Yet another "which textbook is better" thread

Warning, I’m very bad at being concise. Sorry.

Hi everyone! I’m thinking about pausing WK (+a deep analysis of a children’s book) after level 10 or so and switching to a textbook for a while to fill in the knowledge cracks. After analyzing a list o textbooks and my current pace/ability, I thought of this option:

  • skim through Genki (only the first book) and write down everything I don’t know
  • then borrow Yookoso! mostly for practice sentences and out of interest (aka just read through without much detail)
  • then get into Minna No Nihongo and settle on a deep analysis of it, then go back to WK and whatever manga/books I will be able to do
    (yes overkill, gotta catch them all)

Figured I only need to save for and purchase Minna No Nihongo (have the rest), but then found out how many different editions/books/workbooks/etc. there are and left overwhelmed.

I mean I knew Minna No Nihongo (MNN after this) and it’s “translation” are separate, but I wasn’t prepared for 15 different books all titled exactly that (at least that’s what a local online bookstore showed me - kanji books, reading comprehension books, teacher’s books, workbooks…) Which one is a start? The lockdown doesn’t let me go and physically skim through different versions to understand each’s purpose///

Should I even look into MNN after the other ones? Should I only do MNN and ditch the other ones? How much of an overkill will reading though 3 textbooks be?
Idk, I just like every book for separate reasons, can’t choose ._.“”"

Thanks for reading this, any thoughts - highly appreciated!


How far are you into the ones you already have? Apparently the beginner Minna no Nihongo books cover a lot of the same stuff as Genki I and II (which are all-in-one, even if you can opt to buy an extra workbook)

I’d hold off buying a new textbook right now unless you don’t like the ones you have :slight_smile:


Right now I don’t use a textbook:) I learn grammar through BunPro, Tae Kim’s guide and researching whatever I come across in the book club - 🐶 わんわん探偵団 🕵 Home Thread - Doggy Detectives! - #130 by Radish8

It’s a fun way to learn - different perspectives and all that, but it’s bound to leave a lot of holes in my grammar knowledge. I technically have Genki and Yookoso,they just will not be in my hands anytime soon xDD

I’ve heard that MNN is more serious and detailed, hence the thought of reading both books. Thanks for the insight, that’s interesting to hear!


I don’t know if Minna no Nihongo is more serious and detailed (I use it as a resource with my tutors but I don’t have the actual book myself) – but both series are used in universities and language schools, so I guess it usually just depends on what the teachers prefer :slight_smile:

If you’re using Bunpro then you already have a structure for what to learn and when – if you follow a book path or JLPT-level path, there shouldn’t be too many gaps! And you can keep cross-referencing all your favourite resources like you’re doing already.


Thank you!

I guess you’re right, it shouldn’t matter THAT much. Both are used, both are good, it’s never too late to read both, but why rush if I can finish Genki and only then decide :woman_shrugging:t4:

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I thought I was the only one who says this. I am surprised. Usually, it’s “study” with Genki :smiley:

It’s beyond overkill. Your goal is to get to native material as soon as possible not master the language like a Japanese teacher or something. If you want a more difficult book(like going from N4 book to N3 book) it’s fine. However, using both Genki and Minna No Nihongo is such a waste of time because you will be repeating the same things for the most part.


I use MNN with my tutor - we use the main textbook (本冊,) the 書いて覚える文型練習長 and the 標準問題集 volumes. The other volumes give you a lot of opportunity to practice what you’re learning in the main volume and I wouldn’t be without them. If you’re using them on your own, they both have answer keys in the back. I used the main textbook before in a group class without the companion volumes and didn’t learn anywhere near as well. I also have the english translation because I find it helpful to refer back to the grammar notes and it also has extended vocabulary beyond what’s used in the main textbooks.

I haven’t used Genki so can’t compare but I do like the clear structuring of MNN.

What i would say is that I tried using the MNN path on Bunpro and they don’t work together at all, because Bunpro assumes you’ll know certain things already from its ordering.

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Thanks for the reply!

xD Depends on the context? I used “skim through” as if go through the book fast, without stopping on every point/reading it in depth. “Study with” would be yes, an overkill, but my plan is just to read it once for little things I may have skipped. Also, curiosity.

Yeah you have a point though. It’s just you know that feeling when a grammar point finally clicks with you to a point of using it something from your native language? That gives an immense boost, cause when you’ve got the basics as your own, you nearly become a child of that language (makes no sense, ik), the rest is a matter of sort of inhaling and gradually feeling the rest of the language. Works until upper intermediate or so, coolest feeling ever:) That was my plan.

But yet again, you have that voice of reason that my reckless self is trying to deny haha
I’ll do Genki 1-2, then lower-intermediate MNN.

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Thanks for the info, I appreciate that!

Surprising:0 Will keep that in mind. Thank you!

Genki and Minna No Nihongo cover the same material so you don’t need both textbooks.

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