For you, what was the most confusing part of Bunpro as a new user?

Hey guys! I’m working on a cool new thing, and I want to summon the power of our awesome community to make sure we get it right.

It boils down to two questions:

  • What about Bunpro confused you at first?
  • What value did you find in Bunpro that made you stick with it?

No wrong answers. Anything goes.
Thank you so much in advance!

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Tbh its been too long since i started that i dont remember what confused me at first even though its only been 11~ months, if I had to think of something right now though it would be the lack of examples for certain grammar point use cases. Some only have one example out of a whole dozen, if they have one at all. :pensive:

I really value the existence of an SRS System but for grammar though, I feel like I’d forget it before long if it wasnt metaphorically beaten into me. :flushed:

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I remember finding it somewhat confusing that my tempo wasn’t set for me, and not even suggested for me. So I could just keep adding grammar points without limit, but I also had this looming sense of there being dire consequences if I overdid it and added too many.

The reason I stuck around is the exact same as what Sasugasm most eloquently explained in the previous post. The having grammar beaten into you. It’s like reading books without having to actually read books. If that makes sense.

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Something very simple but was a little frustrating as a brand new user was just how to enter the correct answer. Initially I was just inputting the correct grammar point as written in each lesson, but quickly started getting them ‘wrong’ for some reason. I didn’t realize you had to start conjugating the grammar point, or to conjugate the bracketed word with the grammar point to get the needed answer.
I feel this needed some sort of explanation or example (in an quick intro tutorial or something) as there was nothing that really explicitly stated this (or did I just miss it?).

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I started with bunpro 3 months ago and I’ll tell you the site itself was pretty cut and dry. It isn’t confusing to navigate at all. The part that I kept slipping up was just the grammar points. I wasn’t used to reading anything like that because I never used anything like it before. Not that the grammar points are poorly done but I hadn’t ever seen anything like it. They were confusing due to lack of exposure is all and now that I am used to them it’s a non issue. Nothing can really be done about that because that’s how it should be.

What I really like about Bunpro is a couple things, one it’s a grammar site and I know a couple kanji already but I didn’t know any grammar at all and got tired of just knowing a few words and nothing else. Bunpro is (as far as I can tell) really the Gold Standard for grammar learning.

And, maybe because I might be a bit bull headed who know, I don’t really like being told what to do or how to do it. So Bunpro letting you pick which grammar points to learn in any order without any justification at any speed blah blah blah you know how the site works. I like that. I’m learning it let me pick what I want to learn and leave me alone. Perfect love it amazing beautiful you the best. If I wanna be stupid and add 20 new points in a day? You guys let me do it.

Then speaking of grammar points, I’m kinda dumb and things don’t click right away…so what’d you do? Gave each grammar point it’s very own forum post that I can broadcast an SOS of ignorance too when I don’t get it. And every single time someone who knows how it works showed up and explained it to me simple enough that I could figure it out. Honestly if it wasn’t for the forum activity I probably would have given up by now.

Then like I just was talking about the forums. It’s so friendly here and no one is a jerk. I tried using the forums in WaniKani a couple times and really didn’t like it at all because it kind of seemed like there was an elitist vibe about the entire area. But with Bunpro? Amazing

And last but not least you got a premium service that you’re giving out for a pittance. Almost every grammar book that I tried {read: struggled} to read cost more then you charge for an entire year of service. Shure paying for the service is kind of hard to do, but when I was figuring out a way to pay you know what you did? You just extended the trial a few days for me like we were old friends.

Anyways tl;dr site is cool you guys keep doing you

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All the posts about pay pal, just kidding :slight_smile:

I don’t use ‘Study’, probably because I didn’t like being locked in a batch so I’m still not sure on the convenience or if users like. I just go to the grammar lists and just pick what I want. Some points may not fit the output exercise best for some upper level grammar that is either archaic or literary use only.

Outside of the review themselves, I like having alot of content per point along with a glossary to reference which I have used quite consistently, since subscribed. Of course it has grown quite a bit and now it is exponentially improving quite rapidly. There is also more content per N level than most resources plus now has full audio attached. Plus community board just for grammar is invaluable and engaging.

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I hope me still being a new user isn’t a big factor lol.

I don’t really understand all the batch/study things, or the whole pick it for yourself. I just set it on the bunpro patch, chose 2 lessons a day, and go to the “New JLPT5 grammar!” button to get my 2 topics of the day.

I don’t understand cram that much either, and I have no clue where the self study options even are LOL

But for me, I don’t mind not knowing it, because the base functionality of my 2 grammar items having a lot of cool detailed info, the links and the srs that is easily accessible is worth it to me. Maybe I should read a guide though.

