Alongside WaniKani, I’ve been going through Genki I for grammar whenever I can and I am now two chapters in. Is it best to learn the core concepts only of one chapter and move on (e.g: これ,は,の,etc.) or is it equally important to do all the pair work and exercises and such, even though they are a bit classroom-oriented? For somebody who just wants a grasp of the grammar concepts and focus on speaking later on, is it worth it to spend more time completing the exercises?
Thanks in advance!
So, I have not started Genki yet (planning on it soon), but I already know what basically everyone is gonna tell you here. DO EVERYTHING! It helps reinforce EVERYTHING so that you have a better grasp. Obviously, here will be some things you may need to skip, like group/pair things, but otherwise, I’d do it.
For the fundamentals, I think it’s incredibly important to do the exercises. You want to (eventually) know these core grammar points like the back of your hand, and exercises like these will help towards that.
This! Genki might feel a bit boring, but that stuff needs to become second nature. You also need to make sure you don’t let any misunderstandings get ingrained in your head, so I strongly recommend a native teacher if you can swing it.
Like everyone has said, the more of the book you complete, the more you’ll remember and understand the information. Also, you might want to make an anki deck for some of the harder to remember words and grammar rules
I finished GENKI 1 and 2. I am on Tobira right now and it teaches you the basic of the basics, also the conjugation rules for the i and na adjectives, ru and u verbs and also other important grammar rules like passive + causative voices.
It teaches you some Keigo Japanese, where you use humble and respectful speech and polite forms/short or casual forms of those conjugation rules.
But it’s very worth it and probably the best beginners text book (i have encountered today)
Not trying to overwhelm you.
Is it best to learn the core concepts only of one chapter and move on (e.g: これ,は,の,etc.) or is it equally important to do all the pair work and exercises and such, even though they are a bit classroom-oriented?
For the first book of Genki with zero Japanese knowledge? Unless you’re a genius, doing the exercises and memorizing the vocab (the meanings and readings at least) before moving onto the next chapter is important.
Since your current aim is to speak the language, Genki’s method is well suited. Although, you must have a speaking partner and practice as early as you can. Basically, practice the ability that you want to be able to do in the future.
You can also supplement your lessons by listening to comprehensible Japanese podcasts to learn through immersion. A good one I could suggest for your level is Nihongo con Teppei.
Good luck and have fun!
Im about to finish Genki 2 and you learn quite a lot though it will all be basics. Others can correct me if im wrong (i usually am ) but try not to stress too hard on completely knowing the grammar points. Just do the practice exercises in the textbook and workbook (i always skipped the group ones) and as long as you get the gist it is OK to move on. I suggest using Bunpro and adding each grammar point to your SRS after finishing a lesson. Bunpro will help you see the different ways each grammar point is used that isnt shown in the books. Also, IMO the listening practices are a little too difficult with Genki especially in the workbook where it uses grammar outside of the way it is taught in the lesson.
After finishing Genki I and II, I didn’t feel like I knew nearly enough of the language to start having conversations on diverse topics let alone read anything. Because that’s not the aim of Genki. What they give you instead is an incredibly firm base to build off of which is critical in language learning.
I moved on to Tobira after Genki and THAT’s where you’ll make significant progress in order to push your Japanese capabilities to a conversational and useful level, but that will only be possible if you managed to build a strong core through Genki.
In my mind, you’ll learn 15% of the language through Genki, and then another 35% through Tobira.
Would you recommend Genki I, II and Tobira then? I’ve only been using Imabi (which has no exercises for grammar) since it’s free.
And does anyone have any opinion for/against Bunpro?
I highly recommend Genki I, II and Tobira. My favorite book thus far has been Tobira because I really felt like I was learning so many useful grammar points that I could implement in all conversations, and that I could start reading and understanding long passages.
However, you will need to do all of the grammar exercises for both Genki I, II and Tobira in order to be able to implement what you learn.
I also used Imabi side by side with Tobira to find more in-depth explanations and nuances for some of the grammar points.
I haven’t tried Bunpro since I found another system that works for me to learn grammar, but I’ve heard lots of positive things about the program.
I got the Genki books and I do all the exercises in the books and workbooks except for the pair work ones. I know most of the things in the first book already but I still make too many mistakes when I write sentences in japanese, so I bought the books to improve my japanese. It seems just doing bunpro to train grammar is not enough.
I’m also on chapter 2 of Genki I. I’m trying to do the exercises and also practicing on the Genki github. The github helps me cement the grammar points better than the workbook and exercises in Genki alone. I’m skipping the partner exercises but trying to at least say aloud the answers to the other questions and then checking in the answer key.
I also use Bunpro and I’ve found it insanely helpful. There’s a free trial of a month if you want to try it out. I’m also making flashcards on kitsun.io of the Genki vocab and thats’ been helpful too. I make it into kanji when I know it but otherwise use the kana.
I’m most of the way through Tobira and just started using Bunpro to reinforce the grammar lessons, but I don’t feel as though Bunpro is in any way a replacement for the Tobira exercise book and feedback from a native teacher. Once you get into Tobira, there is a lot of nuance and usage grey areas that require more clarification than one is likely to get through self-study alone.
Thanks for the link to Genki github. What a great site!
Watch YouTube videos on JLPT N5 and N4 grammar by teachers like MikuSensei and JapaneseAmmoWithMisa. Just reading grammar concept isn’t going to help, you will need to reinforce them with multiple examples and constant use.
I also really liked Tobira. Some people complain about how it seems less organized and consistent than the Genki series, but I actually found that as a plus. Here’s why: Tobira, as it’s name suggests, is supposed to be a gateway towards dipping your toe into native Japanese. Because of this, the training wheels are off, and the reading selections in Tobira are written in different styles with less consistency. The learning curve is a bit steep coming fresh from Genki II, but it’s not quite up to the difficulty of native material. So the skills you learn in deciphering the material in Tobira will be very helpful once you start with native materials.
You’re welcome! Also Tokini Andy on youtube is a really great resource. He goes through Genki grammar chapter by chapter. Forgot to mention that.
For non-natives, grammar knowledge is crucial for speaking and reading. I doubt anyone could make much headway in speaking without really knowing all the Genki I and II grammar points. I guess it is not easy to do the pair exercises… but if you don’t do all the other exercises in the book as well as all the workbook exercises, you will have the impression that you are learning grammar but then when you have to use these grammar points, you will be at a loss. Besides, the exercises, I strongly recommend the 読み書き編 part of Genki (at the end but you do simultaneously with each chapter…) since offers you the opportunity to read – specially with Genki II. Finally, my last suggestion is to not skip the main dialogue in each chapter since you can see how the new grammar points are used in real-life context. If you take this approach, you will move slowly thru Genki but the knowledge that you will acquire will be solid.
Thank you for providing the insight. I see that Third Edition is the most recent for Genki but can’t find any cheap prices. Is it still worth getting the Second Edition, which I was able to find second-hand?