- Paperback: 338 pages
- Publisher: From Zero!; 6 edition (May 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0976998122
- ISBN-13: 978-0976998129
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (Volume 1) 6th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
None of the boring vocabulary that may be found in some manuals like Minna no Nihongo where you learn how to say " I want to send this package to australia with 2 stamps, how much will the taxes be ? " before even knowing how to express your opinion...
In "japanese from zero", all of the grammatical points and vocabulary are nicely selected and ordered, plus the activities don't make you run away everytime you open the book... they're quite entertaining and can be quite challenging at times.
Also as opposed to Minna no nihongo, when you learn a new verb, they tell you HOW TO USE IT... i was clueless at times how and when i was supposed to use a verb over the other ( Kaeru VS Modoru in mind...)in these books, everything is clearly explained without using all these hellish grammatical terms you can find in other manuals...
All in all, what you have here is a wonderful tool for complete beginners... the road to fluency is a long one, consider this book as the meaningful first step.
( PS : Thanks to all of the YesJapan team members for all their work and their positive attitude. )
JFZ is a good place to start learning, especially if you have no prior knowledge of Japanese and you cannot read or write any of the language (this includes anyone who is currently using romaji). This first book walks you through learning hiragana. By the time you get done with this book, you will know your hiragana front, back and sideways. You may even dream in hiragana. That's how good it is at reinforcing hiragana for you.
The information is NOT presented in an overwhelming manner as it can be in a lot of other text books. The lessons are short, which makes it ideal for learning on your own, and being able to pace yourself. You can learn 1 lesson per week or 1 lesson per day. It's totally up to you. The book presents lessons with usable examples. By the time you complete lesson 5, you will know how to say hello, tell someone things that you like or don't like, be able to count, ask who someone is, what things are, ask someone what something is in English, and tell someone what one you want or don't want. You'll learn colors, some animals, etc. So you can say "I have an orange cat named Garfield." "I like to go shopping" "Japanese food is delicious" "That doesn't taste good" "My car is a purple and white Honda" "Sachiko and Toshiyo are my friends" etc lol And that's not even 1/4 the way into the book!!! They present information in a way that allows you to be able to insert whatever you want, instead of using very rigid sentences that can't be altered much. You begin thinking of all the things that you CAN say, which I think is pretty neat.
You, of course, learn more as you progress through the series. It's more of a "what you need to know, when you need to know it" kind of book... They don't go into dipthongs and verb conjugation and all that other stuff that you don't really care about. They just say "this is how you say _______." Why people have a problem with that is beyond me. If you really wanted to study dipthongs and that kind of stuff, Japanese From Zero probably isn't for you. If you have a "I can do it" attitude and want a fun, simple way to learn Japanese, (learn how to read/write AND speak) and you don't really care what a dipthong is, then this is the series for you!
As you progress through the book, the vocabulary list gets more & more useful, so you can ask people things and have a basic conversation. Enough to maybe start looking for a penpal and discussing things that you enjoy. I like how the book is set up, in that you get your writing practice, you get lots of vocabulary, and you get to learn how to write words that use the kana that you have just learned that are not in your vocabulary list. You get lots & lots of writing practice. There's even "blank" practice pages that you can copy & get more writing practice.
The grammar is presented so that it's not overwhelming and make you think "oh my god I can't do this".. the lessons are short & not bogged down with stuff that you don't really need to know to just be able to talk with people. There are tests after each lesson, which are short, and I think that is great, because you can take your test & check the answers in the back of the book (YAY! No separate answer key to buy!) & see how you have done.. It is a nice confidence booster. Your vocabulary is shown in hiragana, katakana (when applicable, ie: with fruit : furuutsu) and kanji (if applicable).. then the meaning of the word is given.. but as you progress, the romaji gets less and less, so eventually you'll be reading hiragana. For things like "furuutsu" that are written in katakana, it's a good way to learn a little katakana while you're at it!
In regards to sounds or having a CD... They have sound files on their website. I'm a member of the website AND I have the book. I like using them both. The website tells you how to say things and you get to hear different people say things at their normal talking speed. The forum has a lot of helpful people in it, and George will answer your questions himself. The website has flash games, online flashcards, and all sorts of resources available. They also have free shows you can watch & listen to people speaking Japanese.. This includes people from YouTube, like applemilk1988, Uminekomiami and Kemushichan. They also have their own shows, like Japanese Topics Mania, The George and Keiko Show, The George and Hisashi Show, George in Japan, George vs Chie, The George & Eri show, The YesJapan! Ask A Teacher Show, You SO Crazy Cooking Show and the 3 Guys In Japan Show.. As well as one that's called "The Super Sexy Sayaka Show." You can also transfer your unused credits from YesJapan to JapanFiles & download Japanese music. JapanFiles has a huge selection of music, everything from pop to metal to electronic stuff to jazz and etc.. They even have visual kei bands and some bands have free music videos you can download. So you get lots of stuff to listen to and watch in Japanese. On top of that stuff, the YesJapan forum has a ton of websites where you can get live streaming television shows, anime and etc from Japan for free, as well as online radio shows, and etc. There's LOTS of resources on that website.
If joining the website is not your cup of tea.. The Japanese From Zero books are good companions for Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur's Japanese series, the "Let's Learn Japanese" videos & workbooks, LingQ, or anything else you would like to pair them up with, even other books, ie: Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You or All About Particles: A Handbook of Japanese Function Words.
If you get this series, you won't be disappointed. It's simple, fun and really is wonderful!