Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

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thevagrant88
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Re: How do Assimil Japanese and Genki Compare?

Postby thevagrant88 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:17 am

gsbod wrote:The only reason I ruled it out is that the audio is hard to get hold of, and I thought this would be an issue given the preference for Assimil/shadowing material.


I've actually gotten ahold of the audio in the form of mp3 files. The internet never ceases to amaze me haha.
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thevagrant88
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Re: Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

Postby thevagrant88 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:39 pm

Update:

So after looking at Genki, it seems like the focus of the books is doing writing excersizes, which doesn't interest me at all. Perhaps going through just the dialogs as a primer for JFE wouldn't be a bad idea, but otherwise I don't think the book is for me.
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Re: Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

Postby Speakeasy » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:23 pm

This Thread is About ...
thevagrant88, please forgive me but, I am under the impression that this thread is more a request for recommendations for Beginning Students of Japanese, or perhaps a personal language log, than it is a comparison of the expanding list of items in the thread’s title. I have attached a couple of links which may assist you in deciding how and where you might want to begin your studies.

Japanese Language Profile - HTLAL
Advice on good books to learn Japanese by myself - Ask MetaFilter
Comparison of Japanese Textbooks Table (NOTE: somewhat out-of-date)
Japanese Romaji resources - LLORG - November 2019
Japanese resources - LLORG - June 2016
Learning basic Japanese - LLORG - August 2017
Studyig Japanese by listening and speaking - LLORG - December 2019

The Perils of Studying a Frequently-studied Language
There are simply too many very good resources to choose from! Nevertheless, …

FSI Japanese Basic (sic)
Barron's Mastering Japanese
Beginning Japanese

As a side note, you might wish to know that the Forseign Service Institute did not publish their own FSI Japanese Basic course as they did for so many other languages in the 1960’s. Rather, they used the then-very-popular “Beginning Japanese” course by Eleanor Harz Jorden for which Barrons Educational published their own edition under the name “Barron's Mastering Japanese.” As the course employs the audio-lingual method of instruction, it relies on the (massive) repetition of sentence-pattern drills to instill and reinforce the language’s structure. This course has become doubly-cursed in today’s hyper-critical context owing to its reliance on the audio-lingual method and the fact that the author decided to support the audio recordings with her self-developed Romanized spelling to transliterate the Japanese (which might best be described a distant relative of Romaji). Frankly, as the Japanese do not use Romaji themselves, I find the latter criticism rather moot. As the author (who also included a second volume on Japanese script in her course), is not present to defend herself, I would simply repeat her opinion that, in the initial stages, the acquisition of basic speaking/listening skills in the language would ease learning all four skills.

Pimsleur Japanese
I would imagine that you are familiar with the Pimsleur line of self-instructional, all-audio, basic courses in a broad selection of foreign languages. Several members of the forum have commented quite favourably on this publisher’s Japanese course as a low-stress introduction to the basic structure of the language. Please bear in mind that there is virtually no written support available with these courses.

Good luck on your Japanese journey! ;)

EDITED
Typos.
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thevagrant88
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Re: Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

Postby thevagrant88 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:07 am

Thanks for the post! I'm a few lessons in on JFE and the difficulty had already ratched up substantially. Out side my study time, I'm listening through the Michel Thomas Foundation course which has been useful so far. I did try Pimsleur (which I used previously for Spanish) but found it more challenging than I expected. I couldn't get the vocab or structures to "stick" at all, though I think I'll want to revisit after finishing the foundational course of Michel Thomas.

It may not be what I planned initially, but I may cave in and do the excercises outside of the dialogs. It certainly couldn't hurt. If I'm stubborn and keen on sticking to my listening/shadow approach, there's always Linguaphone or Japanesepod101.

