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on 24 May 2017
I've been trying to learn Japanese for about two months in my spare time but i don't get a lot of free time between being at college and working a full time job! This book has been a fantastic resource in that it slowly introduces the language in Romaji (english lettering) and slowly replaces it with Japanese characters. I've also found that i can remember words and phrases really well as they're repeated throughout the book, unlike others which teach you a phrase and never speak of it again! Not only does it teach you phrases but it also teaches you how to write the characters too through work pages which i've found so helpful! I've tried learning other languages before but i feel like i'm really getting it with Japanese... i actually understood some of dialogue on the anime i was watching the other day!
Such an awesome book... highly recommend.
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on 12 May 2016
I have been studying Japanese on and off for around half a year and I have a fairly good understanding of low level Japanese, both speaking and writing. However, I have always felt that my learning method and time dedicated to learning could be improved.

I found a YouTube channel called Japanese from Zero and instantly found I was gaining knowledge way faster than I had before. I dont know why but something about the teaching method really connected with me. I decided I wanted to start learning Japanese again from the VERY start and properly dedicate time and effort. I had seen this YouTube channel and noticed as well as their FREE and very useful website they also released a series of books. To cut a long story short, I decided to purchase.

It was one of the best decisions I have made when it came to learning Japanese. I can guarantee from experience if you dedicate time to learning you will have Hiragana, numbers and even basic speaking and reading down to a tee. The book has a very good pace and will take you through different stages at a decent level. The book does not treat you like and idiot and you will feel the benefits from using it pretty much instantly.

I would recommend using other resources along side this book of course, however If for some reason this was your only resource you could do much worse. They have a website with a tonne of FREE content which would be great for learning along side this book and a YouTube channel. A great book filled with REAL Japanese phrases that people actually use in Japan. Most textbooks while grammatically correct, make the mistake of teaching phrases that no one uses for multiple reasons. This textbook will have you sounding like a pro and talking like a native very quickly, or at least put you on the right track.

All-in-all a really great book and series. If anyone is learning Japanese and considering this book, I can tell you it's very good. You of course need to put the effort in but you will get so much from this book as a result. Great book, fun to use and easy to understand.
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on 12 January 2018
Often Japanese books are split into two with the main book and a workbook. I happen to see the Japanese From Zero book as a complement to Georges YouTube channel with such videos as "Japanese in 5 minutes" as well as the many hours of YouTube video touching on each chapter of the books - you are able to read the chapter in the book and watch along with the video as well; how many other books offer such a rich learning environment?

The book is well presented in large text which I find useful, especially for absolute beginners, as other Japanese text books I've read tend to have small, light text (smaller, narrower font size) which can be challenging to read if you aren't comfortable with either HIragana or Katakana (two of the three writing systems used in Japan). The pages are also not crammed full, this could be a slight negative if you prefer quantity over quality though I find this useful for absolute beginners as other books may be intimidating at first sight.

The book is well structured into logical chapters and Georges progressive approach to Hiragana is helpful for newcomers to the language. However, if you are already comfortable with Hiragana you may find this limiting.

There are many pages dedicated to exercises whereby you are presented with hiragana and the meaning and as an exercise you can copy the hiragana a few times; which I could see as useful to those first starting out.

I'd highly recommend this as a first Japanese book if you have not yet experienced Japanese given the presentation of the books content, the progressive approach and the easy going look to the page layout as there is lots of white space to help you focus on a few concepts at a time.

With this being said, if you are somewhat comfortable with Japanese and the two writing systems (excluding Kanji) I would recommend that you purchase another book.

If you are looking to be eased into Japanese, and it can be intimidating at first I should know I've been learning for only 1 year, then this is the book for you and you'll hopefully develop a hunger for learning more Japanese and go on to purchase the other books in the series.

どうもありがとうございます。日本語を勉強 は難しいけど面白い。
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on 27 May 2017
Honestly the most useful tool I have found yet to learn Japanese. I am going through the books to understand grammer, Georges brilliant companion youtube videos clarify any difficult points and make pronounciation of tricky words clear, then also using some independent apps for kanji.

