Textfugu is on sale and why I think you should pick it up

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A new year always starts with some new resolutions. Things you wanna make better this year probably along the lines of study harder, save a little bit of money each month and train more often then once a month. When I learned something from watching the Simpsons then it’s keeping your goals on realistic heights. If there is the actual possibility that you can achieve it then you will put in a lot more effort. Don’t kid yourself, these are resolutions for the whole year and a full year can be long. It’s the same with studying no matter if it’s Japanese or Anatomy. Set yourself manageable goals for each day. Go steady and don’t try to do too much or otherwise you’ll burn out quickly and get nothing done at all.

I’m self studying Japanese for a couple of years now and tried many different methods, books and programs. What worked best for me is compiled in my guide about how I study Japanese. Textfugu is not a part of this guide and that’s for a reason. I liked the motivational part at the beginning which I think is often overlooked by all the major textbooks out there (not that there is anything that beats Genki though). Learning a language requires stamina and willpower. You’re in it for the long game and not just short episodes of binge-learning (just created that word myself). And that’s where some words and tips about how to stay motivated for learning Japanese come in pretty handy. Textfugu does this well.

What it doesn’t do so well is teaching much more about the very basics of Japanese grammar. That’s not a bad thing though because you’ll still need to buy the dictionaries of Japanese grammar if you really want to get into learning Japanese. Regardless it just offers too less (not even covering Genki I) to justify the old price (120$, wow) for a lifetime membership. There was always talks about adding new content on a steady basis but unfortunately it wasn’t delivered. Instead the tofugu team was working on a new website with more grammar, shot stories and listening comprehension stuff for intermediate/advanced learners which these called EtoEto. I don’t see this as a bad thing because Textfugu members will have access to EtoEto as well but the core Textfugu alone didn’t even teach you the grammatical basics to read some of the more simple Japanese Graded Readers stories.

But now Textfugu is on a short sale (January 1-9th) and up for grab for a mere 49$. Especially with EtoEto in my mind I’m giving my full recommendation for this offer. Not only is Textfugu good to review the very basics but you’ll automatically get an EtoEto lifetime membership and early access as well. And I’m very interested in this new website/program. It’s supposed to be in the same style as WaniKani for learning Kanji and you all know that I think this site is the best you can do for your Japanese studies. Or at last in regards to Kanji reading and vocab learning.

You probably noticed by now, I’m most excited for EtoEto and all the things the tofugu team will deliver in the future. It always takes some time and not much is being said about eventual goals or release dates. But that only confirms my approach towards new years resolutions and setting goals in general. Take it easy and make things doable. Especially if you see yourself in front of a whole mountain of work which can’t be done in a whiffy.

My biggest wish for EtoEto would be (this is now the official EtoEto post) integrating a lot of “playful” listening comprehension. Maybe listening to some stories and answering some multiple choice questions (in Japanese) afterwards. Sounds like a pretty rad idea if I think more about it. You all know that I’m a big fan of Japanesepod101 and their approach towards learning Japanese but there is always enough room for more.

Note 17.02.15: After writing this post I discovered two great Apps which really help me learn Japanese. The first one is called iknow and best known for their Japanese Core6k program. The other one is KanjiBox, a neat little App for learning Kanji and grammar. Make sure to check them out! Especially iKnow is currently really helping me a lot to study daily and stay on track.


Let me know what your thoughts and experiences are about Textfugu and your wishes for EtoEto in 2015. Did you make some Japanese related new years resolutions or just sticking to the usual routine? Have a good start in the new year everyone.

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  • While I didn’t make any resolutions this year, I defo want to up my Japanese game a bit. I spent a lot of time earlier this year studying it, but unfortunately due to University and other things I haven’t been able to keep it up. I saw the Textfugu sale though and I’m really interested. Thanks for writing your recommendation, I might buy it after all (:

    • Sounds like we have the exact same problems. University is just getting in the way of out Japanese-studying habits. Hopefully EtoEto will help to spice things up again.
      Just got the Kanji Box app for Ios. Great little tool. Will write about it in the future.

  • That’s pretty cool! I had already paid for the lifetime membership before but it’s nice to know that I’ll automatically get the EtoEto membership. I’ve taken a liking to TextFugu. I may have discussed this with you a bit before, but I find it to be like a slowed down version of the Genki textbooks. Similar lesson plans, but easier to understand. More like a casual conversation instead of a by the book teacher. And their Anki decks have helped me a lot personally.

    I hope that with EtoEto comes a lot of what you mentioned and some modern applications, like apps for smart devices. I also want TextFugu to go into some kind of eBook format to make it easier to read on the go. That would be nice. Overall, I hope their improvements turn out good because it’s something I’m still and enjoy using.

  • Emi

    Hi! My new year’s resolution is to start self-studying Japanese. If I have to choose between Genki and TextFugu, which one would you recommend more? I’m a Japanese beginner, but I know a lot of kanji characters because I’m fluent in Mandarin. Thanks! Keep up the good work with this blog! It’s really helpful and interesting to read :)

    • I think EtoEto will be worthwhile (or at least hope so) for intermediate learners but there is still no way around Genki. Best textbook no the market and pretty perfect overall. Good luck with your Japanese studies and let me know how things turn out for you :) Awesome near year’s resolution.
      http://japanesetease.net/how-i-learn-japanese-my-essentials/

      • Emi

        Thank you!:)

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