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An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Vol. 1 (English and Japanese Edition) 1st Edition

117 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-4789009638
ISBN-10: 4789009637
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Ideal for beginning students of Japanese. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: The Japan Times; 1st edition (May 1999)
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • ISBN-10: 4789009637
  • ISBN-13: 978-4789009638
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Lady Murasaki on April 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
My Japanese teacher used this book in our classes and it was an excellent choice. It can easily be used for self-study, especially if used with the CDs. Each lesson starts out with a dialog and is followed by a vocabulary list, grammar explanations, and vocabulary/grammar practice. The grammar is explained very clearly and the practice exercises are very useful for remembering what is being taught. One drawback: no answers are given. The vocabulary lists are not always comprehensive but they give lots of useful vocabulary. Several topics are covered including shopping, talking about family, travel, daily routines, and health. The book also includes lessons on Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji.
I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (Level 4) after 5 months studying with this book and passed. The Kanji included was very useful as were the grammar points and vocabulary. If you can, I recommend getting the CDs and the workbook. The CDs are excellent. You can practice pronunciation with the dialogs and vocabulary lists and the CDs also include listening exercises for the text and workbook. The workbook covers more grammar and vocabulary as well as Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana practice.
This is the best Japanese textbook I've encountered. It is well organized and relevant. I give it 5 stars without hesitation!
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289 of 313 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sutter on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book may be good for young students who anticipate homestays (and I'm skeptical even about that, for reasons below), but if you're an adult you may find this book excruciating. I recently moved to Japan, and finally determined to take some private lessons to get a more systematic grasp on the language than I have had hitherto. My school uses this text. I can't compare it with other college-style textbooks, which may mostly suffer from the same problems, but among the issues I have with it are:

@ The framing scenario is of foreign students living in homestays and interacting with their homestay families and with each other; there is also a lot of school-related vocabluary. This is largely irrelevant for an adult's experience. It is useless for business, BTW (though in my own case, I was looking more for daily life vocabulary and situations than business).

@ Even within this scenario, the book doesn't teach you how to really have conversation -- all classmates address each other with polite "-masu" form verbs. In real life, this would be distant or even rude with your pals. (Moreover, on the accompanying tapes female gaijin characters like "Mary" and "Sue" address their classmates and homestay parents in that saccharine, squeaky little-girl voice that is normally used by shop staff and female announcers on infomercials, not people talking to friends or family.)

@ In Japan, it is very rare for people to mirror back to you what you say, or for it to be appropriate for you to mirror back to them. This is especially true if your main interactions are with people in shops, where they will use a lot of "keigo" (honorific speech) or other specialized formulas. Simple example: A waitress will bring stuff to your table and ask "Yoroshii desu ka?" (Is that OK?
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Faye Green on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
I had been self-studying Japanese over numerous websites for 'bout 7 months when I decided to actually get a textbook. After searching around, reading reviews, asking people what they think I decided on Genki I. What a fantastic choice!! I learned more in 2 weeks in this book than I learned 7 months on a computer. Here I go, in depth (summary at end ^_~):

A) It starts out with an overview of the book, explanation of alphabets, so-on-and-so-forth, ect. Not much here but an introduction, soooo....

B) Dialogue - The beginning of the lesson has a dialogue that goes with a certain lesson theme (e.g. New Friends covers greetings, simple questions, numerous phrases and vocab, ect.). This is written in kana (after lesson 3, kanji w/ furigana), romanji, (if any) katakana w/ furigana, and an English translation. You won't understand what's being said 'till the next few pages, so now onto that.

C) Vocabulary - A loooong list of vocab resides here. Although it may be sorta "random", it is useful and good stuff to know. Words and terms used in the dialogue are marked with an asterisk "*". This page is written in kana, kanji w/ furigana, (if any) katakana w/ furigana, romanji, and English. Ok! Here we go:

D) Grammar - easy-to-understand grammar explanations rest here, after vocab. This provides the info needed to actually USE the vocab. After reading this, you should probably get a lot more of the dialogue. But not quite....

E) Um, Other? - These pages contain numerous class activities (not very useful to self-studiers, but can have some good practice exercises if you play both parts XD), other grammar/useful notes explanations, some more vocab perhaps, more dialogues, ect. In later lessons, this contains the kanji explanations as well.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ho Tak Chan on January 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
For those of you who didn't have the chance to browse from a selection of Japanese language book, let me recommend this textbook to you.

There is a total of 24 lessons in Genki I & II. Genki I consist of 12 lessons.

Here's the sequence to which the lessons are structured

1. Dialogue

2. English translated dialogue

3. Vocabulary

4. Grammar

5. Practice

What I've found best about this textbook compared to other japanese textbook is in the organization. I sometimes stare at "Japanese for Busy People II" and get overwhelmed by the difficulty and the globs of unspaced words. It in turn become very discouraging to continue reading because it is not the vocabulary or the grammar that you'd be focusing on, it's finding what's important in that glob of paragraph that takes away your concentration.


(average of 6 grammar per lesson)

In "An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese", important grammars are bolded, spaced, and highlighted. The explaination in how to use the grammar are precise and neatly spaced along with an example or two to illustrate how to use it.


(Average of 50 words per lesson)

The vocabularies they teach in this textbook are basically the same as the ones in other textbooks. Useful in everyday conversation. But again I must stress that this textbook organized very efficiently.

1. Noun

2. i-adjective

3. na-adjective

4. u-verb

5. ru-verb

6. adverbs

For a beginner, you might not know the reason to distinguish between i-adj and na-adj. But it becomes very useful when you start studying grammar.
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