Do I not understand Bunpro? Or is it just the learning experience?

Hey folks! Apologies if this post seems all over the place. I kinda feel like I just don’t understand Bunpro.

I’m new to the forums, and fairly new to Bunpro. I’ve dabbled with few grammar points over a long period of time. After reading the FAQ, skimming the forums, and spending some time just using Bunpro, I can’t help but to wonder a few things;

I’m following the Tae Kim path, and I’m often finding frustration with the way things are introduced differently in the Tae Kim guide versus Bunpro. For example, Tae Kim might introduce る-verbs, but only teach casual non-past forms. Then you go to Bunpro, and it quizzes you on casual, polite, past, non-past, etc… and none of the readings seem to offer guidance on everything it’s testing you on.

Are we expected to just fail these? Or is the Tae Kim path just not a very fluid one? Should I be doing most of my research outside of Bunpro’s suggestions so as to learn what they’re testing me on?

I’m totally open to suggestions, others’ experiences, being told I’m just not paying attention, or whatever else. I really like Bunpro and want to understand how to use it best.

Thank you!

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Hi!

I personally really prefer to follow the BunPro standard path because it adds on itself. The downside to how the other Paths are done is that it is just going through the book and any grammar point that comes along is added in “mercilessly”. This causes two problems in my eyes :

  1. The example sentences often contain grammar you will not be exposed to yet when following the path
  2. The grammar point may differ from what exactly is being taught in whatever guide / book you’re following along with.

You can make the paths work, but it requires more reading on the side, reading all other mentioned resources, and if you encounter any unfamiliar grammar points in the example sentences you will need to read up on those too. (Luckily due to N5 and N4 already having the clickable elements in the sentences this has become a lot easier).

My personal recommendation (unless you need to follow Tae Kim due to your teacher / class using it) is to try out the BunPro path first, and just read up on the grammar you are presented further with Tae Kim (and the other mentioned resources). The most valuable part of BunPro in my eyes is that the grammar builds upon itself, and that’s the part you are completely missing out on when following any of the paths.

Just my two cents though, the decision is naturally entirely up to you :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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This is great, thank you! Knowing simply that the Bunpro path builds upon itself is music to my ears. I will definitely switch over to that method, as I have no reason to follow the Tae Kim path.

Thanks a ton for your reply. Somehow, I couldn’t find this info elsewhere and it is very valuable.

Edit: I’m literally 6 lessons in and I can already see the difference. Assuming it continues like this; WOW, what a difference. Thanks again!

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I’ve only just started bunpro and found myself struggling with rules on verbs and adjectives. Bunpro didn’t seem to give me enough information to sort out my confusion so I’ve been using https://www.tofugu.com/japanese-grammar/ to help. One thing I really like is that I’ve been using wanikani to learn kanji and Bunpro connects to it and skips the hiragana for kanji I know.

But I was wondering about the paths and whether I should choose one or just stick going without one.

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My suggestion (as clearly evident by my previous post :stuck_out_tongue: ) is that if you don’t HAVE to follow a certain book that you should try and stick to the bunpro pathway. Bu the beauty of BunPro is that you can try a few different methods and see what works for you, so you could start of on the BunPro path until you feel like just adding random grammar points you encounter in the wild, or you can switch to a pathway in the middle of your studies, or you can just fill in the grammar points that you missed with the main pathway to complete a book, … The options are pretty close to limitless :stuck_out_tongue:

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In general I often find enough information in the “Readings” tab. Are you checking the materials listed there?

There’s usually videos and guides over there that explain everything in quite the detail for example:

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If you are learning grammar for the first time using Bunpro, please keep in mind that a few of the lessons are deceptively large. For example, if you’re unfamiliar with て-form, drilling the conjugations into your head can take quite awhile. It’s ok to spend all of your study time for a day on one grammar point if that’s what is needed.

I’ve noticed that many Bunpro users already have some Japanese background. I, however, did not have any Japanese knowledge at all when I started Bunpro. From reading other users’ posts initially, I thought I was doing things out of order or messing something up because I was getting stuck or taking awhile. It’s actually just kinda hard to get a foothold at first.

Just keep at it and you’ll eventually get through it!

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I think some of those lessons are currently being split in smaller chunks, that’s why sometimes there’s new stuff even in N5 when it’s supposedly complete.

