#1
Japanese for Everyone. It's a single textbook; a very tough basic grammar textbook. For comparison, in its 27 lessons it covers what Genki covers in 2 books. It uses a lot of plain form, which is a good thing. I'm hoping all the closet JFE users will come to this thread to discuss the book, and perhaps share additional information about the book via email (we can't violate copywrite laws of course).

Edit:
Here is the link to the majority of the JFE sentences and audio for those sentences. Big thanks to Jason Reaves for hosting this. The sentences have been reviewed by a native speaker. The voice in the recordings is my own, so not native.
Edited: 2007-11-10, 12:45 am
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#2
I also use JFE. I am not very far along with it yet, but it is a truly impressive book. In a single volume, it is the equivalent of the 2 Genki texts and the 3 Japanese for Busy People texts. It covers things in good detail. By the end of the text, one can comfortably work with 500 kanji (reading as well as writing). For those who use RTK 1, learning these kanji is a breeze. Rather than memorize the kanji readings like other textbooks suggest, JFE uses furigana above the new kanji for the first several uses until the reader can become self-sufficient when seeing these kanji again. When a person finishes this book (and has truly mastered it's teachings), they have reached intermediate level in japanese proficiency (see japanese wikibook).

I think that the only thing that this book lacks is supplemental resources. If other users of this text can come together as a group we should be able to create or devise other supplemental resources to this book to help master it as efficiently and totally as possible.

I am all for this. Anyone else???
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#3
I'm always interested in new learning methods, before now I've not really studied from a text-book, I've done Pimsleur I & II, studied grammar mostly from 完全マスター(kanzen master) books and the Dict. of Basic Japanese Grammar, although lately I've fallen into the "only doing RTK trap" and have been looking for something else to help me along with grammar (something structured..) for JLPT (3級) and just further study in general.

I looked at this book on a couple of websites, and it seemed to be split into 3 pieces, the textbook, the workbook, and the audio tapes/CD's..

Japanese Textbook Info Board..

What I'd like to ask is; are the audio CD's a necessary part of this course? or can they be overlooked?

Also, do you think it'd really be beneficial to someone already a year into japanese study and (almost) at the JLPT 3 level? I'm not trying to say I'd know everything in the book... only that I'd like to know what level of JLPT might a student expect to be at once finished with the text?

Cheers,
Chris

edit: I know there won't be a line at the end of the book saying "you are now at JLPT level X" just wondered if you guys could guess roughly whereabouts you think a student might be afterwards. Cheers. Smile
Edited: 2006-10-14, 12:50 pm
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#4
Quote:What I'd like to ask is; are the audio CD's a necessary part of this course? or can they be overlooked?
Ditto!
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#5
jondesousa Wrote:I think that the only thing that this book lacks is supplemental resources. If other users of this text can come together as a group we should be able to create or devise other supplemental resources to this book to help master it as efficiently and totally as possible.

I am all for this. Anyone else???
Why yes, I think that would be a splendid idea! I coincidentally have a good portion of the exercises in the first 12 lessons in an excel spreadsheet, ready for a flashcard program (I use supermemo, but you can tweek it for whatever you want).

Christoph Wrote:What I'd like to ask is; are the audio CD's a necessary part of this course? or can they be overlooked?
I'm pretty sure they include only the opening dialogues and the listening comprehension excercises. I believe they cost over $100 too. Everybody has their own ways of learning, but what I really want are all the exercises in the book on audio, in the english-japanese-japanese format. This greatly improves my speed. Oh, what's that...? Hey it looks like I just happen to have the exercises for the first 10 lessons on audio (this is not the book's audio; it's me reading my sentences in english-japanese-japanese). You are welcome to them. My pronunciation is good, but not perfect, so it's up to you...

Christoph Wrote:Also, do you think it'd really be beneficial to someone already a year into japanese study and (almost) at the JLPT 3 level? I'm not trying to say I'd know everything in the book... only that I'd like to know what level of JLPT might a student expect to be at once finished with the text?
I'm no expert, so I hope others also answer this, but I believe this covers most if not all the grammar required for JLPT2. Depending on how you do in other areas, it's probably enough grammar to pass JLPT1 too. I'm just talking grammar here; there's a lot of other stuff to master for JLPT1 & 2 (tons of vocabulary, kanji, reading skills, listening skills, etc.).

