Friday, July 18, 2014

Genki 1 by The Japan Times

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Genki 1 by The Japan Times is a textbook that my language school GenkiJACS uses to teach Japanese to beginners. The book expects you to know hiragana while katana and kanji are not required. Genki contains a hiragana table, but you won't be able to learn anything without being proficient in hiragana. You will gradually learn katakana by using Japanese words that originated from English and the book teaches Kanji with extra vocabulary.

The book si very well organized and the school doesn't deviate much from the course set by the book. It teaches basic grammar first, but each chapter contain listening and reading parts, too. At school, the speaking excercises are done as well. There are a few things I don't like about the book, but they are just really minor nitpicks. For example once a special case of a rule was added as new grammar and later explained fully. However this style is good for people who want to learn only some parts of the language.

The intensive course covers about 1 chapter per week which feels like an ideal pace. The first book contains 12 chapters. While studying with Genki I had a feeling for very long time that I can't use any Japanese. However around chapter 8, I suddenly started to feel that I can communicate with the Japanese people. It all somehow clicked together at that time.

Genki at GenkiJACS

The school is using both Genki books, Genki 1 and Genki 2. There are also workbooks available for both the first and the second book, but we don't have them and we are using photocopies and other excercises created by the teachers. The answer key is of course available as well, if you want to spoil your study...

If you are planning to study at GenkiJACS I can highly recommend getting at least the first book and study the first 3 chapters yourself. They are very easy and it will save you 3 weeks of relatively easy topics.

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