Have felt confident enough talking to a Japanese friend at work after just book one. Trip to Tokyo next August will be the real test though!
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on 23 March 2018
This book and the series of books are brilliant. I've been trying different books, websites and phone apps and none of them have helped me as much to understand the basics and improve on my Japanese as these. What people don't realise is that it isn't just a book. You also have access to their website and the VERY useful YouTube videos that follow the structure of the book.

If you are serious about Japanese, want to just learn the basics or invest into the whole language, I would seriously look no further than this book.

Thank you George.
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on 24 July 2017
This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to learn Japanese. I have used various resources in the past, but this is by far my favorite! I have actually discovered this book when I was browsing youtube channel in which George goes over every lesson that is in the book. I found this incredibly helpful not only to revise what I have learnt in the book, but to ensure I have understood it correctly. The book slowly takes you through the hiragana by incorporation it the next set of characters and completely replacing the romaji with them. This is a great way to learn how to write, read and remember the characters quickly. I would definitely recommend the book, and to check out their website and youtube channel!
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on 4 August 2017
As a learner of Japanese I've been studying mainly from Genki, but following the rule of "never learn from one source" I wanted a supplementary course book.

I chose the JFZ series on the merit of the author George Trombleys YouTube channel and website, which is packed with useful, informative lessons and ask a teacher sessions.

JFZ has served as an excellent supplement. George's method of teaching is friendly, often humourous, and cuts a lot of linguistic jargon, keeping explanations clean and easy to understand. Less time looking up linguistic terms is a real benefit and his time living and growing up in Japan is a benefit to those he teaches, leading him to he lean towards a naturalised way of speaking rather than the textbook style you can find in many books.

Also, the vocabulary he offers is more relevant to real life, books such as Genki offer a university centred vocabulary (why do I need to know medical terms?). On this JFZ is much more useful.

I do have a few complaints, but they are fairly trivial.

Firstly, I knew the Kana before purchasing JFZ, so his progressive approach in the first two books (which may be useful to those who are just starting out) is something I'd choose to avoid. However, this doesn't detract from the quality of the lessons themselves. As a result it puts Kanji off a little, not a massive deal but I think Kanji should be introduced off the bat.

While the books lack audio supplements, the YouTube channel more than makes up for it.

In terms of pace, JFZ books are offered in more, smaller volumes - each two volumes of JFZ cover about the same content as each volume of Genki, taking you to around an intermediate level.

So, if you were to buy all of the JFZ books (1-4/5) then you'll cover the same level as Genki I and Genki II but save yourself a few bucks in the process (Genki still works out more expensive).

I highly recommend George's books, they'll serve you well and recommend following his YouTube Channel and website.
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on 15 November 2017
I've tried other Japanese text books that didn't interest me. This one has a really captivating teaching method that I think can work for anyone. Everything is taught in a very logical order where you build up skills taught in previous chapters in each subsequent chapter. Absolutely no prior knowledge of Japanese is required, or even knowledge of foreign languages in general. If you are looking to teach yourself Japanese i'd try this book (and the related video courses) first. I already knew bits and pieces of Japanese from when I was in Japan but couldn't string a sentence together without knowing the grammar. This book really gave structure and a foundation to the words and phrases I already knew. Loving learning it.
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on 21 August 2017
I've been learning Japanese with this book and his youtube channel and website (which I only found out AFTER doing half the book) and I love it. It's easy to understand - he keeps the pace and it makes it very easy for people to understand why and how the Japanese language works. With this book, in particular, you learn the alphabet progressively - BUT I have learned Hiragana and Katakana before I started this book. Would I say one is better than the other? No - with this book you use the characters you have learned so far in each chapter and you add onto them progressively whereas I just studied the alphabets and then hit the book.

It's a great resource, i recommend his youtube channel too as well as the website - it gives you a great all-round experience and especially when you'Ve studied the book, listen to his youtube because stuff makes a helluva lot more sense
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on 14 February 2018
Amazing book. George is such a helpful teacher not just in regards to hiragana and grammar, but teaching the culturally acceptable way to say things. For example, who would have known to never say Sayounara as a normal goodbye?! Truly helpful progressive system, and excellently staggered book. Also goes perfectly with his free YouTube videos that take you through each lesson and teach you even more.

You can really tell George is passionate about languages, teaching and learning. This is what got me into Japanese, and I'll forever be grateful :)
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