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Minna no Nihongo, Book 1 (Bk. 1) (Japanese Edition) (Japanese) Perfect Paperback – March 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: 3A Corp (March 2001)
  • Language: Japanese
  • ISBN-10: 4883191028
  • ISBN-13: 978-4883191024
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I've enjoyed using this book and recommend it to anyone looking for basic Japanese instruction.
Reasonable Reviewer
This is great as it offers you exposure to reading Japanese and quickens your ability to remember both the hiragana and katakana characters.
Azalea
It includes things like explanations of grammar, vocabulary lists, basically everything you would expect a language textbook to have.
Polina Voylokov

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Dennis B on December 6, 2005
Format: Perfect Paperback
This textbook treats you like an adult who needs to speak in Japan. Each lesson introduces a few sentence patterns (i.e. grammar), gives relevant vocabulary, shows how to use it in useful situations, and provides lots of opportunity for practice.

The vocabulary is excellent. It is aggressive: it requires us to learn about 50 new words per lesson, and reuses the vocab from previous lessons. It is also well chosen: the vocab logically matches the sentence patterns for that lesson so that we can learn and practice them together. But it doesn't ask us to memorize exhaustive themed categories (animals, etc...). It recognizes that many adults need to talk about "reports" more often than "horses".

Minna No Nihongo uses a lot of pairwork, and I have found it most effective studying in a class with a teacher or at least with a dedicated partner.

The book itself is unique. I've never seen another like it. It is written for foreigners in Japan so it is written completely in japanese. Then students can buy the accompanying translation and grammatical notes (recommended) in the language of their choice (English, Korean, Chinese, etc.).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Emmeaki on July 21, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
I am currently using this book in my Japanese class. I like it because it teaches you things that are relevant to everyday life, unlike some other Japanese textbooks that are just geared towards business travel or college life.

It's entirely in Japanese with furigana over the kanji characters. No annoying roma-ji or English translations. You are forced to learn to read Japanese.

There is also the translation and grammatical book to go along with it that has the vocabulary words and grammar explanations, but the chapters are brief. The real work comes from the textbook where you read and do exercises.

I wouldn't recommend this book for someone who doesn't already know how to read katakana or hiragana, but if you have some knowledge of Japanese, this book can help you advance rapidly. It's best used in a classroom setting or for someone brushing up on their Japanese skills.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By JS2599 on March 18, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
Minna no nihongo is the standard Japanese textbook in many colleges, mainly because it is so comprehensive. It doesn't leave out any of the "special cases", and the exercises in the book will review EVERY permutation of the grammar points you're learning.

However, the best word I can find to describe the Minna no nihongo series is "frustrating". Explanations and reference sections (in the translation/guide book) are too short and sometimes missing all-together. To give you an example there is NO dictionary in the back listing all the vocab words.

Minna no nihongo feels to me more like a workbook you would use to practice what you learn from a teacher in a classroom. I wouldn't suggest using this book for self study. And even in a classroom setting it can be difficult dealing with the lack of explanations. The philosophy of Minna no nihongo is "show, don't tell", which is great for a literary essay, and perhaps at a level of Japanese, but terrible in my opinion for instruction at this beginner stage.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By pervertedcoffee on May 27, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
Overall Minna no Nihongo is a good textbook. It covers all the grammar points you need and gives you plenty of opportunity to practice. My Japanese class in college use this textbook but with great reluctance and difficulty. I find the book ok if I use it at home, by myself as I can speed through it at my own pace. However, in a class setting a lot of people become confused by the layout and organization of the book. Because of this a lot of my classmates have difficulty understanding the grammar and vocabulary.

The class also greatly resents the book, they find it uninteresting and repetitive. I think it has become a hindrance to the class more than anything.

To summarise, its a good book if you feel you are able to motivate yourself and can survive with no English instructions or explanations. I will say that I had studied Japanese before and thus had a distinct advantage in that I could come to understand the layout of the book while still on the easier chapters. It may be more difficult for someone with no previous Japanese experience to use the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Chang on March 13, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
In the city I live and in the language classes I attend, this is the language book of choice. You can read the pros and cons in other well-written reviews so what I want to say is this: teaching English in Japan, one thing I realize is the enormous benefits of studying a second language (L2) solely in that language.

This book is written entirely in Japanese and it can be a chore to read without sufficient practice in hiragana. But the payoff is immense and definitely worth the time and effort. If you're going to learn Japanese, you should also learn hiragana. This book will help there and also give you a leg up on kanji.
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Bill Jones on May 9, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
I had to use this series during my study abroad semesters in Japan. Having already found great success with the Genki series, Minna no Nihongo was highly irritating. The English explanations of the grammar points were written in very ambiguous language that could be taken to mean anything. They were obviously written by a Japanese person who is trying to sound more intelligent than they actually are, which just sounds deranged. Furthermore, all the grammatical changes are taught starting from the -masu verb form! If you do this it's almost impossible to find any pattern in Japanese verb changes, therefore learning the grammar doesn't come about through understanding but from rote memorization. Grammar is too complex to learn this way, it needs to be understood not memorized. The authors act as though there is no such thing as the plain form of a verb, which is just crazy. No I'm sorry they bring it up in the second book and treat it like a special grammar point. They make you memorize how to construct the plain form FROM the -masu form! This is clearly backward and, well, crazy. That's the only word for it. The idea that some schools have the audacity to require you to learn Japanese this way brings back old memories of "indescribable frustration". The only explanation for this incompetence is the underlying truth that many Japanese people deep down don't believe that it is possible for foreigners to learn their language. Don't believe me? Try speaking Japanese in Japan. You'll see what I mean. On top of all its flaws, to use this book effectively you will need both the main text and the translation book with you at all times and you have to coordinate between the two, knowing full well that you are doing things in an inefficient manner.Read more ›
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