Propose me a good way to learn :)

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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Propose me a good way to learn :)

Post by Jan_DarK » Sun 01.01.2006 10:10 pm

Hi. This is my first post here (and definetly not the last one :P)
Very helpfull and nice place :) Keep going.

I want to learn Japanese for study reasons (Master in Japan) and I prefer to learn alone through books, audio books, video etc.

I tried to find some decent books to buy but I really need some other opinios too.
So... I am thinking to buy those four books below: ... 37-7234824 ... 37-7234824 ... 37-7234824 ... 37-7234824

I think that they are pretty good to start Japanese with them. But they will be enouph for watching classes in Japanese Language? Do you have anything to propose me for advanced Japanese after that or something else?

Thanks for your help :)

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RE: Propose me a good way to learn :)

Post by Infidel » Mon 01.02.2006 1:11 am

Oxford Take-off Japanese is for tourists or business people who need a quick primer. It can also be a primer for you, but it isn't really good as a base course for someone persuing a masters.

Lets learn Hiragana/katakana. I definitely believe any kana book is a waste of money. It's like buying a book on the alphabet. Just download a free diagram and copy it until you get it.

The let's learn Kanji book isn't necessarily a waste, but I believe it is better to learn kanji from your Japanese course than in a separate book.

If your planning on getting a masters in Japanese like Tony, I'd listen to whatever he says if he drops in. I'd say stay away from the gimmicky stuff, which is what all the your planned books are. What you want is a good course with integrated kanji, a workbook, and CD audio. CD because you can repeat difficult words much easier than on tape. For that, Genki always seems to win.

Genki text
Genki Workbook

Unfortunatly, I couldn't find the CD in At it is here

A little cheaper but also college quality is Contemporary Japanese
It has no workbook unfornately, but there are lots of exercises.

Nakama 1 is also college quality. I could only find the base textbook at The complete package textbook/workbook/cd is at

This is by no means a comprehensive list of college quality textbooks, but these all rise to the top of every check I've done over the years. Each one can meet your needs and none of these are the "best". Because there is no "best" book. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The best thing to do is to try to get a hold of a copy of each and check them out then choose the one with the most appealing format. In principle you cannot find anyone that used them all, so any comment telling you that one or the other is the "best" should be taken with a large grain of salt. What you can rest assured of, however, is that students persuing a masters in Japanese have used these books.

Just thought to add, but if you are planning on mastering in Japanese. Why not find out what coursebook is being used at your intended college and use that?
Last edited by Infidel on Mon 01.02.2006 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Joined: Fri 12.30.2005 1:51 pm

RE: Propose me a good way to learn :)

Post by Jan_DarK » Mon 01.02.2006 2:39 am

I am not going to master in Japanese :) I just said that I am going to do my "master" in Japan. Master for Computer Science. All the courses will be in Japanese so I need an above average quality level Japanese.

I am trying right now throught some videos to get an idea. Japanese aren't so difficult as they seem in the beginning. But I will need soon good books with excercises to practice them... Since I don't have anyone that knows Japanese :P

I am waiting more opinions please.

P.S. Thanks ishnar :D I might buy Genki from ;)

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