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This audio bar. If there is no audio for the first example, it will do absolutely nothing if you click on it, so for a while I thought it was some leftover testing thing. It also tends to break a lot, which didn’t help.

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cram is really good when you had a topic that you can’t quite remember and its frustrating you.
put it in with a few other ones and just keep repeating those topics until you got it. How i use it at least

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stuff like cram i would suggest just clicking and getting lost for about 5 or so minutes, most stuff is pretty simple and easy to pick up. but if you do have any questions feel free to make or thread or something, because it’s likely someone out there will have the same question! i can’t imagine using bunpro without cram haha

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  1. Most confusing: Which grammar items to add, and how many to add per day. Fortunately, I read about the troubles others had run into so I didn’t add too many in my first week.
  2. Value: I decided to give myself a month to see whether this would be worthwhile. Within two weeks, I was convinced as I had started remembering grammar points that I had made multiple prior attempts at learning.
  3. Took too long to figure out: The purpose of the Oobs button.
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One intimidating thing was that there’s so many options without much guidance as to which ones to choose at the beginning or what options are suggested for each user. Of course, this is one of the great things of the site – that you can customize this site to your needs.

I thought the SRS was a little confusing only because I didn’t understand how the ghosts worked with the spacings. (I see the ghosts as kinda breaking out of the SRS system to give you more practice.)

Everything else, I just kept clicking on things until I figured it out.

Value:
– SRS for grammar – amazing, no other site does it
– comprehensive – most grammar points in one convenient spot
– community – maybe not a hard “feature” but certainly something that kept drawing me back – to learn from and interact with so many other Japanese language enthusiasts

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Oh yeah i forgot to mention that in my own comment but i love ghosts as an addition to the SRS base.

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Things that confused me at first, and some that still confuse me after 446 days of using bunpro:

Cram: I’ve never used cram once because I just don’t really get it. For example, I’d love to just be able to automatically cram the current ghosts that I’m working through in my reviews, but even though I have 50+ ghosts right now, there are only 3 grammar points under “troubled grammar”, indicating that they’re not the same. And writing down my 50+ ghosts and trying to find them in the 500+ grammar points from N5-N3 is way too much work. Maybe I just don’t get cram, but that’s why I still haven’t used it.

Negative reviews: This one is really minor, but sometimes I start reviewing for the day and it tells me there are like 30 reviews, but then I’m done with 30 and it keeps going, the counter going into -1, -2…, probably because some grammar points came up for review while I was reviewing. Always confuses me.

Coloring in the stats: “…per day” shows how much you’ve reviewed and how many new grammar points you’ve studied for the day going from dark red to yellowish. For me, red instinctively looks like a warning. “You didn’t really study enough new grammar points today.” But yellow stands for 8+ new grammar points and I’d like to see the person who can reliably study 8+ new grammar points from N2 and even N3 forward without kind of knowing them already and being on vacation, thus having all day to study. With N5 and N4 it might be kind of possible, but after that, especially with ghosts enabled, reviews would be unmanageable.

Vocabulary: If you read through Tae Kim’s grammar guide, 90%+ of the time he uses very VERY basic vocabulary, even for the few obscure N2 & N1 grammar points in the end, which I think is a good idea, because the point is to learn the grammar. Bunpro on the other hand uses more advanced vocabulary, which might be fitting for the JLPT level, but when one doesn’t already have a grasp of N3 vocab before starting N3 grammar, that person will end up having to look up a ton of unknown words which really, REALLY, stands in the way of just getting the concept of the grammar point. People who don’t follow the JLPT levels and use the Tae Kim or Tobira path, will often have grammar that’s using vocab way above their level. I have almost 50 N2 grammar points from working through Tobira and while the grammar itself wasn’t difficult most of the time, the vocab used in Bunpro sure tripped me up. Sure it might be nice for some people to learn some new vocab on the side, but it always confuses me to see new vocab and complex multi line sentences for one simple grammar point. I’d love to hear the reason for this.

Ghosts: Ghosts were really confusing in the beginning and I had to look through the forum to see what they are, how they work and what they do. I’ve had them turned off for the most part, because especially while studying new grammar, the reviews become unmanageable for me quickly. Even now, while my daily reviews are like 85-90% correct, that means of course that I’m getting new ghosts…and they’re just increasing, making me feel bad about my performance, even though I don’t think 85-90% is actually bad. So I’m inclined to turn ghosts off or to minimal again, because it seems I need 95+% of correct reviews for the ghosts to stay manageable and at that point I kind of don’t need the reinforcement anymore.

