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Thread: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

  1. #21

    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    I've browsed through some review and a few pages on thejapaneseshop and Amazon, however I came across this post Mediocre for adults for the Genki book and I wanted to know some honest opinions from those who have used the book. Is that first review true?

    I'm a real beginner, just started hiragana. Although, my vocabulary is growing, I have no idea on how to put sentences together, I haven't studied any grammar so I was wondering if these two books cover that? But, I think I'm going to need something else to aid grammar usage but was wondering if some basic atleast was covered.

    Before posting this, I saw this thread http://www.ithinkimlost.com/japanese...nswer-key.html and since I'm doing this as a self-study, if the answers are in Kanji and I can't read that yet, is it really going to help me? I don't think I'd really understand even if I were to put it together.

    Help?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Flowerpoddess; April 3rd, 2010 at 05:28.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    I don't know anything about Genki, but I do know a bit about Minna no Nihongo, assuming we're talking about the same version.

    From the point of view of someone studying materials design for textbooks and learning materials - it fails, horribly. Mostly on the design features. It's mostly Japanese text with drawn illustrations in black and white every now and then. It's depressing and intimidating to look at.

    It does have a lot of grammar, but the whole book is in Japanese, so no explanations of it, just practice exercises. I've heard it touted as 'the book they use in Universities', but it would be a horrible book for self study, unless you could already understand a lot of it.

    I'd suggest something more like Japanese for Busy People I for a real beginner, supplemented with something like Podcasts for learning.

    Of course different things for different people. Most work well starting at the bottom and working up. I've heard of some people who try learn by translating things aimed at adult Japanese people, with a kanji dictionary, a grammar book and no previous knowledge and it works for them.
    Last edited by Kewne; April 3rd, 2010 at 08:27.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kewne View Post
    It does have a lot of grammar, but the whole book is in Japanese, so no explanations of it, just practice exercises. I've heard it touted as 'the book they use in Universities', but it would be a horrible book for self study, unless you could already understand a lot of it.
    Minna no Nihongo is actually two books. The first contains sample sentences, dialogues, and lots of drills - and is entirely in Japanese. The second book contains translations of the sample sentences and dialogues, vocab lists, and grammar points.

    It's also organised really clearly - each chapter contains the vocab, sample sentences, and grammar points, and if you go through and learn each one you will be in a very good position.

    So it sounds like you're not using it as it's intended to be used - if you use both books (and the audio CDs that accompany them) it is a very good textbook.

    I'd suggest something more like Japanese for Busy People I for a real beginner, supplemented with something like Podcasts for learning.
    Japanese for Busy People is just awful. Slow, incoherent and unclear. In my opinion, obviously.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    This is why I have the 'assuming we're talking about the same version' disclaimer .

    I've never seen an accompanying English version, or at least anything that looks obviously like one. I only use it in class though, as directed by the teacher with explanations by her - I'd not put it past her to not mention it to force us to do more reading. I'll look into the accompanying book though if I get shortlisted. It doesn't have a CD with it though.

    It is organised well, but to me at least it feels like grammar point after grammar point.

    Japanese for Busy People is awful, yes. I think it works well for an introduction though, if only because the content is easy (in my opinion) and quite clear (again, in my opinion). It doesn't drop you so far in the deep end that you sink - but this depends on learner preferences again. There are probably better books - I just don't think Minna no nihongo is one of them. I would like to see some recommendations for ones that are particularly good for self-study.
    Last edited by Kewne; April 3rd, 2010 at 10:21.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kewne View Post
    I've never seen an accompanying English version, or at least anything that looks obviously like one.
    You can see them here.

    It doesn't have a CD with it though.
    Yeah, the CDs are expensive, although you can get them cheaper on ebay, or for free if you pirate them.

    There are probably better books - I just don't think Minna no nihongo is one of them. I would like to see some recommendations for ones that are particularly good for self-study.
    I would recommend reserving judgement until you have used both textbooks. I don't know of any better textbook for beginners.

  6. #26
    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowerpoddess View Post
    I've browsed through some review and a few pages on thejapaneseshop and Amazon, however I came across this post Mediocre for adults for the Genki book and I wanted to know some honest opinions from those who have used the book. Is that first review true?

