To start of, I have Asperger’s and ADD, which also causes mental and physical fatigue.
Basically, I have a huge problem with retaining my focus and energy while doing anything; including learning Japanese. Whenever I get a new book I get a new spark though, which leads to me hording.
This is just how scatterbrained I am, hoarding all the Japanese material and finishing none XD (well, some, but very very few =P )
So I want to share with you all my loot, what I have horded and how I feel about them. Some are actually so good they managed to retain my attention! But I have to say, nothing retains my attention like WaniKani!
Gamified is the trick, such fun and amusing mnemonics that actually sticks and having to reach them levels by following timed intervals. But hey, we all know how WaniKani works, and it works even on me. But what books have I horded that actually worked too?
First off, I added them at 600 pixl wide to not get too big, but download of full resolution is possible here: DeviantArt Folder
I have put some notes on each upload too, but will probably repeat it and then some on posting here =)
I also want to hear from you. Which of these have you tried and what did you think of them. What have you tried that I haven’t, and what can you say about those (share images if possible). Want to know more about any one, see an inside photo (I’m not willing to scan, but can show photos of random pages for an idea of how the book works) just ask and I will do my best =)
These are my main workbooks. The Japanese from Zero series has so far been the best at retaining my concentration and interest. I have actually finished the first two books completely! Can’t say that about any other work books! They present you with items in a well enough manner and many simple tasks rather than few hard ones, giving you repetition in a good way without feeling you fail.
Japanese the Manga Way is highly interesting and able to keep my focus at times. I started using flashcards with any and all new words presented, as this one is more of a read than do book, and just reading meant nothing really stuck =P I would say it is one of my better books.
Japanese in MangaLand I just got, so I haven’t tried them yet. They do look very similar to the Manga Way, but with lessons where you have to do it, try it out and thus actually end up learning it better. the Kanji in Manga Land gives you little help in learning it, just “here it is, now answer the questions”, but you get Mangas with furigana ONLY on kanji’s yet learned! With focus on using Kanjis you have learned, thus giving you stories based on what you should be able to read now. This is something I miss on WaniKani, tailored reading practice (been thinking of trying set up a post where anyone could make up their own short stories, tailored by WaniKani level. personally I’m not ready to write in Japanese yet though)
My other workbooks. These are the ones I started with, and honestly, the top row I don’t like much. The fast and fun way is neither fast nor fun, keeps asking for words they haven’t presented and are in ROMAJI XD
The paper is glossy and hard to write on too O_o
The for Busy People I liked more, but also asked for words I couldn’t find in the glossary we had been given. Has both Kana and romaji version, so I could avoid the romaji at least. It’s an OK book, but didn’t work for me.
The bottom left ones I really enjoyed, for as long as my attention was hold (first few chapters). I will try finishing them one day, though they don’t go past the most basic.
The next two are picture dictionaries for children, look and point type books. I enjoy these a bit TOO much I think! =D
Sure, don’t really learn much and doesn’t help me retain what I saw, but still found them fun.
The Flash Card kit I basically bought for the CD, with childrens songs on it =^_^=
This one is alone cause I bought it after finalizing the other photos. You get PDF and audio version of it too, and I have listened to a good bit of it already. I found it very interesting so far and has a good recording. Focus more on word structure and grammar than vocab, in a good way.
Remembering the Kanji is the reason I love WaniKani and went straight for lifetime!
When I first tried it out I was able to do 100 kanjis per day O_o
Only does meaning though, second book about reading you are supposed to do after finishing book 1.
