If you're looking for a good book to learn Japanese language, you probably have too many choices flooding your mind and have no idea which one is for you, because every one of them seems good. So, why this one?
This book is very well organized. It contains 11 units to cover the most practical topics surviving in Japan, such as meeting people, shopping, gettig around, dinning out, visiting a japanese home, responding inquiries at office, and socializing, etc. Each unit is consist of a culture note, a specific grammar syntax and usage, and a couple of lessons. Each lesson starts with a short dialogue to illustrate the common conversation of the unit's topic. It also provides a detail explanation on the sentence usage and the new vocabulary introduced in the dialogue. Few exercises are followed to help readers to get familiarized and practice what they have just learned. An audio CD is also accompanied with this book to demonstrate the conversation addressed in each dialogues. At the end of the book, it comes with the Appendixes, which provides a summary of all the particles, sentence patterns, adjectives, etc. in a list with examples and reference to the book's units & lessons. In addition, it has a mini-dictionary with english to japanese and japanese to english. This book also makes use of a lot of pictures to illustrate dialogues and exercises. It really helps the reader to have a more relax and interesting learning journey. After finishing this book, you should be able to have the following skills: (i) basic usage of nouns, verbs, adjectives, (b) basic conversation for essential everyday siturations, and (c) reading and writing hiragana & katakana.
Well, although there's a romanji version of this "Japanese for Busy People I (Revised 3rd Edition)", I would still recommend the readers to get this "Kana" version to learn the real Japanese in a Japanese character forms. If you do not know about the Japanese sound system, hiragana and katakana. You can pick up the "Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Workbook", which is an excellent book for starters. After that, go for this "Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version". Indeed, this is the best!
(Reviewed by Otto Yuen, 17-May-2007)