Top positive review
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This is the Japanese Instructional Kindle workbook you have been looking for.
on May 9, 2014
Learning Japanese is hard, especially when you are trying to do it alone. Maybe you are going on a trip and don't want to be pointing wildly at a phrasebook. Maybe you like anime and want to know what they're saying without relying on terrible localized subtitles. Maybe you are a Japanese student and particles are getting you down.
You want romaji? Check.
Prefer Kanji? Check.
Don't know a single thing about Japanese or maybe you do but need to know the why/how of the complex Japanese language?
This book is for you.
Yes, it's exactly what you hope it to be, written in well-explained English. There is nothing cutesy about this book. There are no cartoons, no pictures, and it doesn't try to be funny. It's a language instructional, and it's very good at what it does. I am currently halfway through this 496 page book (Kindle doesn't seem to keep track of the page count, it's got its own counting thing, 11974 if you go by that).
In addition, because this is an instructional *workbook,* it comes with self-tests, quizzes, and practice areas to show you where you need more work. There are cross-referenced links for each quiz to the answers (and back again). The multi-chapter review areas are great for going back later to make sure that you remember what you learned. Previous concepts are built upon by each successive chapter.
Vocabulary is gradually added, but it's up to the reader to look up the words you don't know.
I am using a companion book for the verb conjugation and some adjective behavior. I don't think it's this book's fault, as conjugating Japanese is almost as hard as particles. You will quickly forget which group a verb is in, or which group an adjective is in, and the book will not remind you.
Every once in a while, you see some grammatical behavior that looks strange. These look like occasional oversights or perhaps trying to get you familiar with grammatical constructs. They are very infrequent, but in the spirit of an honest review, there you go.
As great as this book is, and I'm giving it five stars, it should be only part of your learning strategy.
Here is how I study with this book:
* Get a digital flash card program.
* 600 Basic Japanese Verbs: The Essential Reference Guide [Kindle Edition]
You need to learn how to conjugate verbs, and this book gives many examples and instructions. At the time of this review, it's available on Amazon.
* Online translator.
Please note that the online translator doesn't work well. So what you will need to do is break things down into the smallest, most simple predicates possible. Common phrases show up well; the things that you think up yourself with your English-speaking brain, probably not.
* Japanese Microsoft IME
You will need to get away from romaji eventually. This is how you add the ability to type in Japanese on your Windows computer..
* When all else fails, the Internet.
After 19 days of owning these books and working hard, I am 40% through and having understandable (if slightly grammatically incorrect) conversations with my Japanese friends. It's a joy to discover even more ways of communicating and not relying on Google or a phrasebook. This book is wonderful and worth the money. If you put in the time, you will reap great rewards.