[Course Forum] SGJL series - A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar by Charles_Applin35



SGJL Memrise Group - Click on the link to automatically join the group.

This 12-series course presented in three stages (basic, intermediate, advanced) offers the amazing book series “A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar” for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels in Memrise fashion. You must have the books to get the full benefits of these courses. The Memrise courses present the example sentences in Japanese and English to quickly test and remind users of the grammar example. In addition, all entries will have Japanese male and female text to speech audio samples for the sentences.

For those wishing to use these in the Suggested Guide for Japanese Literacy course series, the SGJL number is provided. They can be used in addition to or in replacement of the Tae Kim or Kanzen Master entries.

A note on the ordering of the entries. Instead of the original alphabetical order used in the dictionaries, the courses are presented in a more intuitive order. The Basic book is arranged based on the Tae Kim index. The Intermediate and Advanced will be ordered based on the original grammar order of the Kanzen Master 2 & 1 grammar books.

Disable Memrise Timer - Due to half of the course being sample sentences tested, the use of a Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey scripts to disable the Memrise Timer is highly recommended. Download it here: http://userscripts-mirror.org/scripts/show/174879

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

SGJL 04 - A Dict. of Basic Japanese Grammar pt 1 - Tae Kim Basic

SGJL 06 - A Dict. of Basic Japanese Grammar pt 2 - Tae Kim Essential

SGJL 09 - A Dict. of Basic Japanese Grammar pt 3 - Tae Kim Essential

SGJL 11 - A Dict. of Basic Japanese Grammar pt 4 - Tae Kim Special

A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar

Information gathered, courses to be listed when complete

A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar

Information gathered, courses to be listed when complete

[Course Forum] Suggested Guide for Japanese Literacy (SGJL) course series

Heya! So I know these courses are a work in progress, but it’d appear that the ADoBJG courses in particular aren’t as well fleshed out as the other ones. Some of the lessons, (5, 6, and 8 in Part 1 for example) are missing, the amount of items in each lesson varies wildly, some sentences have complex vocabulary, a lot of the voice files are missing, and the lessons don’t seem to be designed in a way to help you distinguish between grammar patterns. The Tae Kim courses, on the other hand, don’t have any of these issues and seems to be a much more proper course.

It seems that the point of this course is simply to offer some variety in the overall course, but I can’t help but feel that the ADoBJG courses in particular would work better in a different format, or placed in some sort of extracurricular section or something like that.

Overall, these courses are great, I appreciate them greatly, but the ADoBJG ones kinda confuse me, was just wondering what your overall goal with these are.


In regards to source quality, A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced) is considered the best resource for Japanese grammar in English. The topics covered are extensive, in detail, and convey the material in as easy to understand manner. Tae Kim is regarded as the best free resource by a number of people, but his topics covered are not as extensive or in detail but he does convey the material in an easy to understand manner.

There are typos. ADoBJG are entries from the book which are laid out in alphabetical order. The sentences for the course are taken from an Anki deck someone posted meaning there are a number of typos. Now, I’m going through this entire course as a student, just a bit faster than average as I’ve already done most of this material, so that allows me to catch typos and issues as they pop up.

There are random number of questions per lesson. For lesson entries, what I did was match up the ADoBJG alphabetical entries with the lesson course of Tae Kim’s Grammar guide. I then upload the ADoBJG entries in the Tae Kim order. However, this means there are some lessons with no equivalent. I still keep the lesson listed for people wanting to do parallel learning. That’s what I’m doing as I go through this course catching typos.

There is missing audio. At first, neither Tae Kim nor ADoBJG had audio, but soon after posting I and later ijkjk made text-to-audio for the sentences, however that means there can be problems. I try to have a male and female voice per sentence which might not be the case 100% of the time. However, all sentences should have audio. As mentioned, since I go through all entries individually correcting typos I’ll also do the same correcting audio problems.

There is complex vocabulary. In addition, ADoBJG has complex grammar. As mentioned ADoBJG is laid out as a dictionary. The entry example sentences uses grammar levels from all parts of the book so it’s not ramped up slowly. Tae Kim starts simple and slowly adds more vocabulary as the lessons continue.

These can be mitigated in two ways. First is not do ADoBJG courses till after one finishes the Tae Kim courses. As you reminded that this should be the first option, in the Group Study course I moved ADoBJG entries to the end. I’ll also update the course in the first post and move them to the end. Users can still choose to do ADoBJG in place of or alongside Tae Kim grammar. For complex vocabulary, I already made a list of 300 or so words in ADoBJG that don’t appear in Core 2k or Tae Kim. I’ll add these are vocabulary listings prior to each lesson.

