A Japanese guide to learning Japanese grammar. essentially anything at all because the book decided you weren't smart enough to. Want to know which Japanese textbooks, dictionaries, grammar books and kanji guides are right for you? Check out the 15 best books for learning Japanese. The Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar are the most recommended books from the Tofugu staff to.
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download Japanese Grammar (Barron's Grammar) 2nd Revised edition by Carol Akiyama, Nobuo Akiyama (ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Now we've put together a list of the best Japanese grammar books that you simply can't go wrong in downloading! Each one provides an individual. PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy .
This worked out really well until I tried reading something that real Japanese people actually say and tried to write in Japanese using the rules I thought I had memorized. I got disgruntled and gave up on textbooks for a while.
So I read manga and watched a lot of anime and did all the cool things interesting Japanese-learners are supposed to do. I could understand the gist of a lot of things, but a lot of the grammar just went over my head. What is the best way to learn grammar?
Find the balance between the two methods. Book-learning and intuition are both important. Have you ever heard an English-learner say something and instinctively know that it sounds wrong, even if it makes sense?
The grammar explanations are incredibly deep. Though dense, you'll gain excellent grammar knowledge if you dive in and stick to it.
For Beginners: The 7 Best Japanese Textbooks & Dictionaries
One of the biggest complaints people have against this book is that it's all in romaji. Usually, this would be a concern, but in the case of JSL, the "romaji" is actually a special phonetic script written by the authors.
Because this series is pronunciation-based, the phonetic script will give you a better foundation in your Japanese speaking. Japanese: The Spoken Language isn't meant to be used alone.
Choosing the Best Japanese Textbook for Your Needs
It's a companion to audio materials which you're supposed to practice first. After memorizing the audio, you go to the book for explanation.
And the grammar explanations are some of the best and most detailed you can find. The teaching is so high quality that it may be worthwhile to pick up a copy to see if it fits your learning style before you cross it off your list. Pros: A unique approach you won't find elsewhere Teaches pitch accent Complex and detailed grammar explanations Written by linguists Phonetic script takes getting used to Grammar explanations may be too complex for some students download on site Adventures in Japanese Adventures in Japanese is aimed at junior high and high school learners and as such, the material is not as comprehensive as you might find in other textbooks.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. A unique feature of AIJ not found in other books is the lesson review at the end of each chapter. Most textbooks and classrooms never cover onomatopoeia, so this is a great book to add to your list.
You may not understand all of it, but the introduction is a must read. This handbook's goal is to teach new learners that verbs are much simpler in Japanese than in most other languages and because of that, you shouldn't be afraid!
It dives into tenses, verb types, and conjugations, providing a solid foundation for verb usage in Japanese. And it reads more like a verb-focused textbook than a typical supplement.
Once you learn basic types of verbs, the book goes straight into teaching conjugations. Each of these conjugations is presented with "sentence patterns" they're commonly used with.
Thanks to these patterns, the book covers far more grammar than even some beginner textbooks. Each sentence is in romaji, then Japanese without furigana , and finally English. At the end of each conjugation section is a practice section where you can use what you've learned. One thing to remember is most of the content in The Handbook of Japanese Verbs will be taught or at least, should be in your textbook of choice.
While you shouldn't replace the content there with this book, it can be used as a supplement, especially the practice sentences. Also, some of the language used is difficult to understand if you aren't familiar with English grammatical terms, but the sentences and practice sections don't require that knowledge.
The Handbook of Japanese Adjectives and Adverbs is very much the same as The Handbook of Japanese Verbs , in that it's formatted the same way and written by the same author.
While the book calls itself a "dictionary," it's much more like a textbook that teaches grammar through adjectives and adverbs. This book is a two-in-one, with the first half dedicated to adjectives and the second to adverbs. Adjectives focus on conjugations plus grammar, which is especially important when learning from English, which doesn't conjugate adjectives.
Adverbs focus on grammar usage since they don't conjugate , making this even more of a textbook-type grammar resource than a typical "dictionary.
It probably won't cover the same content as your textbook in the way the verb handbook does, but it has the same formatting, style, and tone of voice. It assumes you know everything about English grammar, but it has tons of example sentence and practice sections—making it a great beginner resource to solidify your adjective and adverb knowledge.
Sometimes you just need more. You need mountains of reference information to answer a specific question or problem you're facing in your Japanese studies. That's where dictionaries come in. Below are the books we recommend for looking up words, grammar, particles, onomatopoeia, and more. The Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar are the most recommended books from the Tofugu staff to learners of Japanese.
There are three total, but the first book is a must have for all students, no matter what method they're using to study. As Koichi said in his review of all three , "No single resource nor any combination of webpages and resources even comes close to what the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar book series has to offer. While these are "dictionaries," they hold much more information than most people would expect from a typical dictionary. And the Basic book contains more grammar than most beginner textbooks and classes cover.
The dictionaries are in English alphabetical order, for easy reading. Each grammar point is a nice bright red and there is normal dictionary information like parts of speech, English meaning, and so much more.
For one thing, each grammar point is marked with a little number afterward, because the series covers every single possible meaning and usage of that one word or phrase. Beneath the entries are "key sentences" which are in Japanese sometimes with furigana , with romaji and English translations underneath and marking of important parts of speech.
