How long does(should/can?) it take to get through Genki?

Discussions for those using the Genki Textbook series
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat 07.30.2011 1:04 pm
Native language: English

How long does(should/can?) it take to get through Genki?

Post by pinkparfait » Thu 08.11.2011 12:45 am

Right now I am doing one lesson a week...but I feel like it's going excruciatingly slow! I devote A LOT of my time to studying Japanese (at the moment since it's summer I could almost say I do nothing else, seriously) so I feel like it would be possible for me to do it at a faster pace than this....

Considering that I study all day long how quickly do you think it would be possible for me to finish the book? And for those who have finished the book already, how long did it take you?

Oh and I should also mention that I am learning kanji on the side from Basic Kanji Book at a pace of 5 new kanji a day (though I might slow it down when I get to the harder kanji, I don't know)
Last edited by pinkparfait on Thu 08.11.2011 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri 08.13.2010 2:08 pm
Native language: US English/米語
Location: California, USA

Re: How long does(should/can?) it take to get through Genki?

Post by micahcowan » Thu 08.11.2011 4:28 pm

FWIW, my impression of the Genki series is that it moves far too fast (counting by how much is covered in a single lesson), so it wouldn't at all be surprising to me to learn that each individual lesson takes a long time (particularly if you work hard to fully understand and cement the knowledge gained, before moving on).

I got a copy of Genki, but soon gave it away to a friend after looking through it. My impression (which is, after all, just an opinion) is that it covers ground too quickly, while at the same time not taking the time to give an entirely accurate, or full, description of the pattern being discussed.

I realize of course that a "perfectly accurate/complete" discussion of any point of language is impossible in a textbook (as opposed to reference-only material). But Genki doesn't do as well a job as some others, IMO.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a modern Japanese book that I do like so far. I've been looking around lately, hoping for something I could use with my daughter (yes, I understand that Genki is intended for college anyway - but there are a number of other college texts that I would find useful for younger folks... meanwhile my impression of Genki is that I would have struggled with it even when I was in college (if I had been a beginner then)).

There are several books I do like ("Learn Japanese: A New College Textbook"; Jorden's "Reading Japanese/Beginning Japanese", and Martin's "Essential Japanese"); unfortunately, all of these (in increasing order) are woefully out of date (Martin's is simultaneously the best textbook I've come across, and one of the worst you could recommend to a new student, because it's half a century old, and uses oddly (for today) specialized vocabulary, but it provides by far the most concise-yet-accurate grammar explanations I've ever seen), and some (like Martin's) are hard to get a hold of.

I also tried "Japanese For Young People", but I can't make any sense of the book. I don't see anything in the way of instruction there at all. I suppose a teacher's manual must be required, or perhaps the tapes; I wish it were a little more obvious how one is meant to use the thing.

User avatar
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 08.18.2011 3:30 am
Native language: English

Re: How long does(should/can?) it take to get through Genki?

Post by NikonGirl » Fri 08.19.2011 11:40 pm

Hi Pinkparfait,

I don't have Genki, my mom [who is Japanese] looked through it and told me I should find something a little better. I agree with Micahcowan when he says there you won't find a textbook that's "perfectly accurate/complete." I use a variety of books and one will explain something a little better than another and then you get that "A Ha" moment and suddenly it makes perfect sense.
I started off with "Japanese Demystified" to brush up on what I already knew and ease myself into intermediate learning. Its a good book and has oral and written practices as well as quizzes and section tests. But its not perfect. I found myself with a lot of questions regarding verbs so I picked up "The Handbook of Japanese Verbs" which I think is awesome and just recently bought "Essential Japanese Verbs" that fills in the gaps of the first one. For instance, I had no idea there were 3 different verbs あう. Who knows how long it would have taken me to figure out that :blush: I also bought the Nihongo 500 set and was instantly challenged and learned so much from just the first chapter...great books.

For Kanji, I use the Japanese Kanji Flash cards using the Leitner method and 250 Mannin no Kanken [for Nintendo DS]. That game is relentless and will drill you until you know it forwards, backwards, and sideways.

For reading I use several mediums. I use the Japanese Graded Readers that also have an audio companion, anything i can get my hands on online, and every 6 months i buy one of those phone book sized manga comics. If Im reading something and I dont know a word, I look it up and write it down to memorize. I'm also thinking of trying the "Tokyo Realtime" and see what thats all about.

Finally, I got Nihongo Nikki Noto and write keep a journal that I only write in Japanese. I've made a lot of progress. I too study most of the day since I am currently out of work. I think mixing things up really works well for me and its also important that you go back to things you've already done and review them again. Repetition makes all the difference.
Please help me by correcting my errors :)

User avatar
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu 12.29.2005 4:24 pm
Native language: German
Location: Germany

Re: How long does(should/can?) it take to get through Genki?

Post by sushi4ever » Thu 08.25.2011 3:22 pm

I've worked with Genki & Basic Kanji Book as well and must say that I moved at a faster pace...
Basically, I needed 1-3 days per chapter (really depended on the "difficulty" of the lesson), so it went quite fast.

Too bad: that was 3 years ago and I nearly forgot everything I studied back then due to complete neglection of anything 日本語-related... :blush: :cry:

Well, everyone moves at a different speed and you should really just take your time...

I'll start over again with Genki I+II, Japanese for Everyone and Basic + Intermediate Kanji Book and see how that'll turn out. But I highly doubt that I'll be able to move at such a fast pace again since I've got my university studies as a priority now.

Just don't rush it, or is there an important "completion date"? :wink:

Well, I wish you good luck with your studies and just keep one thing in mind: However you choose to learn - keep it up! :mrgreen:

my japanese learning blog:

Post Reply