One last note - I really want to put this stuff in a place where it can be dowloaded (I don't want to be sending a lot of private emails, and I don't even know how to handle the audio). So please give me some suggestions. I would like to keep adding stuff as I go along. I'm just finishing lesson 14 now, and my plan is to do 1 lesson per week until I finish it.
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#6
leosmith Wrote:
Christoph Wrote:What I'd like to ask is; are the audio CD's a necessary part of this course? or can they be overlooked?
I'm pretty sure they include only the opening dialogues and the listening comprehension excercises. I believe they cost over $100 too.
They are only the opening dialogues and listening comprehension. They are very expensive because the audio books are no longer in print. They are incredibly hard to come by. I think that if one has some other supplementary way to listen to japanese (either through Pimsleur, japanesepod101.com, etc.) then it is not necessary or worth the money to get the audio materials for this book.

leosmith Wrote:Everybody has their own ways of learning, but what I really want are all the exercises in the book on audio, in the english-japanese-japanese format. This greatly improves my speed. Oh, what's that...? Hey it looks like I just happen to have the exercises for the first 10 lessons on audio (this is not the book's audio; it's me reading my sentences in english-japanese-japanese). You are welcome to them. My pronunciation is good, but not perfect, so it's up to you...
Holy crap! You have audio for this book? That is really awesome. I am no real whiz when it comes to webpages, etc. but I think those audio files would be really awesome. I personally would love to get them and put them on my mp3 player with my japanesepod101.com stuff. Since I finshed all three Pimsleur levels, I don't have much useful audio anymore besides japanesepod101. It would be great if someone could help us get this stuff available on the web somewhere.

Let's all work together to get some great resources available for this book.
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#7
Cool, it's great to see other JFE fans out there!

In February 2005 a local Japanese teacher called to let me know that she was starting a new class. She had been using JfBP and didn't like it, so she was going to use JFE. I'd never heard of it before, but got a look at it that weekend and immediately signed up: it looked like a great book to use for learning a language. Since March of 05 I've been in the class for a total of 12 months or so, and we've been averaging about a lesson per month (one class per week, give or take). It's been slower than I'd like, but I'm not a full-time student: I have a wife, 2 kids, full-time job, side business and this is, after all, just a hobby.

Overall, I love this book. It was a great value for $20 (at Amazon). I'd praise it more but I've already done that in a review I wrote last year. In case anyone's interested, I also wrote up a few words on my JFE study method.

A year ago I got my hands on the cassettes through the local library system and converted them to MP3s to use on my player. Granted, they only include the dialogs, Reading Comp Exercise and Listening Exercise (along with an occasional Japanese song), but don't underestimate the power of audio. During the month it takes to work through a lesson I listen to the dialogs 30-50 times and guess what? After a dozen times or so, parts of the dialog start sticking in my head. After another dozen times, I'm able to whip out phrases and sentences at near-native speed. And the audio can occasionally clear up some slightly confusing parts of the dialogs. Check your local library--you just might be pleasantly surprised.

So yes, I'm pleased with JFE and recommend it to lots of people. Something that might be profitable would be a Skype group to work together on lessons or practice some of the exercises from the book, which can be difficult for those studying the book on their own.
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#8
I'm thinking of breaking up my sound files and posting them to a yahoo users group. I think it's possible to post up to 5meg files there. I've been busy recording lessons 10-15. I'd forgotten how long it takes to do the editting; I should get it done this weekend, and after that I'll find some place to post. Any suggestions?

Hey Jon, did you get that really huge (10meg+) sound file I emailed you? Just curious. That's the first of 8 files covering lessons 1-10. Sorry to clog up your email; I should have asked before sending it.

BTW, I'm on lesson 17 now. How about you guys? I hope to finish 20 before Christmas, absorb everything for a couple weeks, then go like crazy the first of the year. I'd like to be finished before the end of February.

