I’ve been using Bunpro for a month and things haven’t stuck in my head. I’m good at remember wanikani, probably because of the mnemics, but bunpro is so much harder, even for N5.
Don’t give up! Grammar is harder to remember than kanji, no question. I think many people (me included) get frustrated at the beginning because we have this expectation that if we follow the normal SRS then we should be able to get every question right as the streaks progress. Don’t expect to get it on the first pass. Ghosts are your friends! If you get some of them wrong, that’s normal. And some points are harder to grasp than others. Let the ghosts come in and use them to get lots of practice.
Also, if you can use other resources (manga, anime, conversation partner), that’ll also help things stick through more practice.
Like I heard once, you don’t really “learn” a language, you just get used to it.
Happy New Year!
This is pretty accurate. While you certainly can learn a language, the only way anything will ever ‘stick’ is by getting used to it.
Grammar is definitely a different ball park when it comes to SRS, so don’t feel bad about struggling.
For some advice: don’t skip the readings! They really do make a difference when it comes to grasping the concepts and seeing more examples. If you have any additional resources to go along with your studies, other books, tutors, classes, etc. definitely use those as well.
I also find that it helps to add my own sentences when I come across grammar I struggle with when reading. Remembering the context it was in paints more of a picture for me than a sentence in isolation.
Best of luck, you got this!
Also, try slowing down and spending more time per point.
Sorta knowing the material might help you pass the JLPT exams, but you really need to know it inside and out to actually use it in real life.
I’ve reset several times because I think “this is so easy, I can add more and more points!” and then as the intervals get longer everything just disappears from my brain and I end up with a monster backup of ghost reviews.
Two things have helped me a lot this latest time through:
If there is a video in the “readings” I watch it (I used to skip them, especially for “easier” points). If there isn’t a video there, I go find one. Usually I try for Japanese Ammo or 日本語の森 first, but if they don’t have anything I’ll go with the first thing that comes up searching YouTube.
But, and I think this is important, I don’t watch it right away. I add it to my to-do list to watch sometime during the week, and for me that’s usually when I’m on the treadmill. So it might be several days after I first started the grammar that I watch the video, so the idea has already been floating around in my head a bit.
I have an Anki deck for grammar and for each grammar point I’ll make a “How do you say X?” card and at least one or two English sentences that I have to try to translate.
Preferably the sentences are not from BunPro but from the readings. It’s difficult so I try not to add too many cards at a time or I resist reviewing it.
Yes I guess this means I am doubling up on SRS, but it has made a huge difference.
Level 15 in a month? Are you zooming along a little faster than is ideal for you, perhaps? I’m just getting started with Bunpro, but so far I’m thinking if I try to go that fast, things would fall out of my head…
The leveling system i find doesn’t really show anything, it doesn’t work the same way as Wanikani, instead it’s exp system, the amount of reviews you do amounts to how much exp you get. Note that in Wanikani, I’ve been consistent with reviews for two months and i’m only level 5.
I am here 7 days and already have got level 13. I knew some grammar before so I add them quite fast, but nothing crazy. It is just very easy to lvl up here.
I consider this to be one of the wonderful design decisions they made when designing this website; You can move relatively quickly through the grammar you already know, or even skip it altogether.
Of course, it does currently come with the downside that newcomers can overload themselves with reviews. When people know grammar before using this site, I would recommend they add gradually mix in new grammar items so they get a feeling for how that works.
Once I moved to grammar I was learning for the first time, I was happy that I was learning brand new things, but my effort per grammar points increased significantly. It’s all good. Enjoy the ride.
Actually it is quite hard to know without bunpro if I know some grammar point or think i know it because I recognise it. Better to add them all just in case
Probably brought up before, but I cannot stress how important people on youtube are at explaining grammar points. I would recommend you start with Japanese Ammo and start at her very first video and add each point she discusses on bunpro. Do this once a day and you’ll see some great results, I hope.
Also, I found kanjilink’s explanation of N5 grammar SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO useful. It was all confusing at first but Ammo + Kanjilink is a very good combo. A lot of people are in agreement that N5 grammar has a lot of things to remember which is not exactly how future grammar points will be.
I would add
Her voice is painful but it is worth the ear bleed…
Thanks to her explanation I finally understood why the fish eats itself (私は魚が食べる - ga marks subject so it should mean: “if we are speaking about me, fish eats” but it doesn’t really) or why if asked what animals i like I can answer “I am a cat” (私は猫だ) and it somehow means “I like cats”.
She somehow manage to transform Japanese grammar from arbitrary nightmare into very logical and elegant system.
As others have said, you need to do all the readings. There are a lot of resources for each grammar point and I might go through them over a couple of days before finally adding a grammar point.
If you’re using a textbook then you can pace yourself better as the grammar points are added as they are introduced in each chapter of the book, with context. I’m going through Genki and it might take me a week or three for each chapter depending on how much additional reading I do around each point. I also listen to the chapters audio whilst I’m running, over and over again whilst I’m on the chapter.
I also picked up the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar from JapanPress, which Tofugu/Wanikani highly recommended and it’s amazing. I will also go through each grammar point in that as it’s full of examples.
So basically, don’t go too fast, learn to love the ghosts as they provide you with practice and try to review all the different resources you can find for each grammar point.
I agree, Cure Dolly is the best! I have been supporting her for years
I need to know WHY things are to learn them and she does a great job of explaining that. So many things just click after watching her videos.
I would gladly donate my last kidney if she would drop that robotic voice… I sometimes think she does whatever it takes to not grow her channel too much.
Well… as they say: no pain no gain.
That voice and the strange constant hype/overselling there (“what they never teach”, “debunked”, “secrets”, “textbooks destroy your Japanese”) really ruins those videos for me.
the strange constant hype/overselling there (“what they never teach”, “debunked”, “secrets”, “textbooks destroy your Japanese”) really ruins those videos for me
They’re interesting for sure, and I could even get used to the voice, but the constant bashing of practically anything that isn’t her own way of explaining things is incredibly annoying.
I got that she doesn’t like more traditional sources from her first video, no need to repeat it a million times over the course of the series. That’s just a waste of time.
English can also use strange sentences like this. Depending on what the question is.
Q- What animal do you like?
A- For me, it’s cats.
Sounds perfectly fine in English.
Edit- I also like cure dolly a lot. She doesn’t try to make Japanese sound like it is English, and that’s an important step for anyone learning the language.
My point was that many resource misleadingly teach structure "AはBだ as “A is B” as if A was the subject of the sentence. In reality the subject of the sentence is “it”. “As for A, IT is B”.
So “私はマクフィンチュだ” really means “as for me, IT is MacFinch”, not “I am MacFinch”.
The idea of hidden “it”(or as it is called in literature: ゼロが) helps a lot.