Japanese Textbook and Pens Watch

ShaneJ
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Hello, I am self studying Japanese for GCSE and A Level. Take both exams 1 year then resit next year best grade. What are you recommendations for a textbook to get me through gcse and a level. Can you recommend any pens for writing in Japanese or special notebooks?
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Juichiro
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Genki. You don't need special pens. Japanese people use the same pens you use.
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ShaneJ
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Genki. You don't need special pens. Japanese people use the same pens you use.
Thanks, I know they use the same pens but like fine liners because i don't like to use normal pens like biros
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Juichiro
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(Original post by ShaneJ)
Thanks, I know they use the same pens but like fine liners because i don't like to use normal pens like biros
If you can write the roman alphabet then it's good for japanese as well.
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ShadowWolf21
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(Original post by ShaneJ)
Hello, I am self studying Japanese for GCSE and A Level. Take both exams 1 year then resit next year best grade. What are you recommendations for a textbook to get me through gcse and a level. Can you recommend any pens for writing in Japanese or special notebooks?
I posted this in another thread, but I suggest these:

  • This is book is great for vocabulary, I have one for Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Italian and Korean. They're brilliant. I highly suggest getting one! http://www.play.com/Books/Books/-/18...y/Product.html
  • Genki 1 & 2 - this book series is amazing for beginners. It is a full course that is used (I used it for A-Level, and lots of university use it) You can download them for free somewhere, or you can fork out a lot for them online (I personally bought mine from Japan when on holiday.) http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/7...rlrefer=search
  • LiveMocha.com - This is brilliant site for language learners, I use it for quite a lot of the languages I use. You receive feedback from native speakers on your work. It goes through basic tenses and upwards, using listening, reading, writing and speaking http://www.livemocha.com
  • Find yourself a Basic Kanji book that goes through all of the frequent-easy kanji you'll see in Japan. Berlitz have one out, but I'm unsure at how good it is. There is one called Basic Kanji Book 1 & 2 and that series is used in universities too, and is also quite good for practice
  • Some of the books that are out that I have (but I'm incredibly unsure on how acquirable they are for UK residents, as I've bought most of my Japanese learning books in Japan, is the 日本語総まとめ series, and they look like this:http://www.seiritsu-int.com/contents/20121208_JLPT.jpg (I have all the series, including the pink ones, and white ones up to JLPT N2, I'll be getting my boyfriend to buy N1 when he's back from his year abroad in Nagoya ) But honestly they are amazing and so easy to use. If you can get hold of them, I urge you to!
  • Now, there is one site I have to mention, because without it, my Japanese grammar would have most definitely suffered:http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/ Tae-Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide is amazing and was free to download when I got it. It goes through EVERYTHING!

Also, for writing in Japanese, you don't need any special pens, but I have a preference for 0.5 nib pens as it makes drawing kanji for me easier (but I find them easy anyway, because of knowing them from Chinese previously.)

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to message me

I taught myself up Japanese from age 15 and took the A-Level exam at 19 and passed with a high B grade (I was focusing on my other subjects first, otherwise I'd have taken both the exams earlier.) I'll be taking the JLPTs in due course, but until I can find the time and afford it, I'll just study study study!
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Sinfire
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Completely agree with ShadowWolf 21. I would also like to add another website: www.lang-8.com. It's a bit like livemocha but for some reason there are more Japanese people there. Just to assure you, learning on your own is completely doable. I've started two months ago with Genki 1. Been doing a lesson a week, roughly. I'm on lesson 8 now (finally, short forms!). At this rate, the vocab sticks, the kanji stick, the grammar also sticks. The only problem is finding someone to talk to. Here's my plan:

Mon: Learn Vocab + Kanji

Tue: Revise Vocab + Revise Kanji + Take note of Grammar points

Wed: Learn Grammar + Check the same grammar in another source (such as this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Dictionary...panese+grammar ) + Do Genki exercises + Revise Kanji

Thu: Do workbook exercises + Dialogue + Revise Kanji

Fri: Do kanji exercises in genki and workbook

Saturday: Break? Japanese videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Gimmeaflakeman , http://www.youtube.com/user/QuickRhino , Garden of Sinners, Angel Beats, whatnot

Sunday: Revise the whole thing: vocab, grammar, kanji. Also look at previous lessons and notes. + do listening exercises on http://mykikitori.com/ + do particles exercises on http://www.all.umn.edu/japanese_lang...icle_exercise/

Highly recommend using Anki for your Kanji and Vocabulary. I usually split the vocabulary into volumes of decks ( Lessons 1, 2 and 3 go into volume 1 and so on).