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Gotcha, that’s sensible.

I’m not very far in yet (only finished N5), but it does start to get better on its own once you’ve seen enough grammar to notice some patterns.

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Thanks, yes I have been looking at some of those links. The only problem with those is that I end up going off at tangents and forgetting I was in the middle doing a lesson on bunpro!

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What has worked for me - leaning on the old AJATT idea of ‘familiarity breeds fluency’ - is adding tons of self-study sentences or even just one-word examples in. It takes me forever to add on new grammar points, because I’ll take all the sentences out of Genki and add them into Bunpro, and all the example sentences from Maggie Sensei and add them in, and so on. If it’s a new verb conjugation form or something, I’ll add in just one word examples all the way down the page; here’s the top of my “-te” page Self Study page as an example:

Eventually, this just comes naturally - I’m not thinking through the grammar anymore, I’m just using the conjugated form like it’s a vocab word.

The downside is that once you add in a self-study, it’s immediately in your queue; if you add in dozens at a time like I do, everything tends to clump together until you start getting a few wrong. If you want it parsed out, then you have to self-manage when you add stuff in. I also have duplicate sentences in, because I don’t care if I put a sentence in on multiple grammar points, too - better to have something come up over and over again that is super easy, right? (But I’m also weird and would prefer nothing ever permanently burned automatically and everything would come back at some top-level cadence, like at least once a year or something.) And if something is coming up too often because you added it to 3 or 4 grammar points because one Maggie Sensei post or whatever was cited across those points, then just manually delete the sentence. (Again - the AJATT way of doing things. Add like crazy, delete what annoys you.)

But I’m weird and terrible at nihongo no bunpou despite 3+ years here so maybe disregard. (Probably disregard.)

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Man, an import/export feature would be nice to have for these.

I’d definitely do this (I already do something similar with Kanji), but I tend to spend my time in other areas rather than that.

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I didn’t expect so many replies, to be honest. Thank you all for your input and advice! I love a good friendly community. :slight_smile:

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One of things about language learning especially if you are new is the counterintuitive fact that the common stuff is the hardest to learn.

Especially within Japanese in terms verb conjugation* there are many rules and they are hard to hold in your mind all at once and how they interconnect. てform in particular is notorious for being a difficult thing to learn, but once you internalize it your Japanese is supercharged.

Above all things I always recommend this play list to get started:

*Conjugation is controversial term for this aspect of Japanese but I think it an apt way to think about especially when you are first starting.

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Welcome! Everyone here has offered some good advice and it seems like you’re starting to get the hang of things!

One point I’d like to chime in on is that you shouldn’t feel bad about getting questions wrong. SRS is kind of a self adapting system. If you miss a question, it just means that you need to review it some more and that’s exactly what the SRS will have you do. Think of it as less of a quiz and more of a graded practice to help develop your understanding. A missed answer is just an opportunity to further practice.

Later on as well, bunpro will start mixing together multiple grammar points into one question and learning why a certain response is incorrect can be honestly more helpful than just getting it right (although it does feel great to be confronted with an unfamiliar grammar problem and work your way into the right answer).

In short, believe in the SRS and have fun! :slight_smile:

P.S. I personally enjoy turning the hints to minimal (not off) and trying to translate the question prompt into English as an extra way to practice!

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Thank you for the extra advice! Things have continued to go really well since switching to Bunpro’s lesson plan. I’m really enjoying how it builds upon itself and seeing previous grammar points added into the example sentences.

I did the same! It’s really cool realizing I can actually read these things :slight_smile:

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It’s just a bit weird, you’ll start of just kind of just remembering the lessons at first and not really learning anything and it’s kinda frustrating. But once you get a lesson that builds off of another then it all instantly just starts making sense, or at least that’s how it was for me but I’ve only been here like 3 months. So best I can say is just trust the bunpro path since it’s kinda the flagship path and go back to tae kim when you need more explaation on a point…or just ask for help in the forums and someone will always explain it like it’s the easiest thing ever for you. But don’t worry it really is easy, and there is an opps option for typos.

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Just to make sure what I am doing is right:

when bunpro recommends 1-3 grammar points daily, is every item with meaning and example and a quiz at the end, this I can consider a “grammar point”?

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yes

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So I should do 3 quizzes a day (3x 3 items) to complete the daily recommendation?

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