Hey guys, could anyone recommend me a textbook, that I could buy. I can read hiragana and katakana. Does anyone know a textbook that would be appropriate for my level?
The Genki series would be a good start, or there are some sites like Tae Kim which could help you learn as well. Since WaniKani focuses on kanji, and these books focus on grammer, it will help you learn how to use the language more effectively.
These are two popular ones.
The Minna No Nihongo textbooks are in all Japanese, so if you’re self studying you will have to get the grammar companion in one of the available other languages, as well. If you have a teacher, of course they would be equiped to explain the relevant grammar to you. The exercises are good, I think.
Genki would be a great place to start, and you could also use supplement materials such as Bunpro, another SRS program for Japanese grammar, and Tae Kim’s guide, which every advanced Japanese user recommends. Also consult the list person above me posted to find materials catered to your studying style!
I would recommend the Japanese from Zero books. There’s less of a classroom focus then the Genki books and there are a lot of YouTube videos by the author that go over things from the book. It’s one of the better standalone courses. Although George does come off like a used car salesman so you may have to take that into account.
Genki is a pretty good one with a lot of extra resources out there to help you. If you are self studying, make sure you use the genki self-study resources page.
I also like this lady - she does videos for all the different lessons so it really helps get another perspective instead of just reading the book
Curedolly and Japanese ammo with Misa are also good secondary sources to textbooks that will help you with grammar
Just a word of caution…the Japanese from Zero (JF0) books are ok, but honestly I started with them. If you already know hiragana and katakana, start with genki… the JF0 books are very expensive for what they are worth and aside from vol 1 they are chock full of many errors. It was infuriating as a beginner. Also their website isn’t actually free you have to buy the books and then pay for the website … if you do want to start with any of them I can only honestly recommend Vol 1…after that genki or any other reference (as other’s have said) lots of websites. Also there is Marugoto, which doesn’t seem to be as popular but that’s another series of textbooks that’s available to you.
Good luck! Have fun! Don’t let the crabigator eat you alive.
:Welcome to the community
In case you don’t mind digital versions you can check out irodori by the japan foundation. The starter edition is supposed to come out end of this month and they will cover level A1 and A2. The focus is on speaking skill.
Apart from that I second the following thread:
oh…another JF item… FYI:
Irodori is loosely connected to Marugoto
The topics and grammar points in each lesson of Irodori are loosely connected to “Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture” a Japanese coursebook for overseas learners created by the Japan Foundation. You can use Irodori and Marugoto together, use part of Marugoto as a supplement when you study Irodori, or use Marugoto-related websites, such as Marugoto+ (Marugoto Plus), to study Irodori.
Marugoto is great, alone for being more modern and less… textbooky (for lack of a better word) than many other textbooks, but the problem is that you won’t be getting anywhere close the maximum out of it without a teacher to check your answers and a study partner to do the exercises with. It has lots of activities that are geared towards the classroom, like writing small essays and holding short conversations and whatnot.
Also, they only start teaching pitch accent patterns seriously by book 8, at the intermediate level, and whole sentence pitch patterns in book 9, which I found a bit weird.
Which textbooks is best for you depends on your learning type and abillity.
Are you an advanced/fast learner? Do you learn on your own or in a group?
When it comes to learning japanese I am sooo slow and not talented (but still having fun).
Therefore I like Japanese from Zero. The progress indeed is not very fast (but that’s the perfect pace for me). I do not use the website but the free youtube lessons. Just take a look at the first few lessons on youtube to find out whether you like it or not.
Pitch pattern study might be useful if you want to sound like a native, but you don’t really need it to be understood as an L2, most of the time. So I understand textbooks not paying too much attention to it. You can learn it through a lot of listening to native content, as well as speaking with native speakers on a regular basis.
No, you don’t strictly need it to be understood, but it helps. If you speak Japanese without trying to put stress on the syllables, that alone makes you more pleasant to listen to and easier to understand. Also, it’s good to have at least a rudimentary idea of pitch accent just to be aware of it and know how to listen for it. I don’t think Marugoto even mentions it in their main textbook and gives a very cursory introduction in the accompanying Wordbook to the Starter textbooks.
Anyway, I understand all the reasons why textbooks don’t teach it. That wasn’t what I found weird about Marugoto. Pronunciation in general tends to get the short end of a stick in Japanese teaching. But if they do teach it, wouldn’t you agree that it would be a good idea to start with it earlier rather than way into the studies?
As for improving though listening and speaking alone, I’m not quite sure about that. Certainly, pronunciation improves through listening to some degree (though not nearly as much as by shadowing and recording your voice, I’ve found), but most people who have learned Japanese to a very high level using such an immersion approach, like Khatzumoto of the AJATT fame or Matt vs Japan, still get the pitch accent wrong (though, to be sure, their pronunciation being very good in general often tends to make up for it).
seconding irodori!!! they have their textbooks available for free. i’ve scanned it and the japanese they teach you is really helpful and practical. the only thing is that their focus is definitely more on conversational/self intro/every day life stuff.
for basic foundational grammar, i’d definitely suggest genki. they have a great way of breaking down grammar points simply.
Pronunciation in general tends to get the short end of a stick in Japanese teaching. But if they do teach it, wouldn’t you agree that it would be a good idea to start with it earlier rather than way into the studies?
pitch accent is just kind of a nice cherry on top tbh. funny pronunciation here and there doesn’t impede one’s ability to be understood overall, so i get why language textbooks wouldn’t fuss with it especially in the beginning, when you’re trying to teach more foundational things like grammar and vocab. as long as you’re not so completely offbase and putting emPHAsis on the wrong syLLAble with every other word, you’ll be fine.
I really like Japanese from Zero. Its really slow, sometimes too slow, but you can finish book 1 in 1-2 weeks.
And even if you already know hiragana and katana, you can just skip the pages that it teaches you that.
I got the kindle version for 10US$. ANd the combination with Youtube channel is a really easy place to start.
I also advice you to use bunpro.jp, its awesome, you can do only a few lessons (1-2) each day.
I agree wholeheartedly! I love Japanese from Zero. If you have the money you can subscribe to the Japanese From Zero website. They have the videos for each lesson, games, and quizzes, and much more. This is my favorite Japanese book, and I have a lot of them. I don’t like Genki, either.
I just started using Genki and it’s pretty good. There are a few group activities but if you have a sibling just do it with you it’s fine, or you can just change it up a little to make it more of a solo styled activity. I also suggest getting the workbook it’s pretty useful to go through the textbook questions and then do the workbook ones. It helps solidifies your knowledge. I think the best way to do it is without looking at the textbook notes and attempt it without any help, and then go back and look at the textbook. And like other people have said use supplementary materials like Tae Kim’s guide or even Youtube there’s a bunch of resources. If you’re looking for just sentence practise then Duolingo is pretty decent due to the large number of different sentences they have and they use a lot of kanji without the furigana which is really helpful in really consolidating your kanji.
Hope this helps
I find duolingo really bad for vocab.
Did you tried Torii srs? its way better… Also, i use Drops + Torii + Memrise, which are better options than duolingo imo