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Japanese For Busy People is an underrated self-study text

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Japanese For Busy People is an underrated self-study text

Postby Kamica » Sun 09.25.2011 10:14 pm

I'm not going to argue that Genki is probably the better text for a classroom setting. For self-study however I would argue that Japanese For Busy People is better.

1. The grammar explanations are clearer. When I read Genki's explanations I often have to read it multiple times for clarity or tell myself that i'll understand it when I start the practice. JFBB explanations make it clear and you will be able to understood it immediately.

2. In Genki they simply cram all the grammar and vocabulary at the beginning of the chapter. JFBB eases the learner into the material by introducing the grammar and vocabulary when it is actually going to be used. It really helps to make the material seem less overwhelming.

3. The dialogues in JFBB are a lot more realistic and less often seem like classroom talk. Colloquisms are carefully explained.
Listen to the audio CDs from both textbooks. The difference is frightening. I heard that the audio CDs were improved in volume II, let's hope it was to great extent.

4. It's easier to follow the stroke order for kanji practice in JFBB.

5. There is absolutely no need to drill the same sentences as many times as Genki exercises require. Page 162 of Genki I is a great example of what I am talking about. There are two exercises in a row that require people to drill the same sentence 14 times and then 20 times.

6. As I touched upon already (in 2), JFBB eases people into the material which means that a person can be more confident that material is learned as they move on. Even so, JFBB introduces quizzes at the end of chapters to help learners guage how well the material is learned. Genki learners are unable to guage how well material is learned unless
the workbook is purchased.

7. Not sure of an answer? Genki requires a separate answer key purchase. JFBB has the answers in the back of the book.

8. The table of contents in JFBB are organized in a way that makes looking up a precise grammatical point easy to do. And since explanations and practices are on the same page, it also makes referencing back more convenient.

I want to stress one very important point. The overall setup of volume I and volume II of Japanese For Busy People textbook and workbook are completely different. This is done intentionally because volume I acts as a "survival Japanese" book. So if you looked at volume I and were not impressed with what you saw, please give volume II a try anyways.
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Re: Japanese For Busy People is an underrated self-study tex

Postby Shiroisan » Mon 09.26.2011 1:01 am

Kamica wrote:-


First off I'd recommend always buying the workbook with genki because the workbook is real cheap. Secondly forgive me if I come off as overly defensive of this book (cause I just finished it so we're bonded 4 life :D )

Is your experience with Genki based off the first edition version or the second edition? The second edition is miles better, they greatly improved every aspect of the book.

The answer key for Genki 1 (2nd edition) is available for free off the Japan Times website in PDF form. It might not be available for free for much longer, but Genki 1 came out like 6 months ago and it's still there.

Genki 1 was extremely structured learning. Which I find helpful to lean on when I have no teacher available. The practice section has been expanded in the 2nd edition, and I personally like the way it drills different ways of using a new grammar rule over and over, it makes it feel less overwhelming.

As for having to look up grammar points, you don't really have to worry about that with genki since theirs are all grouped together after the vocabulary pages. In fact I can remember the exact chapters each new thing was introduced because they drilled it so much (I used both the workbook and the textbook and did every single exercise, I'm NOT forgetting anything lol)

As for stroke order of kanji, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by hard to follow. In what way? Every stroke is shown; 10 strokes = 10 pics of kanji side by side with one stroke added per character.

After checking up on your comment on 5), I was able to conclude you're using an outdated version of Genki. I counted the number of times each question was drilled and it didn't match up with that.
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Re: Japanese For Busy People is an underrated self-study tex

Postby Kamica » Mon 09.26.2011 6:05 am

I admit to not having seen the changes made in the second edition firsthand. I was however planning on repurchasing Genki II second edition to see for myself the extent to which changes are made. I only made it up until the first couple of chapters anyways.

But you have to admit that for Japanese For Busy People to be on a comparable level to Genki up until this point proves that Genki may not necessarily be the definitive text book that people treat it to be. Don't be falsely lead to believe it is the best simply because it is the preferred book of most universities. JFBB is an alternative option and it is a really good alternative option.
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Re: Japanese For Busy People is an underrated self-study tex

Postby furrykef » Tue 09.27.2011 9:58 am

Kamica wrote:Don't be falsely lead to believe it is the best

"Led". (Sorry, huge pet peeve of mine. ^^;)
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
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Re: Japanese For Busy People is an underrated self-study tex

Postby Shiroisan » Tue 09.27.2011 5:44 pm

furrykef wrote:
Kamica wrote:Don't be falsely lead to believe it is the best

"Led". (Sorry, huge pet peeve of mine. ^^;)

Man you would have such a blast on Lang-8 :xgrin:
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Re: Japanese For Busy People is an underrated self-study tex

Postby furrykef » Tue 09.27.2011 9:57 pm

I am on lang-8. Haven't you seen my sig? ;)
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