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Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

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Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby Infidel » Mon 07.03.2006 3:01 pm

Ok, this is just a page for me to set up my textbook review wiki that I intend to set up once Wiki is up. With luck I can just cut and past this there, with minimal html formatting. I'm actually trying to have good grammar here, so if I make a mistake please point it out, if this post is over 2 hours old. For some reason I never notice my errors when I preview it, only after I post do I notice the abundant errors.


One of the first questions a potential Japanese student asks is, "What is the best Japanese textbook to get?" After much trial and error and also watching the experiences of others, the answer to this all important question is: "all of them." Unfortunately, an average search will usually not reveal many of these good books, so the purpose of this guide is as much to bring some of these titles out into the light as it is act as a reference.

Each textbook meets different priorities, but the final result for nearly all is a student that can speak Japanese at the intermediate level. It is important to not waste your time looking for a better textbook once you've already started. Persevere and study daily and you will be learn Japanese well.

Just as each textbook prioritizes different aspects of the learning experience in different orders, the overall design of the course can differ enough to make the learning experience vary from dry and technical to fun and interesting. Anyone considering buying one of these textbooks should attempt to examine them beforehand to verify the course will be enjoyable.

Ok. Now that all that has been said, I need to identify the different traits that each type of textbook will focus on so I can point them out later.

[Big]Spoken Emphasis[/big]
Conversational: The conversational textbooks focus on speech patterns without technical explanations. These textbooks are front-loaded so they are the best for students going to Japan in the near future. Conversational texts enable the student speak a wider variety of sentences sooner than the technical books.

Technical: Technical books explain how the grammar works. These books are rear-loaded and have the student speaking better Japanese in the long run at the cost of weaker Japanese skills initially. Also, the technical explanations can sometimes make learning more confusing not less. In general, all college textbooks fall into the technical category.

[big]Writing Emphasis[/big]
Roumaji: Aka, romaji, rômaji, rōmaji and often misspelled romanji, is what the latin alphabet is called when used to write Japanese. Just as the above spellings of imply, there are multiple romanization methods that often lead to confusion. In general, it is always worth spending a week or so learning the kana system and avoiding roumaji all together.

Kana: Kana refers to both the hiragana and katakana syllabaries collectively.

Kanji: The chinese symbols adopted by Japan. Generally considered to be rather intimidating to learn, the better systems introduce them early so they are are less intimidating. A student wishing to become literate as soon as possible will prefer the books with a greater weight of kanji. But everyone benefits from learning kanji because this helps to identify word roots more easily.

[big]Audience Emphasis[/big]

business or pleasure The vocabulary and speech patterns are usually geared towards a specific audience. For example, Japanese for Busy People is geared towards business Japanese which makes it inadequate for the student learning to understand anime.

Age: Each textbook is designed for a different education level: Elementary - College level.

There are of course other levels of emphasis, grammar, vocabulary, pattern sentences, but overall they are less important once the above are determined.

This is a list of all the in-print textbooks I know of:

Genki
Elementary Japanese
Colloquial Japanese
Ultimate Japanese
Nakama
Contemporary Japanese
Adventures in Japanese
Speak Japanese
Youkoso
Tsumiki
Japanese in Modules
Shin Nihongo no Kiso
Ima
Introduction to Modern Japanese

more to follow.

edit - drat , people not giving me the couple of hours I asked for :P Just kidding, thanks rich :)
Last edited by Infidel on Mon 07.03.2006 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby richvh » Mon 07.03.2006 3:12 pm

Kanab]

You're missing a [/ there.
the roman style alphabet

"the Latin alphabet" would be the correct term.
there are multiple romanization methods and the can confuse the best.

"they"
it is always spending a week learning the kana system

"it is always better to spend" would be better
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby TrilinguisT » Mon 07.03.2006 3:14 pm

adventures in japanese is a very good textbook, i wish my teacher used that to teach us instead of bit and scraps from here and there, compiling it up into her own textbook :|
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby zengargoyle » Mon 07.03.2006 3:35 pm

Infidel wrote:
Ok, this is just a page for me to set up my textbook review wiki that I intend to set up once Wiki is up. With luck I can just cut and past this there, with minimal html formatting. I'm actually trying to have good grammar here, so if I make a mistake please point it out, if this post is over 2 hours old. For some reason I never notice my errors when I preview it, only after I post do I notice the abundant errors.


Maybe you should just put it there now: [wiki]Selecting a Japanese Textbook[/wiki] ;)
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby Infidel » Mon 07.03.2006 3:36 pm

The book index will read

Book, Author, Publisher, #of lessons, #of kanji, Audience, education level, writing system, conversational/technical, Audio

Then each book will link to a review page that will be setup in a template format.
Last edited by Infidel on Mon 07.03.2006 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby kanadajin » Mon 07.03.2006 5:14 pm

lol @ richvh
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby clay » Mon 07.03.2006 7:01 pm

Great idea! I know of only one other site that has done something similar:
http://www.japaneseteaching.org/projects/textbook/list.html

But I don't think it has been updated in a long time and I think Infidel's scope and mission will be much better.

I am very interested in learning about other textbooks out there.

Way to take the initiative!
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby Christian_ » Mon 07.03.2006 8:11 pm

What about: "Japanese For Everyone" "Japanese For Busy People" "Japanese For Young People"? Clay stocks those books. By "more to follow" did you mean that you will list more when you find them, or you haven't gotten around to it?
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby Infidel » Tue 07.04.2006 12:42 pm

Christian_ wrote:
What about: "Japanese For Everyone" "Japanese For Busy People" "Japanese For Young People"? Clay stocks those books. By "more to follow" did you mean that you will list more when you find them, or you haven't gotten around to it?


That was just a rough draft I threw up before I went out with my friends.

I did actually mention JfBP but it didn't make my list for some reason. But this is just a rough draft. I would like it to be fully comprehensive eventually.

As Zen san went ahead and threw up a wiki for me, I'll be editing the wiki directly from here on out.
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby caroline » Tue 07.04.2006 1:11 pm

you've got a very good idea.

I didn't see Minna no nihongo, which comes in at least 2 books : the one in japanese, and the one in your own language for vocabulary, grammar and translation.
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby Infidel » Wed 07.05.2006 2:59 am

Ok, of course I'm adding any new titles. This index is only going to show the titles and be clickable to a review for each book. Under the book reviews I'll give more details adout the number of books in the series etc.
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RE: Wiki - Japanese Textbooks

Postby coco » Thu 07.27.2006 4:57 am

Infidelさん。[wiki=Talk:Selecting_a_Japanese_Textbook]ここを見てください。[/wiki]
Paulさんが情報を追加してくれていますよ。
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