SRS12: For the longest time I’ve wondered how to get my grammar to SRS12, with no explanation on how that works. I think it took over a year for the first grammar points to appear there. I thought I was doing something wrong with 400+ grammar points sitting at SRS11 and 0 at SRS12, because I couldn’t see the required intervals anywhere. And I’m still not exactly sure what happens at SRS12.

Grammar explanations: The grammar explanations are often really bare bones for a website that is about grammar. I do have the yellow/blue/red grammar dictionaries here so I can look up 90%+ of the grammar points for a detailed explanation, but a user shouldn’t have to rely on external sources on a premium website. I understand you’re working on implementing detailed grammar explanations starting with N5 grammar, which is great. I hope you reach N2/N1 before I’m done with the current content though.

Value:
For me it comes down to having a grammar SRS that works. Having tried, and failed, to study grammar using Anki before, bunpro is just an amazing tool and that’s why I’ve been using it for over a year without taking a break for a single day.
This might seem like a wall of complaints vs one positive, but they are really just minor things compared to the one big plus that bunpro offers.

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See me after class for I am the cram-meister general

Here’s a post I made revealing that cram is in fact the surefire way to ghostbust

I use cram frequently:

  • Learn new grammar point? Drill it immediately, bookmark, cram it, CRAM IT DOWN YOUR FACE UNTIL YOU CAN’T FORGET IT, or do as I do and forget it on the second review, and then ghost bust it
  • Confusing set of grammar points: Can’t tell the difference between like, like, seems and like? CRAM THOSE GRAMMAR POINTS until you can tell your yo-knee from yo-nah, your me-tie from your sue-da
  • Sitting in a waiting room for your covid jab, roll the dice, select all the grammar points you’ve learned and then feel the crushing weight of despair as you proceed to get 40% right. Makes everything seem less bad.

yeah, the coffee is strong this morning, I’ll be fine soon.

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Thanks for the advice, cram-meister general jamesrender. I’ll put it to good use and may I finally cram my way to the top!

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Is there a full blown tutorial explaining the cram and ghost functions?

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I’ve never used the cram either and I also struggle to find the difference between troubled grammar and ghosts.

Also what was extremely confusing is that PayPal payment option is not automatically linked to your account and you have to contact with someone at the team. So maybe a better integration is needed.

Other than that, what was mentioned, it’s a bit weird that the site doesn’t really suggest or gives any hints/guidelines in the pace you should follow, not forcing, but recommending.

Then there’s the beta features. For the longest time the grammar point progression I though it was not a beta feature but a permanent one. So I’d clearly mark what features are in beta, as that would probably make you pay more attention to see if it’s working properly, and provide feedback respectively.

Maybe something else will come to mind, but that’s from the top of my head for now.

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In general I didn’t find using BunPro too confusing back in the day. Sure, I had to look up / try what the cram feature was and the like, but it was generally A-okay. The one thing I missed and still believe could be a useful feature is an (optional!) time-gated pathway that let’s you add x grammar points per day / time interval (2 - 3 per day seems reasonable, unless some grouping like Lesson 1 Part 1/3 is something you would consider) max as figuring out when / how many grammar points to add was, at least for me, the biggest barrier in starting to use BunPro full time. A short “introduction” of the sitethat comes with a few helpful informational pop-ups in the beginning would be useful too I think, stuff like :

  • How to select your JLPT level of items (and why it would be a good idea to still start at N5 to fill in any gaps in your knowledge)
  • A general explanation of what an SRS system is. (I suspect most users would at least be familiar with either WK, Anki, Torii or on of many others, but who knows :man_shrugging: )
  • Upon getting your first ghosts, how the cram feature works
  • How to add your own sentences
  • (In case you’d implement my guided path suggestion) A reminder after both one day and a week that you can always get off the beaten path and enjoy the freedom that makes BunPro so wonderful, but that people who prefer the cozy security can just follow along this guided path.
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  • Ghost Reviews
    I didn’t understood what they are and what is their purpose for some time. I found some explanations deep in a forum post, but I am still not sure of the real interest of the ghost reviews.
    I would have appreciated some popup : “Hey! congrats you got your first ghost review ! Do you want to know more about ghosts reviews and how they work ? <Yes/No>”

  • The Path
    I was confused at first by the path to choose : I was just begining my learning so I had no grammar book or other knowledge. Is there a better one ? so it implies there are less good ones ? What it implies to switch from one path to another ? I decided back then to stick with the bunpro order as I do not use any textbook.

I have not much time each day to spend on learning Japanese, and couldn’t take classical courses. I was using wanikani when I discovered Bunpro, so I was already familliar with SRS.
Basicaly I was looking for a site that tells me what to do and in which order to study things, and makes me review it when it is time. Bunpro is really good for this.

Note: I just discovered that the cram feature can be used to ghostbust ! I will have to look into it.

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