Japanese for Busy People; !Nakama; Pimsleur
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Mayhem Manaic said:
On your say so, I downloaded the samples from Genki. Is there another series you like? Anybody? It's always good to have a choice. [img]/images/graemlins/horse.gif[/img]
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See the other threads that were linked.
For self-study I think Japanese for Busy People (kana/kanji version textbook + CDs + workbook + workbook CDs; you need all four components for self-study, for each volume) is good.
The other one I have (vol 1 only for obvious reasons) is 'Nakama' which has been recommended, but I think it's a bit crap for self-study because a high proportion of the exercises are dialogues/roleplays/etc that require participation from somebody else.
'Nakama' is probably fine for classes; unless people are sure they've thought about it carefully, I'd take recommendations from those who learnt in class with a pinch of salt. Self-study is a different environment and you need different things (specifically, good dialogue CDs etc, and lots of practice exercises with clear right or wrong answers that you can mark yourself).
I haven't seen any other textbooks (apart from some of the self-evidently bad ones you find in bookstores) so I can't comment on them.
One other strong recommendation, though, is for the Pimsleur CD set ('Japanese 1'; there's a Japanese 2, which I haven'tr tried). You learn entirely by speaking and following the (mostly English) instructions on the CD, basically repeating things back and trying to make up sentences as instructed. I think this could be a very good way to start learning the language; a fun and not very strenuous head start. If I were you, I'd do this course before attempting any of the textbook-based courses. It's a bit expensive so if you are on a budget, maybe not an option; otherwise, buy it. It doesn't get you very far - but *after* that point you can start working on the textbooks from a stronger position, vocabulary/pronunciation/confidence-wise. Plus you will know how to ask a girl if she wants dinner at your place, which is apparently a key skill the Pimsleur people think you must master early. [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]