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Remembering the Kana: A Guide to Reading and Writing the Japanese Syllabaries in 3 Hours Each (part 1) (Japanese Edition)
Remembering the Kana: A Guide to Reading and Writing the Japanese Syllabaries in 3 Hours Each (part 1) (Japanese Edition)
by James W. Heisig
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.30
37 used & new from $8.19

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hiragana - excellent, Katakana - not so much, July 22, 2009
I recently purchased Remembering the Kana as an introduction to the written Japanese language, and it has helped me a lot. I am almost done with the book now, and reading hiragana is becoming easier and easier every day. The hiragana lessons are very well done and are easily completed without having to go back and check much. Without much reviewing I believe I can say I remember all the hiragana.

However, the katakana lessons are not very good. It seems like Heisig was writing the book, and as he finished hiragana realised he needed to do the katakana part in half the time. Every new symbol you are introduced to comes with examples using previously learned katakana you have learned so far, but I've experienced on several occasions that the examples include katakana which I've never seen before but then are introduced later in the same lesson. There are also pages without practice lessons, and I'm really confused as it seems one symbol can be used for several things but I already learned this symbol and he never taught me this. Still it pops up in examples.

To be honest the katakana part seems like an afterthought, and not a well done one either.

I would very much recommend the book to anyone just starting out with Japanese, since the hiragana part I would assume as saved me a lot of time with learning these symbols. If you're only looking for an introduction to katakana though, I would honestly keep looking.

Frankly it's quite discouraging now going through the last katakana lessons because the stories are very very far-fetched and uses keywords I've never heard of in English so I have to make up my own, and the missing explanations of things and symbols popping up before I've learnt them makes for a struggling learning experience.

Edit: I now finished the book, and I still agree with what I wrote above. Still, I would like to change the review to four stars, since I don't think the poor parts of katakana should count as negative as I had them count, but it seems I can't change my rating. Oh well. Still very recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2013 5:30 PM PST

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