N5 level) months to go through at a relaxed pace.


I read my first book (魔女の宅急便) with barely more than N5 grammar and it was indeed quite difficult. This was also with a lot of help from others since I read this as part of a WaniKani book club. Based on that experience I usually recommend N5 plus key N4 grammar (e.g. なければならい) before trying to read anything, and as you said it will still be difficult at that point.


How long do you think you will have between finishing Genki I and October (which is when you estimate you’ll be able to get Genki II)?

From what I’ve heard, Genki I covers roughly all N5 grammar. That’s definitely not ‘nothing’, but it’s relatively simple grammar that will probably only cover basic factual statements. You probably won’t be able to read very interesting books with just Genki I grammar.

Hahaha. Truth is, it depends on the particular book you’re looking at. The Japanese equivalent of children’s picture books (if it exists, because I’ve never tried looking for one) should be quite readable for you, though you’ll definitely need that dictionary. :stuck_out_tongue: For instance, in my opinion, Kiki’s Delivery Service feels like a children’s book because it’s grammatically fairly simple, but it still has a lot of descriptive vocabulary, which means you’ll keep having to open your dictionary, even if you might not need as much help with the grammar. Also, the real difficulty when it comes to reading Japanese is knowing what all the different particles do and what sorts of ‘common structures’ to look out for. The sentence structure is completely different from the sentence structure used in modern European languages, so it’s easy to get lost without an idea of what more complex relative clauses (i.e. clauses that describe nouns) can look like.

Honestly, I think it’s more helpful if you use your experience with the 3rd edition of Genki I to gauge whether or not there will be major changes between the 2nd and 3rd editions of Genki II. If you feel that the gap was huge for Genki I, then you’ll probably want to wait for the 3rd edition of Genki II, perhaps while borrowing the old edition from a library or via Kindle rental. Otherwise though, there probably won’t be too many issues getting Genki II now.

EDIT: @seanblue I see that I’m not the only one who thought of 魔女の宅急便 (=Kiki’s Delivery Service)! And I’m glad to see I didn’t misjudge the level of difficulty of the book. However, yes, so, @Gentarozzo, as you can see, it’s possible, but it’s relatively difficult without help. I’m fluent enough to read NHK news articles (the ones for Japanese readers) with a bit dictionary checking and to watch my favourite anime without much help from subtitles (maybe 70-80% of the words caught, partly because I know the story), and the first time I opened Kiki’s, I needed a dictionary on the first page because the writer’s vocabulary was very descriptive, even if the grammar was quite simple.

If you want, you can try joining one of the book clubs on the forums, but if you’ve decided to wait for the next edition of Genki II to come out, then you’ll probably want to read something like Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese while waiting. It’s free and fairly detailed, and all the explanations are in English, along with relatively simple example sentences. You can also try reading NHK News Web Easy articles, which are simplified news articles that will allow you to see relatively simple grammar in action (probably slightly above what you’ve seen in Genki I). There’s a thread I help out with on the forums where we attempt to understand and translate these articles. Most of the people involved are beginners who started out on Duolingo (which doesn’t teach much grammar, as you probably know) and worked their way up. More advanced members do their best to help other members decipher confusing grammar points or sentences. You’re welcome to join us.

Not according to Bunpro. I have done all of Genki I Bunpro path and it covered roughly (I didn’t measure) 60% of the Bunpro N5 grammar points.

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Thanks for the information! :smiley: @Gentarozzo I guess another way to get around that while waiting for the new edition of Genki II is to look for JLPT prep sites that explain grammar points with example sentences. You’ll usually be able to find them by googling (for example) ‘JLPT N5 grammar points’. You can also read Maggie Sensei’s site. Her explanations are usually quite clear and filled with example sentences and translations.

Another thing you can do while waiting is to use NHK’s Japanese learning resources. There are several series available with their target levels indicated on a chart on that page. The one I’ve seen on my Facebook feed is やさしい日本語 (‘Easy Japanese’), and I think the lessons are quite well done. It’ll be a good way for you to practise listening comprehension while also revisiting or expanding on the grammar points you’ll pick up with Genki I.

Bunpro tends to pick out things that Genki teaches as vocab and presents them as grammar points to get you used to using them in sentence structures. It also builds upon the grammar from Genki by adding some extra nuances that are worth learning, hence the additional points. I do think Bunpro’s method is far more useful in that regard if you’re looking to go beyond JLPT, but in essence the bulk of the ‘heavy’ N5 grammar is included in Genki I.

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More like 80%, because I counted 88 grammar points available for Genki I, and there’s 111 grammar points in total for N5.



Yes but a number of them are N4. Genki I is not all N5.

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I can understand that.
I started with english by playing videogames… less than 10 years old, without any knowledge of english grammar (I’m italian) … as you can see my english is not perfect and school really didn’t helped me much.
For Japanese of course is not the same, there’s the huge problem with chinese characters and a huge difference in structures, so I can understand that’s not that easy to open a book and start reading without going crazy on a dictionary.

Thanks a lot!

