Japan continues to be recognized as a country that is rich in culture and history. It's known for anime, fashion, its cuisine, and martial arts. While they are very interesting, there are other things such as the Japanese language that also deserve appreciation. If you have future plans of traveling to Japan or you're looking for a productive hobby, then learning Japanese is something that you should try.
However, learning a language is not as simple as it sounds. It requires time and effort, and of course, learning materials such as books that would guide you in learning how to speak Japanese more fluently. You can pick a book according to your proficiency and commitment level. This article aims to give you an idea of how to pick the right book and provide you with the best options available online.
Although they teach basically the same language, Japanese-learning books can be different in terms of their content, scope, and format. Finding and buying the ideal book for you can play a huge role in your success in learning Japanese. Here are a few pointers to guide you in making a purchase.
Whether you're just beginning to learn or have taken a couple of lessons in the past, your proficiency level should be taken into consideration when buying a book. There is the beginner, the advance, the intermediate, and the expert or fluent speaker. As one's proficiency level increases, so should the complexity of that person's Japanese lessons.
With introductory books, the usual coverage includes the basic or fundamental concepts of the Japanese language such as basic typography, general rules of Japanese grammar, and standard Japanese pronunciation. Basically, these concepts aim to lay the foundation for advanced learning in the future.
This type of book is perfect for those just starting their language learning journey and have no prior knowledge or skills in speaking the language. For some, introductory books make or break a student's initial progress and interest in learning the language, so it is important to pick an introductory book that is right for you.
Unlike introductory books, advanced books cover more complex and detailed topics on the Japanese language such as advanced grammar and vocabulary that can further improve your mastery of Japanese. The aim of these books is to take your basic knowledge to the next level by introducing more advanced concepts.
Aside from general and standard practices in writing and speaking Japanese, advanced Japanese-learning books also take into consideration different Japanese writing systems such as Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji alphabet. These books are perfect for those who already mastered basic Japanese and are looking for something more advanced to enhance their proficiency.
Learning a language is an activity that requires practice and as we all know, practice demands time and effort. Before you pick a book, it is also important to assess how committed you are in your pursuit. This level of commitment marks the difference between the casual and serious learner.
Casual students include tourists who are planning to travel to Japan, students who are taking Japanese for their foreign language class, or basically anyone who is interested in learning more about the Japanese language. They need to learn just the basics- enough to learn conversational words and phrases that might be helpful when communicating with Japanese locals.
Additionally, if you are a tourist, you can opt for books with cultural insights and other helpful information such as traditions, currency, and landmarks that can guide you in your travel. On the other hand, if you are a student, it might be helpful to choose books with exercises or practice sheets to help you prepare for your exam.
If you plan on speaking and writing like a local, then language guides that cover the essentials would no longer suffice. For that, complete and comprehensive Japanese-learning books are the ideal option. These types of books are those that contain detailed explanations of grammar rules and also many terms that would enrich your Japanese vocabulary.
Serious students include those who are planning on moving to Japan permanently, those who are majoring in a Japanese-related course, or those who really want to achieve expert-level fluency in the language. Whichever reason you have, comprehensive Japanese books are the full package that would guarantee an in-depth course in the language.
There is no one-book-fits-all approach in learning a language. We all have our own preferences to help us absorb everything we're learning in the most effective way. Some of these types of learning include visual, experiential, and auditory.
Staring at pages that are full of texts for a long time whether through a screen or on paper, can be straining to the eyes. That is why there are picture books that facilitate Japanese-learning through images and other visual formats- making it fun, entertaining, and educational at the same time!
Books like these typically aim to enhance the learner’s vocabulary of commonly used objects through image-word association. Pictures books are perfect for visual learners including young children, who grasp concepts better when they are explained in perceptible objects rather than in texts.
Practice books help you learn by reviewing concepts through tests. These books help you apply what you have learned so far through exercises. These can also be used to assess your progress including strengths and weaknesses in Japanese. For some, this is an effective way of learning as it requires your effort compared to just passively reading concepts in the book.
Practice books are perfect for those taking the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), as it teaches them the Japanese language while training their test-taking skills through many practice exams. Basically, these books are for those who want to learn and instill Japanese language rules and concepts by drilling them into one’s head through repeated exercises.
Some language books can come with supplementary materials that help facilitate and reinforce what you have been learning from the books. These include audio files or video modules that can be stored in CDs, MP3 recordings, or online folders.
These materials supplement the concepts in the books and imitate the experience of having an instructor that guides you in learning Japanese. Usually, they cover areas that can't be learned effectively through mere reading. These include learning the correct pronunciation and the intonation of Japanese words and phrases.
Overall, books with supplementary materials are a must-have for those who want to speak Japanese with the fluency of a local as they greatly improve your speaking and listening skills in the Japanese language.
To narrow down your choices even more, decide on the format that you prefer- whether you want a physical book, an e-book, or an audiobook. Read on to know more about the pros and cons of each type.
E-books might be on the rise but printed materials continue to be an essential tool for reference. Whether it is a dictionary or a grammar book, physical books can provide ready information without the need to use a device and connect it to the internet.
If you have a reliable Japanese dictionary, you can literally reach across your desk and have the information you need. Printed books are easier on the eyes and have fewer distractions such as games and other apps on your device. It allows you to stay focused, which is important if you wish to improve your Japanese skills.
The only downside with physical books is that they can get damaged and lost- problems you're not likely to encounter with e-books and audiobooks.