Cheers,
Leo
(PS - welcome _QBE_!)
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#9
Thanks Leo. Our class is about to finish up Lesson 12--kind of pathetic only to be on Lesson 12 after 1.5 years, but Real Life has intervened many times. I'd like to pick up the pace on my own, but honestly have trouble finding the time right now. I might just do it anyway.
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#10
In my view JFE is the best general book out there for studying Japanese. When I think of the time people waste (including me) with JfBP etc. it brings tears to my eyes. JFE breaks everything down into bite-sized pieces. That and the little cartoons really help make it easier to digest the material. It's a great book for self-study, but you really want to get something on audio if you aren't living in Japan while you're studying. If you finish the book you will have all of the basics you need to become fluent. JFE+RTK1 are really the only books you ever need to buy. Everything else can be found on the Internet.
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#11
Hi! I started learning japanese using Pimsleur and I think it works very well, specially Level I. Levels II and III aren't that good. Then, I used Heisig's method to learn kana (spanish version by Marc Bernab?), and Remembering Kanji vol I and II (also spanish version) which I've just started.
Recently I bought JFE from amazon because I needed a book for the gramatics and this on had very good reviews on forums like this one I think the book is great. It really blends in with pimsleur dialogues and vocabulary and I think they complement each other very well. But the thing is that I cannot find the tapes anywhere. I've looked in specialized language bookstores in Barcelona but they don't even have the book.
It would be great if someone post the audio in mp3. I will really appreciate that. I suggest to upload zipped file to http://www.megaupload.com or rapidshare.com and post the link in the forums.

[kana] doomo arigatoo gozaimashita ![/kana]

(sorry for my english!! I'm still learning)
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#12
brose Wrote:In my view JFE is the best general book out there for studying Japanese. When I think of the time people waste (including me) with JfBP etc. it brings tears to my eyes.
Hi brose. I totally agree about JFBP. I finished the first book, and decided never to use any of those products again. Just out of curiosity, did you finish JFE? Am I speaking to a veteran? I have two copies of the book, both used, each under $10. I noticed one previous owner got thru lesson 23 or so, and the other lesson 8. Seems the book takes its toll on some people.

brose Wrote:It's a great book for self-study, but you really want to get something on audio if you aren't living in Japan while you're studying.
Yup. I did Pimsleur, and eventually got a 30hr dorama from an ex girlfriend. I also hired a tutor for conversation only. That really helped.

friderman Wrote:But the thing is that I cannot find the tapes anywhere. I've looked in specialized language bookstores in Barcelona but they don't even have the book.
It would be great if someone post the audio in mp3. I will really appreciate that. I suggest to upload zipped file to http://www.megaupload.com or rapidshare.com and post the link in the forums.
Much gusto sr friderman, y bienvenidos. Hey, I bet your english is better than my spanish, so tranquilo.Smile

I don't have the audio that comes with the book, but thanks for the link. I'll see if that's a good location for me to upload the audio for the exercises that I've been making. I'll try to get to in this weekend. There isn't enough room in that yahoo users group; I was only able to hang 1 out of 15 or so files.

Well, I'm still barely hanging onto my 1 lesson per week schedule. I'm on lesson 19. My goal is to finish 20 by next weekend. That'll give me just enough time to get everything under control, into supermemo and audio, by my vacation at end of the year. My plan is still to come back from my vacation refreshed, and do the final 7 lessons before the end of Feb.

I've really changed the way I do the lessons. Instead of going thru the lessons again and again, now I just make lists, review the lists, dump them into supermemo, make audio from the lists, and play the audio when I commute. This works soooo much better for me - I'm actually remembering the grammar now!

Here's another question for y'all. Can anyone compare JFE to Genki1&2? My feeling is the content in JFE is a little more difficult and realistic, but I could be wrong. I have the first Genki book, but not the second.
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#13
Welp, I finished ch 20 last year as planned. Due to sickness and vacation, I'm still working on getting everything into supermemo. After that, I'll finish my recordings, and put them in my car. The dust will finally settle about the end of this month, and I'll begin my finaly push - the last 7 chapters. I hope to be done before May.

Doing some quick calculations last night, I realized that getting through the book will have taken about 1000 hours. Incredible. That's equivalent to 3 or 4 RTK's!