Formations usually common collocations , example sentences, notes, and more follow. A good supplement, or even replacement, for All About Particles , this dictionary is like a mix between that and the Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar with a particle focus.
It's like a hybrid between a dictionary and a grammar resource, so you not only know what particles mean, but how to use them too. A Dictionary of Japanese Particles is organized in English alphabetical order and contains multiple definitions and usage explanations for each entry. There are example sentences in Japanese with furigana, romaji, and English translations. There are pictures and even comparisons of different particles, when they help add clarity. Instead of giving a one-to-one meaning, each particle is given an English approximation so you're understanding the original Japanese meaning, instead of simply translating it to English in your head.
This book works well for beginners up through the intermediate level. It doesn't cover all particles in Japanese, but it does extend into higher levels of particle learning than most beginner textbooks. While it doesn't go into usage like Jazz Up Your Japanese , this dictionary of onomatopoeia is a great resource for beginners to learn new words with pictures. Other than a short bilingual Japanese-English side-by-side explanation of its contents and a few general concepts, the book is limited to drawings with onomatopoeia captions.
Each illustration has the onomatopoeia in romaji underneath. Next to that are the possible pronunciations A, B, or C types, explained in the introduction. There is also a short English definition and explanation of the word, the Japanese word, and a Japanese explanation.
And if a particular word comes from a verb, the verb is listed with a small star indicator as well. Good for beginners and great for intermediates, this book helps you learn fun words in fun ways, taking away all the seriousness of a typical dictionary or reference book.
It also requires much less knowledge to start than Jazz Up Your Japanese.
Though there is a lack of usage and grammar information, it is still a helpful supplement for beginners to learn these mimetic words. For more, check out our review! If you're a beginner who wants a nice hardcover dictionary by your side in real life, this is a solid pick. This little brick is a great starter dictionary for any beginner and it's actually the first dictionary Kristen ever bought when she started taking Japanese classes.
While it doesn't contain every word in the Japanese language but what dictionary does? Each word has an English definition and some have additional explanations, collocations, or sentences when necessary.
Another feature: While we don't usually support furigana, when you're trying to look something up, the last thing you need is another thing to look up.
This dictionary makes it easy to get the information you need without too much extra thrown in your face. Because it's organized by kana and has furigana throughout, this dictionary can be used by anyone trying to look up a Japanese word, as long as they know hiragana and katakana. Hopefully this list gets you close to a decision on a go-to textbook and some reference books. The sooner you start a study routine, the sooner you'll be using your accumulated knowledge, no matter how hodgepodge, to learn more and more advanced concepts.
As long as you get a book on this list and stick to it, you'll achieve your dream of Japanese language proficiency. Tofugu Series View All Series. View All Japan. View All Japanese. View All Interviews. View All Reviews. View All Travel. Tofugu Store.
How I Struggled with and Overcame Japanese Grammar
Before we dive in, here's a list of things we'll assume all textbooks include: Genki Genki is not only the favorite of Japanese classes the world over, it's one of our favorites too so much, we wrote a full review. For more, check out our review. Perfect for beginners Reliable lesson structure Scaffolding progression Clear, concise grammar explanations Audio CDs and workbook available Cons: Not designed for self-learners download on site Minna no Nihongo The two book system isn't "bad," necessarily.
Covers more ground than other textbooks All Japanese text—lots of reading practice Intense, in-depth grammar explanations Cons: Real-world conversations with accompanying vocabulary words Grammar taught through example sentences Cons: Not great for self-learners More expensive than other textbooks download on site Japanese for Busy People The title, Japanese for Busy People , may sound like it's aimed at you, the busy student with so much on their plate.
Quizzes at the end of each lesson and an accompanying answer key Dialogues are more realistic, less like "classroom talk" Clear grammar explanations at the beginning of each chapter Audio CD included Cons: Aimed at business people so be prepared to talk about photocopiers All kana, no kanji makes for difficult reading download on site Japanese for Everyone When you get about halfway through, you start to see grammar points or levels of detail that aren't commonly taught in other textbooks, not to mention more natural Japanese in the dialogues.
Packed with content, maybe as much as Genki I and II combined Affordable Teaches grammar through real-life situations and expressions Covers complex grammar concepts early Cons: Grammar explanations are brief and require an outside supplement Audio lessons are difficult to find Not many kanji used in reading comprehension and exercises download on site Japanese: The Spoken Language Japanese: Great audio lessons A unique approach you won't find elsewhere Teaches pitch accent Complex and detailed grammar explanations Written by linguists Cons: Phonetic script takes getting used to Grammar explanations may be too complex for some students download on site Adventures in Japanese Adventures in Japanese is aimed at junior high and high school learners and as such, the material is not as comprehensive as you might find in other textbooks.
Aimed at junior high and high school Easy to self-measure progress Great companion website with free bonus material, no login required Cons: Comprehensive Grammar explanations are easy to understand Cons: Some grammar explanations may contain errors Use for Free Online Elementary Japanese For self-learners on a budget, this is one of the best values.Each chapter introduces target grammar and vocab gradually, so it's never dumped on you all at once.
Grammar in this book is still quite useful and common too, so just using it to learn new grammar is an option as well. Sorry to offend. But if you start learning them early, like say, at the beginner level, they can be much easier to recognize, understand, and put into your own language.
Even in the last dialogue, it's mostly kana with some common kanji thrown in. Good advice.