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Japanese Hiragana for Beginners: First Steps to Mastering the Japanese Writing System Paperback – 31 Jul 2007

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This book utilises a learning method that has helped thousands of students learn hiragana successfully in the United States and Japan. Picture mnemonics enhance memory by associating the shape and sound of each hiragana character with combinations of images and English words already familiar to students. This book is organised into three main sections. The first introduces the basic 46 hiragana characters along with writing tips and opportunities to practice writing them. The second teaches the usage rules that allow students to write all Japanese sounds, providing more opportunities for practice. The third strengthens students' skills through a wide range of exercises (word searches, crossword puzzles, fill in the blanks, visual discrimination, timed recognition quizzes, etc) designed to both increase the knowledge of the Japanese language and reinforce newly acquired writing skills.

Contents include: Section 1: The basics 46 hiragana; The basic 46 hiragana chart; Reading practice 1 (wa - so); Reading practice 2 (ta - ho); Reading practice 3 (ma - n); Section 2: Hiragana usage rules; The additional syllable chart; Rule 1: Tenten and maru; Reading practice 4 (tenten and maru); Rule 2: Combined characters; and Reading practice 5 (combined characters).

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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Easy and fun! 11 Sept. 2007
By Kirsten W - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Being completely new to learning the Japanese language, I was very intimidated by having to learn not one, but TWO new "alphabets" (not to mention the kanji). I stumbled across this one in a bookstore, and after flipping through it, decided to try it out. The mnemonic devices in it seemed corny, and I found myself saying "oh, I'll never remember it THAT way"... yet I found myself using those same devices constantly, and they really did work! Lots of space to practice using the characters, and the flash cards included in the back made it very easy to quiz myself on reading them. Working through it daily, section by section, I've picked up the basics in under a week, and have moved onto practicing what I've learned. If you want to learn hiragana, this one makes it simple and fun. I'll definitely be picking up the katakana version as well!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
absolutely the best 27 April 2009
By Katherine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
as a person with dyslexia i was very intimidated by the thought of written japanese.. but this book gave me the confidance to start the journey.. it allowed me to learn hiragana in 9-10 hours.. (spaced out) you can indeed learn it in a day or 2.. the flashcards are so brilliant.. i will always recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn hiragana quickly and easily.. and mostly painlessly.. it is worth much more than the 20$ i paid for it
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent workbook 4 Mar. 2010
By JH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just got this workbook in (along with the parallel Katakana workbook) and I am really impressed. A full page each plus mnemnonics for the primary symbols, a section on tenten & maru usuage, combined characters, reading practice for sounds, vocabulary, flash cards....all is focused on learning hiragana and practicing writing the symbols, but you learn a lot of vocabulary with the exercises too. Its reall a nice all-purpose beginner hiragana book. I can't wait to use it!! The Katakana book is the same and excellent as well!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Must-Have Tool 30 Jun. 2012
By Jess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I love, love, love this book! I had wanted to learn Japanese for awhile, and when I finally signed up for classes, I had had the mindset that I would be speaking the language, but I would never be able to wrap my mind around a completely different writing system.

I stummbled on this book when I was looking for textbooks in the library, and I was just beside myself on how effective this book is in teaching! After just two days of using it's system, I am slowly able to piece together words that are written in hiragana. Now I'm looking into buying the kanji and kana editions, with the confidense that they will be just as effective.

I HIGHLY recommend this book for leaners of all ages for a fast and effective way to start reading in Japanese. Definatly a must-have!
A Basic Necessity Of Learning Japanese 21 Sept. 2011
By Flight_173 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just for clarification purposes I haven't goten to use the book YET. I will be doing so when my college class / holidays at work slow down some.

This book will greatly augment any learning program or class you are taking. I highly recomend it.

Try and remember what it was like to learn curssive back in 4th or 5th grade. Are you picturing it. Ahh yes that's right you had that mean teacher that made you re-draw those weird symbols that you were never going to use again in your life over and over again in between those extra big lines just like you were an Elementry student. Which of course you were.

That's what this book is like. There's a big cursive "a" at the top of the page and boxes for you to draw them in. Only they're not "a's" they're japanese character symbols. Each page also has a pronociation guide in the upper right corner. They're around 77 pages in this format. These include numbers, basic characters, & other important characters.

In the back of the book there is flash cards. So no you don't have to buy the book & flash cards. This books has you covered.
There is 96 pages all chuck full of learning. the back third of the book is questions and anwers that you can fill in with your newfound skillz. This is also very useful as it practices you writing & improves knowlege of the country. For example on question looks like this: "2. How much is a rice ball (o ni gi ri)? _______________".
EX # 2: There is also a map of Nippon (Japan) at the back of the book with cities on it. it states the name of the city and the english translation for it's name. You must use hiragana to fill in the proper characters.

The first few pages are dedicated to explaing the book, system, and process. We have all used these types of books at one point or another in our life, and yes they DO work. If they didn't I wouldn't be able to sign checks, or my name. granted I don't know all of my cursive because I'm a programmer and type really really fast. So I don't need cursive much, but as I will be using hiragana this book will be indespencible.
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