I've been talking to my old tutor. I think she's going to re-record the japanese answers in my recordings. I'm pretty excited about that. She'll proof-read the sentences first, so now I know they'll be perfect. Still haven't checked out friderman's upload suggestions, but I'll probably wait until I'm finished. I'll have over 1000 sentences when I'm done.
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#14
Our weekly Japanese class starts again Wednesday and we'll begin Lesson 14. At the current rate we'll be finished late this year. That's not good enough for me anymore (I'm tired of slow progress!), so I'm going to start working ahead at the rate of an exercise or two every day and check material with my conversation partners.
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#15
_Qbe_ Wrote:Our weekly Japanese class starts again Wednesday and we'll begin Lesson 14. At the current rate we'll be finished late this year. That's not good enough for me anymore (I'm tired of slow progress!), so I'm going to start working ahead at the rate of an exercise or two every day and check material with my conversation partners.
Actually, I thought your rate was pretty fast. It took me an average of 35 hrs per lesson for the last 10 lessons. 35 hrs in a month is a lot of time someone with family and all. Kudos. So, who are these conversation partners? Folks from your class, or real Japanese?
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#16
It seems like we've been spending about 4-5 hours of class time on lessons 7-14, plus I've been doing another 3-4 hours of work on the exercises, plus another 2 or so on vocabulary and dialogs, so about 8-12 hours per lesson. The real trick, I discovered, is simply to memorize as much as possible: vocab, grammatical points, paradigms. I've been hit-and-miss trying to memorize dialogs and example sentences, and really need to do more of that.

The Japanese conversation is with real Japanese via Skype. Between The Mixxer and mixi.jp I have more conversation possibilities than I can handle.

Yep, with a wife and 2 sons and a full-time job, it's a challenge!
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#17
I spend 8-12 hrs per lesson the first time through, doing all the exercises etc and memorizing the vocab. But that's not enough for me; it just doesn't stick. So stage 2 is to type everything up and review/memorize it in list form for 4 days, then dump it into supermemo. I do this in increments that I can handle in a day, like 10 sentences or 30 vocab words. This probably takes 15-20 hours. Stage 3 is making a recording, which probably takes 2-3 hours. So I'm really slow, but I study enough hours to finish a lesson in a reasonable number of days.

I'll have to try Skype one of these days. Sounds pretty convenient.
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#18
The book does sound interesting from what you are describing here and from the table of contents that I can see on Amazon; I have a couple small questions though: the TOC includes answers to exercises, are these reasonably complete? How useful are the exercises themselves, do they include E->J translation, for example, or are they mostly pattern drills for the last lesson's new expressions?
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#19
laxxy Wrote:The the TOC includes answers to exercises, are these reasonably complete?
Answers are quite complete. The only time they omit answers is for exercises that say something like "describe what you see in the picture in your own words". There aren't many exercises like this, as it seems the book is designed for self study.

laxxy Wrote:How useful are the exercises themselves, do they include E->J translation
The explanations have lots of J->E sample sentences. The exercises are very useful, but don't have E->J translation. Typically, they give instructions in English, and one example, then set you loose. As an example, there's a picture of a park with a lot of seperate activities going on, each one numbered. The example sentence is "hana wo occhaa dame da yo", which refers to a woman scolding a girl picking a flower. Beside number 1 in the picture, there's a cop scolding a kid walking on the grass. The answer is "shibafu no naka ni haicha ikenaiyo". Of course, there are many possible variations, but the book only gives one.
(over half of the exercises are based on pictures)

laxxy Wrote:are they mostly pattern drills for the last lesson's new expressions?
There are pattern drills, but a pretty low percentage compared to other texts.
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#20
I just finished the text. I got about 70% on the quiz, which I'm not totally happy with, but at least I'm on the board. Now I'll continue to memorize the sentences. I'm on lesson 25 with those, so it should be about 2 more weeks. Then comes the making and memorizing the recordings for the last 7 lessons. I should be finished before the 1st of May.

