If you are an English speaker studying Japanese using Minna no Nihongo Part 1 this is a very useful companion book which makes the material presented in Minna no Nihongo more accessible. With the main text book written almost entirely in Kana, this book provides English translations of the conversation examples and, perhaps more importantly, details of how the relevant grammar works following its introduction in the chapters of the main book. Each chapter is prefaced with a vocabulary list with words written in Kanji (if appropriate) as well as Hiragana.
The appendices are a concise but useful reference covering numbers and counters, expressions of time and verb conjugations.
All these good points aside, it's a fairly dry Japanese text book and IMO not the best choice if you're planning on learning Japanese through self-study. However if you are using Minna no Nihongo as a classroom text, this book is definitely worth a look.
on 14 July 2011
This book is a required companion for the main textbook, Minna no Nihongo 1. Whereas the main textbook has been entirely written in Japanese, this book provides vocabulary lists, related grammar and translations in English for the 25 units in the main book. As with the main textbook, no romanji is used for Japanese words. For this reason the book might be a little difficult for first-time introduction but I must note that it is also the suggested way to learn.
There are exactly two pages of vocabulary, one page of translation, one page of themed vocabulary and two pages of grammar explained for each of the 25 units in the book. Usually there are three to six grammar topics covered for each unit. Such predictability of the book opts for short-term study goals because you can estimate the amount of study time you will spend per unit.
Apart from the translations the grammar book does not require you to switch to the main textbook every second. Unit vocabulary, themed vocabulary and grammar is provided independently of other resources. I studied half of the grammar book before I started reading the textbook.
on 6 September 2010
This book is essential if using the Minna no nihongo bk 1 text book. Not least of all for the vocab lists. I suppose it would be possible to sit and translate every new piece of vocab with a paper dictionary (if another of your hobbies happens to be watching paint dry).
The grammar explainations are good, as are the example sentances. There are also occasionally little explainations of Japanese life spread through the first and second book, such as using a pay phone or an ATM.
You cannot use Minna no nihongo (effectively,comfortably,without going insane) without this book, I use this book more than I do the main textbook as it's so fantastic for when you go back and reveiw basic grammar points that have become a little rusty. I'v had this book for 4 years and I would never be without it (in Japan or England) as a seriously handy grammatical reference book.
on 3 November 2015
After becoming interested in learning Japanese, I was recommended this book, and I'm very glad I was recommended it; and amazing text book that will help you learn basic Japanese, although you do need to know how to read Hirigana and Katakana script before you can begin.