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Total Japanese with the Michel Thomas Method Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Total Japanese with the Michel Thomas Method + Total Mandarin Chinese (Learn Mandarin Chinese with the Michel Thomas Method) + Total Spanish (Learn Spanish with the Michel Thomas Method)
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Unabridged edition (30 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444138057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444138054
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 6.9 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Five minutes in and you already feel like you're winning" (Time Out)

"The nearest thing to painless learning" (The Times)

"A unique and perfectly brilliant way of learning languages" (Stephen Fry)

"The most extraordinary experience of my life" (Emma Thompson)

"Thomas makes it simple" (Sunday Times)

"Works like a dream" (Daily Telegraph)

"Michel Thomas is a precious find indeed" (The Guardian)

Book Description

Guaranteed success, incredible progress and absolute confidence in Japanese.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Blueberry2 on 28 Dec 2012
The Michel Thomas method won't give you everything you need to be able to speak and understand a language, but it does provide an understanding of the structure to give you more confidence in being able to form your own sentences and express yourself.

I used the French and Mandarin recordings a while back and loved them. When moving to Japan a couple of years ago I naturally looked for the Michel Thomas Japanese course to help me understand the basics of the language.

And generally this course succeeds in doing that, explaining enough of the basic aspects of the structure of Japanese to get you going. As with other Michel Thomas courses, it has a nice, steady progression through several aspects of grammar until you find yourself forming sentences that are quite complex.

But the Japanese courses suffer from three main problems:
- You don't get very far. Progression is very slow compared to other language courses, and towards the end of the course the instructors choose to explain tenses and structures that you might not expect to use at a beginner level ("even if I..."), while ignoring other grammar points that would be far more useful for everyday situations (which, frustratingly, they hint at but never explain, e.g. "There is another version of the past tense, which we are not going to look at", when it is in fact the version that Japanese people use ALL THE TIME.
- The focus is on explaining grammar and structure, so new vocabulary is introduced very slowly. You will need some other resource to learn even the most basic vocabulary.
- The people on the recording are frankly not as good as those used on other languages.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Whataboffin on 4 Nov 2011
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The Thomas Michele method is brilliant. The recordings are excellent. You feel like you are part of a class, with a teacher, a pronunciation helper and two other students; one who is very good at picking it up so you feel competitive against and one who is not so good so you feel you are improving against and helps you recognise when they make mistakes. At least it helps me.

The whole point of Michele Thomas is that you don't write anything down. It works well, however, I have also been learning the hiragana and the katakana as I listen to these CDs and found that learning that really helps with the pronunciation. For example: for a while I wasn't sure about the difference between he/him which is Kare and because/therefore which is kara. It sounds very similar on the tape but reading it you can see the subtle difference. But that's the only problem I have as they do very good remembering tricks such as nemui meaning sleepy as "I may be sleepy but I am NEver MOOdY - nemui."

However, the Michele Thomas Company is very sneaky and I almost gave this product 3 stars but I felt that was unfair on the product which is really good when my grievance is with them. Basically, a few months ago when I decided to buy the Thomas Method Foundation course at about £39, I decided to not buy it because I saw they were bring out Thomas Michele Total Method with a promise of 4 hours more recording as well as PC help etc etc for £56. For the extra stuff I decided to pre-order that instead. But it wasn't out for a whole month.

So after waiting a month I then had to wait an extra 2 weeks because it was delayed for some reason and when it turned up, what did I find? The Thomas Michele Method Foundation Course repackaged. That's it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geoff on 12 Jun 2012
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Even ignoring the written language, Japanese is difficult to learn as it is structured differently to European languages, and appears frustratingly terse. This technique quickly builds skill and confidence with an amazingly easy approach which gives a feeling of confidence very soon. The technique of "joining in" a class and listening to student mistakes appears to be tiresome but it works very well indeed. Not doing homework is a bonus! Having taken formal classes and then used this course, I would recommend anyone else to do the opposite - start with this, and build from there! This is by far the best "starting off" language technique I have come across (I wish I had known about it at school when I was learning French!).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. McManus VINE VOICE on 29 Feb 2012
Before buying this course, you need to know several things. Firstly, this course will NOT teach you holiday/travel phrases, so bear this in mind. Secondly, even if you complete the course due to a general interest in the language, you will still need other courses to reach a high level.

This course has good points and bad points. The teacher introduces you to Japanese, primarily through drilling a small number of high frequency verbs until you master them. You learn how to say things by more and more being added to simple sentences e.g. "I eat sushi/I eat sushi every day/I eat sushi but my friend does not" etc. This is a little tedious, but is surprisingly memorable.

The course does a decent job of introducing you to Japanese particles (wa, ga, ne, de, ka etc), which many other courses do not, and without the particles, your Japanese will always sound sketchy.

The course does have some weaknesses. One issue is that two verbs, imasu and arimasu are very important, yet don't appear in the course until the last 90 minutes of the 8 hour course. These needed to be earlier. Another issue is that whilst you learn the verbs that are introduced throughout the course well, there are not that many verbs in the course.

Overall, its a good course, but you will need more courses if you want to go further.
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