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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Starting Point - Guided with British English!
One of the most basic but effective ways of learning a language is - 'repetition'! So during the cassette tape era I used to play the language tapes just over and over again, in the car, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the street with a Sony Walkman - wherever possible.

In this sense this audio course has gone back to the basics as it comes with 3 audio CDs...
Published on 11 July 2009 by Marco Rossini

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Japanese but too basic for the casual traveller
Having only ever tried to learn new languages in the classroom (at school or evening classes) I was intrigued to see how this 3 CD and booklet set would help me learn a language generally perceived to be very difficult to pick up.

The model is simple... you have a booklet to follow when listening to the CDs. Each track on each CD is easily referenced in the...
Published on 29 Oct. 2009 by Darren Simons


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Japanese but too basic for the casual traveller, 29 Oct. 2009
By 
Darren Simons (Middlesex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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Having only ever tried to learn new languages in the classroom (at school or evening classes) I was intrigued to see how this 3 CD and booklet set would help me learn a language generally perceived to be very difficult to pick up.

The model is simple... you have a booklet to follow when listening to the CDs. Each track on each CD is easily referenced in the booklet so it's easy to stop and start your learning. Your guide is British who explains what you will be taught in each unit - an explanation of the expression to be learnt is given and you then hear two Japanese people (one male, one female) saying the expression which you then repeat. There's 12 units covering greetings, nationalities, occupations, directions, food, ordering and paying in restauran ts. And finally there's some extra wording in the booklet highlighting some basic history and tourist highlights of Japan.

It's easy to follow, covers the basic and probably is about as much as you could learn in a couple of weeks. However, if you think this will let you make basic conversation in Japanese you're going to disappointed. The vocabulary is very limited and although there's some language sections in each unit to give some words for that topic it's not really that well integrated.

I have a bit of an issue with this CD. If it's aimed the casual traveller then it should include basic reading to help recognise signs written in Kanji and some sort of dictionary at the back. Instead it teaches you "Ego ga wakarimasu ka?" which means "Do you understand English?" (to which the cynic would say if you asked that in English you'd get the same answer"!!). Conversely, if it's aimed at someone wanting to learn the language I think they would go for a more complex book / CD combo which covers reading, listening and speaking.

So to conclude if you want to be able to say the odd sentence when you are in Japan to avoid looking like the typical tourist then this is good, but for anything else I would suggest something a bit more advanced and if you do want this to give an intro to the language you must take a dictionary with on your travels.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Starting Point - Guided with British English!, 11 July 2009
By 
Marco Rossini "Marco" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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One of the most basic but effective ways of learning a language is - 'repetition'! So during the cassette tape era I used to play the language tapes just over and over again, in the car, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the street with a Sony Walkman - wherever possible.

In this sense this audio course has gone back to the basics as it comes with 3 audio CDs which are very nicely coordinated. In my view a language course with a CD is much better than one with a CD-ROM, because you can keep running it and you don't need a PC/Mac to use it. When you have time, you could sit down, listen to one of the CDs and use the colour booklet, which would help our 'adult brain' to comprehend the course, but after that stage - just keep playing it all the time, even with your iPod, and relax until you've memorised it completely, as you learned how to ride a bicycle and still remember how to cycle now.

Another good thing is that the entire course is guided with a very clear male voice with a British accent (not American!), and the conversation examples held in Japanese is also very clear Japanese female voices - I think the male guide is a complete bilingual.

This is a beginners' course, so if you're already studying at the intermediate level, this course may not be suitable for you, but still the quality is very good and not text-book based, which I like very much, I can recommend it to all the new Japanese learners.

Hope this helps!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dipping a toe into Japanese, 23 July 2009
By 
Uncle Barbar (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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I am considering working in Japan and decided to learn some of the language. I began by labouriously copying out symbols from a textbook but I found this course much quicker, simpler and more fun. It is ideal for giving you a basic verbal vocabulary so that you can at least begin to communicate.

