What is Your Recommended Way of Learning Grammar?

I know there are several similar threads already, but you guys are so helpful that I want to ask specifically :slight_smile:
So I am currently level 16, and just started to pick up grammar at level 15. I got Genki 1 for Christmas and have started reading it. The grammar part in each section is amazing, things are starting to makes sense and the WaniKani background helps a lot (I actually know most of these words!). However, I wonder how I should practice it. The book also has really god questions and tasks, however often without the solution. I wonder if there are some recommended sites that can give me better feedback, like WaniKani, but with grammar.
I know many people use Duolingo and Japanese.io. What are your opinions on these applications?
To sum up, I look for a resource to actually practice my grammar. I use WaniKani for vocabulary and kanji, genki for learning grammar, but I need to practice it. To add on, I am planning to do two semesters of Japanese at my university starting after summer, and I am going to use Genki there, so it would be nice to practice something else now.
Thank you for any input, and again sorry for the repetitive question!

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https://bunpro.jp/ is basically WK for grammar. You can practice applying grammar on fill-out sentences with SRS, and often hear native audio for it. There are many example sentences, so i think it’s great just for the practice of filling them out and applying grammar. It also intelligently comments your mistakes and gives you hints, like when you use だ with an i-adjective (that’s a no-no) or saying “this is an informal way to say this, can you use a more formal alternative?”.
It has a Genki path as well, so you can follow the grammar in Genki’s order.

You already have Genki, that’s great. Of course you should read it (repeatedly), and you can do things like making example sentence flashcards with the grammar items there, then quiz yourself on them later. That would almost replace Bunpro, just takes more work. And you have to make sure your sentences don’t contain errors. I believe @Ayokana does it like this, maybe you can ask her.

Otherwise i guess you can (cross-)check Tae Kim’s free grammar guide, try to apply your Japanese live with Italki or HelloTalk, etc.

And an obligatory mention: At some point you’ll have to solidify your feel for grammar with immersion, that is mostly consuming native Japanese material. Even if you memorize a complex grammar point, you’ll have difficulty applying it in a split second during a sentence, or catching the nuance of it in context.

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Agree with @Saimin here. I recently bought their lifetime access as it was currently on sale. Still low level but I know what I am getting into. Several WK members I know and interact with here in the WK forums are there too. I kinda pulled the trigger on getting this now because I plan to take JLPT N5 this December. As it is only offered once a year, I figure I have enough time from now till then.

I got ninja-edited by Saimin :sweat_smile: , but yes, there is a Genki path. I have the Genki I book too and I have the textbook on the way. So after I do my WK review I will tackle several pages of Genki and then do my BunPro reviews. I also have the book below on the way. But just the basic (yellow) one. I will purchase the rest later on as needed.

All the best! I have an inkling if you proceed with your self-study, you will ace that class and zoom through everybody else. If you find this true when it happens, consider focusing on your speaking and listening while in class as well as directing your more pointed questions to the teacher. Best of luck I hope 2020 is lykkebringende. :wink:

:nerd_face::steam_locomotive:

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I think Bunpro is amazing, but i’m recommending it so often i’m worried that i’m starting to look like a Bunpro salesman spewing propaganda on WK, so i’m trying to hold myself back and be objective, haha.

Gotcha! 任務は成功だ :grin:

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Wow, bunpro looks amazing! This was exactly what I was looking for, thank you. It is super convenient to go the “Genki Path” as well. However, looks like there is a lot to get into! Does Bunpro has a SRS system similar to WaniKani?

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Yes. I am still getting used to it but it is similar.

They even have leech training built-in I believe. They call it ghost training reviews and I think is built-in to your regular reviews. Maybe @Saimin can chime in on this matter as I am still new to it. :sweat_smile:

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it does have SRS, that’s pretty much what it is! You could in theory learn all grammar just by the SRS, like on Wanikani, i think their explanations are concise, but very good. But even if you don’t learn that way, the SRS will quiz you on the grammar with alternating example sentences which you have to fill out, so it’s a great SRS addition to a textbook as well.
Also, when you get a grammar point wrong a few times, you will get “ghost reviews” for them, basically extra reviews. Not sure if these use different example sentences, but i think they do.

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Oh, one caveat, Bunpro doesn’t have much N1 grammar yet. But i guess you can worry about that once you’re there, which means learning 728 grammar points as of now.