It used mnemonics very well, until it doesn’t… it wants YOU to make up your own after a while… now this is where I fell of, completely and utterly. And the readings don’t seem to use them at all. Way to go WaniKani, taking what works with Remembering the Kanji, amplifying and perfecting it! This wonderful magical bible of Kanji is now the false prophet compared to WaniKani
The book on the bottom line is very interesting though. Rather than actually teach you the kanji they talk more about the history. I found it an interesting read. Got to about 1/3 at least =P
The flash cards on bottom row are beautiful. I try to find my WaniKani kanjis and sort them in to groups of 4 and 4 levels. I will use them to help strengthen the kanji’s I have already learned here =^_^=
Kanji de Manga are very cute and fun! Can’t say I learn much from them, but lets you try read small manga strips using the kanji in context =)
The Yojijukugo I like most, they are phrases and sayings made up of 4 kanjis, idioms. I have a fascination with those =^_^=
Books about the essentials. All of these are rather small, some of them even pocket size. Makes it easy to take back and forth, reading on bus and so on. Which I did a while back, and actually read most of these through and through. I think they are very interesting, though you have to work to retain it (which I haven’t done ^^; )
The 13 secret ones I believe was the most interesting of those books, while Making out and Dirty I’ve had a lot of fun looking through (and i promise you, the Making out one is a LOT dirtier than the Dirty book )
Now these I got just yesterday, so can’t tell how good they actually work, but wow do I love them! They have all the readings and translations in red, so when you put that red paper over (you get one with each book) you only see the Japanese part and kanjis with no readings. Such a good way to test yourself without having to flick back and forth to different pages! I love that it does both meaning and reading, and as a little bonus you can also see the Chinese and …Korean?.. translation as well. I like how you can see just when the Chinese is the same and when it is completely different It also gives you example sentences. You have to work on it yourself though, it doesn’t give you any other way to test yourself as this is a vocab book, not a work book. They are sorted in to JLPT though as well as topic chapters =)
these are my current dictionaries. I must admit I’m bad at using them. I’m more likely to use my Japanese app on my iPhone (yeah, the app is simply called Japanese. It is amazing though, but is not free)
The Kanji one is the only one that doesn feel or even say it is basic. I might need to get a better one soon. But they have worked their purpose I guess. The bottom right one was my very FIRST book about the Japanese language. It has a good amount of phrases too, and will probably be a good book to bring to Japan if you don’t know the language well, or even then.
I absolutely love these books! They are made for the Japanse student, tailored by level. I’m able to read and completely understand the level zero books, fully understand the level 1 books (though there are some words or phrases I don’t know yet) and have started on level 2, and found I think I understand, but it was harder. They don’t give you any English translations though, and even ask you not so use a dictionary. I think I would prefer if they did. I want to learn through reading, not just test/practice my reading. If anyone know of a place where they broke this rule and made translations of the books a link would be loved These are very good books and work well as parallel texts. But, the best thing about these books is being able to see you CAN actually read them, you are not as bad as you thought =P
So next step was getting them parallel texts
The first ones are meant for bilingual children. Short and sweet, not really meant for us. Worth the read, but maybe not really worth the money, unless you are a hoarder
Now these are the more proper ones, meant for us. Some are quite challenging, only giving you kanji reading on first time seeing it, then you need to know it for the rest of that story; which leads to a lot of flipping back and forth at my current level. They will be great practice later on. I believe most, possibly all, of the top row worked that way. I’ll confirm later.
The bottom 5 to the right are my favorites so far though. They are a series, and I’m still on book 1 (Hikoichi). The stories are just so interesting and fun, with furigana and explanation word by word, story repeated (though not as extensive) in English and then giving you the full story yet again in Japanese with none of the English. After reading through just once I am now able to read the Japanese only part of the book without really questioning any of the words or phrases. So these are perfect for my current level. Later the other levels will probably be better for challenging myself, but these are interesting wherever your progress are really. Of the rest the two left ones seem to have the better stories, while the rest of the books on top row never kept my retention, only liked their concept (they where my first, bought many years before the others, which I got all this year)
this set is a bit mixed. The first one is same style as Graded readers, made for us but has no translations. Next two are made for Japanese first graders, and make me more ashamed than happy when I realize just how little I understand of them… ^^;
Next is a random book I picked up. Can not read it…yet.
