Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Introduction to modern Japanese

Introduction to modern Japanese

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby leonl » Mon 06.30.2008 3:38 pm

Is this a good book it seems pretty thorough, though it lacks emphasis on speaking. Also i've been reading the reviews and descriptions and was wondering about how many kanji does it teach you. I already know basic kana and can speak a little so the lack of emphasis on speaking doesn't bother me to much.
How sweet life would be if korean in origin were playstation, anime and Wii
http://lang-8.com/92836
User avatar
leonl
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu 06.26.2008 6:42 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby Ukeath » Mon 06.30.2008 8:43 pm

I don't really know anything about that book. The more popular ones are the Genki series and Japanese for Busy People. I have JfBP and I like it. It does take a business approach when learning that I'm not a huge fan of tho
User avatar
Ukeath
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed 05.21.2008 9:25 pm

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby Wakannai » Mon 06.30.2008 11:15 pm

Are you talking about the one by Bowring and Laurie? There is another book with the same title but by different authors?

It teaches about 30 kanji a chapter, 52 chaptersx30 about 1500 kanji. I've not counted it per chapter, but about 20-30 new kanji per chapter seems pretty standard. Including name readings and normal readings. Basically, more than any other language course I've seen. It does not teach in any particular order however, so if you are studying with the goal of passing a JLPT test or some equivilant, then it isn't as helpful. In other words, if you plan to take the jlpt 4 and jlpt 3 and specific points in your study it won't help much, but if you've finished the course and then you should do fine on both 4 and 3, and jlpt 2 should feel within your reach if you wanted to study for it.

The main thing is to get both the main book and the workbook and use them together.
Wakannai
 
Posts: 658
Joined: Thu 10.18.2007 6:38 am

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby leonl » Tue 07.01.2008 1:26 am

Wakannai wrote:Are you talking about the one by Bowring and Laurie? There is another book with the same title but by different authors?


Yeah thats the one! Thanks for the breakdown
How sweet life would be if korean in origin were playstation, anime and Wii
http://lang-8.com/92836
User avatar
leonl
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu 06.26.2008 6:42 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby Just Barb » Thu 07.03.2008 5:32 pm

I've found the book pretty helpful! It is particularly good with grammar and reading. I try to work other sources for listening comprehension and practice speaking. So far, this has been my favorite!

Barb S.
Just Barb
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 03.22.2007 10:23 pm

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby leonl » Mon 10.13.2008 8:13 pm

Questions Some books like genki and yookoso include the kanji stroke order in the main book or the workbook. Is that the case with this set as well. I've ordered both books and as the seller lives in the same state as I do expect them before the week is out.


P.S. I've been reading snippets of this book using the google preview thing. I have to say this pretty ambitious for an Introductory course
How sweet life would be if korean in origin were playstation, anime and Wii
http://lang-8.com/92836
User avatar
leonl
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu 06.26.2008 6:42 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby Infidel » Tue 10.14.2008 7:55 am

Other than the standard description of stroke orders, there is no per-kanji breakdown. I recommend getting Kodansha's Kanji Learner's Dictionary. Or just use wwwjdic until you get them learned. ItMJ does a good job of not confusing the student with a bunch of readings at once.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby leonl » Mon 10.20.2008 11:29 am

Thanks for all the great replies I have a few more questions though. I now have both boooks as well as A guide to reading and writing japanese but I'm still not exactly clear on how to use them to actually learn kanji. The world lists in book two are exactly that word lists and certain word are in kanji, so I'm thinking I need a kanji dictionary in addition to the kanji guide. Also, although this book claims to cover the spoken language as well, it's not the focus of the book. For people who use this as their main text what do you use to practice speaking and listening comprehension. I have rosetta stone v3 on my pc but I don't use it, but I think I might have found a use for it after all

Small Edit: Didn't see the last post before mine, I look into the kodansha dictionary.
How sweet life would be if korean in origin were playstation, anime and Wii
http://lang-8.com/92836
User avatar
leonl
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu 06.26.2008 6:42 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby arbalest71 » Fri 10.24.2008 6:35 am

leonl wrote:Thanks for all the great replies I have a few more questions though. I now have both boooks as well as A guide to reading and writing japanese but I'm still not exactly clear on how to use them to actually learn kanji. The world lists in book two are exactly that word lists and certain word are in kanji, so I'm thinking I need a kanji dictionary in addition to the kanji guide. Also, although this book claims to cover the spoken language as well, it's not the focus of the book. For people who use this as their main text what do you use to practice speaking and listening comprehension. I have rosetta stone v3 on my pc but I don't use it, but I think I might have found a use for it after all

Small Edit: Didn't see the last post before mine, I look into the kodansha dictionary.


