Japanese resources

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dampingwire
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Re: Japanese resources

Postby dampingwire » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:53 pm

eido wrote:What do you think of Minna No Nihongo? I know there's a fierce debate about the two of these books and there's much to be read on the topic, but I can't come to a good conclusion.


I've seen Genki I but I can't say I've used it. I used みんなの日本語初級 and then 中級, which in hindsight is quite a few text books (since each level is split into a I and a II and each of those requires two text books, one in Japanese and one in a language you can read!). I see a tutor so the "pure Japanese" aspect has never been a problem for me.

A quick peek on that auction site suggests that £10 will get you both the books you need for みんなの日本語初級 #1. That should get you 25 lessons in. Ask if they have the answer key in the book. I forget whether all versions come with audio CDs too. (The 中級 should, AFAICT).

The same site sells Genki I for ~£8.

If you can't find either in a local library, I'd pick one and try it. If it works, stick with it: I've wasted so much time hunting for the better book/method/whatever. Not much beats having something available that you can just get stuck into ...
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devilyoudont
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Re: Japanese resources

Postby devilyoudont » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:11 pm

eido wrote:What do you think of Minna No Nihongo? I know there's a fierce debate about the two of these books and there's much to be read on the topic, but I can't come to a good conclusion.


I think both are quality courses, and when it comes to the better courses, it doesn't really matter which one you choose. Sticking with it is more important than the particular course you follow. Both are widely available online, so take a preview of chapter 1 of both, and choose whichever one appeals to you more. With Japanese, you will have to make use of additional materials regardless of what course you choose. Japanese is very difficult for English native speakers, and that difficulty is incredibly all front loaded. My observation is that successful Japanese students supplement a course with some combo of the following: a serious grammar reference, a kanji course, lots of language exchanges, and/or lots of input from both reading and listening. I don't know anyone who has gotten to intermediate only thru following a course. My opinion is that a course is just a guided path for you to follow, which will introduce concepts one at a time and in a logical progression. This is useful because it's easy to get overwhelmed with Japanese, but it's not going to give sufficient depth to your knowledge for you to be truly an intermediate student of Japanese.
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dicentra8
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Re: Japanese resources

Postby dicentra8 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:29 pm

eido wrote:What do you think of Minna No Nihongo? I know there's a fierce debate about the two of these books and there's much to be read on the topic, but I can't come to a good conclusion.

There is but I would say it's a matter of personal preference. Both Genki and Minna no Nihongo are good textbooks to start learning Japanese, it depends which one has got things you like better than the other. For me it ended up being Minna no Nihongo (finished the 2 volumes for the beginner level), it was the one I was able to stick with it. I only got to the 5th~6th chapter with Genki.
dampingwire wrote:Ask if they have the answer key in the book.

Minna no Nihongo includes the answers to exercises in the textbook (and workbook as well). Genki is the odd one that decided to make and sell the Answer Key as a separate book. :|
Also, for beginner level, Minna no Nihongo series has got a lot of different books that focus on different skills. You've got: main textbook, workbook, listening tasks, kanji (one book for learning, one workbook for practice), grammar notes+translations (with vocabulary lists), reading tasks and writing practice (sentence pattern workbook). The ones in bold are the ones I used.
To end talking about Minna no Nihongo, if you choose to use it, I would recommend the audio for the 1st edition. It sounded much better to me. The 2nd edition sounded more dull (more like the person just reading the script).

There was another book I started using before Minna no Nihongo called Nakama (it's similar to Genki and it's also supposed to be a book for classroom). I don't see people mentioning it a lot, it seems hard to get and it's more expensive. But I really enjoyed their grammar notes and how they explained things. With other resources I would still have doubts and questions, but with Nakama once I read the notes I would feel like "I understood it and I have no more questions about it".
I'm probably not being helpful here since I'm adding more choices than answers to your question. :oops:

eido wrote:For all those intermediate Japanese learners out there, which book did you use to get there?