Oh man, thanks to you too!
All that I wanted, resources!
Tomorrow I’ll go check all those resources and I’ll choose one. Already seen the Tae Guide… my problem is, that I’m a huge fan of methods and when I choose one, I stay with that one. Right now I really like the Genki method, dunno if it’s good for me to go thorugh another method and then come back to Genki.

The sites are really cool and that NHK seems good.

Do you think that some books for shadowing or NIHONGO ACTIVE TALK (a textbook about japanese dialogues) are also a good choice for a companion book to Genki? Or I should just stick with internet resources?

I would really like to wait for Genki II 3rd. At the moment I’ve to start the 7th lesson, there are 12 on the book. I’m also working with the Workbook… but If this need for the 3rd edtion stops me to learn, well It’s totally not ok for me.

Thanks all, your answers are gold!

Hahaha. I know that feeling. However, at the least for the NHK resources (and frankly, most online resources), you can just treat them as extra practice or thematic lessons (e.g. how to find the toilet, how to ask for directions). They will never be as comprehensive as a ‘real’ method, so you can think of them as complements on the side.

I think you’ll really have to wait for the rest to answer you on that one. I think that the act of shadowing (i.e. listening to a dialogue and trying to read along at the same pace as the recording) is a very important language learning activity, but I also think it can be done with any resource that comes with good, grammatically correct dialogues/texts and recordings that aren’t too fast for you to follow. You can probably even do it with Genki I. It comes with recordings, right? However, I won’t be able to advise you on what textbooks to use because I’ve only ever used two textbooks for Japanese: Assimil at the beginner’s level (I think their Italian tagline is “Il metodo intuitivo”) and Tobira at the intermediate level. Also, I watch quite a lot of anime while accidentally (or otherwise) memorising my favourite lines, so I learn pronunciation that way. (Of course, I won’t imitate characters with funny deep voices, but I pay attention to the rhythm and pitch variations.) My approach to Japanese is more or less like this:

  1. Textbooks for basics/core words and strucutres
  2. Read and watch whatever I want with a dictionary to help me. Read the dictionary when I look words up, including example sentences, because it’s full of information.
  3. Transition from English-Japanese dictionary to Japanese monolingual dictionary as quickly as possible, because reading definitions becomes reading practice and teaches me more new words, so my vocabulary grows even faster (I did this for French, and it worked. I’m now halfway there for Japanese.)

That aside, I get a lot of help from my good friend, who is already fluent in Japanese. I also talk to friendly online teachers like Maggie Sensei, who answers questions on Twitter and in the comments section on her site. Either way, all the best. :slight_smile: I think a good book for you to shadow and practise speaking could be good if you want more practice than just Genki, but it’s also importnat to master whatever material you have already studied. I hope someone else will be able to share their experience and give you some recommendations.


I’m going to complete Genki I and then spend sometime on It to review what I learned everyday… and also to memorize all the vocabs.
This will take at least one month.

Shadowing is interesting, but anyway, there’s lot of material online and I can’t really appreciate books with CD-Rom in 2020. The Genki 3rd edtion uses an app for that, and I love it.
I will complete Genki I and also try to read to elementary stuff, while continuosly chatting with Japanese people. It can be a pretty good introduction to Japanese.

  1. Using an App for vocabluary
  2. Using WaniKani
  3. Working on Genki and Workbook
  4. Chat in Japanese
  5. Learn from online

It’s just bad luck if I can’t get Genki II in time :disappointed_relieved:

Thanks again!.


I’ve recently bought the level 0 graded reader books for some additional practice (I’m learning using Minna no nihongo and have almost finished vol1). These seem pretty good for reassuring that I’m ‘getting it’ and aren’t so challenging that I’m feeling defeated

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Can you show me these books please?

I’m really interested in this kind of reading.
I bought some italian stuff, for kids, with translation on side, just to goo deeper with vocabulary and stuff like that.

It’s stressing to start read in another language, but everyone have different feelings.
I tried to learn Dutch in the past and I started with reading books in Dutch… hours to read the first sentence. I stopped to learn It because of time and job changing… but now I can still remember that sentence.
Sometimes hard work gives you more than anything else.

If you search ‘Graded reader’ in the forums you’ll find a number of threads such as https://community.wanikani.com/t/my-experience-with-graded-readers/8614. I had never heard of them before coming across them in these forums

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This site has some copyright free graded readers

Putting your skills to use will help you internalize the grammar you have already learned so you can move through the lessons quicker.

I don’t think the textbook itself will have too many huge improvements, and tbh using it as more of a reference and quick access guide to native material is the best way to use it. Don’t let waiting for the new book slow down your progress. I think if you finish Genki 1 sooner, get the next book and carry on. Maybe there is a local library or somewhere you can borrow one for now if you don’t want to buy the old version

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I think you can definitely read childrens’ books! I finished genki 1 and am only level 9, and I get by just fine with picture books. The thing that makes meaningful input effective is understanding the general idea of a passage. For instance, this book I found in Japan:

ミッフィー is the main character. Genki supplies you with all the vocab need to read the passage, and you can infer the meaning of the other words. I think you should just read whatever you can get your hands on and not worry if you’re “ready”! Good luck!