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Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

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

Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby Mercenary » Sat 02.25.2006 6:25 pm

Hello.
I have studied a little japanese on and off for a while.
A few years ago (when I originally started) I had a tutor and that went on for a few weeks (I think around 10 or so). They had to move due to various reasons, so the lessons ended there. I have struggled to stick with it on my own, I think normally I can study well on my own, I just need the motivation to do so and I think an actual textbook type course would allow me to do so rather than just memorize all the kanji off of websites. I basically just got back into studying, and I have researched a little on the books and so far I think the Genki one looks pretty good. I have also seen a lot of recomendation of Japanese for Everyone (which is nice and cheap.)

I am looking for something fairly indepth that will teach me all the areas fairly well. Kanji/vocab, Grammer, sentance order, particles, etc.

With the Genki, I was wondering if the student CDs are plenty good, or if it is really a good idea to save and get the full teacher set instead (they are very costly).

In the Japanese for Everyone I found a site that sells the Casettes for $30, so that isn't a problem. Although I am not sure if it is worthwhile to get both Japanese for Everyon and Genki.

A pretty common recomendation I see for a dictionary is the Kodansha Furigana one, and that looks good I suppose. I currently have the randomhouse one, and I imagine if I had the Furigana one as well that would be sufficient for off-line Japanese to English/English to Japanese dictionaries.

For grammer, A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, seems a highly recommended one and I looked into it and it seems good.

Then I suppose finally is the Kanji dictionary and for that I have no idea.

Would those things be sufficient?
Textbook: Genki or Japanese for Everyone
Translation Dictionary: Kodansha's furigana dictionary
Grammer Book: A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Kanji Dictionary: ?

Any other things to compliment that set?

Thank you.
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RE: Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby richvh » Sat 02.25.2006 7:56 pm

Kanji dictionary: mine is Nelson's "Japanese-English Character Dictionary", though I find I am much more likely to use an electronic reference (JWPce, Wakan, etc) than the book. Sometimes, though, I have trouble finding a matching kanji in the electronic versions, then I just leaf through the appropriate radical section in Nelson.
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RE: Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby Qbe » Thu 03.02.2006 1:54 pm

Here are a few thoughts about "Japanese for Everyone". My Japanese teacher uses it; it's intense but worthwhile if you can stick to it. I recommend the audio if you can get it: listening to the dialogs every day really makes them stick in your head. Some library systems have the cassettes; mine does, and I ripped them to MP3 for my player. For the price, "Japanese for Everyone" is a good value.

I realize that it's tempting to stock up on books right away, but you might consider holding off for a bit, buying just a textbook at first, and then taking time to see what other books fit your learning style and needs.
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RE: Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby Infidel » Thu 03.02.2006 8:04 pm

CDs are way better. When you are playing them on your computer you can easily play a word again and again to get the pronounciation right. You can't do it nearly so well with cassets.

I also recommend putting all the supplimentary books off for later. Get a textbook, workbook, and CDs. Everything else can actually wait until you have completed your course.
Last edited by Infidel on Thu 03.02.2006 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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RE: Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby Mukade » Thu 03.02.2006 11:16 pm

Nelson's is a good kanji dictionary in the long run. It has one of the most comprehensive listings of kanji (6,000+, if I remember right - you won't need more than that).

It may not be as useful for a beginner, though. I think beginners have had a much better time using and learning from either 'Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary' or 'NTC's New Japanese-English Character Dictionary.'

The strengths of these two dictionaries is that they provide a lot of information about each kanji that Nelson's does not, including:

Stroke order
Printed and handwritten forms
Compounds with the character in any position
Usage notes

And, in the case of the NTC dictionary, you'll find a look-up system that is not related to the radicals - a boon for any beginner who hasn't gotten a handle on the radicals yet.
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RE: Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby Infidel » Thu 03.02.2006 11:25 pm

The Kanji learner's dictionary is the exact same as the NTC dictionary it is just abbreviated a bit more. I have both and they are both based on SKIP.
なるほど。
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RE: Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby richvh » Thu 03.02.2006 11:35 pm

Mukade wrote:
Nelson's is a good kanji dictionary in the long run. It has one of the most comprehensive listings of kanji (6,000+, if I remember right - you won't need more than that).

My copy has 5,446, but it's an older edition (11th printing (1981) of the 2nd revised edition (1974)).
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RE: Book Advice (yet another one, I know...)

Postby Qbe » Wed 03.08.2006 11:09 am

For those who are working through "Japanese for Everyone", I've posted my study method here.
Last edited by Qbe on Mon 07.10.2006 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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