Posts tagged: hiragana and katakana

Jimi’s Book of Japanese by Takahashi & Toka

Score: 9 / 10 Pros: designed for children but useful to adults as well; colorful presentation of all the kana in two small, thin volumes; every character printed large with written strokes counted and stroke direction indicated; strong way to visualize the basic syllabaries of the written language; sample vocabulary words using each character; a […]

Wednesday April 14th, 2010 in , , , , , , | Comments Off on Jimi’s Book of Japanese by Takahashi & Toka

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 , , , , , | Comments Off on Human Japanese by Rak Software

Genki 1: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese

The Japan Times’ Genki is among the most popular Japanese language courses for older students and adults. It’s also a common recommendation for self-study. The Genki materials include a course book, a workbook and audio CDs. The lessons come in two phases: Genki I and Genki II. You may also purchase the answer key books […]

Monday February 8th, 2010 in , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Genki 1: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese

Japanese Step by Step by Gene Nishi

Score: 8 / 10 Pros: good pacing and organization between chapters and sections; great use of and number of examples; all examples in full Japanese script as well as romaji with intonation; wonderfully focused explanations attuned to the needs of busy adult learners looking to understand grammar; decent extra material; great for adult learners looking […]

Wednesday December 30th, 2009 in , , , , , | Comments Off on Japanese Step by Step by Gene Nishi

An Introduction to Modern Japanese (Book 2) by Bowring & Laurie

An Introduction to Modern Japanese is a challenging, rewarding year-long course that recieved an extremely high rating on this site. Book 2 offers a textbook full of practice exercises that complement every chapter of Book 1. (Don’t let the name fool you – this is a companion, NOT a sequel!) The activities do a thorough […]

Thursday December 24th, 2009 in , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on An Introduction to Modern Japanese (Book 2) by Bowring & Laurie

Guide to Learning Hiragana & Katakana by Henshall & Takagaki

Score: 8 / 10 Pros: lots of practice writing each character (this is a workbook full of writing activities); emphasizes space for you to practice writing in designated boxes; covers all kana; introduces 10 syllables at a time, then words using those syllables; good final review test; simple, straightforward and effective – just what Japanese […]

Thursday December 17th, 2009 in , , , | Comments Off on Guide to Learning Hiragana & Katakana by Henshall & Takagaki

Speak Japanese: A Textbook for Young Students, Book 1, by Kiyo Saka and Hisako Yoshiki

Score: 6 / 10 Pros: overall good pacing; lots of useful Japanese words and phrases for absolute beginners; manages to cover some grammar without tedious explanations; consistent use of kana; lots of exercises; drawings help visual learners Cons: intro to hiragana and katakana is too quick for first-timers; exercise drills are repetitive and intended for […]

Thursday December 17th, 2009 in , , , , , | Comments Off on Speak Japanese: A Textbook for Young Students, Book 1, by Kiyo Saka and Hisako Yoshiki

An Introduction to Modern Japanese by Richard Bowring & Haruko Uryu Laurie

Score: 10 / 10 Pros: very thorough presentation of beginner’s Japanese; will last a good year and still be a great reference afterward; does it all – writing, conversation, grammar, sentence structure, and plenty of activities (in book 2); introduces writing and uses the script immediately; covers kana and kanji; lots of examples, conversations and […]

Japanese in Mangaland: Learning the Basics by Marc Bernabe

Score: 8 / 10 Pros: attractive presentation; explanations are informal and engaging; solid coverage of beginner language topics; nice vocabulary index; lots of manga panels as examples; good connection between the Japanese manga and the Japanese language functions learned in each chapter; great use of Japanese script alongside Romanization everywhere in the book Cons: material […]

Wednesday October 7th, 2009 in , , , , , , | Comments Off on Japanese in Mangaland: Learning the Basics by Marc Bernabe

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 , , , , , | Comments Off on Basic Business Japanese (book and audio cassette) by Nancy Young