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Situational Functional Japanese Volume 1: Notes Paperback – May 20, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-4893583123 ISBN-10: 4893583123 Edition: Second Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Bonjinsha; Second Edition edition (May 20, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4893583123
  • ISBN-13: 978-4893583123
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Words can hardly capture how much I loathe this book series, but I'm going to try.
Elizabeth M
Good if you are using the Situational Functional Japanese series, but if you are searching for which series to use, I recommend picking the Genki series.
Marie
The vocabulary that was introduced didn't seem to be introduced in order of practicality either.
Amy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Munoz on December 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Don't bother with any other textbook. This is the real deal and well worth the money for every page. I wish I had used this textbook when I started out learning Japanese...

The most important thing about this book is that it does not hold back knowledge. It doesn't hide things from you. Every single Japanese textbook I've come across treats the student like they are too stupid to understand the real reasons for everything, too culturally illiterate to deal with the responsibility of learning both polite and casual speech, and will get confused at the slightest mention of future material to be covered later on.

Other textbooks also exaggerate how unique Japanese culture is, and arrogantly pretend to know everything about how they think. One of the worst things they also do is assume that the sight of Kanji and Kana will make students run away in fear.

This textbook, on the other hand, respects the student and teaches important things like reading kana and kanji, and understanding different levels of politeness, and the basic structure of all Japanese sentences right away, all while teaching the same basics you get anywhere else in a more detailed and well-thought-out manner. Did I mention they avoid roomaji like the plague? Good for those of us who do not want to learn the same words twice!

I can't say enough good things about this textbook, so just buy it if you're serious about learning Japanese.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amy on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I used this textbook for 2 quarters of Japanese before moving to Japan and was not very happy with it. For a level 1 beginners' edition, it's too overwhelming, starting with the dialogs in written in Kanji. It also includes hordes of unnecessary vocabulary definitions that are almost completely pointless for a beginner to even look at (things like 'postal life insurance' and 'fixed period savings'). This book definitely doesn't keep things simple.

The matching workbook is plagued with Kanji, sometimes with tiny Furigana reading indicators, as if a beginning Japanese language student is supposed to somehow know how to read characters it takes Japanese kids years to learn. The older people in class complained of not being able to read the fine print.

For grammar, it teaches both formal and casual forms, but most of the exercises and examples use only one of the many possible forms. I felt that it taught the grammar at a slow pace but did a relatively thorough job of explaining some of the more common points in depth. I found the verb conjugation explanation deficient. Rules are given that apply to the base form of the verbs, but verbs in their base form are rarely mentioned or practiced throughout most of the text, so it's nearly impossible to use the rules based on what you've already been taught.

Although the book included some different situations, too many of the situations and vocabulary involved college. The vocabulary that was introduced didn't seem to be introduced in order of practicality either. The dialogs and example sentences were often mundane or unrealistic and were just used to illustrate a grammar point. The characters in the book were the only thing that kept it interesting.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth M on February 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Words can hardly capture how much I loathe this book series, but I'm going to try. I'll start out by suggesting that there's a reason it's out of print.

I am mystified by the organization of this book and its accompanying drill book. The authors didn't seem to know where to put the material for any given chapter, so the vocab is divided between the Drills and Notes books. In class we are constantly flipping madly between the two books and going 'Ohhh that part of the lesson is in Drills, etc.'

Also, the vocab in each chapter is of really varied utility- ranging from antiquated colloquialisms to terms that the beginning student doesn't need right away. After finishing volume 1 we didn't know colors or anything about the weather, but we knew how to conduct obscure postal transactions.

I hate the way this book uses kanji, too- for the beginner it's really intimidating to have kanji that aren't an important part of the lesson used without Furigana, and the expectation that having seen a kanji at some point, we'll recall it. There are just too many other types of learning going on at the same time for anyone in my class's memory to be that good.

The accompanying audio files are pointlessly difficult, using expressions that haven't been introduced and forcing you to listen to conversational elements that you aren't accustomed to while you're supposed to be reinforcing terms you actually did learn. It's sometimes hard to catch any dialogue you've actually encountered before in the text.

Overall, confusingly laid out- bizarre haphazard order for the introduction of grammatical rules and vocab, and difficult to use for reference. I liked learning Japanese when using Yokoso and Genki but this book series sucked that joy right out of class.
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