This is a pretty controversial question actually. If you want to know just how controversial it is you could search this forum for the term "Heisig". You will get more than your fill of arguments if you do that.

I do fall into the camp that thinks that it is worthwhile to separate learning to write kanji from the rest of your study, to some degree- I think you can learn to read them without much muss or fuss. I _don't_ want to get into an argument about Heisig, as I am neither a serious critic nor a serious adherent of his method.

The main thing, to me, is that your text should represent a very small amount of the resources you use in learning Japanese. You really need to hear and read a lot of Japanese to learn it. A good textbook is a necessity, but exposure to real Japanese in a variety of forms is the most important thing, IMHO.

As for the Kanji- well, at the risk of starting a flamewar, I'll say that I think Heisig would be onto something if he presented the characters in a reasonable order, and integrated that with learning words by using them (or at least reading them), in the context of real Japanese text. I agree with his fundamental idea, but I think it is absurd to suggest that people ought to put off studying Japanese for 3-6 months while they learn his set of mnemonics for all of the 2000+ kanji he covers. Of course other people's mileage varies, on both sides of this argument.
--

I have it on good authority that I\'m a weirdo, doing weird science.
arbalest71
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed 10.11.2006 8:44 pm

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 10.24.2008 8:24 am

arbalest71 wrote:The main thing, to me, is that your text should represent a very small amount of the resources you use in learning Japanese. You really need to hear and read a lot of Japanese to learn it. A good textbook is a necessity, but exposure to real Japanese in a variety of forms is the most important thing, IMHO.


I would say rather that this is a sliding scale -- at the very beginning you should rely mostly on your textbook, and then more and more on "real" Japanese the more advanced you get. I do not believe that beginners exposing themselves to largely incomprehensible "real" Japanese is very profitable.
-Chris Kern
User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
 
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby arbalest71 » Fri 10.24.2008 10:55 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:I would say rather that this is a sliding scale -- at the very beginning you should rely mostly on your textbook, and then more and more on "real" Japanese the more advanced you get. I do not believe that beginners exposing themselves to largely incomprehensible "real" Japanese is very profitable.


Well, I'd agree with that to some degree. I think that even beginners can profit from exposing themselves to "real Japanese", and that they should make an effort to do so, as early as possible. But I'd certainly agree that texts are most important at the beginning, and that the combination of formal study and exposure is greater than the sum of its parts.

I might be a bit biased- I never actually decided to start studying Japanese. I woke up one day having "incidentally acquired" quite a bit of Japanese, and figured that it couldn't hurt to formally decide to learn it. So for me textbooks have always been more about explaining stuff I was already puzzled about but did not understand than they have been about introducing new things. I suppose that is the sort of the thing that produces bias, though it is surely not the only thing that does so ;). (EDIT: I also have some biases that come from my background in CogSci and psycholinguistics, but I'd rather not expand on that as I think that arguments should stand on their own merits.)

One thing I do agree with, strongly, is that it would be foolish for a beginner to, say, watch raw Japanese TV as a part of scheduled study. To learn from context you have to understand... the context. I agree with the AJATT guy about some things, but I think English subs are not just "not evil". I think they are essential if you are trying to watch Japanese TV or movies as a beginner. Otherwise it is just an exercise in learning to hear word boundaries and intonation. Not useless, to be sure, but not a reasonable use of time.

When I say that even beginners should expose themselves to real Japanese, I don't mean that they should just wade in and expect everything to work out. I mean that they should use real Japanese in a controlled fashion. I know that the biggest jump I ever had (and ever will have) was when I got a couple of good parallel text books. I must have read them 10 or 15 times each... before I got them I was a raw beginner. After reading them I was able to read quite a lot, with a dictionary of course.
--

I have it on good authority that I\'m a weirdo, doing weird science.
arbalest71
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed 10.11.2006 8:44 pm

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby leonl » Fri 10.24.2008 11:49 am

This is a pretty controversial question actually. If you want to know just how controversial it is you could search this forum for the term "Heisig". You will get more than your fill of arguments if you do that.


I guess I should have phrased my question a little better. I wasn't really asking what method I should use or anything, but basically how to look up the kanji my book shows because it doesn't give the stroke order or other readings.Rather as it introduces new words , you learn new readings. But I think I found my answer in using a kanji dictionary and the kanji book I already have.


