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Complete Japanese: Teach Yourself Paperback – 25 Jun 2010

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself (25 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444103946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444103946
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 671,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

This is undoubtedly an excellent course to consider if you really want to communicate properly in a language beyond simple holiday words and phrases...it will get you results...and all at a very reasonable price. (Real Travel)

Book Description

The best-selling complete course for a fun and effective way to learn Japanese.

This ISBN is for the paperback book. The corresponding audio support (ISBN: 9781444103960) is also available. The book and audio support can also be purchased as a pack (ISBN: 9781444103953).

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is very much a "first impressions" review - I have just started to learn Japanese, and purchased the Teach Yourself course along with the Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (JFZ) first book to compare approaches.

Teach Yourself Japanese is what I would describe as a traditional approach to language training - the gradual introduction of new vocabulary and grammar through various scenarios (shopping, asking directions) which give you a basic foundation in Part 1; and the development of more sophisticated structures and techniques in Part 2. This works very well for me as my own learning style is to want to understand the grammar thoroughly so I can develop my own use, rather than just memorise a selection of phrases without understanding what's behind their structure.

I find the explanations thorough, consistent and easy to follow, and they build naturally. Grammar and vocabularly is thoroughly exercised so you can check your understanding before moving on to the next stage. I'd contrast this with the JFZ approach which I found a bit superficial, not always clear and sometimes out of sequence. The audio component is good as well, including reading passages, vocabularly, and exercise drills. Having audio support is essential for the development and checking of correct pronunciation, so it's good that the book and the CDs are in synchrony.

The one drawback for me is that it defaults to romaji (Romanised script). Although it does develop kana and kanji, they're set out separately from the rest of the units in stand-alone sections.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book as it says on the back cover that it will take the complete beginner through to upper intermediate level Japanese (European Framework B2). IT DOES NOT! For a starter, it only introduces you to about 650-700 words. It also only introduces you to the basic kana scripts and some kanji - but reverts to romanji in the exercises meaning you get very little practice in their use.

According to the European Framework, someone at the B2 level must be able to read and write "complex texts." You cannot read and write anything in Japanese with only a few kanji and the kanas. You will NOT, for example be able to read magazines, newspapers or even children's books after completing this course.

Also, according to the international JLPT standards (administered by the Japanese Ministry of Education), to achieve intermediate level you need to know and be able to use all the 1945 kanji every school child knows in Japan, and you need to understand and be able to use several thousand words. So clearly this book is over estimating the level to which you will progress to using this book - but hey it's a great marketing tool.

The dialogues are very short and filled with English explanations. I had to rip the CD and edit out all the english. That left only about an hours worth of Japanese dialogue left, not nearly enough exposure to get someone to intermediate level. At the back of the book it even suggests you follow up this text with Japanese for Busy People 2. JfBP2 only takes you to advanced beginner, maybe lower intermediate, so again, as they are recommending this book as a follow on study text, the Teach Yourself must finish at the middle beginner level, and that would be about right in my opinion.
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2 Comments 49 of 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good for speaking but if you want to progress with hiragana as well go for the kanji version of Japanese for busy people
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really fast delivery and perfect
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