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Too many books? Materials?

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

Too many books? Materials?

Postby TokyoRose » Sat 01.14.2006 1:04 am

Im still trying to find my inner study routine..... I got 7 books..... which consist of a dictionary, phrase book, grammar book, japanese for dummies, Easy Kana workbook, Writing Hiragana and a Japanese in 10 minutes a day(Cool workbook)..... now Im going to delete rosetta stone because this program shows pictures of planes and gives 2 different meanings. I dont get it. It shows a prop plane and a military plane and give 2 different definitions. So the program I use on my computer that is very memory orientated would be the unforgettablelanguages program. I have pimsleur on my ipod. But I do not listen to it. Because I dont want it to interfear.

I am starting to post notecards around my house to help me remember some words. Now with those books above(I dont use Japanese for dummies often) How would I be able to make a good study routine with those(except for like the dictionary and phrase book[Duh]) I would like to learn SOME Hiragana and better improve my vocabulary and grammar. I stink at saying a whole sentence but i can write good. For instance(Courtesy of unforgettablelanguage..... inu to neko wa chiisai desu.....Dogs and cats are small.....and if i throw a sono in front....its saying Those dogs and cats. It also taught me this..... Inu wa rikoh desu ga neko wa omoii desu.... The dog was clever BUT the cat is heavy..... So What would be best for me to do?
I study with this program at night before bed and write 10-15 words down a night and bring this card to school the next day. And TRY to study. Rewrite the words over and over(Which does not seem to help very much).....
So what do you people think of all this?
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby mandolin » Sat 01.14.2006 2:32 am

you only want to write -some- hiragana?

Maybe you're thinking of kanji.

Hiragana is a phonetic alphabet-like set of symbols. ひらがな
Katakana is also like an alphabet, sorta, same sounds as hiragana. カタカナ
Hiragana and katakana are often referred to collectively as "kana". Their function is like uppercase and lowercase letters in english. They sound the same, they just look different and have unique usages.

Kanji are the picture-words. 漢字

If you -actually- mean you only want to learn SOME hiragana... that's pointless. Either learn it all or skip it entirely.

What sort of goal do you have, when all is said and done? Spoken and written fluency? "Passable" spoken only, etc etc?

I think you're spreading yourself too thin over too many resources. You're eager and impatient, but that's only going to end up with you being confused.

Learn Hiragana. Then learn Katakana. However you like. Break them into small groups, learn 1 or two rows of the chart a day (a-i-u-e-o, for example).

Then use your workbook. You have the whole 10 minutes a day thing, I presume it's broken into small, manageable chapters/lessons. Do one per day, as suggested. See how far that gets you. When you're done with that, find another workbook, or start working through your Japanese for Dummies book.

As for a routine... it depends what works well for you. Dedicate a half hour after supper, or an hour before bed. Or twenty minutes after school. Don't run over whatever self-imposed time limit you set, don't swamp yourself in too much each day.
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby yankumi » Sat 01.14.2006 2:47 am

I have read a number of your posts and it sounds as though you are in the same place I am as a self-studier--you have no idea how you are doing. When you take a class, you have a teacher giving you homework, tests, prodding you along, letting you know what you are good at, what you aren't. When you self-teach, you don't have that.

2 of the books you list--Japanese for Dummies and Japanese in 10 Minutes a Day use only Romaji. I am going to surmise you don't know kana if these are your study books and I would urge you to learn it, and make that the focus of your lessons. I have the Japanese in 10 minutes and it actually is okay, but it focuses on someone who is going to Japan and needs to learn Japanese quickly. You will be able to say things after working through the book, but there will still be a things you don't learn.

Mandolin's advice on a goal is very good. What do you want to to achieve? And maybe try not to let anyone on the board influence you, because we are all doing this for different reasons. It's not a race to see who knows the most kanji, or vocabulary, or whatever. It's what you want to achieve.
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby Infidel » Sat 01.14.2006 3:40 am

to learn writing just write out your practice exercises and dialogues. If you do this you'll start remembering your kana real fast and you can toss the kana books. Dump the phrase book, it's for tourists not serious students. Can't remember the dummies version but if it uses roumaji then you would be better off with another textbook if you plan to learn the writing as well. Grammar book is mainly for looking stuff up when you have a question. In theory a good textbook will also be a good grammar book, so you shouldn't need it. That you feel you need it means you have an inferior textbook, and if that is true then you should ditch "for dummies" I tried the supplement textbook thing, it just stomps your learning curve flat. Japanese Dictionary: throw it away if it is webster's. I think the others are decent. You need 2 types of dictionaries though. 1 kanji learner's dictionary and 1 Japanese-English starter dictionary with usage guides.