Of course, it's not going to make you proficient in this extremely complex language but it's a good start. The one thing I found particularly helpful was that I could upload the course onto my MP3 player and carry it around and practice in a spare moment.

There is nothing revolutionary here, it is simply listen and repeat. However, it seems as good a system as any I have come across for learning a language. The course comprises three CDs and a booklet, it is straightforward to use, the instructions are clear and it is broken down into 12 sections.

There are male and female voices so that you can hear how different speakers pronounce the phrases, a feature which I found helpful. The sound quality was excellent. Most of the phrases are indeed the useful sort you would find yourself using and you're also taught what the various answers may be.

All in all, I found this an easy-to-use, fun and helpful course, which I would recommend for anybody who wanted to dip their toe into learning Japanese. I am now considering moving on to the Collins Easy Learning Mandarin Chinese.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and not just for business travel, 21 Jun. 2009
By 
Joanne K. Pilsworth (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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I selected this title as a keen practitioner of karate, who was not sure that my pronunciation of terminology was up to scratch. This book did not disappoint, considering I realised that I was mispronouncing a key word within two pages/one exercise of the book.

The format of this mini-language course is excellent. It provides an easy access to what is a complex language. I believe the ease of use is a key factor in encouraging further study of the language. If 'we Brits' are ever to break the stereotype of Brits and a foreign language, then courses like this are what are needed.

Particular points of note are it is short, the individual exercises are not too long, and it can be transferred onto an MP3 player with ease.

I have a similar title for Mandarin Chinese which I hadn't yet tried, but this is enough to convince me to do so, and also to consider finding a Spanish version to encourage my son in his GCSE revision.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good basic introduction for the casual visitor, 15 July 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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Reviewing Collins' series of easy learning courses tends to be a bit repetitive - with each language following the same formula, they all share the same strengths. This set won't have you speaking Japanese like a native or give you the ability to have complex conversations in Japanese, but it will give you enough basic Japanese skills for a holiday or short visit without sounding too much like a tourist. It's very much of the old 'ecoutez et repetez' format, although it does offer background and explanations on phrases and words so it's not simply learning by rote. It also helpfully includes possible answers to questions you're likely to ask abroad - after all, what's the point of being able to ask a question if you can't understand the answer? - as well tips on body language and tone of voice to help you convey more than just the phrases themselves.

It's not meant to be a lightning course - it's best to give yourself a week or two at least before your trip to get the most out of the course - and it doesn't offer any new learning techniques if you've had problems with the 'ecoutez et repetez' format in the past - it's still basically a reinforced memory technique. But as a useful introduction to help you get by in Japan, the three CDs and booklet cover the basics effectively enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For complete beginners only; otherwise OK, 18 Jan. 2011
By 
Marcus Denham (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
I listened to these CDs in the car *after* having worked my way through another (more extensive) CD-based introductory course in Japanese. Overall, I liked them and thought they had some very good points, but I got through the three CDs in less than a fortnight and was disappointed that they didn't go into more detail.

On the plus side, the narrator has a relaxing English accent, and the recordings use a mixture of native speakers (both male and female, and accents using the hard "g" and more nasal "ng"). The recordings are well organised, with vocabulary followed by dialogues that are initially broken down, then repeated in full (and at full speed!) and then later repeated with the listener able to play the role of one speaker or another.

The booklet that accompanies the CDs contains all the vocabulary and dialogues, plus a little more vocabularly, cultural notes and some useful notes on pronunciation and language usage. The Japanese is written out using the normal English (Latin) alphabet with long vowel sounds indicated using a bar above them. I'd have liked the Hiragana and/or Katakana as well, which would suit learners looking to move beyond the material on these CDs.

The content covered is well-chosen, despite the fact that there's not very much of it. Other courses I've encountered have introduced vocabulary that I can't see *anyone* using frequently, e.g. the Japanese have a special word used solely to refer to the seventh day of any given month. While it is useful to know that such a word exists, I'd rather be taught something more generic e.g. how to say the date. In these CDs, there weren't that many words that I considered low-priority: the bulk are likely to be useful.