If you want to learn during your free time but would rather not carry a book everywhere, then e-books are the next best thing. They are downloadable on your devices- be it your mobile phone or a kindle reader. Since they can be installed as a file on your device, they are much more accessible and portable compared to physical books.
Note, however, that since electronic books are read through phone screens, they can be more difficult to read than their printed counterparts. It's much harder to annotate and add detailed markings too, which can be useful if you want to write notes on certain topics.
If you have a busy lifestyle, then audiobooks are a great way to squeeze in language lessons during your free time. With a good pair of earphones and a downloaded audiobook, you can easily start your language learning journey without investing much time and effort.
At the very least, it just requires your attention, so that you can comprehend the lessons discussed in the audiobooks. Also, listening to audiobooks doesn't require that much concentration compared to reading.
This is perfect if you prefer learning through an instructor rather than self-studying. Make sure though that you practice your speaking skills so that learning is not merely passive or one-sided.
Easy Japanese: Learn To Speak Japanese Quickly!
Essential Japanese: Phrasebook & Dictionary
First Steps To Mastering Japanese
Japanese Picture Dictionary
Beginning Japanese Kanji: Language Practice Pad
The First 100 Japanese Kanji
Compact Japanese Dictionary
Writing Japanese Katakana
600 Basic Japanese Verbs
Learn Japanese: A Complete Phrase Compilation for Traveling to Japan
A Japanese Course Book With a Dictionary for Easy Reference
Japanese Language Book With Recordings to Improve Your Listening Skills
A Free Japanese Language E-Book for Beginners
A Japanese Picture Book Perfect for Visual Learners
Japanese Practice Pad for Improving Your Writing Skills
Master 100 Kanji Characters With This Writing Guide
A Compact and Reliable Japanese Dictionary for Your Translating Needs
Learn the Katakana Alphabet by Tracing and Memorizing
Become an Expert in Japanese Verbs With This Reference Guide
Audiobook With a Compilation of Japanese Phrases for Tourists
|Price Starts at||₱769||₱525||₱0||₱809||₱689||₱599||₱879||₱350||₱661.59||₱1,974.51|
|Type||Physical Book (Paperback)||Physical Book (Paperback)||E-Book||Physical Book (Hardcover)||Physical Book (Paperback)||Physical Book (Paperback)||Physical Book||Physical Book||E-Book||Audiobook|
|Best for||Beginners||Beginners, Tourists||Beginners||Beginners, Visual Learners||Intermediate||Intermediate||Any Level||Intermediate||Advanced||Beginner, Tourists|
|Supplemental Materials||Dictionary, Phrasebook, CD-ROM With Audio Recordings||Manga Illustrations||Phrasebook||Companion Audio Files||Practice Pad, Online Audio Recordings||None||None||None||None||None|
The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team, from the best-sellers of E-commerce sites like Lazada, and using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Type||Physical Book (Paperback)|
|Supplemental Materials||Dictionary, Phrasebook, CD-ROM With Audio Recordings|
|Type||Physical Book (Paperback)|
|Best for||Beginners, Tourists|
|Supplemental Materials||Manga Illustrations|
Yokahama Japanese English Language and Culture Club
Timothy G. Stout
|Type||Physical Book (Hardcover)|
|Best for||Beginners, Visual Learners|
|Supplemental Materials||Companion Audio Files|
|Type||Physical Book (Paperback)|
|Supplemental Materials||Practice Pad, Online Audio Recordings|
With an Introduction by Eriko Sato
|Type||Physical Book (Paperback)|
Samuel E. Martin (Revised and Updated by Sayaka Khan and Fred Perry)
|Best for||Any Level|
The Hiro Japanese Center
Innovative Language Learning
|Best for||Beginner, Tourists|
Although books provide a helpful guide in learning Japanese, you can always do more to make sure that you are applying and reinforcing what you have learned in the books. The following are tips on how to improve your Japanese writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills that you can do at home or with your Japanese-speaking friends.
One of the ways you can improve your Japanese language skills is by applying them to Japanese media and literature. These can include watching anime, movies, and TV shows without subtitles as well as listening to J-Pop songs.
You can also try reading manga & even novels written by Japanese authors. These can greatly enhance your listening and reading skills- plus, they are also entertaining and can further develop your interest in learning the language.
You might not carry a book every time you're outside, but you probably never forget your phone. Instead of playing games, why not download a language learning app such as Duolingo and start a Japanese course to be productive during your free time?
That doesn't mean that you can't have fun though, as there are many language apps such as Memrise that use games to teach you Japanese.
As they say, experience is the best teacher. If you want to speak like a local, the best way to do that is to converse with other Japanese speakers to apply what you have been learning. This will significantly increase both your listening and speaking skills, which are two important things to master when aiming for conversational-fluency.
Now that we bring our phones almost everywhere, it is extremely useful and convenient to install helpful applications to assist us in our daily routines. These include apps for managing your finances, for improving your work output as well as language learning apps for your little one. Here are some of our recommendations to help you decide which are the best ones to download.
Learning a new language can be a difficult but also a fulfilling experience. Japanese is recognized as one of the hardest languages to learn- let alone master. So it is important to find learning materials that would suit you best. We hope that this article helped you pick which book to purchase and we wish you all the best on your language learning journey!
Author: Katrina Balingit
Cosmetics and skincare
PC and Cameras
Home Appliances and Electronics
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management
Credit cards and loans