3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good Starter Textbook for in the Classroom,
This review is from: Minna No Nihongo: Bk. 1 (Perfect Paperback)
This was the first text book that I used to study Japanese at university (starting with no background in Japanese).
The entire text book is written in Hiragana and Katakana so before starting you really need to be familiar with them. Kanji have furigana (tiny little hiragana above the kanji which are quite a strain on the eyes)
This book alone offers no grammar explanations so the accompanying translation and grammatical notes are necessary (grammar dictionaries could be used instead if you wanted, but it wouldn't be nearly as convenient) which includes the translation of example sentences, vocabulary list and grammar explanations. There is a separate book for learning kanji.
The book has plenty of grammar exercises and comes with an answer book. There are also CDs and Videos for listening, an extra book full of practice exercises (which I particularly liked) and another book full of reading comprehension, as well as a kanji book. I own all of them (for both minna no nihongo 1 and 2) EXCEPT the videos, cds and Kanji books, mostly because of price. The video is really quite ridiculous but if you can manage to hold your laughter it is quite good if you want to see examples of situational Japanese. We used different books for Kanji (Basic Kanji book by Bonjisha co., ltd)
If you're studying this alone it's quite hard to keep motivation. You must have the grammar book that accompanies it which I believe offers excellent explanations, but they are sometimes a little too narrow. Very good for grammar drills. extremely basic but good to form Japanese foundations.