Rinse and repeat.
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ShadowWolf21
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(Original post by Sinfire)
Completely agree with ShadowWolf 21. I would also like to add another website: www.lang-8.com. It's a bit like livemocha but for some reason there are more Japanese people there. Just to assure you, learning on your own is completely doable. I've started two months ago with Genki 1. Been doing a lesson a week, roughly. I'm on lesson 8 now (finally, short forms!). At this rate, the vocab sticks, the kanji stick, the grammar also sticks. The only problem is finding someone to talk to. Here's my plan:

Mon: Learn Vocab + Kanji

Tue: Revise Vocab + Revise Kanji + Take note of Grammar points

Wed: Learn Grammar + Check the same grammar in another source (such as this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Dictionary...panese+grammar ) + Do Genki exercises + Revise Kanji

Thu: Do workbook exercises + Dialogue + Revise Kanji

Fri: Do kanji exercises in genki and workbook

Saturday: Break? Japanese videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Gimmeaflakeman , http://www.youtube.com/user/QuickRhino , Garden of Sinners, Angel Beats, whatnot

Sunday: Revise the whole thing: vocab, grammar, kanji. Also look at previous lessons and notes. + do listening exercises on http://mykikitori.com/ + do particles exercises on http://www.all.umn.edu/japanese_lang...icle_exercise/

Highly recommend using Anki for your Kanji and Vocabulary. I usually split the vocabulary into volumes of decks (Lessons 1, 2 and 3 go into volume 1 and so on).

Rinse and repeat.
My advice is never do too much in a day! I always do one lesson from my textbooks a day (one reason is because that's how they're set out, but the other is I don't overload the information.) But if you feel like you can handle it, do more as you get better.

My routine consists of daily grammar, kanji, listening, reading, speaking and writing exercises. I don't assign days, I just do a bit of each every day. But due to my level, sometimes it just depends on my mood

But in all fairness, everyone studies differently
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Sinfire
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(Original post by ShadowWolf21)
My advice is never do too much in a day! I always do one lesson from my textbooks a day (one reason is because that's how they're set out, but the other is I don't overload the information.) But if you feel like you can handle it, do more as you get better.

My routine consists of daily grammar, kanji, listening, reading, speaking and writing exercises. I don't assign days, I just do a bit of each every day. But due to my level, sometimes it just depends on my mood

But in all fairness, everyone studies differently
Yeah, I mean, I don't always stick to my schedule myself. But I make sure that by the end of the week everything gets done. Hoping to finish Genki 1 during the summer and then... move on to something more exciting Like Genki 2. Would you recommend moving onto Tobira after Genki 2? I've heard that the intermediate text from Japan Times is a bit too classroom orientated.

(Sorry, not trying to steal the thread)
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ShadowWolf21
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(Original post by Sinfire)
Yeah, I mean, I don't always stick to my schedule myself. But I make sure that by the end of the week everything gets done. Hoping to finish Genki 1 during the summer and then... move on to something more exciting Like Genki 2. Would you recommend moving onto Tobira after Genki 2? I've heard that the intermediate text from Japan Times is a bit too classroom orientated.

(Sorry, not trying to steal the thread)
I've never heard of Tobira, personally. I moved onto the 日本語総まとめ and the other series by ASK. I'm not sure how accessible they are in the UK, though? Try eBay and Amazon for them they are very good. Use JLPT-based book rather than textbooks, as they are much more beneficial for learning. I highly recommend the Genki books, as they are used for both university and A-Level classes to my knowledge. My boyfriend is in his 3rd year of Japanese at university, and he's studying for his JLPT N2 exam, and he is very good at Japanese. He can pretty much sound fluent at times, though he's a little way off yet. He uses the 日本語総まと books, as well as a few others. I can ask him where he gets them from, but it will probably be imports from Japan
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Sinfire
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(Original post by ShadowWolf21)
I've never heard of Tobira, personally. I moved onto the 日本語総まとめ and the other series by ASK. I'm not sure how accessible they are in the UK, though? Try eBay and Amazon for them they are very good. Use JLPT-based book rather than textbooks, as they are much more beneficial for learning. I highly recommend the Genki books, as they are used for both university and A-Level classes to my knowledge. My boyfriend is in his 3rd year of Japanese at university, and he's studying for his JLPT N2 exam, and he is very good at Japanese. He can pretty much sound fluent at times, though he's a little way off yet. He uses the 日本語総まと books, as well as a few others. I can ask him where he gets them from, but it will probably be imports from Japan
Yeah, I've checked. It's another £20 for the import. But thanks for the advice. Tobira isn't geared for the JLPT test so in that sense it's slightly flawed. Ah well... That's still a long time away Back to short forms
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ShadowWolf21
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http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/

