Top positive review
75 of 76 people found this helpful
A rough diamond
on 10 March 2008
The presentation of this book, with small graphics, nice layout, along with its many different types of activity give the learner motivation to pick the book up, and keep picking it up.
I have read several of the current texts and this seems the best. It is a light approach to what could become a heavy subject. Well done to the authors for that.
The unique progressive introduction of one of the Japanese "alphabet" is rather good ,I imagine, for those who don't already know it. Readers learn the characters a few at a time in each chapter, the anglicised versions of Japanese characters gradually being replaced by the real thing (Hiragana).
(If readers do not already know Hiragana (the Japanese phonetic characters), then text books have to write their Japanese in an awful anglicised form called Romaji. Romaji is a system that leads to bad pronunciation by default, as readers will pronounce combinations of alphatic characters using their native tongue rules and patterns.)
The book will also get you speaking from the off. This can only build confidence for new learners.
The book includes some handy blocks of vocabulary and some mini Japanese-English / English-Japanese dictionaries.
On the downside are several typographical errors - notably incorrect page references. Not that important but a bit naughty.
Strangely, there are the inclusion of some words/phrases/concepts which seem to materialise from thin air. Perhaps the explanatory sections for these were removed in the final edit. May cause some confusion.
On a slightly more serious note,some of the language chosen for the learner may not be the most suitable language for most situations (i.e its level of politeness). For example, the verb introduced for "want" early on will have you sounding like a 6 year old child screaming " I WANT an ice cream!!!" Readers are advised to perhaps read another text alongside this one,which would explain matters better. However, perhaps later books will address this.
I bought Book 2, so that says it all really. Overall good and I look forward to going through the rest of the series.