Adventures in Japanese

Today the Adventures in Japanese books arrived, earlier than expected, thanks Amazon! I was curious how the books would be and got disappointed. Although the books are containing many interesting topics, easy explanations of all the grammar points, fun activities such as original Japanese card games, many cultural notes, as well as useful vocabulary, this series of books is not for me. It is targeted at high school students, and classroom use, as all the activities are tailored for groups.

There is absolutely nothing in terms of exercises which I could do on my own, and without the CDs, that weren’t even available. Even if they had been available, I doubt that I would have bought them, because they are way too expensive. 54 Euros for each set, meaning 4 separate sets of Audio CDs, can you imagine that? This is clearly beyond any budget worth spending for individual learners for learning materials. Even if it would have been targeted at self-learners, this would be way too high a price. It hurts a little bit to have wasted my money. Overall the contents of the books are interesting, and presented in a way I like, I will send them back. Sorry Cheng & Tsui, no deal! With the refund I will buy other books, like the Graded Reader series, which would total at about the same amount, as the Adventures in Japanese series. Unlike the latter I will get more for my money from the Graded Reader books, because they are useful for studying for the JLPT. If you are a self-learner, dear reader, stay away from the Adventures in Japanese books.

3 responses to “Adventures in Japanese

  1. I hope I can find time to learn basic japanese this summer. Wow! You really love japanese culture huh. Uhm, same here. Do you know animes and mangas are the biggest cultural exports of Japan? I do believe they are. I’ve learned so much about the culture from reading these, although, I have to guess some are a bit exagerrated.

  2. おはよう!

    I highly encourage you to do it! The basics, Hiragana and Katakana, are easy to learn. You can learn them over the course of a weekend. If you can spare some hours that is. What follows after that will take considerably more time. But in my unbiased opinion it is well worth every minute.

    Would you be so nice to define “culture” for me? 🙂 If by culture you mean arts in general, cultural festivities among others, then yes. I’m very interested in those fields. 日本語の歴史 (にほんごのれきし) Japanese history, too.

    You are right about Anime and Manga, as they are indeed one of the biggest cultural export products. Not to forget about video games. They, too, can be seen as cultural products. The best thing about all of them is, that they are attracting people of all ages, from all over the world. For some people they are the main reason to start to learn the language.

    I also agree with you, that there are certain aspects of culture, that can be learned from reading Manga or watching Anime. Of course this highly depends on the genre. The interesting thing is, that we can learn more from them, than the language.


  3. “Culture” encompasses everything that maybe basically unique to a certain group of people. For instance, women ( young women, particularly) give Valentine gifts to boys that they like ( which is opposite to western culture ) , and 30 days after ( they call it White Day) the boys will in turn give gifts to the girls that they like…. an indication that the feelings of a certain girl who gives the Valentine gift ( usually chocolates) are returned. I learned that from manga. (^o^)

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