What's your method to stomp grammar?

Hello,

After learning the meaning of the first 2200 kanjis with anki flashcards and starting to dig into wanikani to consolidate the knowledge and learn readings, I’m still lacking a lot of comprehension in the grammar department.

I’ve had people telling me to just “look at sentences and remember them”, and my memory isn’t bad by any standard, but this method just seems wrong to me. That’s immersion, and immersion is good but won’t be enough for mastering grammar.

What method do you gentlepeeps use? I’m looking for a method that “takes me by the hand” to master grammar bit by bit, with increasing complexity. My vocab is around 2000 words I would say, and growing.

Thanksu !

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There are some free online resources that people often link, like Tae Kim or Imabi. You could also try a textbook if you prefer. Try to love grammar if you can, it helps if you’re motivated and enjoy recognizing patterns and figuring out what they mean.

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I’ve read that Tae Kim method’s had a bunch of mistakes in it, and it totally undermined my potential interest in it. :confused:
As for textbooks, I tried genki, and not only it’s expensive, but it’s not practical without a teacher, you never know if you go too fast or not. If you know of a good grammar textbook for self-learners, I’m all ears!

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If you like WaniKani’s SRS learning system, then look at BunPro. It’s similar, but for grammar:
https://bunpro.jp/
They give you a month free to try it out. I did the month and then got a year’s subscription after that.
Edit: BunPro also works with WaniKani; meaning that, in BunPro, the furagana is not shown above the kanji that you have already learned in WaniKani.

I also really enjoy Cure Dolly’s Japanese videos:


Some people are put off by her speaking and the choice of a 3D model to represent herself, but I find them to be very good.
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Textbooks.

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I went through this CureDolly playlist. Then I started BunPro and made sure to read an listen to native stuff as much as I could get away with.

Made more progress in a year than I ever thought I’d manage, since learning grammar is a massive weak-point for me.

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I used Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese Grammar along with an anki deck to drill the sample sentences.

Then a few years later I went through the N3 and N2 grammar playlists on 日本語の森 and made some anki cards myself. (It seems they’ve removed Yuki’s N2 grammar videos for some inexplicable reason… I really liked those!)

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Thank you very much for that reference, I didn’t know something like BunPro existed. It seems to be less “guided” than WK but it certainly structures the content with a feedback feature. Very interesting, I will look at how the tool is reviewed and ponder over a subscription.

I didn’t know about Cure Dolly either. I must admit the speaking is weird and there is little point of having a 3D head taking a third of the screen, but I’ll definitely give it a look. I could also suggest you check JapaneseAmmo, those are the videos I go to when I need an in-depth native point of view.

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This is my grammar method:

  • Use the Genki textbook series as my foundation. Read through each chapter thoroughly, do the exercises, read the dialogues, etc.

  • If I come across something in Genki that isn’t clearly explained or that I want to know more about, I look online to supplemental resources. These mainly include Imabi, Tae Kim’s Guide, and Maggie Sensei. There are some other sources that are good as well, like Wasabi, PuniPuni Japan, and Learn Japanese Adventure, but I don’t use those as much.

  • Put example sentences for each grammar point into Anki flashcards to ensure I’m able to really understand and remember each grammar point. You could also use Bunpro which basically does the same thing, and it provides links to resources explaining each grammar point that it takes you through.

I’d say Genki is the resource that takes you by the hand and guides you through grammar the most, where the other online resources do less handholding, which is why I only use them for supplemental information.

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Wasabi is a great resource for me, altough I’ve only been using it for two or three weeks. Totally free, has good examples, relatively easy to understand.

The thing I’m lacking in are resources for me to form my own sentences and see if I’m right, but once you have a basic knowledge of a good amount of particles and useful phrases, and have read and translated a bunch of simple Japanese phrases into English, it becomes easier to go the other way.

The hardest part of Japanese grammar is how different it is from English, and small complexities in the simplest parts of grammar (say, the difference between wa/ha and ga. Sorry I don’t have a Japanese keyboard on my computer). So basically the grammar starts out hard and confusing and frustrating, but once you start to get the hang of it it gets easier and easier. Or so I’ve been told. I’m still in the confusing part lol.

And in terms of textbooks, Genki has great reviews but is a tad on the expensive side, and Tae Kim has great examples and is free online but is a better companion to a different textbook than just a textbook on its own. Those are the main two that I’ve heard a bunch about.

I asked the same question a little while back and got flooded with links to other sources btw, so here’s that thread. Good luck :smiley:

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Do you have examples of places saying Tae Kim has mistakes? I haven’t used it myself, but I would be curious because it’s recommended a lot.

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Tofugu itself says so :confused:

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Some grammar explanations may contain errors

Seems quite a bit different than

I’ve read that Tae Kim method’s had a bunch of mistakes in it

Name me a single reference book that has no errors in it? Nearly every textbook and reference has errata.

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Seems to mean roughly the same to me. I think the “may” is a polite way to say there are actual mistakes.
Every book has mistakes but Tofugu felt like it was worth mentioning it for that particular reference. You sound bent on defending it but I’m just stating what I’ve read and how it affected my point of view.

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I’m looking for examples… Kinda figured there was something more substantial to the idea than that someone said it has errors.

WaniKani has errors too.

And, I mean, the Tofugu page is recommending Tae Kim.

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That seems to be quite an exaggerated interpretation. Do you have concrete examples that show there are widespread errors?

Well then it’s weird it doesn’t have the same line for Genki as it has actual, documented errors. Here’s an errata with multiple dozen errors fixed over its various reprintings:

Not trying to imply Tae Kim is perfect, it likely isn’t, but a throwaway line with a “may contain errors” seems to be getting way more credence than documented facts.

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I think you and Leebo should ask those questions to whoever at Tofugu wrote that guide I linked. Again, I just said that when I read what they wrote, it bugged me and my fear of learning flawed material made me distance myself from Tae Kim’s guide. I have no actual idea about how flawed Tae Kim’s guide is compared to other learning references. At this point I don’t know why I’m being drawn into that debate as if I had insulted TK’s work, and so far I enjoyed how cheerfully everyone pitched ideas in.

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Yes, but you also gave it an overly exaggerated interpretation. I seriously doubt if Tae Kim was filled with ‘a bunch of errors’ as you say, that anyone would be using it.

It’s no more ‘flawed’ than the multiple other references I’ve used. Outside of some strong opinions he holds that some people disagree with, his grammar explanations are pretty much identical to other sources.

It’s fine to say we don’t know what Tofugu meant exactly… But I wouldn’t characterize it as “Tofugu says Tae Kim has a bunch of errors”.

I was just curious what the errors might be.

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As english is not my native language, I might have used the wrong words to summarize what I had remembered from what I had read more than a year ago. “A bunch of mistakes” may very well sound harsher than what I thought.

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