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"Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

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"Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby Duality » Sun 06.08.2008 4:21 am

Hi all!

I've had an on and off experience learning Japanese. I tried it at uni from scratch and it was ok but hard to keep up with and I couldn't risk my GPA/repeating by continuing it... I've tried learning from basic textbooks but they're dry and it's hard to keep myself motivated reading them.

Anyway, the holidays are coming up and I'm going to once again have time to really get stuck into things like Japanese! (Yay!)

So I was looking at this site and some others and came across the manga-based kana/kanji books and they look great, if a little childish. But I was wondering if they're actually any good, especially for adults? What series of them is the best? I've found the "de Manga" series and the "Japanese in Mangaland" series so far.

That aside, are there any non-manga ones that are still fun to use? I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for fun learning stuff, so maybe in the end the childish ones would suit me, haha. :D

Help would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to order them soon so that they're here for the holidays. 8)
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby Ukeath » Tue 06.10.2008 8:46 pm

From what I see on the forums the Genki books seem popular. I am actually thinking about picking up one.
As for the manga type books, I have only seen the Japanese in Mangaland. I would imagine if you like manga, you would
enjoy the series.
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby Wakannai » Tue 06.10.2008 11:28 pm

I love the thread title and how "fun" is in parenthesis. It makes me wonder what kind of adult "fun" (eg. Manga??) we are talking about here, considering what we get when we put the two words together. "Adult Manga". Hrm... Fun, Adult Manga. Something that is more fun while we spend our time all alone studying Japanese,,, err, that's it. I'm studying, really!

Anyway, the Japanese in Mangaland and Kanji de Manga, and that other Japanese Manga book all really are a bunch of supplements. Unfortunately, this seems to be the way with all the manga Japanese series I've seen.

Colloquial Japanese seems a good bet. It's a bit sparce, but since it does concentrate less on Polite Japanese and more on plain Japanese, it can be a better reference if going into Adult Manga is your "thing." By the end of what amounts to a decent primer, you will be able use a dictionary and follow most of the grammar and make the rest of your way with supplements.

Japanese DeMystified is also pretty nice. I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far. Probably the best non-audio primer available at the moment. I'll need more time "alone" with this book to be sure. But I'm pretty confident about it as is. It's seems to be more detailed than Colloquial Japanese, but without the audio component. If reading manga is your main interest, then lack of audio might not be an issue.
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby Sairana » Wed 06.11.2008 1:20 am

Actually, I've heard that Japanese in Mangaland is a pretty decent primer from a purely content point of view.

The problem with it is that I think people expect it to be a story of some sort with notations and explanations of grammar to go along with it. However, it's really just a textbook that uses individual panels from various manga to illustrate the lesson's grammar points. They're not all that interesting, and they're all probably from manga the reader has never heard of.

I've thumbed through the entirety of it at the store, and it just didn't suit my tastes (and I like Manga. :P )
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby monkeykoder » Wed 06.11.2008 1:33 am

Actually that would be really useful, a manga with footnotes explaining certain grammar points and interesting vocabulary as you go. Heck you could take any manga out there today and just write one up for it. It would be best suited for someone that has had at least a couple semesters of Japanese first of course.
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 06.11.2008 2:01 am

As a supplement rather than a main textbook Mangajin's "Basic Japanese through Comics" series is good. They cover about 40 different topics in two volumes with solid explanations.

Here's a link if you're interested:http://www.amazon.com/Mangajins-Basic-Japanese-Through-Comics/dp/0834804522/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213163937&sr=8-2
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby Duality » Sat 06.14.2008 3:07 am

Haha, nah I'm not looking at 'adult manga' :P I'm just wary of a lot of the books labelled 'fun' being for kids.

It's great to gear good things about these manga books but it's sad that they're not that full-on with the actual manga content. It's also annoying that they're mainly supplements rather than the main course, but that's alright I suppose.

Somebody go and invent a primary language learning course based on manga, you'll be loved by all! :D
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby Wakannai » Sat 06.14.2008 3:13 am

Japanese for Everyone is now out in a revised edition. I didn't look at it hard enough to figure out what exactly was revised, but it still is one of the better books out there.
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Re: "Fun" Japanese books for Adults? (Eg. Manga??)

Postby ColinDC » Sun 06.15.2008 11:08 pm

I wouldn't get Kanji de Manga. Later pages don't reuse kanji introduced on earlier pages, so that there's only one kanji on any given page.
Result: You won't learn any kanji from it.
The language is completely different from what you'd find in real manga, so it wouldn't make a good stepping stone to more advanced books.
Plus the scenarios just wouldn't be that interesting for most adults.

Kanji de Manga would be good to get for a (pre-highschool) child who's dedicated enough to learn hiragana but a total flop for anyone looking for fun or kinky books.
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