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What to buy for self study

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

What to buy for self study

Postby kentaku_sama » Tue 04.07.2009 2:35 am

Ok, so after searching I've decided on some stuff I want to learn japanese. with roughly estimated prices.

1. A Handbook of COMMON Japanese PHRASES $14.95
2. A Dictionary of basic japanese Grammar $40.00
3. Japanese Kanji Flash Cards White Rabbit (JLPT 3 and 4) $24.00
4. Genki text basic 2 $40.00
5. Genki text workbook $20.00

I've had white rabbit cards before but they were burnt up when our house caught on fire, so I though i'd buy them again.
My problem is that I don't know exactly what to get. Does the Genki text book cover conjugation of u verbs? and things like that? Do I need something else to advance my reading, or should I wait till I know some more vocabulary.
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby yukamina » Tue 04.07.2009 3:08 am

You probably don't need the phrase book, and if you use the computer a lot, you can use free flashcard program like Anki or Mnemosyne(for kanji, vocab, sentences, anything)
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby richvh » Tue 04.07.2009 2:04 pm

I'd give the textbook top priority, with its workbook given #2 priority. Unless you're planning a trip to Japan in the very near future, the phrasebook is unneeded. The grammar dictionary is a reference, and the textbook should explain all the grammar it presents, so you won't need it until you move beyond the textbook. Cramming kanji at an early stage is probably counterproductive (though I'm sure Heissig true believers will disagree with me here) so the flashcardsaren't really needed at this stage.
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby kentaku_sama » Tue 04.07.2009 10:23 pm

Well, I want to start learning kanji now instead of later, and the flash card aren't for FLash drilling, they're for reference I can take with me and they're really handy! I can start memorizing the combos of symbols. Plus there great to have! Like I said, I've had them before and loved them! :D

SO I guess I'd get the genki textbook, work book, and kanji cards. But does genki use kanji?
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby Lucas89 » Tue 04.07.2009 10:42 pm

Genki uses kanji.
Although I have given my Genki book away because I never really use it, I seem to remember it starting out with romaji in the first chapter and then moving straight into kana and then kanji (with furigana readings)
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby kentaku_sama » Thu 04.09.2009 5:58 am

Why do you not really use it? Is it not good? I want it to teach me japanese, grammar, words, ect.. Does it give plenty of exersizes? So what ever your learning, you will know HOW to use when your done with it in that secton.
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby Lucas89 » Thu 04.09.2009 12:54 pm

It's a very good book, in my opinion, it's just that I get bored reading through textbooks, so I decided to stop and go the AJATT route instead.
That and I don't understand why textbooks teach masu and desu first alot of the time when to me it makes no sense, but to each their own.

Genki has lots of exercises in it, although most seem to be set with a classroom environment in mind, meaning it will ask you to practise with a partner etc. but there is no reason why you can't adapt their exercises to work with self-study.

It gives you a vocabulary section at the end of each chapter, with vocabulary that was used in the exercises and vocabulary that will appear in the next chapter, all of the words in these lists have the kana, English meaning and should they decide to tell you what it is they will also show the kanji.

From what I saw it seems to use alot of previous chapters vocabulary and grammar as you progress through the book which is very nice, so you don't forget things you learned earlier on.

Anyway, it's always been a very highly recommended book and alot of people have had success with it.
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby Infidel » Thu 04.09.2009 10:17 pm

kentaku_sama wrote:Ok, so after searching I've decided on some stuff I want to learn japanese. with roughly estimated prices.

1. A Handbook of COMMON Japanese PHRASES $14.95
2. A Dictionary of basic japanese Grammar $40.00
3. Japanese Kanji Flash Cards White Rabbit (JLPT 3 and 4) $24.00
4. Genki text basic 2 $40.00
5. Genki text workbook $20.00

I've had white rabbit cards before but they were burnt up when our house caught on fire, so I though i'd buy them again.
My problem is that I don't know exactly what to get. Does the Genki text book cover conjugation of u verbs? and things like that? Do I need something else to advance my reading, or should I wait till I know some more vocabulary.


Like Rich said. 4 then 5. 1 unnecessary. 2 can probably wait until after you finish genki 2. 3, flash cards are useful, but I'd use Anki instead.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby kentaku_sama » Thu 04.09.2009 10:23 pm

I already use anki, and IKnow. The Flash cards are simply a reference I can study without a computer. In other words, I'm gonna try to memorize the jukugo for most every card.

My new list is:

1. Genki basic 2 textbook
2.Genki WOrkbook basic 2
3. Kanji cards (for study and reference) Not flash drills, I have a computer for that
4. Basic Kanji book 1
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby richvh » Fri 04.10.2009 2:37 am

If you want a kanji reference, the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary is probably a better investment.
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Re: What to buy for self study

Postby friendly_fire » Sun 04.12.2009 12:19 pm

I'm currently learning Japanese through self-study.

I use:

Genki 2 Textbook
Basic Kanji Book Vol.1

These are more than enough to keep me busy and moving forward with my Japanese at a modest rate.

I drill my vocab on flashcardexchange.com, and I also have a Canon Wordtank G55 (which I don't yet use very often).

Admittedly, I have a few other resources that I've purchased, but they're currently on the self unused. Personally, any more than this would be information overload.

I study Japanese when I can -after work and on weekends- so perhaps if I had more spare time I would need more resources, but I find these texts are enough for now.
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