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Japanese for Busy People I: Romanized Version 1 CD attached (Japanese for Busy People Series) Paperback – November 11, 2011
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About the Author
The Association of Japanese-Language Teaching (AJALT) was established to meet the practical needs of people who are not necessarily specialists in Japanese but who wish to communicate effectively. The AJALT was recognized as a nonprofit organization by the Ministry of Education in 1977.
- Publisher : Kodansha USA; 3rd edition (November 11, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 296 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1568363842
- ISBN-13 : 978-1568363844
- Item Weight : 1.36 pounds
- Dimensions : 10.5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #30,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The series is pitched toward business people who need to learn important vocabulary and structures quickly. It is used by reputable Japanese Language Schools in Japan (eg. the Meguro Language Center in Tokyo).
The three textbooks in this series teach more or less the same functions and vocabulary as Genki, though the Genki series is geared more toward students.
The only real drawback of this series is that it does not treat Kanji in an organized manner. Here, Genki has the advantage: the last section of Genki I and II treats the 300+ kanji its editors belive a beginning student should learn. I hope, in a future revision, Kodansha rectifies this deficiency.
The workbook contains useful practice. Ideally, you would have a study partner with whom to do pair exercises (and to make the learning more enjoyable.)
One final advantage is the expense: the textbook, kana practice book, and workbook can be had somewhat more cheaply than the Genki books. Of course, there are three textbooks in this series and only two in the Genki series.
I prefer this series to "Genki," but really it is "six of one, a half dozen of the other." Both are far superior to the tedious, cumbersome, and over-priced "Minna no Nihongo" series.
The book is a great size. Not too big nor small. I guess that doesn't matter too much when reviewing a book, but as a college student who doesn't want her bag too heavy or too full, I like the size.
The book is easy to navigate, and I like the way and the order they present the learning material. There's nothing I dislike about this book at all. And the price? Definitely affordable.
There's also a romanized version for those who can't read Kanji yet. I have the Kana version myself, and prefer that one. But it's great that this also comes in Romanji, as everyone learning is at different levels and some would benefit more from that version.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who's learning or refreshing themselves on the language of Japanese. Even if it's not required for class, this book makes both a good learning tool and a quick reference.
If you elect to purchase this book, know that some parts will be extremely frustrating, that you’ll likely need assistance from your instructor to understand some of the problems to be solved, and that you’ll need to learn Hiragana and Katakana from a separate source. If you are looking to study on your own, I’d suggest purchasing materials which are more user friendly (such as the Japanese From Zero materials), combined with materials which will help you learn Hiragana and Katakana (such as the Dr. Moku pneumonic flash cards).
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However, I've found with Japanese that more than one learning source is a good idea particularly for building vocabulary and speaking/listening comprehension so I use this book with the Pimsleur Japanese 1 and 2 - expensive maybe but worthwhile for memorising and getting the rhythmic flow and inflexion quickly. The set can be downloaded here or from the Pimsleur site. I tried the Genki series and found it too awkward for self-tuition and gave up on it. Besides it seems aimed at the younger student (at school) and class work.
My only (and very slight) criticism of Japanese for Bury People I was the complete omission of any Kanji. To progress, one will have to learn some sooner or later and a few simple ones, say, the numbers and a few very popular ones wouldn't have hurt.
A final comment: if you aren't very familiar with Katakana and Hiragana, the Romani version of the book may be best for you. Tables of both are given in this book so you may get by with a vague familiarity and a lot of looking up!
The only drawback of this series is that they don’t introduce kanjis before the second volume, and even then it’s a very limited amount. But you can solve this by reading stuff with graded readers or using resources like Wanikani to learn kanjis.
The book has various exercises in it to test you on what you've learned and bits of information about the topic you're studying, the formal and informal versions of things, and grammar stuff.
My only real gripe is the CD - it's so cold and quick - some guy says something like "Track One - Target Dialogue" then there's a rush of Japanese and suddenly it's "Track Two" etc. I know the object is to get you used to hearing native Japanese people speaking their language but it's hard to listen carefully to either pronunciation or even what's being said when it's so quick. It would be great to have a slightly slowed-down version before the natural speed, just to really be able to listen carefully.