Ta-da! I found an online store with a few books I can recommend I have these books (and so many more of them) myself, and they are incredibly good (and hooray, now I can buy more for when I need them now!)
The pink ones are from the 日本語総まとめ and ASK series. As are the following ones:
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=80298
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/category.php?id_category=368
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=80206

Others I have and suggest are (some can be found online for free...):
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=80288
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=4128
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=4129
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=4932
http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=8134

I obviously have a few more because my level is around the N3 area, and I have some of the series up to N2 (I was stocking up when in Japan), but these are great to get a basis for self-teaching

But yes, Genki I and II are great to begin with. But I will plug the above books because of how well they've helped my boyfriend and myself.

EDIT: They are a lot cheaper than I expected them to be. They're about the same price I paid for them in Japan, if only a slight bit more expensive. I haven't looked at their shipping/postage prices, but as it's centred in Europe it's not too bad. Universities suggest them for textbooks, and they sometimes do book sales at universities. They did at the one I went to when I was studying it at UCLan
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ShadowWolf21
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(Original post by Sinfire)
Yeah, I've checked. It's another £20 for the import. But thanks for the advice. Tobira isn't geared for the JLPT test so in that sense it's slightly flawed. Ah well... That's still a long time away Back to short forms
I also just thought, while my boyfriend did his year abroad in Japan, he lived with a host family, and when we all went shopping in Kinokuniya (big Japanese bookstore chain), those books are the highly recommended and credible series that even the Japanese suggest. There are plenty of others, but these ones have produced the best results. We both have a few more from other series, but they are just odds and ends that have practice JLPT tests in them.

As for speaking practice, talk to yourself in Japanese about anything. I do. It really gets the brain in gear before a study session, and it also helps you to think on your feet. An example would be, explaining what you're doing, or seeing
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Sinfire
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(Original post by ShadowWolf21)
I also just thought, while my boyfriend did his year abroad in Japan, he lived with a host family, and when we all went shopping in Kinokuniya (big Japanese bookstore chain), those books are the highly recommended and credible series that even the Japanese suggest. There are plenty of others, but these ones have produced the best results. We both have a few more from other series, but they are just odds and ends that have practice JLPT tests in them.

As for speaking practice, talk to yourself in Japanese about anything. I do. It really gets the brain in gear before a study session, and it also helps you to think on your feet. An example would be, explaining what you're doing, or seeing
Will do!
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ShadowWolf21
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Hope I've not been overloading or anything! It's just I've self-taught myself Japanese for almost 7 years, and my level is quite good considering (so I've been told, I'm not saying anything on the matter), so I know how difficult it is to find helpful and credible resources, though for Japanese there is quite a lot in comparison to other languages I'm teaching myself
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Sinfire
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(Original post by ShadowWolf21)
Hope I've not been overloading or anything! It's just I've self-taught myself Japanese for almost 7 years, and my level is quite good considering (so I've been told, I'm not saying anything on the matter), so I know how difficult it is to find helpful and credible resources, though for Japanese there is quite a lot in comparison to other languages I'm teaching myself
No, that was great! Thanks! Myself and OP will find the information very useful
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Edminzodo
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YOU SHOULD GO TO MUJI!

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BWCW
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I know nothing about textbooks (heard good things about Genki and Minna no Nihongo, but I can't speak from experience!), but pen-wise, I would say Muji is amazing for fineliners. Their 0.38 ink pens are really good for fine detail, especially when you get to those ridiculous kanji with like 20+ strokes... see: 驚く... Good luck!
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