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Learn Japanese: New College Text (Learn Japanese) volume 1 Paperback – November 1, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0824808594 ISBN-10: 0824808592 Edition: Rev Sub

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press; Rev Sub edition (November 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824808592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824808594
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I checked) I just could not take it anymore.
C. Lee
I recommend this book to anyone who has learned a foreign language before and is serious about learning Japanese.
Firstly, hiragana and katakana are not emphasized at all in the first volume.
Steve Schulz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Learn Japanese is not as bad as some other texts I've had to use, both as a teacher and as a student of the language. Having taught Japanese for 27 years (and studied it for over 30), and having written quite a bit of language-learning material myself, I have not been favorably impressed with this book during the three-plus years I have taught from it in college-level courses. The vocabulary is odd and sometimes culturally passe ("record store," for example). Vocab progression is uneven and does not seem to be well thought out. Dialogues are too long for memorization, too odd to be particularly useful, and not always well-geared to the grammar principles presented. The grammar presentations are shallow, disorganized, and not well supported with exercises. The authors seem to be too intent on presenting "authentic" material and not concerned enough with how students actually learn language and build on basic foundations. Cumbersome "authentic" forms like "n desu" get in the way of learning for the beginning student. And why in the world would anyone wait until Lesson 7 to present desu? I also don't care for the terms used to explain the grammar, but there is, unfortunately, not much uniformity of nomenclature among the Japanese teaching community as a whole. The long initial section on pronunciation seems to be designed for the linguistics student, rather than the language student. The entire text is not user-friendly for either teacher or student. All this sounds pretty negative, but I am not saying the text cannot be used successfully. Obviously it can, if some of the other reviews are considered.Read more ›
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Or would that be Nihongo wa totemo muzukashii desu.
I tried to learn Japanese with Japanese For Busy People to no avail. I then enrolled in my local community college and used Learn Japanese. While I had the benefit of an instructor, I still consider this a vastly superior book.
Learn Japanese does not overwhelm you with vocabulary, but rather teaches the fundamentals of grammer very well. I feel this allows a student to construct their own sentences sooner. After all, the core of a language is not vocabulary, but grammer. Get the grammer down, then use a dictionary to gradually learn vocabulary. Once I picked up the grammer in any particular chapter, I was able to use it in a variety of settings by substituting different vocabulary words. For me, this works far better then conversational texts, or those that dump huge amounts of vocabulary down your throat.
I think it's shortfalls are not presenting enough kana earlier in the book, and not presenting at all dictionary forms of verbs. It's nearly impossible to use a Japanese-English dictionary after finishing Volume 1. I was informed that Vol 2 jumps into dictionary forms, and it uses kana almost exclusively for presenting the language.
The language unfolds with each succesive chapter and before I knew it, I could speak more of the language then I thought I could. Despite the two problems outlined above, I heartily recommend this book. But be forwarned, Japanese is not a language that can be learned in 4 weeknight sessions prior to a trip to Tokyo.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Lee on July 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a blunt instrument. AND cry at the same time.
I've used Genki and Minna no Nihongo and they are infinitely better. My Japanese 2 class utilized both #1 and #2 of this series.

After one day of reading all the romanized letters (barely any Hiragana- and this continues for a good chunk of book 3 and 4! I checked) I just could not take it anymore.

I'm out of $40 now (almost $20 for ea)...but decided to cut my losses and run....FAR away from this book. (I have even quit the class to look for another Japanese class that uses another book. That may sound weak, but it was not worth my time and money to continue taking a Japanese course that uses this book. It's THAT TERRIBLE. Therefore in my mind I had NO other alternative.) As another user has stated, the content is really, honestly, confusing, there is NO GLOSSARY (no explanation for vocab) no explanation of sentence structure, and it does not encourage the reader to read in Hiragana.
In comparison, Minna no Nihongo doesn't have any English in it- it's written entirely in Japanese, and includes Kanji right from the get go. But they explain everything in a very simple, easy-to-understand way. 95% of this text is Romaji. I'm serious.

I daresay I would burn it if I wasn't a book lover and something like that would be sacrilegious. : (
Not only is it extremely unhelpful, it is detrimental to whatever Japanese you do know. It has outdated vocabulary...anyone who tried to speak the Japanese used in this book WILL get ridiculed in Japan. Old fashioned phrasing...awful layout.(Banging head against the wall in sheer frustration). The list goes on....I cannot say how bad this book is.

I positively LOATHE this book. It is completely unreadable.
Save your money. Please. Do not buy this book.
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Learn Japanese: New College Text (Learn Japanese) volume 1 + Handy Katakana Workbook: An Introduction to Japanese Writing KANA
Price for both: $37.26

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