Sunday, March 7, 2010

Review: Japanese Step by Step

Japanese Step by Step:
An Innovative Approach to Speaking and Reading Japanese
Nishi, Gene
2000; McGraw-Hill
ISBN 0-658-01490-0
$16.95 US (a new edition will be published soon at $12.00)
New edition pictured; Image from Amazon

I bought this book about 2 years ago and it remains a favorite. I absolutely adore Nishi's code for conjugation, which simplifies the process of conjugating mentally on the fly. His clear, practical and concise explanations are practical and easily bring the student to an intermediate level of grammar. And the index for counters and numbers is a rich resource for the beginning and advanced student.However, vocabulary is somewhat lacking; although it possesses one of the richest compendiums of verbs that I've ever seen, as well as a large index of counter-words,the lack of a comprehensive noun glossary makes this book a little less than adequate for it to remain a core text for self-study.Still, this book is great for a beginner, or if one already knows some Japanese from travel/phrase books and are looking to take the next step without enrolling in a course, or don't want to tackle a textbook.

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