It's hard to say. I'm not sure if you're going from complete beginner to intermediate or if you're already in the upper-beginner and want to start intermediate. Also, if you're asking for a resource for a certain skill in particular or you want to understand (and maybe use) japanese in general :?:
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eido
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Re: Japanese resources

Postby eido » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:34 pm

dicentra8 wrote:It's hard to say. I'm not sure if you're going from complete beginner to intermediate or if you're already in the upper-beginner and want to start intermediate. Also, if you're asking for a resource for a certain skill in particular or you want to understand (and maybe use) japanese in general :?:

I'm starting at about A1. And in general, I suppose, yes.
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dicentra8
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Re: Japanese resources

Postby dicentra8 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:32 pm

eido wrote:
dicentra8 wrote:It's hard to say. I'm not sure if you're going from complete beginner to intermediate or if you're already in the upper-beginner and want to start intermediate. Also, if you're asking for a resource for a certain skill in particular or you want to understand (and maybe use) japanese in general :?:

I'm starting at about A1. And in general, I suppose, yes.

I would say to pick the textbook that makes you feel like you want to use it and stick with it. Both Genki and/or Minna no Nihongo are fine for this. If you still want to check others, this article from Tofugu makes a review of what they think it's best out there. But I'll add here a quote that I just read from a "Comparison of Japanese Textbooks Table"
In general, all of these textbooks have gotten pretty good reviews (at least 3/5 stars). None of them are perfect though. You may like one better than another, but if you spend too much time searching for the perfect textbook, you won't learn any Japanese! So choose one that you think will suit you best, stick with it until you finish, then move onto the next level.

My favourites:
- Minna no Nihongo (beginner level, 2 volumes)
- TRY! N3 - to learn grammar points with context and audio
- Mainichi no kikitori "Everyday listening in 50 days" (2 volumes for beginners, 2 volumes for intermediate) - listening tasks
- Nihongo Kanji Training (にほんご漢字トレーニング) - kanji workbook
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Re: Japanese resources

Postby mkasu » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:48 am

Some thoughts on my Japanese journey so far. I reached N1, so I stopped doing active studying and from now on just use it passively in daily life.

Regarding vocabulary: I know many language learners consider Anki a waste of time, but for me, it was quite the opposite. I crammed the Core 2000/6000/10000 Anki decks like crazy. One other tool, which I particularly enjoyed, was iKnow. I think it is the actual source where the "Core 2000" and "Core 6000" Anki decks originally came from. Or maybe it is just based on that, not sure. It is an Anki-like tool, which costs money but I quite enjoyed its execution. I finished Core 6k using iKnow and then switched to Core 10k in Anki.

Regarding kanji: I never really learned Kanji much on their own. I found it largely a waste of time to "practice Kanji." I never studied any meanings or stroke orders. I studied their readings in combination with new vocabulary - and memorized them just by their visual appearance through lots of reading. Clozemaster wasn't really a thing during that time, but I think I would have loved it. One tool I used for practicing contextual Kanji readings in sentences was ReadTheKanji.

I don't have any experience with textbooks, so I can't comment on that, but I'd usually favor just cramming lots of vocabulary and sentences than any actual grammar or textbooks. I think I'd kinda enjoy a Steve Kaufman-like approach focusing solely on original texts and massive reading. That's how I want to approach my next language, anyway.
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dicentra8
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Re: Japanese resources

Postby dicentra8 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:03 am

Just found a recommendation in reddit (learn japanese) for a Youtube channel, I was almost skipping it but then decide to check it. It's recent so there isn't a lot of videos, although most of them are ~ 30min. So there's a good amount of content for now and I hope the person keeps doing them. Essentially it's a native speaker walking around, doing things, and talking.
The only downside for me at the moment is that the japanese subtitles aren't written with kanji, sometimes it can be tricky to figure out that. But hey, at least there's japanese subtitles to help in case I get stuck with some detail. :lol:
I'm terrible figuring out which level this is appropriate but....I would say closer to upper-beginner?! :?

YT channel: もしもしゆうすけ
Subtitles: Hiragana/Katakana + English (they're part of the video, so there isn't a way to turn them off)

[File .1]
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