What books should I buy?

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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Posts: 38
Joined: Fri 09.30.2005 3:38 pm

What books should I buy?

Post by ebo123 » Sat 10.08.2005 7:32 pm


I am planning on buying a few books that I plan to use as "textbooks." I was wondering if I have chosen the right kind of books. I plan on getting:
- Random House Japanese-->English/ English-->Japanese Dictionary
- Essential Kanji
- Japanese Step by Step
I have read reviews and they seem pretty good. I was wondering if I need to have a Kanji book now. I know I will need a Dictionary for futur use. If anybody can advise me on any of this, it will help a lot.

Arigato gozaimasu:)
Enjoy today, for yesterday is gone, and tommorow may never come.

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Joined: Tue 02.15.2005 4:03 pm

RE: What books should I buy?

Post by Qbe » Sat 10.08.2005 10:00 pm

Are you starting from scratch? If so, take a look at Japanese Step By Step before you buy it--many libraries seem to have it. It was designed for a very specific audience (IBMers in Japan who needed to learn Japanese quickly, IIRC) and I don't believe that it's very beginner-friendly. Much of it is in romaji, the vocabulary is given in long lists to memorize, and it can be difficult to understand sometimes. I use my copy as a reference sometimes but would find it difficult to recommend this to a complete beginner.

You'll probably be better off going with a more standard textbook. I like Japanese for Everyone ($20 at Amazon), others like the Genki books, and some like the Japanese for Busy People series (I did not).

I have the Random House dictionary and use it all the time. No, it isn't perfect, but it's cheap and pretty comprehensive.

You can't start learning kanji too early. I haven't seen the Essential Kanji book before, but plan to check it out. You might check into the Heisig method as an alternative--some like it, some don't. You can try it out by downloading the first part of the book here.

Are you taking a class? If not, you'll want an audio course.

Obligatory link to my beginner's tips here.

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Joined: Sun 07.24.2005 3:57 am

RE: What books should I buy?

Post by skrhgh3b » Sat 10.08.2005 11:57 pm

three things you won't be happy without are a japanese-english/english-japanese dictionary, a kanji dictionary, and a dictionary devoted to the trickiest of subjects: sentence particles. that said, i recommend kodansha's furigana japanese dictionary, kanji learner's dictionary, and dictionary of japanese particles. they're my three most used book. none of these replace a textbook, however. above all else i would recommend buying a textbook designed for teaching japanese at the college level in order to structure your learning, especially if you're a beginner, and i assume you are.
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