    I'm a real beginner, just started hiragana. Although, my vocabulary is growing, I have no idea on how to put sentences together, I haven't studied any grammar so I was wondering if these two books cover that? But, I think I'm going to need something else to aid grammar usage but was wondering if some basic atleast was covered.

    Before posting this, I saw this thread http://www.ithinkimlost.com/japanese...nswer-key.html and since I'm doing this as a self-study, if the answers are in Kanji and I can't read that yet, is it really going to help me? I don't think I'd really understand even if I were to put it together.

    Help?
    Thanks!
    I think genki is a good way to get a grasp of the basics of japanese. I always used it in conjunction with class, but I wouldn't think you'd have to.

    as for the complaints in that review? let's take a look:

    1. "the scenarios are students/homestay families" - well yeah, it's a textbook designed for school use. that said, the homestay perspective allows for a lot of example dialogues with conversations about everyday topics. the perspective with teachers and classmates shows distinctions with keigo pretty well.

    2. "the book doesn't teach conversation" - I would expect that no book could teach conversation. use the grammar you get from it and talk to real people. you'll find that they'll understand what you're saying and respond in natural Japanese. observe that and you're well on your way!

    3. "it is unnatural to mirror back what people say, but this book teaches people to do so": the book teaches somewhat rigid responses, yes. again, it's a textbook. it can't go into minute detail about every conversational thing people do, but it teaches accurate Japanese. if you hear people doing something differently, take note and use that as a model. also, ask questions using any number of internet resources or friends.

    4. "the book teaches snail mail stuff and not e-mail" - maybe? I didn't think it went too far into that. but really, what is so hard to learn about typing an e-mail address? not any harder than it is in english. just use the same sentence structures you're learning in the book for the body!

    overall, I think this person is asking for a comprehensive Japanese learning resource in a book, which is pretty impossible for a language. what genki will do is help you with the basics, and you can solidify and practice them in any number of other avenues. I have zero problems with the book.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    Kewne - Thank you for responding. I know of the English translation book. I have no idea about podcast with learning.

    Of course different things for different people. Most work well starting at the bottom and working up. I've heard of some people who try learn by translating things aimed at adult Japanese people, with a kanji dictionary, a grammar book and no previous knowledge and it works for them.
    That's a very interesting method and would work for some I believe. For me, it might be something to do "on the side" while learning it the "proper" way. I think solely depending on that might confuse me and seems incomplete to me? . . . .

    Kingmongkut - Thank you for responding and for your detailed response. "Keigo" ? How wpuld you say it compares to Minna No Nihongo if you've used them both. As they're both very expensive, I'm trying to narrow it down. I asked about the answer key, is it really in Kanji?

    I've asked this question in another thread before but how much is this book in Japan?

    Thank you!
    Flowerpoddess
    Last edited by Flowerpoddess; April 3rd, 2010 at 16:49.

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    Short reply as I'm on my mobile phone [Now edited for formatting and sensibility]:

    By podcast learning, I meant listening to downloaded audio lessons on the side, like from Japanesepod101.com (temp free membership so download all you can in those days).

    Also check your local university library, public library or language college library if they'll allow you access. Some universities libraries and college ones will allow non-students access, though not to check books out. If they do Japanese they might have some textbooks you can look through.
    Last edited by Kewne; April 3rd, 2010 at 22:53.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    Thank you for your response. Japanese101.com?
    Check if they allow access to . . . ?

    Flowerpoddess

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    Above post is now edited to make sense. Sorry about that, couldn't see much of what I was typing on my phone. I'll admit that JapanesePod101 isn't great, but it's free and decent. Pimsleur Comprehensive Japanese is better, but expensive. Either way, if you're self-studying the idea is to give you some practice at the listening skills too, since most people skip the textbook CD's (and not all come with them).

  11. #31

    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    Ah. That site reminds me of FrenchPod101. What did you mean by download, I don't think I saw that anywhere? I guess it is what it is for it being free. Getting listening practice isn't an issue for me.

    Flowerpoddess

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    Same company as them. Also arabicpod101, italianpod101, etc. Ah, download is the link that says Audio. If it tries to play it instead, just right click and select save as.

  13. #33
    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    Get both and use them for what you find useful.
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Genki Vs Minna no Nihongo

    Genki, Pimsleur, and Minna no Nihongo I've done. There isn't much difference. I use them for learning grammar and for vocab list. Well, not Pimsleur, but it was good to start off with.

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