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Once you’re through with Genki I, if you get Genki II and reach the end of it, you’ll then find yourself overdue for joining a book club. Reading native material lets you reinforce the grammar you’ve already learned, and exposes you to more grammar to learn. (And it also makes it clear how you’ll never know enough vocabulary…)

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Thanks, although that seems like an eternity from now :confused: Just started reading grammar and I cant understand anything yet

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you can start reading surprisingly early. a common WK guide recommends tentative reading from level 10, and really getting into reading from 20+. From 30+, it gets easier and easier.
But beginning to read will always be slow and sometimes frustrating. You have to look up many things. But you will also learn many things, and absorb them over time.
I started Yotsubato from level 20, and i was surprised what i knew and what i didn’t know. Most of what you don’t know is probably vocab anyways.
Of course it’s good to know the most important grammar points, like the basic particles, present and past conjugations… but from there, i’d say go for it.

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I thought the same thing back when I first tried reading a manga, and gave up for a few years. And I did that twice. But I wasn’t formally learning grammar at the time, either.

I decided to spend 2018 breaking down every line from a manga volume and look up all the grammar I didn’t know. I learned a lot that year, but still struggled at reading other material afterwards.

In 2019 I decided to hop into book clubs so I could ask questions (and learn more by researching things to answer others’ questions), and that’s where my learning really took off. But it was a long path to make even a little progress (and I still have a long way to go), so it’s easy to feel discouraged. Don’t let that slow you down!

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I just checked there are only 26 N1 grammar points on BP. Used to be none though long ago.

Paragraphs below are not reply for Saimin. I basically typed it for OP.

I’m not N1 yet, so I can’t really comment, but, if I really have to learn N1 because I’m curious of Japanese exposure I have, there are always other resources, like :crabigator: community, BP community, Maggie Sensei, 日本語の森 YouTube Channel, and especially my favourite books: DBJG, DIJG, DAJG series. A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners.

And for spoiling touch because I’m a spoiled cat, my other resources besides what I’ve mentioned above are Sou Matome and TRY! Series. I want to have Kanzen Masutaa and Tobira too but I don’t have budget for that. Besides my current Japanese resources are already like salt of water in the sea for me. I have so many books, so little time and energy. Shouuuganai neeee.

OP, I can’t really recommend anything.

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oh yeah, i meant Bunpro doesn’t have a lot of N1 grammar yet.

Your answer is quite catlike, haha, if you don’t mind me saying. In a cute way ^.^
It’s true though. So many resources, so little time.

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Hey I got Genki I for Christmas as well. If you don’t mind me asking, are you writing out the tasks or saying them out loud? I’m not really sure what the intention is.

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So far I have been saying them out loud, however (thanks to this thread) I do not think I will be doing it anymore. My plan is to read the grammar sections in Genki, then unlock those lessons on Bunpro, and rely on Bunpros exercises.
There is two reasons: 1 Bunpro is made like WaniKani, but with grammar. That means it will automatically que your reviews, and keep track of what you remember and do not remember. It will also give you instant feedback on the tasks, which just the textbook does not.
The second reason is that I will be taking a Japanese course next semester (autumn) that will be using Genki, so I do not want to do all the tasks now.

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Yeah, Bunpro even gives you many hints on what specific mistake you made in the grammar, and under what circumstances you need to use specific things or other grammar points (e.g. never use だ with i-adjectives directly, or use ので instead of から for “because” if you don’t want to place emphasis on the cause).

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Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents on Japanese at the university. I studied Japanese for 1 semester after I finished my ‘actual’ Bachelor’s (in STEM) to take a break before my Master’s. I took the 1st semester of the regular Bachelor’s program for Japanese and I’m sad to say that it was entirely useless. Everything I learned in the 1 semester is super simple and if you read Genki up to chapter 5-6, you already know everything they do. The first half of the semester will be wasted on Kana and the first 100 Kanji. Therefore, if you plan on only taking 2 semesters, but not finishing with a degree like I did, and given your WK level, I think you should try to take only the 2nd and 3rd semester. The first one will be useless with your knowledge right now (even if you don’t know any grammar yet, the 1st semester’s content can be crammed in one week of self-study).

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I generally agree, though to be fair, Kanji (and languages in general) are hard to study efficiently in a classroom setting. And Kana + 100 Kanji in half a semester is quite a lot for people who haven’t studied Japanese before. (you could make an argument that you should start learning japanese before you study it, but you could also make arguments against it)

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Work through Genki 1 + 2 (including workbooks, they’re really good!), then revise Shin Kanzen Grammar N4 because there’s some grammar points not in the Genki books. After that it’s the JLPT series of your choice, I like both Try! and Shin Kanzen Master. I’ve briefly looked into Tobira but didn’t like the exercises that much.

I always put in the example sentences from grammar books as cloze cards into Anki. As for Bunpro, I’ve only used them when they were still free and it wasn’t really polished back then. So not sure if they have ironed out their quality issues with the sentences.
I can understand that Anki isn’t as “fun” as gamified content like Wanikani but in the long run I don’t know how you could avoid Anki if you’ll start reading at some point and want to put new vocab into a SRS.

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