As a side note, I listened to the first track for Japanese Assimil With Ease and was appalled. I hope that later lessons develop a more natural speech speed and cadence, because what I heard there was not anything I'd ever want to use.
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Re: Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

Postby Speakeasy » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:05 am

thevagrant88 wrote: … I did try Pimsleur (which I used previously for Spanish) but found it more challenging than I expected. I couldn't get the vocab or structures to "stick" at all, though I think I'll want to revisit after finishing the foundational course of Michel Thomas...
Um, er, I’m surprised that you could get anything to stick, most particularly the structure of the language! Some members have reported good results with Pimsleur for the study of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and similar languages which are significantly different from English. While I certainly wouldn’t call into question their positive experiences, I am under the impression that not all students are good candidates for the Pimsleur method in cases where their chosen L2 falls into the FSI category 3 or category 4 languages (I’m certainly not).
thevagrant88 wrote: … As a side note, I listened to the first track for Japanese Assimil With Ease and was appalled. I hope that later lessons develop a more natural speech speed and cadence, because what I heard there was not anything I'd ever want to use.
I suspect that, generally speaking, many members would agree that the initial Assimil dialogues are artificially slow (and rather painfully so) when compared to those of competing courses. There is something of a "plus and minus" in Assimil’s approach. On the plus side, the initial dialogues provide the user with an opportunity of distinguishing the phonemes/syllables and of slowly developing their listening and speaking skills. This is particularly helpful in cases where the L2 is reputedly quite difficult to learn. On the not-so-plus side, although the cadence of speech does increase as the lessons progress, it never reaches that of the lightening-fast conversations between native speakers. Nevertheless, I accept this minor disadvantage (in the later lessons) because the Assimil courses provide a solid foundation from which the user can continue to learn. Furthermore, as one approaches the lower-intermediate level of language learning, one will come increasingly into contact with native-speaker resources where the “real” cadence of speech will be encountered. While the shock for the Assimil user might seem a little sharp at this stage, it will be short-lived.

EDITED:
Typos, as always.
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thevagrant88
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Re: Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

Postby thevagrant88 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:55 am

The thing about the Pimsleur course is that I actually tried a user-edited course that removed much of the silence. Unfortunately, I think it was overdone and I never successful began to make the connections because the answer would be given to me far too quickly. I'll seek out the regular version.

Assimil was the foundation of my Spanish learning so I am completely on board with the brand/method. That course, in particular, has some pretty divisive opinions it seems. That's somewhat comforting I suppose.

Question about Barron's Mastering Japanese/Beginning Japanese. Am I to assume that since these aren't "proper" fsi courses then I'll have to pay for them? I didn't see them on the Yojik website.
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Re: Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

Postby RedBeardVII » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:51 am

Many years ago, I gave about 90 days or so to studying Japanese.

I used Pimsleur for 30 days or so, as I had no idea what Japanese sounded like. I think that this approach will give you good pronunciation practice. These days you can probably just use online videos for pronunciation. As I worked through those tapes, I used Heisig's Remembering The Kana to learn the basic writing systems, Hiragana and Katakana. Which you are going to need because:

The book Japanese For Everyone is quite good, but tough. I think the Romaji are gone by chapter three or so and you are left reading the kana. The kanji characters are introduced slowly, with furigana, about this same time. I cannot say how much / many kanji they have, as I quit studying right about there. I didn't have the audio back then, but I expect that the JFE book is even better, now that those audio files are available over the net. And there is an answer key in the back.

Genki, Minna No Nihongo, and Japanese for Busy People are all popular, but I have no experience with them. I understand that at least one of them makes you buy a Teacher's Text if you want the answer key. Not cool, in my opinion.

It seems to me that Assimil is best for related languages, as people have suggested. But the dialogues should be *almost* easy to follow, that is how Assimil works. If you just want some audio to shadow, I think that Cortina released the Japanese audio from its older course, but I don't remember for sure.

Regarding the yojik website, I had some trouble with it lately; perhaps this link will get you there. (I hope it works.)
https://yojik.eu/languages/FSI/fsi-japanese.html


-RedBeardVII

P.S. Probably the best advice (and this goes for me, too) is to get off the interwebs and go study! ha ha!
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Re: Comparison: Japanese for Everyone, Assimil, Genki, Linguaphone, etc.

Postby Voytek » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:38 pm

I study using an excellent textbook which is Human Japanese. There's an Anki deck to it which I want to convert into the GSR Glossika method. (using the Overlearning File Creator) The textbook contains basic grammar structures and excellent explanations to them. I tried Genki, pod101 and the Glossika course... no, they don't match my approach which is getting fluent in using basic grammar patterns first.

the Overlearning File Creator
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=7917&hilit=glossika+overlearning&start=30#p108853

Human Japanese
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.braksoftware.HumanJapanese&hl=en_US

The deck:
https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1704372532

I wish the authors could create textbooks for other languages.
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