Help me with みんなの日本語

I’ve been thinking about buying a proper grammar book and Minna no Nihongo caught my interest. So to help with my decision, I made this thread to ask the community about their experiences with these books.
If I do buy, I think I can skip the first one. I read somewhere that it’s about at N5-level, is that true?
I’d appreciate any advice.

And if you hated the books, you can rant about them here.

Ah, probably worth mentioning that I prefer reading books in German, because native language. The translation and grammar notes of みんなの日本語 happen to be available in German.

I don’t have a Minna no Nihongo, but I don’t know if I’d recommend skipping the first book if you decide to buy it. All textbooks teach different things, so even if you’re past N5 there might be some things in the first book that you miss if you go directly for the second. If you’re not averse to spending a bit more on educational material you should buy both the first and second.

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For self-study, I don’t like it. All four of them. (みんなの日本語1〜4)

I have looked into Genki 2 and I liked it.

However, I bought 新完全マスター文法N4 and can keep up with it. So, I’ll stick with 新完全マスター for now.

You can try to see if you like Minna no Nihongo, but skipping one or two first books can make you hate it. So, for this series, I am against skipping even one book or one chapter if you happen to use it.

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I studied from Genki I-II for first 3 years of college, and on the 4th year, we started minna no nihongo intermediate. I personally didn’t like it. That might be because I was used to Genki and I started with minna in intermediate rather than beginning. I do remember it took a while to get used to…but even then I didn’t like it.

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Been using the Minna books for the past 3 years since it was part of the Japanese business and culture college I enrolled at, it is a good book if you are going to use very formal forms most off the times.

Got my hands on the Genki series last year and I feel it’s better for self study since Minna is a tad too formal and business orientated sometimes.

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Thanks みんな

@polv is 新完全マスター mostly in Japanese, similar to みんなの日本語?

Differently structured. Rarely using English.

For N4 book, the first section is review – two pages per one grammar point.

In the second section, there is grammar explanation on the left page, and exercise on the right page. You should try to find it in a bookstore.

N3 onwards, all Japanese.

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From my experience with Genki, I’d recommend not skipping a book. I went straight to Genki 2 after finishing both Human Japanese volumes and it’s a pain not knowing what parts I’ve missed. Different resources do things differently, so even though you may be entering at the correct level, there may be some key information missing because it was taught earlier on. It’s understandable to want to jump ahead though, since it saves time and money, but I think in the long run you’ll have a much better foundation which is much more important then those things.

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no, shinkanzenmasuta- is less friendly towards reader. It throws a lof of grammar at you with little explanation. Also uses only japanese. But it is nice book actually, but its better to use it when you are already familiar with grammar and just need to repeat it. So i suggest minnaNoNihongo and don’t skip the first book.


@Veraxes Thank you, what do you think about the claim that みんなの日本語 is very business orientated and not so good for self study?

Do I like みんなの日本語?
I do not like it, no, no, no, no
I do not like its illustrations
I do not like its explanations
I did not find it very useful
I am not biased, I’m being truthful
Would I buy みんなの日本語
Probably not.


At my school, we used it to supplement our main grammar book. I think it is great for that- it has some great passages for early readers, and has a nice diversity of vocabulary and topics that you wouldn’t get from a normal textbook series, and better reflects the language you will actually encounter on a day to day basis. But it is all in Japanese and follows a sink-or-swim ideology- this is fine if you have a teacher to help explain things to you, or if you are looking to refresh your memory on some topics you have already covered with clear and entertaining examples, but not so great if you’re trying to learn it on your own.

In short, it’s a great supplement to a class curriculum, but I wouldn’t recommend it for self-study.


I think that MNN is a good choice anyway and really simple. Excercises are short and not frustrating. Also I never noticed that it is “business oriented”. Yes, there is a lot of dialogues between colleagues, used as examples to grammar topics, which is not a bad thing. But i’ll say again, i never used Genki, which is another popular choice, so i can’t compare them.

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But there is a book “translation and grammar notes” available seperately, in various languages…

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