What I use to Study Japanese


This is Amy/エイミー

I’m back and this time I’ll be discussing what I use to study Japanese.

First of all I started studying Japanese several years ago. The problem is, that I’m the kind of person that procrastinates. So, I sort of quit at one point. I don’t want this to discourage anyone who wants to learn though. It was important for me to bring this up because I thought I might get asked when I started learning. I was afraid people would wonder why my level isn’t higher than it is. I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea. Anyway, since then I started studying again last year. So, with that said let’s move onward.

Barron's Japanese: Master The Basics

Review the Fundamentals

The first book I use is: “Japanese: Master The Basics” by, Nobuo & Carol Akiyama. (This book is published by Barron’s)

This book is great! I highly recommend it. It has a test at the beginning of the book to see where you stand. It also has a diagnostic analysis to help determine that. Very basic book. It covers grammar, verbs, common phrases, particles and more. The only issue is that the copy I have is outdated. There have been multiple revisions since the one I bought. So unlike me you might want to get the newer version.

The Second Book I use is:

Japanese in 10 minutes a day” by, Kristine Kershul. (This book is published by, Bilingual Books, Inc.)

Japanese in 10 Minutes a Day

A complete language-learning kit

This book is very basic as well. It’s a lot of fun too.  There’s the sticky labels you can use to label things around your home. There’s also crossword puzzles. Lots of helpful artwork and vocab in this book. It goes into verbs and word order a little bit. This books is aimed at travelers and the content reflects that.

Now the one thing I have to say about both of these books is that they don’t go into learning how to write Hiragana, Katakana or Kanji. However, the Barron’s book does have a chart for both Hiragana & Katakana. They also address kanji ever so slightly.

Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese dictionary

Comprehensive, Modern, Up-To-Date

The third book I use is:”Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary

A dictionary is pretty much essential for learning any language. This dictionary is designed for people who’ve just started learning. So if you’re new to studying Japanese, get this one or one similar to it. Note: This dictionary has Hiragana, Katakana, and Romaji charts.

The fourth book I use is:”Kanji de Manga“vol.1 Created by, Glenn Kardy with Art by, Chihiro Hattori

Right off the bat I’m going to tell you that you need the “Kana de Manga” book first. This wasn’t exactly clear to me when I bought the book. I don’t want to give the impression that this series of books is bad because it’s not. It’s a great concept actually which is, to learn Japanese Kana & Kanji by reading manga. The manga is made specifically for these series of books. (It doesn’t use excerpts of “One Piece” or anything like that.)

Kanji de Manga

The comic book that teaches you how to read and write Japanese!

At the beginning of this book they give a very brief summary of Kanji. I had to read this multiple times in order to understand. I still had to seek out more information elsewhere to understand it fully. Then there’s the pages that teach you the Kanji. There’s the one Kanji for that “lesson” & the comic. The comic is just a few panels, and it’s only in hiragana & katakana along with the translation. Maybe it’s just me but it’d be nice if the romanization was there too. I can understand why it’s not, but I still think it would be useful to make sure I’m pronouncing words correctly. All in all it’s not a bad book, it’s just not really for beginners. If you’re going to learn using this series make sure to get the “Kana de Manga” volume first.Cinnamaroll Kanji Renshuu

Lastly, there’s these two books. They are both in Japanese only. The first one is the “Cinnamaroll Kanji Renshuu Gakushū-chō (Renshuu means practice & Gakushū-chō means learning book) Basically, this is what Japanese students use to practice writing Kana & Kanji. (Kana refer to Hiragana & Katakana) The pages inside have boxes to fill in with whatever Kana or Kanji you choose.

Next is the “あいうえお Workbook” The title translates to “ABC’s Workbook” This one is to specifically practice Hiragana. Hiragana and Katakana are thought of as the ABC’s in Japanese. Japanese people start learning them before Kanji.

あいうえおAlright I think that’s going to be all from me today. I want to encourage anyone who wants to learn Japanese or any language for that matter. I hope you enjoyed reading this and there shall be more posts similar to this one in the future. Thank you so much for reading.


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3 Responses to What I use to Study Japanese

  1. Meg says:

    Hi! You got quite interesting books for studying there! I used to self-study japanese until this year, Im studying at a Japanese language school. Self-studying can be fun and convenient, but I also felt discouraged at my slow pace at some point ^^; Now Im having fun learning Japanese!


    • WhiteCherry5 says:

      Thank You!~♥ I wish I could study Japanese @ a college too. Currently I cannot afford it. 😦 I’m also discouraged by my slow pace as well. I think I would learn faster in a classroom setting. (^-^) I’m really happy for you that you’re having fun while learning Japanese. I think people should have fun while learning another language. ね?


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