It’s Textbook Time

Yep.  Textbook time has finally arrived, and the book is…drumroll please…do you see how I’m building tension with this dramatic pause…Minna No NIhongo.  Ta da!

Why that book?  It’s what my tutor uses.

i have an old copy of Genki, and it seems to follow a pretty standard textbook arrangement.  Minna No Nihongo is different.  First of all, there appear, at first glance, to be about 6,000 different volumes (a rough estimate).  It’s kind of hard to figure out which book is which.

As far as I can work out, Book 1 exists in many forms.  There is the main book, which is entirely in Japanese.  Then there is the grammar and translation book.  Then there is a workbook.  Then, I think, there is a grammar and sentence patterns workbook.  There is also a cd.  I think there might be a Kanji practice book in there somewhere, too…it’s a little tricky, since they all have Japanese titles.

I have the main book, the grammar and translation book and some kind of workbook that seems to stress sentence patterns.  I think.  Minna No Nihongo is a little complicated to get started with…I don’t have the CDs right now, but I bet that would be helpful.  I’ll see about that later.

Right now I am in lesson two and learning vocabulary, for which I have gone back to my old friend StickyStudy (combined with quizlet, because lots of people have already made vocabulary flashcards for Minna No Nihongo).

The thing I don’t like about Minna No Nihongo is that everything is in Kana at this point, so I have taken a premade quizlet set, copied it and edited it.  (Just as an aside, try sayiing edited it five times fast.)  There are some vocabulary terms in there that I already know well, and I have deleted them, and I have put in Kanji on the front of the card and moved the reading in Kana to the side with the English.  At least for these early chapters there aren’t a lot of cards with pictures, but, if I get unlazy, I’ll replace English words with pictures, because I think that is the quicker path to the nebulous goal of fluency – link the Japanese with with the concept instead of with the English translation.

Well, those vocabulary terms aren’t gonna memorize themselves…

I am learning Kanji, I know hiragana pretty well, but I really don’t know katakana well at all.  I used to know it quite well, but those characters didn’t pop up often enough for them to stay in my brain, so I need to hit the katakana pretty hard for a couple of days to get them back in place.  Oh, well.  This learning thing seems to be neverending!

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