The bottom line are books translated to Japanese, with their Norwegian/English partner, so basically turning them in to parallel texts of sort
The Troll books I found in a local store, and are our myths and legends about trolls and other woodland fairy creatures. Most of which are either different or completely separate from stories I know in English, most of them I don’t even know what you call if you even have a name for them.
Both the Troll and the Twilight book are without furigana, making it harder. I can read and understand them partly, but it is more of a chore than it is worth currently, but I’ll get there =^_^=
So I decided to get something…easier
Fairytales aimed at the younger kids. These are so much easier than the first grader books, though they are probably aimed at same age group O_o
And just to make it easier; These are OUR fairytales! Yes, just look at the image and see how many you can recognize! They have furigana and easy repetitive language. I’m able to read and understand thesefairly well, though not all. The images help a lot though! Honestly only read one book so far though, Pus in Boots! But I did only get them recently =)
The first set is the same as the above, just Japanese tales! And they are also an Anime! Which means I already know the ones I’ve seen, and that helps me understand them better =)
The other set looks fairly good too, being similar in language and stories. I haven’t gotten around to read them yet, only done one of the first set, as i got them fairly recently. I do think these will be very good for reading practice though =)
Bought these same time as the ones above… These did not impress though. They are small, thin and flimsy, and a bit hard to read due to colors of the image behind the text interfering with readability at times (though mostly not) Wouldn’t recommend these, go for the other ones instead.
Thanks to the lovely book clubs here on WaniKani I have also started reading some proper books now!
Some we are doing, others have been suggestions that might be done later =)
Autumn Prison and No6 are past books from the Intermediate Book Club, they were both way above my level though. The next two are collection of short stories, we are currently doing the red one. The two on the bottom have been suggestions that hasn’t been used yet.
These I stumbled across when we were ding suggestions, and they did get added to be voted on too. I’m glad they didn’t win cause the text is all in handwritten type and so hard to read because of it =P
I’m not ashamed to admit, the reason I’m learning Japanese is to read mangas/watch anime/Jdramas
So naturally I tried out Doraemon, parallel reading! …with no furigana and obviously meant for Japanese learning English. I will save them till I know more Kanjis. Not sure what I think of them yet. But know the character is very popular in japan, which makes it even more interesting to have read. I might just read the English version for now, to have read it. This is not a complete collection. Not sure how many there are though.
So I made my own parallel texts instead
All of these I also have in English! Sonalin and Wonderful World (bottom row, those without the ninja cat) doesn’t have furigana, and was bought because of it. I want to have something to practice on now while learning the kanji readings. I’m not quite ready to read them yet, but I want to be able to look every now and then and see if I understand/able to read more of it than last. The rest have furigana though, so I’m able to read them now, even though I have to read page by page while comparing to the English version (sometimes bubble by bubble if too text heavy, like Death Note can be at times) Death Note is by far my fav Anime/manga story line, but it can be text heavy and political, so I stoped about half way through book one and did Chi instead. love Chis, so sweet and simple story, but it makes you feel. And the story is very home and family based, so good easy vocab (though it has some baby language. I’m sure they will just find it adoring if I use it in Japan though ) I don’t remember what book I’m on. 4-5 ish I think. Nekogahara I picked up just cause of cat Not read it yet, but I love the artwork.
These are complete series, other than Nekogahara which is new and still ongoing.
My newest and most beloved in my Japanese collection; Complete set of Naruto! <3
Though Death Note is probably my fav in English, Naruto in my fav in Japanese! <3
The language is much easier and I KNOW so many words! I’ve watched all the episodes in Japanese, and there are lots of them
I’ve also read scanlations, which often keep the special Japanese words (many of the Ninja words especially) so it actually makes more sense in Japanese than the English version ^^;
I read it side by side with the actual official English version. They did their best, but kept too little. I prefer the scanlations, who keep the jutsu names and just explain them in a side note instead
I only just got them, so I’m still on book one. But I’m amazed just how much I understand of these! I have practiced my Japanese a lot lately too, as well as this being my most read/watched anime/manga, my perfect input =^_^=
Though I have watched Death Note many times over, Naruto has such a huge amount of episodes it still wins in minutes by FAR!
