Should I go with Genki or Tae Kim?

I have heard good things about both of these resources, however I’m not exactly sure which would be the best to go with. On the one hand, I prefer a physical textbook, but on the other, I’m not exactly super rich, being a College student with DoorDash as my primary source of income.

Which brings me to the big question… is it worth spending the $50-$60 or so for the textbook, or am I better off saving my money and going with the free online resource?

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If money is an issue for you, go with Tae Kim. There are so many other free resources you can use as companions to help with your studies. (Japanese Ammo with Misa would be my main recommendation.) Genki is great imo, (I personally used both books) but not a requirement.

In any case, you’re going to wind up using multiple resources anyway, since no one resource is a catch-all. Might as well start with the free route until the time comes where you want/are able to invest in more costly resources. :slight_smile:

Best of luck!


There is a FREE Genki-like book series Irodori worth looking into:

Just note that the book is written in both Japanese and English and it can be lightly intimidating when you open it up at the beginning. It has audio samples too.

Its broken up in in 3 parts, Starter, Elementary 1 Link: and Elementary 2

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Eh? Go with bunpro. This is the best by far.

It’s like walking into a Ferrari dealership and saying ‘Should I go with Hyundai or Toyota?’

So long as you watch a video on youtube or something like that when you find yourself stuck, BP has everything you need. The only downside is that there is no physical book… Which isn’t too necessary imo.


My advice is to go with Tae Kim if cost is the main factor, and get a Bunpro monthly sub… it certainly doesn’t hurt to have multiple points of reference when learning new items. Genki is fine but from my personal experience it is not ideal for solo study. It leans rather heavily on having a group or partner to work with and I found this unfulfilling to work around as a mostly solo learner.

There are some worthwhile notes around culture, grammar gotchas and such injected throughout the books, which I hadn’t encountered anywhere else at the time of reading, but still not sure it was worth the investment for the reason mentioned.

The information provided by Tae Kim’s grammar book is great for understanding why the grammar is the way it is, which is something Bunpro lacks at times. In terms of building upon that foundation though, Bunpro is excellent (even more so once the N1 content is completed :wink:)