I’ve been trying to learn Japanese now for many years. I keep finding new materials to try out, hording all the stuff
My library grows faster than I can possibly read
Nothing has worked as amazingly as WaniKani though, but it has also sparked my collection to grow even faster! I’ve joined all the book clubs and keep finding books and mangas I want to read on my own as well
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 =)
And you can also share your bookshelf/specific items too! =D
To start of, a quick look of my Bookshelves:
All my Bookshelves
Note: There are English ones in there as well
Close up of Japanese section (few exceptions)
Full Manga shelves:
Full bookshelves: (might include a separate photo of each later)
Workbooks, grammar, dictionaries and similar
I’ve seen more people toot Genki than any other books, so got them despite having all the ones listed below already
I will put all my focus on actually doing these first too. Will try do a chapter every 1-2 week, finish in about 6-12 months =)
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! Planing on finishing the rest after completing Genki
Japanese the Manga Way is highly interesting and was able to read through it, but the lack of exercises means I’ve probably forgotten most of it again… ^^;
Japanese in MangaLand I just got cause they looked interesting, but 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. So sort of like a “Graded Reader” that grows with your progress! =D
(image still contains the Zero books. Will make new photo without it)
These are my oldest ones, 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, though they don’t go past the most basic. I’ve only done the first few chapters though, cause it felt too basic.
The next two are picture dictionaries for children, look and point type books. I enjoy these a bit TOO much I think!
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 children’s songs on it =^_^=
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.
Other Study Material
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 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.
The flash cards on bottom row are beautiful. I wanted them for years and then when I finally bought them I found WaniKani a few months later… so they are now collecting dust ^^;
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 and might try to memorize some of them =^_^=
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 )
These are interesting! 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’t feel or even say it is basic. 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 love Graded Readers and Parallel texts so much I made a club for them! link
I absolutely love these books! They are made for the Japanese student, tailored by level. They don’t give you any English translations though, and even ask you not so use a dictionary. 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
White Rabbit Press Graded Readers, digital version. They are made by the same people, but not the same stories as the Ask books. I actually love these even more!
I wish they made more, there aren’t that many of them. They promised they had more coming late 2018… still waiting! (March 2019)
Ask Graded Readers
(temp image, will put one of all the outsides once I get last volume)
Ask Graded Readers Booklets
I have ordered the lvl 4 volume 3 too, waiting for arrival =)
Oxford Graded Readers
(have ordered lvl 2 volume 1 as well)
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 like me
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.
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.
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.
Next is a random book I picked up, cause… cat
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 these fairly well, though not all. The images help a lot though! I’ll probably read these once I’m done with my ever growing Graded Readers
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 though. I do think these will be very good for reading practice =)
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 =)
The Beginner Book Club did first book of Kiki’s Delivery Service. I fell of mid way, but have just recently started reading it again. I WILL make it! =D
I bought a set of 6
Autumn Prison and No6 are past books from the Intermediate Book Club, they were both way above my level though, but I managed to read quite a bit of it (not sure how much I understood though…).
The first two on bottom are collection of short stories, we did the red one. Again, above my level… I did the first two stories or so before focusing elsewhere.
The top right was read by the Intermediate group, I bought it even though I had a feeling it was above my level like the rest (I can read it later I hope )
Last one was supposed to be read with a separate group, they made it sound like an easy read… It is the hardest book I own and most likely to NEVER be read! XD
These are meant for Japanese School Children, grade 1 and 2.
Makes them somewhat easier in language, but so much Kana makes it harder than expected XD
I wanted the Harry Potter illustrated books, but couldn’t justify buyign them since I already have them all.
Well… if I buy them in Japanese…
Reading a book I already know the story of should make it easier since I already know what is going on =)
Bought book two too, will update when it arrives =)
We did the first Kitty book together as a group, and I will read the rest on my own =)
These are beautiful!
Book club books!
We read Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and will be doing the bottom two soon! (the other two, Wolf Children and Your Name, had enough votes that they just might win later)
The Scary Stories collection have also been suggested, and I hope we chose it one day, they seem so much fun and might be good for the Beginner Book Club! =D
These I stumbled across when we were doing 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 ^^;
The Beginner Book Club started out with Yotsuba! Now we have a separate group for Manga and do all of them =)
We are currently on book 7!
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.
So I made my own parallel texts instead
All of these I also have in English! Death Note is by far my fav Anime/manga story line, but it can be text heavy and political, so I stopped about half way through book one and did Chi instead. Love Chi, so sweet and simple story, but it makes you feel. 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. (I have gotten more than in the image too)
(will replace image later)
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’m amazed just how much I understand of these! This is 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!
My Hero Academia seemed like fun, so got it in both Japanese and English. We’ll see when we get to it though
少女終末旅行 is the next manga to be read in Beginner Book Club. Quite a few of us bought all 6, so hope there will be a spin of group to read 2-6 as well! =D
It was too short to buy only 1
The first is the story of how Pokemon was created!
Second was a near winner in one of the book clubs. Might win later =P
Fruits Basket was one of my very first Anime, and I love the manga.
I just recently bought the complete set in Japanese, but only these two have arrived so far
These are mangas I randomly picked up at Amazon! I don’t have the English version of any of these, except the Chi.
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, but 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, so saving it for later.
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 =)
Two random mangas I’ve ended up with from middle of series O_o
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 got this book suggested because of the books in the above set:
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 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 =)
Not used them at all after finding WaniKani though
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 =)
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 =^_^=
I have a good bunch of new items to add too, and more still on the way