Since I only got them recently I’m still on book 1, but it will be prioritized over all other reading material for a while
And, in case it wasn’t obvious, it has furigana =)
These are mangas I randomly picked up at Amazon! I don’t have the English version of any of these, not even the Chi (It’s a brand new ones! =D Not quite in the series, but its own thing)
I bought them because of… well. cats
I was surprised to find that none of the others had furigana! Only Chi did! Which means these are NOT meant for children O_o
I will tackle them later, they look sweet =^_^=
The Batman No mans Land I picked up at my local Manga store. They have very few Japanese books, the others where book 2-3 of series I didn’t even like. I do love Batman though! No furigana, but somehow feels a bit easier than Japanese mangas… but still above my current level. Forgot to look for English version. I will next time I’m there.
These I got recommended through a Manga thread earlier. They have furigana, but most of them have not been translated, and those who have are hard to find. I found book 1 and 2 only. Will be an interesting challenge to read without English companion though =)
I don’t have too many books about the culture though. These are basically it.
The two first ones are meant for children, but they are 100 times more interesting than the two first on bottom row!
Xenophobe series rules, but know from reading the one about Norway their facts are questionable
Top right one is amusing facts that you probably didn’t know already, short and interesting with fun images.
Bottom right is an English version of tales from Japan. Not just fairy stories for children. They are often very bizarre =P
I want to get better at Needlefelting and found these AMAZING books!
When me and my friend looked through these books we kept failing to see who was needle felts and who was the photo of the animal they where based of (several times we found it was opposite of what we first thought) These are just THAT incredible! =D
Most of these are how to do it too, even though the text is in Japanese I think I can follow fair enough (cause it has lots and lots of photos =P )
These are my Japanese DS Games. The first two are actually about learning Japanese while the other two are Japanese copies of Pokemon games.
The first one, My Japanese Coach is actually very good! It drills you on vocabs, but best of all, teaches you the kana where you have to write it and get scored by your writing! This is where I actually learned kana! <3
The second one sucked… end of story XD Played it 10 minutes…
I also have lots of games you can chose Japanese text and/or voice on, especially all the new Nintendo games. I do pick Japanese on some, currently playing Pokemon Ultra Sun in Japanese. Decided to only include the actual Japanese games =)
Digital: iPhone apps
Though I have tried many, these are the only ones I still keep on my phone.
The AlliCrab is by far my most used
Unfortunately the WaniKani app doesn’t work for me, only crashes. I keep looking every now and then to see if it has been fixed. It has other options than AlliCrab =)
The Human Japanese (HJ) is a very interesting written course =)
It is not free, but well worth the money. The others I haven’t used as much yet, but supposedly good apps.
In the Kanji folder, the two bottom ones belong to remembering the Kanji. I got them after giving up on that way though, so not used them much. The first two I like better. You get to drill all readings and stroke order of kanjis, as well as meaning. Sorted by Japanese Grade and uses repetition systems =)
In the dictionary folder there is an app simply called Japanese. It is the app I have used the most by far! First place I go to look up words, and it also has flash cards systems, with pre-made folders or make your own. It uses a repetition system too. Whenever I come by words on WaniKani that I’ve seen there I recognize it and already more than half know it
In the culture folder I’ve mostly only used the radio, but seen the others recommended =)
I wanted to add a screen cap from my iPad, but it was dead =P
Will do when I get it back up and living.
Basically, have Graded Readers, digital version. They are made by the same people, but not the same stories as the books. I actually love these even more! And you get flash cards in the end to see if you know some of the words.
I wish they made more, there aren’t that many of them.
Wow, so this is the END! …for now
My collection is ever growing, even by the time I completed making this it had grown some more =P
I want to hear your thoughts. What you have, what you’d recommend (both from these and others)
And want to know more about a specific book, just ask =^_^=