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Should I get a textbook?

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Should I get a textbook?

Postby Rienaldinho » Thu 12.28.2006 9:47 am

Hey everybody!

I'm just starting to getting into Japanese. I know hiragana, katakana, and about 100+ kanji mostly grade 1 and 2 kanji and I know the JLPT 4 vocabulary. I've studied Tae-Kim's page and know most basic grammar and some of the essential.

The thing I'm doubting is should I get the Genki books? I live in Holland and I can't get them here, so if I order them from this site or ebay or something, they are quite expensive. What do you guys think? Do you really need that sort of books or can you just do fine without it, and study from online learning resources? Because I think the Genki series would be good, but I don't know if it's worth the money. But then again I think it's easier to follow such a textbook because you have a system in it. And what i'm doing know is just learn things here and there so I really don't have a steady system I'm following.

I'm sorry if there's been such a thread as this, but I searched and found nothing, and I hope you guys can help me..

じゃあな。
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 12.28.2006 10:00 am

I think a textbook is always preferable to an online site, but only you can decide if it's worth your money.
-Chris Kern
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby paul_b » Thu 12.28.2006 10:19 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
I think a textbook is always preferable to an online site, but only you can decide if it's worth your money.

Well, if you have to pick just one then I agree.

Online sites may offer opportunities in terms of searching facilities and forums that textbooks can't do. As for price, my first few textbooks were all free from my local library. You can also check out local second hand book-shops if you're lucky enough to have one.
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby Rienaldinho » Thu 12.28.2006 10:36 am

Thanks for the fast replies! Yeah I should go and check out a second hand book-shop, haven't done that. Thanks for the tip!

But do you guys think you really need a textbook? is it that much better then just online sources?
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby paul_b » Thu 12.28.2006 10:39 am

Rienaldinho wrote:
But do you guys think you really need a textbook? is it that much better then just online sources?

Basically, yes.

Most online sources will introduce things too fast and provide insufficient practise. Also they will very often include some unnatural Japanese.
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby Rienaldinho » Thu 12.28.2006 10:46 am

Allright thanks! It's true about the practice because I don't do that enough lol, I think i'm gonna get a textbook if I find a good one :)

Based on what I know, you think Genki is the right textbook for me? After you finish it can you really speak, write and understand fluently spoken Japanese? I know that depends on your own abilities but I don't want to get a book and not really learn that much because I want quality for my money lol :P

Sorry for all the questions but I'm glad you are answering them :)
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 12.28.2006 11:43 am

Online sites also contain more than a few blatant mistakes (usually inadvertent) whereas textbooks are generally authored by more reliable people. Online sites also tend towards grammatical explanations and vocabulary lists rather than practical activities -- you will never learn a language just by reading about it.

After you finish it can you really speak, write and understand fluently spoken Japanese?


No. Although a textbook is (usually) an essential part of learning the language, a textbook alone will not get you to fluency -- particularly in spoken Japanese. That takes a lot of practice.
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby paul_b » Thu 12.28.2006 12:05 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Online sites also contain more than a few blatant mistakes (usually inadvertent) whereas textbooks are generally authored by more reliable people.

That's unfair. Although I wouldn't disagree if you'd stuck an "often" in the appropriate place there.
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RE: Should I get a textbook?

Postby Rienaldinho » Thu 12.28.2006 2:25 pm

Allright thanks guys!! I think i'm gonna need a textbook so I'm gonna look for a good book here or else i'm just gonna buy Genki! :)

Thanks again for your help!
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