I spent $137 on BEGINNER JAPANESE & JLPT TEXTBOOKS so you don’t have to.


Hey guys, long time no see! It’s me Boomer!
(…and Lily!) Hey guys, I’m Loretta!
Welcome back to my channel, KemushiChan! A lot of you have asked about Boomer in the comments like, “Loretta’s running around alone on trips so much…are those two still OK…????” What happened to Boomer?!
Wazzamatta hea?! Well you see… I’ve been jammed up in Japanese school.
Sorry about that! I was mostly studying for the JLPT ALSO! I even took the JLPT N3 OF JAPANESE in ONE YEAR!!! So you see, it’s been a rough year on me!! So you’ve been full time at Japanese school for a year and a half so you know all the entry level textbooks and went through the beginner Japanese textbooks. I thought today you could show us how much it cost you and how each textbook compared for you! [ ARMS DAY !!! ] You spent about $137 on beginner level books and close to another $200 on JLPT books as well. Let’s break down the cost! I get a lot of questions asking about beginner textbooks! I haven’t opened a beginner textbook in 15 years So this video, today, I’m leaving it to you! It’s all on you, literally! OK, so the total cost for beginner level books I spent ¥14,580 on beginner level books most of these were requirements for language school. The first book, however is the exception! Genki I Elementary Japanese, on the back of the book it lists that it’s ¥3,000 Amazon US says it’s $47.50 Amazon.co.jp says ¥3,780. Format of this book: there’s a dialog, a vocab list new grammar points are presented, expression notes which are basically cultural notes on vocabulary and grammar usage finally, there are practice questions using the vocab/grammar you just learned in that chapter. So, language!! Genki I is really good for native English speakers it’s written from the viewpoint of native English speakers it has cultural notes on Japanese expressions there is romaji but then it slowly takes it away as you go. There’s a lot of localization for native English speakers If you’re not comfortable with English this is probably not the best book for you. (L: …I wonder what it would be…) So our rating sytem, is GATSU POSE (fist pump!) How many fist pumps would you give Genki I ? I give it 3 out of 4 first pumps! I think it could introduce kanji a little faster! I would recommend this to native English speakers beginning to learn Japanese. The next books is Minna no Nihongo I . It’s two books that come in a single set. This is the main textbook, it’s¥2,500. This is the language supplement book which is ¥2,000 So the main book is all Japanese, with no English. There’s almost no English in the main book. You buy the supplement book in your preferred language. I checked and their English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean Indonesian…there’s a whole list of languages! I know for a fact that there’s Russian, French, Italian and Thai. The main book is more grammar exercises The supplement is more vocabulary and grammar notes. These are two books together, you wouldn’t want to buy just one. Unlike the Genki series, this is the one you were required to buy for language school. Yes, this is required for langauge school. It’s good to get you started at looking at kanji and furigana, and to get used to reading it in a sentence. My main issue with this book is with the language supplement There’s no cultural notes here. It’s just a straight translation of the grammar. with no vocabulary culture notes. Unlike the Genki book, native nuanced Japanese is not explained. So you gotta figure things out on your own.
Yeah! But you still give it 3 out of 4 gatsu pose?
Yep 3 out of 4! I would recommend this to anyone who is not a native English speaker it’s a solid book and it’s available in a lot of languages. Minna no Nihongo II ! The main textbook again is ¥2,500 the supplementary book is ¥2,000. They seem to like these prices! Again the main text is only in Japanese, in Kanji with furigana. it has example sentences using the grammar you’re going to learn then there’s the dialog then the introduce the grammar points with exercises for practice listening exercises, questions asking you to use the grammar points and there’s a CD for you to listen on your own! If you buy the teacher’s edition you can get all the tests and take the tests by yourself, however the test/answers aren’t included in the main student set. So, if you are teaching yourself and you’re not in language school looking into buying the teacher’s edition with the test materials may be a good idea! Yeah, that way you can test yourself. Your main textbook is in Japanese your supplementary book will be in your language of choice 3 out of 4 gatsu pose! So, same issue with Minna no Nihongo I the grammar explanations are just literal but I would recommend this one for people who are not native English speakers because it’s available in so many different languages. Kanji look and learn! ¥1,800! It has 16 kanji per chapter onyomi, kunyomi, vocab and stroke order this is made by the same people who published Genki. Would you recommend this then for non-native English speakers? All the definitions are in English It’s probably better for native English speakers who people who are basically comfortable with English. My Vietnamese classmates have this book in Japanese it seems like my European classmates who are comfortable with English were OK with most of the definitions, except for a few hard ones. You also studied for the JLPT N3 ! These are the N3 books! Not everyone is interested in taking the JLPT so maybe we’ll cover these in depth in a separate video 4 different books for N3 study. How much were these?
All of these together were ¥6,000. …and these were required by your school? Nope, this is the only book that was required by my school: Chuukyuu e Ikou This book was required by my school. ¥2,200. I personally really didn’t like this book I finished all of Kanji Look and Learn first there are 10 chapters in this book and in every chapter I only learned about 1 new word. It was redundant after all the other books. The plus side of this book is that there are more native Japanese reading passages then you will find in Minna no Nihongo So, if you’re already using Minna no Nihongo and Kanji Look and Learn then you don’t need to buy Chuukyuu e Ikou unless you want extra practice. It’s a 2,200 yen you could save if you wanted to. These books were NOT required by my language school these books are the Shin Kanzen Master series these are JLPT N3 study books this is the Kanji book which is 1,200 yen this is the grammar book, which is 1,200 yen. Reading book which is 1,400 yen. So 3,800 yen for all of these! So that’s what you did for N3! What are you up to now? I’ve just begun my N2 studies! OK! Which brings in the mother load, these 6 books… These books, read em and weep, 11,900 yen!!! All of these are required for year 2 of language school. So you second year is when the money really starts to hit! This is Tobira, Gateway to Advanced Japanese. It is 3,300 yen. Dialog, vocab lists, grammar, grammar exercises to go with that, this is the Tobira Kanji book 2,200 yen. This is a lot like Kanji look and learn, about 40 new kanji per lesson So these are the ones that you’ve started! We’ll have to do a full review once he’s actually gone through them But here are the other N2 books he’s been going through.
Nihongo Sou Matome The “goi” (vocab) book is 1,200 yen. The Shin Kanzen Master series, Chokai N2 (listening) is 1,600 yen. It also comes with a CD! Nihongo no Bojinsha, dokkai (reading)! This is 1,800 yen. It has English, Korean, Chinese and Russian Thanks to Olga…Pokrovska! haha. Thank Olga! Try N2 grammar textbook for 1,800 yen. It comes with a CD. 14,580 yen just for your beginner level books to get you through your first year of school but in total you spent 32,480 yen to get you through to N2. All of that is supposedly going to get you to N2. That’s a little over 300 bucks. for someone getting started, should they pick Genki or Minna no Nihongo? Which should they pick? These are the two most popular books. Genki is better for native English speakers Minna no Nihongo is better for people are who are less comfortable in English which is why Minna no Nihongo is so popular in language schools because the book itself that teachers use is in Japanese and then with the supplement, students can go back in their own time and re-cement what they learned in their native language. If you are doing self-study, one tips is to considering buying the teacher edition so you can quiz yourself genki also has a website, GENKI ONLINE yeah they have some online materials! I mean they both have website, I’ll POP them down below! If you wanted to just get a basic leg up in Japanese like you’re going to Japan on a trip and you want to make sure you can find a bathroom eat some food, etc. Would you recommend going through all of these and learning Kana, etc? Probably not, as a tourist I would say probably Pimsleur is better. We talked about this in a different video. I think the first and second CD a lot of it is things you would use as a tourist. How to introduce yourself, how to order things at restaurants things that you could actually use on the ground honestly as a tourist, the only reading I would recommend is to learn Katakana. Food that’s not Japanese food will be written in Katakana. So if you want to learn Japanese more seriously, according to Boomer: GENKI if you’re a native English speaker MINNA no NIHONGO if you’re more comfortable being able to check things in your native language. if you are a tourist and want to be able to speak and get by on a trip use PIMSLEUR and focus more on the speaking/listening and if you want to be an advanced tourist along with PIMSLEUR, also learn katakana So you can actually look at menus. You can usually point at pictures on menus but it is a huge help if you can read. So, these all cost money. How do you do this if you DON’T want to spend money? Before you can even start these books, you need to learn hiragana and katakana. you need to learn the basic alphabets but you don’t need to pay money to do that. Jenn and Ariana just did a video on Jenn’s channel Osharegirl in that video Ariana mentioned RealKana.com You can literally google “hiragana chart” and just download a chart for free. If you want to taste the grammar without spending money I still really recommend Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese Yeah, I use that a lot!
It’s a great resource! It’s more in depth, it’s free, and now there’s even a forum where you can talk about it Yeah, so it’s getting fancy over there! Before you do ANY of that! If you want to study Japanese Your first step, really should be to go to your library. Before you open your wallet, check your library! I know I sound dated….BUT IT’S FREE! Most of them have Minna no Nihongo, Genki, books like that if you’re in school, check the school library, check the community library sometimes they even have Pimsleur! Don’t even LOOK at your wallet! Don’t even CLICK the links! Check out a library. Don’t waste your money when you can just get started for free and for fun. So that’s where we’re going to leave it for now! You gotta get back to work! Your N3 results come out in 2 weeks and then after that, it’s on to N2! Your 32,480 yen worth of books… make em worth it! Get ready for your N2 this december…with arms day. One thing we’re considering doing at home is changing the language that we speak at home. At least for one day a week. Like, Japanese Saturdays or Japanese Fridays. But to see how that goes, here’s a shameless plug: Check out our second channel, BOOMLORE, we’re going to try and immerse this guy you have even less time to get N2 ready! Full on… Japanese craziness… Joukyuu e ikou! So, I’m sure this was a lot to ask of you as a guest you went through 15 er so a lot of different books thank you for suffering for us and sharing what you learned! Thank so much everyone for watching today! Let’s have a conversation in the comments below Boomer will be responding as well so look out for that. If you have any questions, feel free to write them in a comment! See you guys next time!

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