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Thread: Japanese from Zero!

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    Backwater Blonde Rachel1404's Avatar
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    Default Japanese from Zero!

    I've just started using a series of books called 'Japanese from zero' that I found on Amazon. I'm about 4/5 chapters in and it seems pretty good so far.The 1st book (that I'm on) gradually teaches you hiragana about 5-10 symbols a chapter. The new symbols then gradually replace any romaji so you get part hiragana, part romaji until by the end of the book all the japanese is in hiragana. The next books in the series do the same with katakana and kanji as far as I'm aware.

    I was just wondering really if anyone else had any experience with this series and how they compare to other books available? I had a look for the genki ones but to get the text, workbook and cd was rather expensive!

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    Senior Member newdawn's Avatar
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    Genki is expensive, but it's good. I've also used a bit of Minna no Nihongo, but not enough to comment, and when I was at home I used Japanese for busy people, kana edition. My advice is to get into hiragana/katakana as quickly as possible. If you come out here, with just Roman characters in your mind, you will be completely illiterate (as opposed to almost completely illiterate like me ) If you know the katakana, you can at least read many restaurant menus. and it wouldn't be smart to start learning kanji until you know all the hiragana. Expect to read like a complete retard for a while- I do. If the Japanese from zero is working for you keep using it.

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    I love Genki, it really helped me along. Japanese for JETs is evil and makes your Japanese worse. the CLAIR courses do as well. I do very very much recommend the Basic Kanji Books (red and teal in colour) they're excellent for learning kanji. I don't recommend so much their sequels, the Intermediate Kanji Books (orange and green) just because they aren't structured as user friendlily and I just enjoyed them less. But everyone, even if you already have 1kyuu needs Mary Althaus and Yan and the Japanese People. Just for the pure 80sness. And it teaches a beginner pretty well too I think. http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=t58Hblk8xQM
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    Backwater Blonde Rachel1404's Avatar
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    Lol i just watched the first one. When you said 80s I hadn't thought it would be quite that 80s! You gotta love the enormous stereo in the shop near the beginning!
    Thanks for the link!
    Yeh I bought 'Let's learn hiragana' which I'm working through at the same time hopefully start the katakana one soon.
    I think I will stick it out with the japanese from zero. Has anyone else used the series?

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    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Genki is awesome. That's all.
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    for those who are computer literate you can download torrents of the genki textbooks, workbooks (pdf) and audio in mp3 format.

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    One book that has really stood out among all the Japanese books I own is "Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication." It's small enough to be a reference guide while teaching extremely useful and effective sentence patterns to help you quickly improve. I like it because of varied examples and instant applications of the lessons. It also teaches some useful vocabulary in the process, and it presents all examples in English, Romaji, and Japanese. It might help to know a little bit of Japanese before using the book, but I think it could be fine for absolute beginners as well.

    http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Sente.../dp/4770029837

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    ControllerOfTheUniverse Ruairi's Avatar
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    Waiting on my copy of Japanese From Zero 1.

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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    Is the CLAIR course really so bad? I'm signed up for the Intermediate course.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    I still have yet to get my beginner lesson, I plan on doing it but I also go to classes every tuesday.

    I was thinking about Japanese from Zero, it looked like a really good set-up. I might still go for it, if Clairs doesnt fufill my learning needs.
    Last edited by jonesinjapan; October 14th, 2008 at 08:44.
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  11. #11
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    the CLAIR course makes me want to gouge my eyes out.

    I have finished the advanced course and found that last year it just interfered with my JLPT study time.

    Excellently there is nowhere to go after the advanced course and I don't have to be subjected this year.
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    Senior Member hayashirice03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    I used Yokoso! my first and second years and they were amazing XO

  13. #13
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    Looks like they might have finally changed the CLAIR course. Everyone's only been saying it's shit for about 20 years. I'm basing this on the fact that the email address for the helpline from the new course is different from the one on the old course. this one is for the publishing company bonjinsha which actually has put out some very decent textbooks before so it might be alright? Update us kiddos who are doing it!
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  14. #14
    Negi-sensei Oneiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    The CLAIR coursebooks I've seen seem relatively decent. Japanese for JETs would be a decent resource if they would just drop the stupid romaji from chapter two on. The Advanced Courses also seem decent and even on par with my school's Advanced Japanese textbook. For what it's worth, my neighbor used those and one other JLPT resource that was nothing but mock tests (not even Kanzen Master) to study and he has a JLPT 2 and some damn good reading ability to show for it.

  15. #15
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    I found the advanced course to anything but advanced.

    There was things in there that I remembered from being 6 months in to Japanese studying and I'm currently studying for 2q - I think its best ignored in favour of finding a textbook that is more suitable to you personally.

    If they have changed them then of course I don;t know but the only advantage I can see from the old ones at least was that they are free.
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    Senior Member cvmurrieta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    I signed up for the advanced course just to brush up. I also bought a Japanese grammar dictionary that basically covers grammar points found on 2q and 1q
    " I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"-Barry Goldwater

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    Backwater Blonde Rachel1404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruairi View Post
    Waiting on my copy of Japanese From Zero 1.
    Let me know what you think...

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    I've been using "Japanese for Busy People", but I'm also attending a class, and most of my real learning comes from that. However, I do kind of like the book, even though all the Westerners in it have huge noses.

    On an unrelated note if you're feeling cheap you can pirate pretty much every Japanese book, workbook & audio CD from the web fairly easily with .torrents, if you want to try them out for awhile before buying the book (looking at a screen gets tedious).
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    ControllerOfTheUniverse Ruairi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel1404 View Post
    Let me know what you think...
    Will do, the wait continues... (too cheap for swiftpost)

  20. #20

    Default Re: Japanese from Zero!

    I must agree Genki is one of my favs. Japanese for Busy People is ok, nakama = crap, Japanese the spoken language = double crap. I mean who the hell uses the old style romaji now a days? JI is not ZI damn you JTSL! That book is written for linguists or something because I passed JLPT Level 1 without knowing the past participle of the adjucunct for's left butt cheek. (Yes I do hate that book and for GSU subjecting me to it). Pick up Genki 1 and 2 and you will be fine. After those books just get out there in Japan and live life for a year and im sure you can pass 1 or 2 kyu with no problems.

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