In the past, it has not been often that we’ve been able to incorporate major changes into the website. A few grammar points here, a little tweak of the UI there. However, as we are sure that you all have noticed, the team has expanded this year, allowing us to take on some pretty large projects (many of them still to come).
We would like to take this opportunity to introduce our first major leap into becoming a more ‘consolidated’ source of Japanese learning.
Bunpro’s very own grammar explanations
The team has recently been working on all of the N5 grammar, preparing explanations for them that fit our philosophy of simplifying Japanese grammar and making it more bite sized. We think these writeups will give people a much firmer understanding of the different grammar structures. Here is a breakdown of our approach in the writeups:
As much as possible, we used Japanese textbooks (directed at Japanese natives) to form the backbone of our explanations. We then combined that with our knowledge, along with a few of the tried and tested explanations from other sources. All in all, we wanted to create something that was unique, accurate, but most importantly, easy to understand.
We have example sentences for every grammar explanation, covering many of the different nuances that you are likely to see with each structure. These were all written by @Fuga and are unique from the examples in the example section.
Many grammar points have caution sections, with extra information about things that can be difficult to grasp initially. The caution also sometimes includes good examples of things to avoid when writing or speaking.
Many grammar points have interesting facts relating to their history, use, or even grammatical validity. We decided to include these (where appropriate) in order to introduce some of the lesser known, but very interesting points about the grammar.
Like with our example sentences, we have also wrapped many of the structures within the writeups themselves. Our thinking behind this is that we wanted to give you every opportunity possible to jog your memory on certain things, without being too distracted from what you are reading. In a traditional textbook, when you are introduced to new words, or something that you learned a long time ago (but unfortunately forgot) is mentioned, it can turn the whole explanation into something that is hard to follow. Enter grammar wrapping . We have eliminated this problem by wrapping everything possible, so that you are able to click on any unfamiliar (new or old) words, to very quickly jump-start your memory, without taking your focus away from the new grammar that you are learning.
At Bunpro, we have some of the most enthusiastic people about Japanese on our team. Enthusiastic as teachers of the language, but equally as enthusiastic as learners of the language themselves! We think that one of the most important things when learning anything, is that the people that are guiding your progress are equally as excited as you are. We hope that some of this positivity/interest shines through in our explanations!
Traditionally, the western focus on teaching Japanese has been with ‘giving an English equivalent’. While we still do this, we have also attempted to give ‘direct translations’, or ‘literal meanings’ as often as possible. Our goal here is to (very slowly) teach you how to understand grammar purely from the Japanese perspective, so that you can make better mental connections between similar grammar points.
What happens now?
We are aiming to do this for all of N5, N4, N3, N2, and N1, and will release each N-level as soon as we can after the previous one (without sacrificing any quality for speed). Eventually, we would also like to link some of the terminology in these writeups to a more structured blog type post. For example, when we mention 形容詞（けいようし）(い-adjective), eventually we want to have an article we can link to that explains what a 形容詞 is! (with all of the fine and nitty-gritty information that you could ever possibly need). We aim to do this for all of the Japanese word types.
These initial writeups are part 1 of a 3-part system that we hope to introduce in the near future. These first explanations are what we would like to call Bun-know. Here is how it will work.
Part 1 : Bun-know
These explanations will include everything that you need in order to use the grammar point effectively, from day 1. They will be the ‘bread and butter’ foundation knowledge (with a few extra ingredients thrown in just to keep it interesting!).
Part 2 : Bun-grow
These explanations will introduce finer nuanced information about each grammar point, and also compare similar grammar structures. Comparing nuance differences is a great way to help solidify meanings/when to use things. So we will focus on this in Bun-grow, to increase your confidence with each point.
Part 3 : Bun-flow
This final stage of content development will focus on the extremely fine detail things. Conceptual information, historical information, and lots of other things that you will want to come back to and examine again as an advanced learner.
Last but not least!
We have majorly reordered the learning order of N5!
When rearranging, our goal was to have everything in the most logical order possible, while thinking equally about the new grammar explanations, and also when you simply ‘need’ certain grammar points to make natural sentences.
Let’s take a look at the reordering, and the goal of each lesson in N5!
Lesson 1 (things that are crucial to make a natural -interesting- sentence)
Lesson 2 (things that are necessary to use basic types of verbs)
が、よ、ね、るverbs、うverbs 、を、るverbs neg、うverbs neg、と (and)、ここ、そこ、あそこ
Lesson 3 (remaining particles needed in their basic uses)
で(at in)、に、か (or)、と (with)、でしょう、だろう、がある、がいる、この、その、あの、んです、Past いAdj
Lesson 4 (different verb forms that will make use of the particles just taught)
の (nominalizer)、いadj + noun、なadj + noun、へいく、する、くる、る-verb past、う-verb past、好き、きらい、のがすき、がある+ Noun、Negative いAdj
Lesson 5 (basic sentence linking structures て)
で (by)、ので (since)、から (because)、から (from)、が (but)、けど (but)、う-verb neg past、る-verb neg past、Verb-て、ている 1、へ、Verb + にいく、Verb Non-past
Lesson 6 (filling in the knowledge gaps of the basics)
だれ、いadj predicate、なadj predicate、だった、じゃない、じゃなかった、いadj neg past、と (quotation)、って、Verb た (verb modified noun)、の (pronoun one)、な
Lesson 7 (slightly more advanced linking and identification phrases)
だけ、どれ、どこ、どの、ている 2、てから、Verb て (sequence)、もう、まだ、まだ～ていない、てもいい、たい、たり～たりする
Lesson 8 (Identifying amounts and locations)
Lesson 9 (suggesting and requesting)
Lesson 10 (giving, receiving, and describing experiences)
たことがある、ている 3、Adjective and Noun て、Adjective て conjunctive、のがへた、のがじょうず、Adjective + の(は)、あげる、くれる、もらう、けれども、つもりだ
We really hope that you guys love this addition to the website, and that it builds your confidence in us as a learning resource. As always, we would love to hear any and all feedback, and hope that you all have an absolutely rockin’ day!