A weeb in need

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    A weeb in need

    Can anyone recommend a good book to learn Japanese?

    #2
    I don't have any book recs, but jlptbootcamp.com has some great resources. He has study notes for Japan's major literacy tests, and is a really good study guide.

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      #3
      When I did Aikido everything was in Japanese.

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        #4
        Do you mean a book for reading, or a textbook?

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          #5
          ryś a textbook would be good thanks.

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            #6
            Minna no Nihingo is pretty good, in my opinion. It introduces both grammar, and a lot of useful kanji, and has reading exercises, which will make you more familiar with the Japanese culture. You might want to get the grammar notes book, as well, since it summarises well what has been learned in the textbook (plus a list of new vocabulary, very useful if you want to make yourself a set of flash cards while learning).
            After each lesson in the textbook, you might head to http://j-learning.com, and run through the interactive tests (the lessons there are mostly in sync with those in the book).
            When learning the words, you can check the correct pronunciation, and pitch accent here:
            http://www.gavo.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ojad/eng/pages/home

            An alternative to the textbook above is https://www.imabi.net/tableofcontents.htm
            if you prefer a more self-paced and freer learning experience, focused mostly on grammar.

            I hope this will be useful, and I’ll be happy to answer any further questions!

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              #7
              The standards usually are the Genki textbooks in combination with Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. The latter you can even read for free and legal on his own site, here: http://guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar
              You can download a PDF of the whole book there, again, free and legal.
              Personally, I would start learning the Kana (Hiragana first, and then some time Katakana) and then start building vocabulary. You can either use Memrise or Anki decks for that. Read a textbook or grammar on the side and get reading/listening as soon as possible.

              You have to find the approach that works for you. I never got the hang of using Duolingo or working through a textbook. Whenever I learn a language, I start by getting around 1,500 mostly used words under my belt. I take a grammar and read it on the side. Then I start reading. It is painful at first, but it works for me.

              The most important part is that you tailor your learning approach to what you want to do. Want to speak to locals? Might be better to learn set phrases first and go from there.
              Want to read literature? Ignore pronunciation and focus on building vocabulary and learning kanji (you're probably going to hate this part).
              Want to listen to audio drama/watch anime? Focus on listening comprehension and building vocabulary. Be aware that people in anime speak VASTLY different than real Japanese.
              Tailor the vocabulary you learn for what you want to do with it. You need completely different vocabulary for watching Isekai/fantasy anime than you need for a trip to Hokkaido.

              Here are more resources tailored to an approach suited for anime/VN/LN/manga and the like. It's a good starting point for everything else, too: https://djtguide.neocities.org/guide.html

              Btw, I learnt Japanese for some time and ultimately switched to Mandarin. But most of the above has brought many people from Novice to a decent degree of fluency in reading and listening comprehension, at least, with a couple of them nowadays translating manga/VNs/LNs for fun. The general tips work for any language.

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                #8
                ryś and lofivelcro thanks, this is a lot of stuff (it's late here so I'll have to look at it tomorrow).

                Anime has given me a few words that I can speak (thanks, thank you, big brother, hello, I love you (I think)) I did hear how to say "you you for the food" but need to rewatch some Japanese anime as I forget.

                I recently started watching MMD videos on YouTube and I need to learn Kanji to translate as there are some pretty good songs in them.

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                  #9
                  The Genki series were in use in both of the Japanese classes I've taken.

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                    #10
                    Kanary thanks I'll look up this series on Ebay.

                    I created a playlist on Spotify with Japanese speaking lessons that I found. lofivelcro the stuff you sent me was good but it is for people who have a basic understanding and one site was unprotected so I won't use it.
                    ryś I was looking at some of the stuff you suggested and I was thinking of buying a book but I am unsure what one is best, any suggestions?

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                      #11
                      If I have to pick now, I'd once more pick Minna no Nihongo Shokyuu 1 Honsatsu (roughly translated to "textbook for elementary level"), and Minna no Nihongo Shokyuu 1 Translation & Grammatical Notes. The second book is very necessary, because the main textbook is written only in Japanese, but that making the learning process way more immersive, in my opinion.
                      I've gone through the Minna no Nihongo series, both in a classroom, and while self-studying at home, but I got to say, that I'm very stubborn, and persistent, when it comes to learning.

                      And as some other people here have recommended the Genki series, I'll leave a very good "third party" review of both series to avoid being subjective, so that you can pick the one which will suit you most:
                      Minna no Nihongo vs Genki

                      Anyway, I'm sure you cannot go wrong, no matter which series you choose, as long as you're dedicated to learn the language!

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Aether View Post
                        but it is for people who have a basic understanding
                        It is? It takes you from the very first beginnings (hiragana and katakana) over vocabulary and grammar. No basic understanding needed. Maybe you should know what Japanese is, but I guess that's covered on your part.
                        For books, I stand by mine and Kanary's recommendation: Genki. You can look at samples at the official website here: https://genki.japantimes.co.jp/about_en/about08_en

                        I suppose the unsafe site you mentioned was KanjiDamage. As always, just put a https// in front: https://www.kanjidamage.com/kanji_facts <--- that's a good and fun read regarding Kanji. The site actually is pretty good, despite the awful jokes and weird wording.

                        Please keep in mind: According to the FSI (the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State) Japanese is the hardest language to learn for an English speaker. This shouldn't put you off, absolutely not. But it's worth mentioning to give you a frame of what to expect. Learning a language takes time. You'll make progress, then you'll stall, then you'll make progress again. You might not understand much in the beginning, but with every sentence you get, you will feel great. It's good to be realistic from the start, know that you're in it for the long haul but that it's one of the most wonderful things you can do and learn, imo. You can get into talking with natives relatively quickly for the basics, seriously, but fluency takes time. Know what your goals are and learn accordingly.

                        Languages are pure fun and will open new worlds to you.

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                          #13
                          ryś, thanks for posting that comparison article, didn't know that one. That's really helpful!

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