Future of Bunpro’s (missing) Grammar - Update!

And that’s precisely why I’m grateful, because I have other apps like iKnow where I paid for a lifetime subscription, but have not updated their content in years. And Clip Studio Paint where I bought the license for it with the promise of forever updates, but the company switching to a sub service and opting not to update the people who bought the full version. Many companies are following this trend, and backtracking by saying that only a certain version of their software actually applies to lifetime so believe me, I have been furious with these unethical practices before. But they’ve happened so much I just started to become numb to them.

Bunpro has been one of the best values among the spectrum of Japanese learning apps, classes, and books I have bought. I’m honestly not sure what’s strange about being surprised and grateful that a company is providing constant support and new content when they already have a relatively complete product compared to other grammar apps and books.

I guess continued support is supposed to be “the deal”, but as mentioned with the examples in the first paragraph, this is not the case with other services I use. The amount of grammar that is being added is extensive enough to merit a separate add on payment, but I’m glad that it’s not.

If you don’t agree that’s fine, I’m not gonna argue it. This isn’t X or Reddit, but I hope that explains the “oddity” of my thankful post.

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You make complete sense and I think it’s deeply shameful that companies do such a tactic.

Bunpro should be praised for its decision to not do that, and your explanation definitely removes some of the “oddness” I had with your initial statement.

Would be low key really funny to use posts from this thread as part of their testimonials. It would be probably the most honest interpretation of what Bunpro currently is lol

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I appreciate the work and efforts the entire team put into the site. It’s a tremendous resource and it has helped my learning to no end.

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This is also a good idea, IMO. Part of the word of mouth concept, I suppose.

One thing I’ve noticed, though – and I think there’s even science to back this up (but I can’t recall where I heard this, so I could be wrong on that) – is that when someone receives something for free, they tend to value it less than if they had to pay for it themselves. The ‘concern’ would be that people who receive a sub (lifetime or regular) may end up not even using it or, alternatively, having a lower opinion of it (less likely to give positive review/recommendation).

I don’t know how ‘serious’ or realistic this concern actually is, though! Just mentioning that I heard something like this before. Maybe it wouldn’t apply to Bunpro? :man_shrugging: One way that might work to ‘mitigate’ this potential concern could be to do as you say, and try to confer such gifted-subs to people who are already interested in using Bunpro, such as forum members, or randomly chosen from those who already have monthly/yearly memberships.

Might be cool on the user-experience side of things if someone with an existing monthly/yearly subscription logged on one day and got a celebratory splash-screen / banner saying,

(With a little simple animation of party stuffs, like the new WaniKani Level-Up banner.)

" :open_mouth: :smiley: Hey! Wow! That’s awesome!" they might say. In which case, might also be a nice user-experience thing to have a way for the recipient to send a thank-you note back to the donor.

A tip option might also be fine, in addition. Not sure if it detracts from the gift option or not. :thinking: On many streaming platforms, both options are available usually. Although maybe not a straight ‘tip’; usually you ‘get’ something for the tip, even if it’s just a ‘superchat’ or just a notification to others that you’ve tipped.

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(This may not directly answer your question, but it’s just what came to my mind.) Well, personally, the way I tend to support projects (such as Bunpro and WaniKani, but really any project/team/artist/whatever that I think is under-rated / under-appreciated) is to actively make an effort to engage in word-of-mouth.

Now, this doesn’t mean just blindly praising something – in my opinion, the only good word of mouth is honest, genuine word of mouth; one’s true opinion, even including the negatives if they are relevant to the conversation.

Oh, and speaking of conversation, I only do such word of mouth stuff if the topic comes up naturally in the course of a conversation. E.g. someone specifically asks, “How do you guys actually study grammar?” (paraphrasing an actual title of a post on another forum), or “Any recommendations for other SRS tools out there?” That kind of thing. I don’t just inject a recommendation out of the blue. To me that would basically be equivalent to spam; and many forums would actually treat it as such.

So, even though I personally have very limited funds (hence why I invested in lifetime to begin with), I can still support quasi-financially by providing one of the most valuable forms of marketing a business/project/artist/whatever could ask for, word of mouth. And I do it consciously, but also conscientiously. And I only do it for projects/products I really want to support. So, in my book, it’s all good. Win-win-win: I win (feeling good; doing my part; increased survivability of stuff I like), project wins (increased probability of new customer(s)), potential customer wins (honest/truthful/useful recommendation & info).