Thanks for you reply and I hope my response makes sense. I’ve made a couple of changes to the course as well so thank you for the feedback. It’s my hope people doing these course obtain legit Japanese literacy and fluency that can be expressed in real world use or even standard proficiency exams like DLPT for Japanese or JLPT.

Let me add one final thing that people really should do ADoBJG if they have the books even if it means waiting till after they finished SGJL 12. The book is that good and the benefit will be invaluable. Plus, it’s good to finish those four courses before starting the Intermediate Pt 1 Stage. Those stages only use ADoIJG and ADoAJG as the grammar courses.


I’m in the process of adding vocabulary to all four parts of ADoBJG. These should be vocabulary words that do not appear in all the vocabulary entries for all of Core 2k or Tae Kim. There’s roughly 500 vocabulary words, though a large number are names like Yuriko or Kurosawa. Part One is uploaded so those that already did the course will see these appear for learning.

I’ll also do similar when I upload ADoIJG and ADoAJG courses.

As always, feedback is appreciated.


Personally, I’m loving the ADoBJG course, as I’m a long-time fan and user of the book as a reference, but have never used it as a study guide. I really appreciate your making this available. ADoBJG has the best example sentences of any Japanese language resource I’ve ever seen, which I find makes a huge difference in their effectiveness as learning tools. As a sporadic, but by no means new, learner of Japanese, the opportunity to simultaneously SR study grammar, vocabulary, and kanji (and practice reading kana) with these sentences is like a dream come true. The only improvement I can suggest is more audio files, which I know you’re aware of.

For various reasons I’m not a fan of Tae Kim, but am trying your companion SGJL Tae Kim course along with the ADoBJG. Have you noticed that the captions that accompany the audio instruction are, well, hilarious? It’s like rogue phone dictation.

Thanks again for the ADoBJG course.


Glad you’re getting use out of the ADoBJG courses. I’m going through them myself and find them the most intense of the basic courses due to the non-forgiving manner of the example sentences. All of the entries should have male and female TTS voices in addition to vocabulary entries for each section.

If you have the chance, consider the Japanese Drama Immersion courses I’ve been setting up. Personally, I think courses like that are where my Japanese level really began to take off with regards to listening and speaking.


Oh, I’m definitely planning to use the Drama Immersion courses. I’m lucky enough to have subtitled Japanese dramas available on a local TV station, and those have been invaluable for picking up on speech patterns and rhythms, vocabulary, and especially pronunciation, i.e., “accent”. Also, all my learning materials in the beginning were formal speech, and I really lagged in the informal speech patterns. Dramas have helped a lot with that, and it’s another thing I appreciate about studying via the ADoBJG book and course, too. Un-subbed dramas are obviously the next level, and I’m glad to see you’re offering them.


Hey ho. Just a heads up, I’ve been slugging away at these courses the past couple days, and there’s some errors in transcribed material from the book to the course. For the most part, these are very minor and not detrimental, but some are more egregious than others.

The item that caused me to post this is in SGJL 14, Level 9, Item 39ish; もしもし、家内が「来た」ら直ぐ帰るように言って下さい。(Hello, please tell my wife to come home right away if she (lit. comes to see you) drops by.)

I was only confused for a few seconds due to the awkward placing of the brackets. Since I have the book (and you probably should if you’re taking these courses) it’s easy to pick up these discrepancies, but I figured I’d at least post about it and offer assistance if necessary. I do appreciate the added brackets around the grammar points, and I think a little bit of extra fine tuning could go a long way on these courses.


In SGJL 14, Level 10, Item 8, the word 鐘の音 is pronounced as かねのおと when I think it should actually be かねのね。 Its accompanying sentence in the next Level has the same issue.


Whoever originally typed this up added the brackets and they’ve been pretty useful. I tend to be hands off aside from fixing blatant typos, but switching the bracket to be 「来たら」 is no problem.

If you’re not already, would you like to added as contributor so you can fix any typos you find.


Yeah, if you add me as contributor to this series and the bonus courses, I’ll be happy to fix up minor errors as I encounter them.


Hello, I found a minor error.

In the SGJL 13 - A Dict. of Basic Japanese Grammar pt 1 course, Level 17
10 LESSON - Noun-related Particles it says:

When you are tired, do thinks like taking a bath or going to sleep early.

It should be ‘do things’ not ‘do thinks’.


Wow, I just found this course and it looks awesome.

There are many courses on grammar in memrise, but most of them have this google.translate-recorded-audio all over them instead of real pronuntiation, and I find that really annoying.

This one seems to have a propper audio tho. Thank you very, very much for taking the time to do this! :slight_smile: