Skip to main content

See also:

Best text-books and technology support for your first steps in Japanese


Japanese text-books


As it is easily predictable, learning Japanese is way more difficult than mastering any European language, especially due to the lack of adequate learning sources. Although there are plenty of online apps, electronic translators, books, brochures, audio courses, etc., they are all might also come in handy. Most of them are not designed to shape the profound knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, but rather to entertain an anime fan.

Recent companies developments, which are engaged in the online education sphere, offer a wide range of options to learn Japanese online with audio flash cards, online review games, and even lessons with virtual teacher! Today, amazing new technology allows you to learn language from your home. You are able to download on your Iphone some simple itunes applications to Learn Japanese and get started! However, no single technology won´t allow you to learn the basics of this beautiful eastern side language than the followed mentioned books!

The problem is quite major, as Japanese companies are spreading worldwide, and let’s face it – sometimes it’s easier to learn Japanese than to understand their English. Here is a list of text books that will be the most useful for you while learning this no doubt difficult language:

1. Let’s Learn Hiragana (and Katakana in the vol.2) is a beautifully made guide for learning the two Japanese alphabets without any difficulties. The guide includes individual practice sheets for you to drill the skill.

2. Essential Kanji – an excellent guide for those who have already mastered the letters and are ready to move forward. The book covers around 2000 kanji including the rules of writing and the stroke order.

3. Basic Kanji Book (vol. 1 and 2). This is a more sophisticated kanji text-book for advanced learners. It is more complicated that Essential Kanji, yet provides more material on every character.

4. A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. This series of grammar textbooks is an excellent course of knowledge for beginners, as well as advance learners. They include plenty of clear explanations and examples to illustrate the use of grammar constructions.

5. Shin Nihongo No Kiso is a textbook to use if you want to develop your communicative skills, as besides grammar it also includes vocabulary exercises and dialogues. Plenty of additional material (audio) is available as well.

6. Japanese for Busy People – a book for those who do not have the possibility to work with a native teacher. It includes audio material and speaking exercises to boost your speaking skills.

The list is not complete, of course. “Minna No Nihongo”, a commonly used (and just as commonly criticized) Japanese textbook, is also an option. However, it is better to use its Japanese version rather than the translations, and this is out of questions for beginners.
Ideally, you should use a few textbooks simultaneously, as each of them has strong and weak sides. While some of them might be perfect for learning grammar, they will scarcely help you in speaking and listening, and vice versa. Find here a great many of them and other useful educational information - how to write paper