I think you're spreading yourself too thin over too many resources. You're eager and impatient, but that's only going to end up with you being confused.


I'm with mandolin here. If you need a lot of books to do what you want, that means you have the wrong books. All you should need is 1 textbook, 1 workbook, and 2 dictionaries. And the dictionaries can wait because you should be able to use the word list in the back of your textbook for a while. So 1 textbook and 1 workbook. Also, you're wasting your time.

This is what I recommend.
1. Get a good textbook with workbook. Figure out what your specific reasons for learning Japanese are and state them to others and yourself when getting recomendations.
2. Shelf the extra books. They just slow you down.
3. Keep study sessions to 30 mins increments.
4. Review once and no more than twice per session. What I do is write all the words I'm having trouble with at the beginning of my session one time per word. After about 4 days I usually remember the word. This is why I tell people, "writing a word once a day for 10 days is easier to remember than writing a word 100 times for one day or even 2 days."
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby TokyoRose » Sat 01.14.2006 10:46 am

Wow I really like what I hear. My goal would be to speak to my fullest extint to the japanese. I would like to read and write. But im not TOO big on that yet. How should I practice my kana...... Yeah because I have a KANA workbook which teaches both hiragana and katakana and i got a book that teaches JUST hiragana. so those are good books.(workbooks) I shelved my dictionary(langershidt) phrase book and dummies book.So i have the 3 workbooks 2 kana workbooks and the japanese in 10 minutes.... SO im thinking I should do the 10 minutes out of that everyday with adtional study from my unforggetable languages everyday before bed....now what should i do for learning hiragana? And Japanese for dummies isnt in romaji they have no japanese kana or nothing in there. Thanks all. So study before bed. And at certain times through school? What should I practice in school. Because he^^ said it doesnt really work to study 200 times a day on one word. But to stretch it out. WBASAP TY ALL!
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby mandolin » Sat 01.14.2006 3:31 pm

romaji = roman letters = no kana

People tend to use romaji as a crutch, so that's why people were recommending against the Japanese for Dummies book, I guess.

I'm not familiar with any of your texts. But whatever works for you.

Enjoy.
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby TokyoRose » Sat 01.14.2006 3:52 pm

Thanks, and by text you mean the books i have? And is there a link to japanese textbooks(preferably, the best) Thanks! Domou arigatou
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby Gan » Sat 01.14.2006 4:38 pm

Well.... Learn ひらがな”と”カタカナ which is the かな and what not.... Thats what I did...... Then after you learn hiragana - katakana learn the grammer.... After that learn kanji..
I dunno... that layout seems to work for me lol
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby TokyoRose » Sat 01.14.2006 4:41 pm

learn what? I cannot read that
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby Gan » Sat 01.14.2006 4:49 pm

hiragana and katakana...... ひらがな(Hiragana) と(and) カタカナ(katakana).... its a must that you learn all kana... yes yes.. kana is very helpful.
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby Tegan » Sat 01.14.2006 4:53 pm

Well.... Learn ひらがな”と”カタカナ which is the かな and what not....


theshadowtaker wrote Well... Learn Hiragana and Katakana which is the kana and what not... He just actually wrote it in Hiragana and Katakana. ^^ I think that's a good plan, too, however. That's what I did.
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby TokyoRose » Sat 01.14.2006 6:21 pm

Ok, as for a good textbook?


How should I study Hiragana?
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby Tegan » Sat 01.14.2006 7:26 pm

You can learn Hiragana right here on TJP! ^^ http://www.thejapanesepage.com/readarti ... ticle_id=2
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby TokyoRoze » Sat 01.14.2006 8:10 pm

Thanks ^_^
Hiragana: 0/46
Katakana 0/46
Kanji: Kyuu4:0/80
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RE: Too many books? Materials?

Postby sushi4ever » Sun 01.15.2006 1:50 pm

i don't know how you guys learnt your hiragana and katakana, but it's not an unreachable goal. for me, it was the easiest thing to do in my studies so far. after one weekend of intensive learning you can have them engraved into your synapses for eternity, lol
and knowing kana is really helpful if you want to use GOOD texts and textbooks, because you should turn your back at romaji as soon as you can.
i doubt that you will see many japanese texts written in romaji ^^

as for me, i didn't bother to buy any kana-learning stuff because there are really good resources for free on the (ye shall be blessed-)internet :D
(and you won't be using it for such a long time anyway ^-~)

i found the MLC materials very helpful...

but as it is with every subject, you should always find a way that's best for YOU, no matter what others say, take it as hints, not as god-given facts ^^

uhm, yeah....
i'm new, too :P
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