Another Day Another Project

Yesterday I decided to start yet another project, Japanese for Everyone. The reason for doing this, is simply because there are some gaps, that need to be filled. This book seemed to be the best choice to cover what Genki didn’t. It is also a great way, to reinforce some of the basics, and to get a look at them from a different angle. I first thought I would do Minna no Nihongo, which makes sense, because everything is in Japanese. But then i opened up Japanese for Everyone, flipped through a little bit, and decided to go with that. This leaves Minna no Nihongo as sentence mining and vocabulary project, which i will do, whenever I find the time. I also want to mine the Japanese for Busy People books 1 to 3 and the workbooks. And there is also my current main project, which is An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese. As it is impossible to do it all at once, I have to make a schedule, or plan of action. And this is what I plan to do, and the approximate time i plan on finishing it.

An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese. [Finish it before the End of July]
Japanese for Everyone [Finish it somewhere around the End of August]
Read Real Japanese [Finish it before July 15]
Start reading IQ84 [Scheduled to begin in September or October]
Start with Hiyaku An Intermediate Japanese Course [It is scheduled to arrive next month]
Start to write Blog articles in Japanese [It is about high time to do that … i feel ready for it … even though there will be not many things i can write about, it’s great practice. Even if i just write about the weather … i can rename my blog to My dream is to write the perfect weather forecast written in Japanese. *笑う*]

What I also do right now is reading and mining a PC-Game Demo website, that i found out about, some days ago. The texts are very short on this website. And i have the advantage, of having Japanese text as well as an English translation. Since this has been a hobby i had for a long time, playing PC games that is, i thought, why not? I’ll get more practice in reading, interpreting, and translation of Japanese text.

Now, back to the books, there is much work to be done.

6 responses to “Another Day Another Project

  1. I’d rather say you shouldn’t plan anything like you did before. With me, schedules never worked.. Just move onwards and don’t start over with Japanese for Everyone and stuff..

  2. Thank you for your worries. But i can assure you, I don’t start over! This would be a huge waste of time and energy if i did. Since I am actually making pretty good progress with AIAIJ. For instance today I will be finishing chapter 4. Tomorrow i will start with chapter 5. Japanese for Everyone will be done, chapter per chapter, whenever i feel like having enough time, or energy. It really is a great book for reinforcing what I have learned in Genki I + II, but in a faster pace. It lacks the detailed grammar explanations, throws て-forms and other things at you, right at the beginning, without explaining what a て-form is actually, etc. It’s a great book, and for reinforcing some basics, learning approximately 2500 words, and getting additional practice for grammar, going with this book as a side project can’t be wrong.

    The schedule is only there to keep me going, not that i really need it, but it helps. Because I want to finish it by that date, and I want to continue from there, moving away from the books and more into native media. Actually i think my goal of finishing AIAIJ, at my current pace, i can be done before the 20th of next month – if not earlier. So, this schedule is not chiseled in stone or anything, but it motivates me quite a bit. In addition to my overall motivation which is pretty high currently. And now, back to the books.

  3. Hi, just wondering how was Hiyaku An Intermediate Japanese Course book? Can you please give an insight on how helpful this book is for Japanese students of lower intermediate level.

    • Welcome!

      It depends on whether or not you are learning in class or by yourself. Coming from Genki or a similar series of textbooks, this one is easier to understand, and probably a better choice than An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese.

      This book is somewhat unique. You will find both dialogues or reading assigenements, written with and without Furiagana – side-by-side. Meaning one page is written with Furigana, and on the opposite page you will find the same text without Furigana. I don’t know why they did it, or what good this does, other than wasting space, but they did. After reading or listening to the text, you are asked to answer questions about the content, or write an Email to someone in Japanese, or similar activities. A clear plus.

      What follows is a vocabulary list. You will learn the pronounciation of the words, because they are marked with signs for pitch – high and low, another plus for this book.

      The grammar part is a mixed match. There are no detailed explanations or anything of the nature, so you will certainly need either a teacher or some reference books. Though there is an active approach in learn grammar in this book. After a short introduction, sentence + translation, there are up to 7 additional sentences, and two or three in a fill-in-the-blank style. The only problem I see with this is that you’d need someone to correct your sentences. There is no Answer book or anything of that nature.

      Hyaku is a good book, overall. There is the active approach, all exercises are in the book, and additional content can be found on a website. Can be a plus or a minus. I don’t know how far it would get you in terms of levels, because I worked with this one after AIAIJ, but the price and the smoother learning curve both clearly speak for this book.

      If you have any additional questions about the book, I’ll be gladly willing to answer them. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much! Your insight is much appreciated. I’m supposed to be at N4-N3 level (I haven’t taken any JLPT yet), but I feel like I’m barely N4 especially with kanji & the reading aspect of Japanese. I’ve been studying the language for about a year or so now, and I’m still extremely weak at kanji. I’m currently taking Japanese lessons and we’re focusing on conversation right now. I own and am pretty much familiar with Genki 1&2 content already (it was never used in the school I go to but I have them for my own self-study), and am looking for some good lower-to-higher intermediate level type of books to supplement my self-study. I’m using anki to remedy my kanji issue but it’s still difficult for my brain lol. I’m thinking of getting either Tobira, Hiyaku or AIAIJ still. So as a senpai, can you pls recommend me a book which you think will suit me better. ^^ Oh, and what’s the percentage of the content written in Japanese vs. English in Hiyaku?

  5. You’re welcome!

    You say you are familiar with Genki I+II, as this was your source for self-study, so the better choice would be Hiyaku over AIAIJ. It should get you to N3 level, as this is the level of Kanji introduced in this book, and I think the grammar is around this level, too. The content is about ~87% Japanese, exceptions are:

    The vocabulary lists
    The grammar rules
    The translations for some example sentences

    Content wise, especially in terms of grammar and reading assignments, AIAIJ has more to offer. You would get explanations for every grammar rule introduced, and you’d learn more Kanji / Kanji words. The dialogues are spoken in native speed, and every example sentence presented has a translation. The dialogues are written entirely in Japanese, so are the readings asignments – 速読 can be fun, but the learning curve is a bit more steep.

    I’d say that you look at the samples and resource library of both books before making your final decision. You can read some chapters, and you get an impresson of the dialogue speed. For me this sounded as fast as light-speed back then, coming fom Genki I – II and all. Here is the resource library for Hiyaku

    I’d recommend you to get both books, if your financial situation allows for it. But if money is an issue, and you don’t feel ready for it, I would suggest you to get Hiyaku – it is cheaper than IAIAJ, and you get some exercises. AIAIJ requires an additional purchase for a Kanji and general worbook with exercises. A bit pricy overall, but worth the money.

    Too bad that I can’t comment on Tobira, or recommend it, for that matter. I don’t own it myself, but I heard some great things about it. If you are interested in a comparison, you had better visit youtube, as there are some great reviews there for all the books. I think there is even one talking about Genki 2 -> Tobira. Might be worth to look out for it.

    I hope I could help you to make your decision a bit easier. For I know how difficult it is to choose books, I’ve been there myself, and ended up buying more than I would have needed. 😉

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