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Thank you Asher for the mention, congrats on all the development BP has gone through, pretty amazing both on content and platform. I still use the dictionary quite often so expanding the content is a much appreciated , I look forward to the additions :slightly_smiling_face:

BunPro is over 5 years old, MaruMori.io is not even a year and just got out of beta, I don’t think you are making a fair comparison here or saying they are making a money grab on unfulfilled promises as it’s been actually quite active hitting milestones. And in fact, I remember the N1 content on BP being like only 20 grammar points for years here as a grammar only resource and seems only recently the core N1 got filled. N1 can be determinant for jobs and residency so glad they completed it. And I can remember there was some fear the site might even shutdown so happy to see they now have a solid fanbase and promising future.

And as far doing the content N2/1 ‘properly’, that is actually one of reasons I didn’t continue with the platform and unless the core translation exercise that BP utilizes were to get a major overhaul on approach, I didn’t see myself returning either. But that is ok…the value is still outstanding, happy to have supported and I’ve gotten my return long ago on BunPro and remains a solid resource in other aspects, congrats to the team on their continued success, super impressive.

While there is some competition obviously, I honestly think there is room for all these resources in a student repertoire as they all do something different and if you compare the cost of classes or private lessons for example, the value is quite high. And in the end, the so-called best platform is the one you can stick with the most and the learning styles vary greatly (or evolves at any given time) so amazing the amount of resources available compared to before. But I believe developers should get paid for their time and work for the value they provide, something I didn’t really like seeing on the WK side who basically made the platform livable with a community of developers making apps and scripts for free but didn’t get a dime off any of the subscriptions…there is too much expectation for free content IMO. And while I sympathize with broke students of unfavorable currencies, there has to be some fairness for the work that gets put in on a platform, so more power to BP if they can grow financially.

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Marumori was just a random comparison as it was the first thing that came to mind. The same thing applies to many other apps and services and (as you pointed out) Bunpro itself in the past (possibly even now). The part of my post that I deleted was talking about how lifetime memberships for language learning services are, I assume, financial viable for businesses as all the wide-eyed beginners who never actually learn the language make up for the people who actually use the product for the 3-5 years it takes for them to hit N1. As such, the quality of higher level material is either neglected or it simply doesn’t exist. Writing high quality N1 material is difficult to begin with anyway. My criticisms here still apply to Bunpro as it currently is, by the way, as the N1 material is probably the least polished. For me this line of thinking actually started with Wanikani which I think is bordering on Duolingo levels of predatory and Wanikani is definitely a “complete service” so my criticism isn’t dependent on how complete or incomplete the service is.

At the end of the day basically all of these services are re-inventing the wheel to some degree so there is always a question of “how is this financially viable”. Many language learning services seem obviously non-viable from the perspective of long term growth and the ones that are viable are still trying to make money and the easiest way to do that is to fleece beginners. Something like Marumori is clearly doing this in my opinion by offering fairly expensive lifetime memberships for a service that is nowhere close to being finished and is of no value to someone who isn’t N5. Although I think Bunpro’s model probably works the same way they actually have that higher level content now which is a big big difference. I hope Marumori achieves their goals in 5 years time as well but I am just talking about the reality of what exists now. I didn’t really want to start an argument about business models as it is not really relevant (although I accidentally did, sorry) hence why I cut part of my original post out.

100% agree with this.

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Fair enough, thank you for your thoughtful reply. And I would agree MM still has a lot to prove and IOUs, particularly for the experienced learners so it remains to be seen what it will turn into. And again, I don’t think it conflicts with what is done here, I can see how users would use both their grammar SRS methods. It’s a tricky balance, I didn’t want to see BP fall if got abandoned or unsupported so glad it didn’t and they seem financially healthier. I actually think their price is way under though, they could easily get away raising it IMO (but what do I know :sweat_smile:).

Another interesting comparison is https://nihongonomori.com/ they are pretty much the opposite of most services; no beginner content whatsoever (N3-N1) and entirely taught in Japanese by natives. One would think this would alienate a smaller community but actually they have a very strong non-english student presence (especially since I believe they are home based in Vietnam now). To me it makes more sense to be using Japanese to teach Japanese at this level as most content already has more fundamental definitions that can be described quite easily (and any English I find more of bother at this juncture). I think this is why flexible platforms like Anki will always have a place, because I don’t think teaching beginner material and advance material with the same methods make much sense; to me it looks like more of a platform development convenience just to fill content using the same architecture. WK does this as well and why its usefulness bottlenecks IMO learning more abstract vocab/kanji with zero context other than a silly example sentence. Maybe BP still has a chance to consider this given the additional flexibilities of the platform they have worked on already.

