When to start Tobira?

I wonder what are your experiences with first interaction with that book. I want some change in my learning routine to bust my morals (I am getting into first low point…) and I would like to know how much additional suffering will cost me if I would jump into it now.

I am quite happy with working on materials being above my level so I don’t mind it to be hard. I am at the moment about 4n when it comes to reading comprehension I guess and I should finish all n4 grammar point within a week. I also miraculously manage to get friend :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: here ready to help me out with Tobira since he did it himself in the past.

What do you think about that resource in general? What pain acceptance level somebody needs to start it at given level? It is harder than first pages of Harry Potter? Or anything at all regarding this resource. :hugs:

I will be happy with any input :hugs:

For reference Harry Potter looks something like that:



It will not be anywhere near as complicated as Harry Potter. Keep in mind Harry Potter is a book aimed at Japanese teenagers where Tobira is a textbook aimed at intermediate learners of Japanese.


So what kind of reading person starting Tobira is expected to feel ok with? It is promoted as gateway to advance Japanese so I was thinking quite complex stuff has to be there. Overstatement on their part?

That is great news!

I didn’t get very far with tobira as I started it when I wasn’t really ready for it and quickly just moved onto something else, so I can’t say for sure. Given it’s about 500 pages odd, I think the aim would be you are ready to start advanced Japanese when you finish it. I never finished it so I can’t really say what sort of level that is but, Id argue Harry Potter is definitely advanced, especially if you want to be able to read it and not study it (an hour a page for example isn’t reading, it’s studying)

I used the Sou Matome series, and finished the N2 grammar and vocabulary textbooks before attempting any serious books


I will keep it in mind. I call it reading, and almost normal reading with assistance of dictionary, I call reading for pleasure. It could be confusing for others :sweat_smile:

Hmm… So I was studying Harry Potter? I need add it to my CV since it sounds extraordinary to say the least :crazy_face:

Thanks for help. That clear my misconception [edit]for now (but I am obviously waiting for another input since one opinion about anything from anybody is not enough for me to be sure of anything) [/edit] about this book. I was thinking it is something like B2-C1 stuff. Good it is not [in your opinion which I consider to be valid starting point]. :hugs:

reason for edit: I have no idea why but it looks like I have to clear another misunderstanding…

On goodness sake how much verbose I have to get to not leave room for misunderstanding after all that talk that I write too much… It was for that reason -,-

Again, i’d try and get the advice from people who have really used the book…

Which is why you created this thread and I answered despite not knowing the answer. Sorry lol

I’m going to bed >_<

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I am waiting for it… I just am letting you know that I accepted your believes as valid input am processing it…

Being rude is easier…

I am level 35 on WaniKani and passed JLPT N3 with a score of 180/180. I just started Tobira, and I have no problem with it. However, if you aren’t at least around a N3 level, you should probably wait to start Tobira. Most of the reading passages are really long and entirely in Japanese.


Thank you. That what I am after since I get more of immersion route than text book route. But I heard a lot of good stuff about Tobira so I want to give it a try :hugs:

I don’t want to wait until it is too easy though. How long it takes you to do one chapter/unit? (btw how many chapter there is?)

those parts of Harry Potter I manage to read/study out. It was a bit too hard. I look at it as a benchmark. I should make it more clear.

I say just get started. You can use this website: http://abacus.bates.edu/~kofuji/Courses/tobira-yomimono.html

It contains the first 9 chapters. But since it is written out in a webpage, you can use YomiChan with it. It makes adding the vocabulary words much easier.



No need for looking up new kanji in jisho then xD

That was one of my main worries

It is 15 chapters. Most of the content in the book is review for me, so I just read a little bit every time I have free time at work. The speed at which you go through the book is entirely up to you, though.

Edit: Just a warning, the textbook DOES NOT include answers for the questions it asks after each chapter. As far as I’m aware, there is no answer book you can buy separately, just a teacher’s manual.

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Thanks. I like to suffer so it looking like Tobira will do me good xD

By the way, they have a website! Make sure to use it as it has a lot of additional resources such as grammar exercises. I personally focused on the audio, which you can use for shadowing! As this is a textbook experience, be reminded that the goal is that you should be able to understand damn near 100% of each chapter before moving on. I’d additionally suggest being able to read the main passage of each chapter out loud, and being able to follow the native speaker in the recordings as they speak before moving onto the next chapter. As for strategy, I personally always mined the vocab first with YomiChan, did my reps on Anki and BunPro for grammar and vocab for 1 day, then I tackled the reading each time. I found that knowing the vocab in advance was my style, but some people may prefer to just go in cold turkey.

But without further ado, here is the official link for their audio resources for each chapter: https://tobiraweb.9640.jp/contents/音声教材/


That’s what I was missing in Clannad. No ability to listen to the same text over and over whatever I do. It will be useful for sure.

I will maybe start do to “shallow reading” with clannad. If I understand anything then good enough, keep moving. And hardcore reading with tears and blood on Tobira. Looks like a good day to me xD

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Thank you so much for this! I’m giving it a read now whilst at work, and it’s making me realise that I may well benefit from Tobira, since it seems to be at my level so far. Which is kind of wild actually, I assumed I was way below it :thinking:

I can’t give it a shot with the audio right now unfortunately, but it sounds great - lots of resources on their site, and it’s good to know what they expect you to be aware of before jumping in.


Also, just want to be explicit because it would be a shame if anyone missed out on this, but BunPro has a Tobira path for grammar! Use it.

Additionally, if you get past chapter 9 and want to continue sentence mining with YomiChan, let me know in DMs.


Wait, Clannad doesn’t do this? All the VN’s I’ve read so far let you listen to voiced lines in the log in some way…

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You have a lot of narration from main character and his dialogs as well that are not voiced.

Do you normally play/read na PC? I personally don’t see how that feature would be useful even for Japanese learners on Nintendo. If I am not able to pull audio from source code and listen to it on mobile there is no much utility in that.

Clannad is old as well. I will look around in options and see if there is something I missed :hugs:

I prefer VNs on my Switch. But I don’t do anything special with them. I just read them. I guess if you’re making cards that’s more work compared to PC. Normally I just want to read an interesting story though that I wouldn’t be able to read if I couldn’t read Japanese. So popular stuff like Clannad that has a decent translation is actually not my target.

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