Category: Audio, Media & Software

Japanese Essential Edition by Living Language

Score: 6 / 10 Pros: full introductory conversational course; audio CDs let you listen to most every Japanese word, sentence & dialogue in the book; each unit builds up from vocabulary words to phrases to sentences to dialogues; deals with quite a bit of beginner Japanese grammar; appendix includes vocabulary glossary & lengthy grammar summary; […]

Friday July 30th, 2010 in Audio Courses, Lesson Books | Comments Off on Japanese Essential Edition by Living Language

Assimil Japanese with Ease

Score: 9 / 10 Pros: lots of spoken Japanese dialogue on the audio CD; the CDs & book match each other well; lessons are short & focused on conversational language; good pacing helps smooth the learning curve; pronunciation & grammar are taught in context; strong focus on audio keeps the course colloquial & relevant; practice […]

Wednesday April 28th, 2010 in Audio Courses | Comments Off on Assimil Japanese with Ease

Human Japanese by Rak Software

Score: 7 / 10 Pros: explains the basics of Japanese the way an engaging teacher might; the explanations have a warm touch to them; lessons include interactive practice exercises; lengthy but insightful cultural notes about Japan & the Japanese; audio files allow you to click on and hear vocabulary words; built-in mini dictionary allows you […]

Monday March 15th, 2010 in Software Courses | Comments Off on Human Japanese by Rak Software

goJapanese: Speak the goPimsleur Way by Pimsleur

Score: 7 / 10 Pros: my previous pros about Pimsleur method apply; gives you a taste of how Pimsleur’s lessons work; introduces basic words & phrases; includes MP3 as well as standard audio CD versions of this course Cons: cons about Pimsleur Japanese still apply; only includes eight easy, basic lessons; if you learn well […]

Monday February 15th, 2010 in Audio Courses | Comments Off on goJapanese: Speak the goPimsleur Way by Pimsleur

Teach Yourself Japanese by Gilhooly & Mikiko Kurose

Score: 5 / 10 Pros: plenty of material covered (grammar and language structure); dialogues and examples introduce a lot of standard, polite Japanese conversation skills; variety of exercises and challenges keeps the course helpful and – sometimes – engaging; audio CD good for pronunciation practice Cons: poor treatment of writing (nearly all romaji); author’s explanations […]

Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 in Audio Courses, Lesson Books | Comments Off on Teach Yourself Japanese by Gilhooly & Mikiko Kurose

Japanese All the Way by Hiroko Storm

The book & cassette tape (!) lesson course known as Japanese All the Way is now published as Living Language’s Ultimate Japanese. I don’t notice a difference between the two besides the updated cover and CDs, and I have reviewed the newer version (follow link above).

Thursday December 17th, 2009 in Audio Courses, Lesson Books | Comments Off on Japanese All the Way by Hiroko Storm

Instant Immersion Japanese Deluxe (Audio & Workbook)

Score: 6 / 10 Pros: some coverage of grammar; readings build progressively on previous lessons; has you read plenty of Japanese (conversations and stories); extra videos are good for practice; purchase audio and workbook to get an ear for the language; colorful presentation Cons: limited help if you get stuck; questionable organization; even though you […]

Wednesday October 7th, 2009 in Audio Courses, Lesson Books | Comments Off on Instant Immersion Japanese Deluxe (Audio & Workbook)

Basic Business Japanese (book and audio cassette) by Nancy Young

Score: 8 / 10 Pros: good coverage of business practices and example situations; plenty of sample dialogs; you even learn trickier nuances of Japanese business language; important cultural notes explain things that impact doing business in Japan; exercises; glossary of Japanese business terms with references to lesson and section numbers; structured around busy schedules; topics […]

Wednesday October 7th, 2009 in Audio Courses, Lesson Books | Comments Off on Basic Business Japanese (book and audio cassette) by Nancy Young

Berlitz Japanese in 30 Days (audio CDs and lesson book)

Score: 6 / 10 Pros: thorough coverage of grammar; lots of audio dialogs and exercises; space to write in the coursebook/workbook; good variation on themes and practice with each topic; explanations kept short but pertinent Cons: set aside a lot of time if you actually want to complete it in 30 days; Japanese dialogues are […]

Monday October 5th, 2009 in Audio Courses, Lesson Books | Comments Off on Berlitz Japanese in 30 Days (audio CDs and lesson book)

Total Japanese (Michel Thomas Method: Speak Japanese for Beginners)

Score: 8 / 10 Pros: more and more Japanese is sprinkled into the course while the teacher discusses Japanese; the audio talks to you directly and tries to engage you in the discussion; focus is on how to build Japanese words; from the start, Japanese words and phrases interspersed as part of the teaching process; […]

Friday October 2nd, 2009 in Audio Courses | Comments Off on Total Japanese (Michel Thomas Method: Speak Japanese for Beginners)