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Try N2 grammar I am assuming? We have access to all of the Try Grammar and Vocab books, so I don’t see why we couldn’t add it. Rather than a path though, it would probably be in the form of a deck, as that will be the system we use going forward.

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Hi! I’m far from being an advanced learner on here so rather than a request i am simply wondering whether or not there would be a need to add かというと〜ない as a grammar point? Or it’s simply the main かというと point being negated and there’s no real incentive to add it? Sorry if my question seems dumb, cheers.

I’ve tried my best to search lessons and post so forgive me if this is already Present or covered. I think that ようで(ようでいて) “it looks as though” and ようであれば(ようならば/ようだったら) “if so” may be missing, although there are lots of similar grammar points so they could maybe fit into an already existing one.

Note on the textbook side of things, is there a precedent on what textbook people use for particular lessons? For instance if people only use 完全 for level 2 and 1 then it makes sense to prioritise that over level 5.

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Here’s a grammar structure I believe is not on the list yet:
Verb[る]だけ + Verb[て]

Found it used like this

Context: The character saying this sentence didn’t know that the book they had borrowed from the library was actually a forbidden book of sorcery.

(この本は) 借りるだけ借りて、しばらく読んでいなかった。返却日が近づいたので慌てて読んでみたら、呪術書であることに気がついた。

This site has an explanation of the grammar structure: 〜だけ〜て|日本語能力試験 JLPTにない文型 : 絵でわかる日本語

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Perhaps another one for the JLPT N0 level deck, given that (at least according to the title of that website you linked) it isn’t found on any of the JLPT levels.

Seems to mean literally “Just did X and X”, which sounds weird in English, so perhaps a better translation would be “Just did X”? As in, “I just borrowed this book and for the moment I haven’t read it.” At least that’s the vibe I’m getting from it. Not sure if it’s the actual meaning though.

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I guess I agree on the JLPT N0 (deck? :eyes: grammar, right? Sorry, I’m out of the loop of things around here) and I think you captured the meaning very well.

「AだけAてB」in the sense of “doing only A and not B” as described on the site with the explanation. As for literal translation on the grammar point, I’ll leave that to someone else, hahhaha.

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OK, I see. Now that I read the explanation on the linked site, there’s this other nuance of only doing X and nothing else.

【説明】
「AだけAてB」は「A以外(いがい)のことはしない」「しなければいけないBをしないで、Aだけする」という意味の文型です。「A」には同(おな)じ動詞(どうし)が入り、「Aだけして、しなければいけないBをしない」「Aだけして、するべきことであるBをしない」 と言いたい時に使われます。

[例]
①山田くんは食べるだけ 食べ 、お金を払わなかった
【A】食べる
【B】お金を払う(するべきこと)
→食べて、お金を払わなかった

②彼は文句を言うだけ 言っ 帰ってしまった
【A】文句を言う
【B】ちゃんと話し合う(するべきこと)
→文句を言う以外のことはしないで帰った

③娘たちは、いつも遊ぶだけ 遊ん 片付けをしない
【A】遊ぶ
【B】片付けをする(するべきこと)
→遊んで、片付けをしない

④父は言いたいことを言うだけ 言っ 、部屋から出ていった
【A】言いたいことを言う
【B】ちゃんと話し合う
→言いたいことを言う以外のことはしないで、部屋から出ていった

⑤彼女は、いつも計画を立てるだけ 立て 実行しない
【A】計画を立てる
【B】計画を実行する
→計画を立てて、実行しない

I was close, but not 100%. Seems like an easy grammar point though.

Thanks for sharing it!!

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Just out of curiosity - is there any ETA for these grammar points, perhaps sometime this year, in time for the JLPT dates?

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Most of these will be coming out this year! First batch is not far off, and then we will release batches probably every month or so after that.

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Nice!

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Perhaps I have not searched deep enough, but I have not seen the humble おります mentioned anywhere except in the forum.
Is it too rare to have a grammar point or at least a fun fact ?

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I think おります is weird one. IIRC. Since it “can” be humble, or it is thought of as in Tokyo. But in some dialects or old-people talk it is normal to say instead of いる. So not sure where I would put that one. So I think it would be enough as a fun fact in another grammar point?
Or did you mean something else?

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