Less well handled, I felt, was the treatment of "markers" ("particles" in other courses I've encountered), e.g. "wa", "ga", "no", "to", "de" etc. These are not dealt with on the CD in any detail, although the booklet does provide a basic introduction to a few. Hence the CDs feel oriented very much towards an infrequent visitor to Japan (e.g. a tourist visiting for the first time). And if this is the case, then I'd expect to see more get-out-of-jail and emergency phrases included.

Probably best purchased in conjunction with a phrase book, if you're just looking to get by, or just get a feel for the language without any intention of taking it further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Way To Learn Simple Japanese, 18 July 2009
By 
DL Productions UK (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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I've dreamt of going to Japan now for around 10 years, so when I got the opportunity to learn it from this Collins set I had to look at it. As someone who's recommended learning French using their sets, I knew I was in for a good course, and I wasn't disappointed.

To start off with, it was so easy to put on my iPod, as suggested by Collins themselves. All I did was put it in iTunes and ripped it;no need for messing around - they had named the files perfectly. Then I was able to just play it - and so far, I'm on unit 4 and enjoying it. Sometimes I have had to go back to it, but I do remember a lot of it so far, and it's been good fun to learn.

The booklet is great too, and goes a bit more in-depth, but the 4hrs of CDs are wonderful and the people on there are clear and helpful, and help you hear Japanese as well as recite it. I am just hoping now my trip will be as smooth as this learning course :)

As it is an audio course, you don't actually get to learn to read signs which is a bit of a pity, otherwise this is superb for the traveller and occasional business person. I wouldn't recommend this for people wanting an in-depth Japanese course, as you'd really need to do an A level or GCSE, but for the visitor, this should get you through any problem or just to enjoy yourself in the Japanese world.

Top notch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally hit the jackpot, 17 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
I wnated to learn some basic Japanese before a trip to Japan and was looking for one where I could hear and learn and use it in the car or train or elsewhere and not to study only from books as pronounciation is vital. Finally I chanced on this Collins 3 audio CDs. Exactly what I wanted, not complicated with Japanese characters, leads you through the accompanying book by listening and repeating. The book is not cluttered by Japanese characters. Cannot praise it highly enough. Clear UK accent which helps. I was disappointed about the "BBC Get by in Japanese" as well as "Berliz Japanese phrase bood and CD". They were both unstructured and the CD only dealt with bits of the booklet. The BBC one did not refer to page numbers on the audio. The Collins Easy Learning Japanese was ideal for my purposes and would think for most tourists who want some basic communication skills but a good start to further study I would imagine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hai, wakarimasu (yes, I understand), 9 May 2010
By 
pacem et amorem (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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This is one of quite a few of these Collins Easy Learning audio courses I own. I can honestly say that I have always found them to be very good. This Japanese audio course follows the usual Collins format. The way Collins approach the learning process results in an easy to follow process which introduces key words and phrases at a pace which a beginner will not find too pressing.

This is a perfect buy if you are even remotely interested in the Japanese language or if you are heading to Japan for your hols or for business and want to attempt to speak to the Japanese in their own language. I love teh versatility of this programme and that you can download the CDs to your mp3 player for use on the go or play in the car, on the hifi or on the PC.
This is a great buy for the price and I certainly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and easy to use, 9 July 2009
By 
AR (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Japanese (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course) (Audio CD)
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This is a great introduction to the Japanese language, which I have so far found useful and simple to use. It is broken down into small sections with a few essential phrases, which are repeated a number of times so you have plenty of opportunity to practice. You also hear conversations being held in Japanese for each bit of vocabulary, a useful device that helps you develop an ear for the language. The accompanying booklet has a lot of tips on how to speak Japanese, and tips for the traveller. I would have liked to see a bit more about Japanese characters, but for learning to speak and understand basic Japanese, you can't go wrong with this product.
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