winter: (rebel - reign in hell > serve in heaven)
[personal profile] winter
A plea for help for the large portion of the flist who have studied Japanese at one point or another:

One of the things I'd like to tackle this year is Japanese, because it's ridiculous that it's been over a decade since I acquired my first words of it, with two years of quasi-formal study of it thrown in, and yet my grasp of grammar is nil, some of the simplest words trip me, and let's not talk about my kanji knowledge, plzkthx. (On the other hand, my pronunciation's decent, understanding's getting better, and I am somehow getting some grasp on appropriate levels of keigo.)

I'd like to start by self-study, with textbooks. Can anyone recommend textbooks for the following?

- General textbook with exercises and lessons to work through
- Grammar, from beginner to intermediate, with a focus on how people actually speak
- Kanji (I'm eyeing Remembering the Kanji, but would it be better to buy volumes 1 and 2 at the same time, or will 1 suffice for now?)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-07 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awickedman.livejournal.com
When I was about to start to study Japanese by myself (to complement the course I used to do), someone recommended me Minna no Nihongo, telling me it was a simple and yet very useful book to learn, that would make things easier. Due lack of strength, I didn't start it, but you can give it a try. http://nihongo-dekimasu.blogspot.com/2007/12/minna-no-nihongo-1.html (There are also two more books, videos and audios of this course.)

Also: http://nihongo-dekimasu.blogspot.com/ This site is full of books to download. :D

Also: There's a community on LJ: http://learn-japanese.livejournal.com/ There's always someone to help you there. :D

And... That's all I have, I think. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-10 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awickedman.livejournal.com
http://aboutnihongo.blogspot.com/2009/07/minna-no-nihongo-i-completo-105.html -> Is this one working? [This blog also has lots of download. It's in Portuguese, I it's my mother language, so any help you need, just ask me. :D)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-07 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isachi.livejournal.com
When I was living/studying in Japan we used a textbook series called Genki (げんき)I like it for grammar ... It's full of examples, lots of dialogues and I think there's a workbook too ^_^;;

Other than that I would recommend BYKI for vocabulary building and Japanese Pod 101 for getting comfortable with on the fly real conversations ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-08 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wottie.livejournal.com
Seconding Genki - they break down grammatical lessons and vocab in a very logical and structured way. Also, it's really easy to go through and look up specific grammatical forms/rules, which I found helpful for when I forgot something or wanted to know about a form I hadn't learned yet. It should come with a workbook and a kanji writing book.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-08 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muffin-song.livejournal.com
I'll third the recommendation for Genki.

Also, I enjoy the podcasts from japanesepod101.com (although that won't help you with kanji)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-09 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachpena.livejournal.com
I'm currently taking Japanese and we use Genki. I like it.
I also love Japanese Pod 101 for everyday conversation. Good website.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-07 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chenka.livejournal.com
Minna no Nihongo is a great method to get you started. By the end of the second book you will have a firm grasp of the grammar and if you are serious about studying the words your vocabulary will also be great :)
Personally for vocabulary however I recommed you use Anki, a flashcard program. It would probably be ideal to find lists of JLPT vocabulary, starting at level 5 (you'll be done with that in no time), going to level 4 etc. You can download them through the program or online somewhere. If you use Anki for 10-15 minutes a day you'll get really far really quick, trust me.

Do not buy Remembering the Kanji. I know a lot of people swear by it but I think it's a nonsense method and a waste of money. The question is what you want to achieve. Do you want to be able to read and recognise kanji? Or also write them?
If you also want to write them, I had a great method for learning kanji that made sense, but unfortunately I can't find it for sale anymore. If you'd like to give it a try anyway, it's called Kanji Master. Point is, frankly it's still tedious to study kanji. But with this book, the kanji are sorted by theme and radical, and it makes a lot of sense. It's the first method I ever used that made me actually remember kanji. (But you still have to sit down every day and repeat repeat repeat).
If you just want to recognise kanji, I recommend you just use Anki and learn kanji by studying words/compounds.

Hope this helps a little! If you have any questions, do let me know :) I'm very enthusiastic about this topic.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-07 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] esmeraldus-neo.livejournal.com
If you like I could repost on my journal to put you in touch with kdavoli and another friend, who are studying Japanese formally.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-08 12:09 am (UTC)
ext_51796: (translation)
From: [identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
I agree with the previous poster about Remembering the Kanji. It sucks and is useless.

First, make sure you know hiragana and katakana thoroughly. It makes everything so much easier. The workbook I used to learn it is long out of print, but there are several other good ones out there, or just print off some worksheets from the internet. The best way to get hiragana and katakana down is to write them over and over.

Genki is the textbook that we used in the summer-intensive Japanese course I took some years ago. It has a good reputation, as well. It is a bit dated, but I think they came out with another edition since I got mine back in 2005. The intro to grammar in them in pretty good, but they are haphazard with their intro to kanji.

There is a series of workbooks that introduce kanji that are really good: it was published by Bonjinsha Co. The titles are Basic Kanji (vol 1 and vol 2) and Intermediate Kanji (vol 1 and vol 2). Alas, they have gone out of print, but you can find pdf files of them. Just search with the titles--the first author listed is Chieko Kano.

Let's Learn Kanji and Let's Learn More Kanji are also decent (a lot more emphasis in this series on learning to recognize radicals). Not sure if they are still in print as I bought mine 2nd hand, but IIRC, there are pdf files of those on the web as well.

Hope that helps.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-08 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kamikaze-suzie.livejournal.com
While I myself have never studied Japanese (though I'd like to at some point), I think that browsing through the libraries of language study departments of university of Warsaw might help - there's a chance that they'll be having quite a few coursebooks/textbooks and grammarbooks for students of all levels, just like my library, here in Poznań, does.

Hope this helps...

(no subject)

Date: 2012-01-08 12:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utena1409.livejournal.com
Not a textbook but I like to use http://www.readthekanji.com/ to refresh my memory on kanji. It's just passive (i.e just reading, not writing), but it also gives you an example sentence with each kanji which sometimes also is very useful.
I joined when it was still very new and for free, now you have to pay for it though but just 5$ a month. ^^

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Beth Winter

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