P.S. Trust me I've read all of the Heisig threads on this forum
How sweet life would be if korean in origin were playstation, anime and Wii
http://lang-8.com/92836
User avatar
leonl
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu 06.26.2008 6:42 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby arbalest71 » Fri 10.24.2008 1:26 pm

leonl wrote:
I guess I should have phrased my question a little better. I wasn't really asking what method I should use or anything, but basically how to look up the kanji my book shows because it doesn't give the stroke order or other readings.


Ah, I see... actually it's more likely that I read you wrong. I'm generally not a huge fan of language classes, as they generally are, but one thing I did get out of two years of University Chinese was an intuitive feel for stroke order and direction- that makes lookup a bit easier in paper dictionaries. It doesn't make it _that_ much easier though. I would suggest that you either work from electronic texts exclusively (possibly using OCR software to make them so) or get a machine with handwriting recognition for kanji.

The newer Canon machines have handwritten kanji recognition, but I have been told that the Nintendo DS also has it, and it's cheaper. I started learning to read Japanese by reading early Showa era books and looking everything up in a paper dictionary... I can't recommend that method to anyone not a true masochist. Looking things up by radical/stroke order is an archaic practice. Technology can't solve all problems, but it has solved this one.


leonl wrote:Rather as it introduces new words , you learn new readings. But I think I found my answer in using a kanji dictionary and the kanji book I already have.

P.S. I have read a lot of threads hear talking about Heisig and a lot of his reviews on amazon. I side with the majority on this board in believing that Heisig is a fraud. In fact one reviewer on amazon summed up pretty perfectly how I feel about his method.


Fraud is a very strong word. There are times it ought to be used, but I think that calling Heisig a fraud is going too far. I think Heisig is right on a very basic level- the problem is that he is wrong on almost every level above that. That almost everyone who reads him misunderstands him has not helped him.

Coincidentally, last night I had a very interesting conversation about the theory of second language acquisition with a friend who is a grad student at the Beijing language institute. He pegged me, almost immediately, as an adherent of Krashen. I actually came to believe what I believe independently, but he was correct to group me with Krashen. Just to let you know where I'm coming from. Heisig came up, as he always does...

It turns out that Heisig seems to be unknown at the Beijing Institute... I pointed out that some people had had good results with his method, but, at almost the same time, we said.. "but of course anything that motivates people will lead to good results". Well, placebos are sometimes useful.

That said, the reviewer you quote was off by a mile. I suppose that trying to understand a book before reviewing it is old-fashioned. If you criticize Heisig on grounds that question the "meanings" he gives to kanji you miss the point- Heisig is not interested in meanings, and he does not give a meaning for any character, ever.

My criticisms are different. I mainly think his mnemonics are terrible and the order in which he introduces kanji is weird. I'm a pragmatist... do the most useful first. And the idea that you ought to just sit down and learn to write 2000 kanji _before_ you learn a word of Japanese.... that's where Heisig's adherents really fall down.
--

I have it on good authority that I\'m a weirdo, doing weird science.
arbalest71
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed 10.11.2006 8:44 pm

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby leonl » Fri 10.24.2008 2:12 pm

It seems I miss understood you as well. As you can now see I removed the last half of the post, not because I back down from my belief about Heisig, but because there are so many threads that debate Heisig, that we really don't need another. I probably was editing at the same time you were replying.
How sweet life would be if korean in origin were playstation, anime and Wii
http://lang-8.com/92836
User avatar
leonl
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu 06.26.2008 6:42 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Male

Re: Introduction to modern Japanese

Postby arbalest71 » Fri 10.24.2008 2:45 pm

leonl wrote:It seems I miss understood you as well. As you can now see I removed the last half of the post, not because I back down from my belief about Heisig, but because there are so many threads that debate Heisig, that we really don't need another. I probably was editing at the same time you were replying.


Cool- I will leave my post as-is. I certainly don't want to argue about Heisig. but I also don't like to edit posts much... I hate going back to a post and finding it has changed. (ironic EDIT: removed typos that made my comment incomprehensible even to me...)

I kind of do want to promote some aspects of Heisig's` system. But, given that some people have something close to an allergic reaction to Heisig, I would have to rename it. Maybe Component Based Kanji Recognition System, or CBKRS for short.
Last edited by arbalest71 on Fri 10.24.2008 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
--

I have it on good authority that I\'m a weirdo, doing weird science.
arbalest71
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed 10.11.2006 8:44 pm

Next

Return to Learning Materials Reviews & Language Learning tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests