The test - experiences, questions or comments
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Post by aruiteru » Tue 08.21.2007 6:17 pm

Sorry to be a pain, but I really need advice! D:~

Well, theres about four months from the JLPT and I was thinking of taking the level 4. Ive had an interest in japan for many years, but only in the last month did I finally conquer my fear to start learning the language! So far I have learned the hiragana chart, as well as a fair bit of vocab [3/4 pages of.]

However..would I have time to learn everything needed for the level 4 in the time I have left? I study for two hours a day. I used to use one hour for language, and another for history/culture, but im happy to focus both hours on the language, and more if necessary. I plan on going to university next year and taking Japanese as a degree, and I think this would not only give me a great head start on the course, but make me feel much more confident about my ability if im able to do it.

So...opinions? D:

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RE: Advice!

Post by hungryhotei » Tue 08.21.2007 7:22 pm

My personal opinion is to save the money you would spend taking the test (£50) and travelling to London and use it to buy some good textbooks and/or lessons/classes. Or even on beer money for uni next year.

Level 4 isn't worth anything as an actual qualification or as a demonstration of your Japanese ability as the level is so low. In addition, studying aiming at this test may not be an effective use of study since studying to pass a test (especially a JLPT) and studying to learn a language aren't quite the same thing. Depending on the person it could be possible to just about reach level 3 by the test or to not have even reached level 4. In any case, I recommend aiming for level 3 or 2 next year instead.

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RE: Advice!

Post by aruiteru » Thu 08.23.2007 10:17 am

thank you for your help! Also I have another Q [if that is okay] I found these two books, which seem highly recommended, but I have heard that they shouldn't be used if you don't have a native japanese speaker around you. ... 132&sr=8-5

the book in question

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RE: Advice!

Post by Infidel » Thu 08.23.2007 11:13 am

aruiteru, please use tinyurl or hotlink your links, because you long url screws up the page format.

I use the Introduction to Modern Japanese. It's a great series. However, as with everything there is a tradeoff.

ItMJ is a reading book with almost no emphasis or the spoken language. If you want to learn and get skilled at spoken Japanese, it is not the textbook for you.

It's really about priorities. Do you want to speak first and learn to write later get something else. If you want to write first and learn to speak later, if at all, get this. Most courses out there emphasize speech first, this is the only comprehensive written course I am aware of.
Last edited by Infidel on Thu 08.23.2007 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Advice!

Post by kayuu » Thu 08.23.2007 12:54 pm

I'm also in the UK and I've been 'studying' Japanese for about a year thus far. However, I find it easier to study when I have a clear aim and that's why I'm taking JLPT4 - to give myself an objective and to see if I can do it. It is a bit more expensive over here (about $100, \11,400) but money isn't really an issue for me.

I've heard good things about that book, I have a friend who uses it. Though, you might get more of a benefit from books that are more tailored towards the levels of the JLPT - Genki or Minna no Nihongo (both of which I use and recommend). ItMJ is apparently the textbook series that they use when teaching Japanese in top end universities (apparently, I think it said that somewhere in Amazon reviews) as a fully comprehensive course so you might find it goes a bit fast for you, and focuses too much on reading and writing.

However - I have heard of people who went to sit the JLPT3 first and failing, then failing the next year on JLPT4 - so even though it might not be that useful as a qualification (and lacking in colloquial language, maybe) it lets you know where you stand in terms of general comprehension.

Because you've not been studying for very long it might be a bit of a waste if you don't feel that you will learn enough grammar and vocabulary in time to pass, and the money might be better spent on textbooks - it just depends on what you've got to spare. If you have the time and money to spare, by all means I say go for it - what's there to lose? Besides that, it motivates you. :)

In London, check out Japan Centre - I'm sure the staff there could give you an indication of some decent textbooks. I've bought a few things from there myself. They also have a website here.
Last edited by kayuu on Thu 08.23.2007 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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