Oh yeah, lesson 23 was the hardest for me. About 100 new vocab words, and ye olde double negative exercises (tabenakerebanaranai).
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#21
Leo, congratulations on finishing the book! I would very much appreciate a copy of your Excel spreadsheet, if you're still willing to make it available for download or by e-mail. I could also host the spreadsheet and any other materials you're willing to make publicly available on my website. Please send me a PM if you're interested.

I started working my way through JfE in January and covered the first 4-5 chapters over the course of several weeks. I put the vocab, example sentences, and some of the exercises into Excel and, ultimately, into Twinkle for review. I also enlisted the help of my wife, who is 二世, to record audio flashcards (E-J) for me. I agree that it's a good book and that it covers more in under 400 pages than other textbooks cover in multiple volumes.

However, I recently discovered the website, http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/ , which has changed my approach somewhat. The guy who writes this blog learned Japanese to fluency - to the point where he could read technical materials and conduct job interviews in Japanese - in 18 months by reading lots of example sentences. His main tools were a dictionary, real Japanese media (internet, DVDs, manga, etc.), and a Spaced Repetition System (he used Mnemosyne). (He also recommends Heisig's RTK1 as a prerequisite, by the way.) I simply can't argue with the success he's had, so following his example, I've put JfE aside for now in order to focus on RTK1 and then, example sentences.

I do think that JfE provides a very solid foundation in grammar (probably to JLPT 1 or 2 level, though I don't know for sure), and I think that once I finish RTK and start putting example sentences into an SRS I may use the book as a source of example sentences.

As for the JfE audio, I found a copy at my local Half-Price books, and I also found a copy at an Australian used bookstore on the web. There are only four cassette tapes. As far as I know, CD's are not available. The tapes include the dialogs, listening comprehension exercises, and reading passages. The tapes, like the book itself, are well-made. However, there are only 4 of them, so they're just a supplement to the book. Other sources of audio input are definitely required.
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#22
jreaves Wrote:I started working my way through JfE in January and covered the first 4-5 chapters over the course of several weeks. I put the vocab, example sentences, and some of the exercises into Excel and, ultimately, into Twinkle for review.
Would you care to share those Excel and/or twinkle files? I'd be interested....

Quote:blog learned Japanese to fluency - to the point where he could read technical materials and conduct job interviews in Japanese - in 18 months by reading lots of example sentences.
Those are impressive results; he *has* put in some crazy hours though, I suspect with that intensity most methods would be fairly effective...
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#23
Sure, I'll be glad to share, though it's just the first 4 chapters. I'll send you an e-mail.

Basically, I type the information into Excel, export as UTF-16 (this is the only unicode encoding that Excel/Mac seems to understand), then run a little Python script that creates multiple flashcards for each line, for example E->J, J->E, Kanji->E, etc. Then I import the resulting text file into Twinkle. From this point forward, I think I'll be doing only J->E with complete sentences (no isolated vocab words), following Khatzumoto's example.
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#24
I agree with laxxy. I think if you stick to any one method and study diligently for a good amount of time, you will get good solid results.

That being said, I do like his approach because my personal priority is fluency in reading, with oral/verbal skills on a much lower priority level. I seem to have taken a much more passive path with listening, playing japanese tv/radio in the background whenever I can.

Congrats to leosmith for making it through JFE! However, I thought you were using Genki for some reason. Is there any particular reason why you switched?
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#25
jreaves Wrote:Leo, congratulations on finishing the book! I would very much appreciate a copy of your Excel spreadsheet, if you're still willing to make it available for download or by e-mail. I could also host the spreadsheet and any other materials you're willing to make publicly available on my website.
Thanks, it was a long pull. Sure, I'll share everything I have. I want to wait until I finish typing though, which will be this weekend. Then you'll have a complete excel list. I'll be in contact. Laxxy and anyone else, you're all welcome to have a copy. I have a seperate vocabulary list, but before lesson 15 they're all mixed in with my vocabulary from other sources.

jreaves Wrote:However, I recently discovered the website, http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/ , which has changed my approach somewhat. The guy who writes this blog learned Japanese to fluency - to the point where he could read technical materials and conduct job interviews in Japanese - in 18 months by reading lots of example sentences. His main tools were a dictionary, real Japanese media (internet, DVDs, manga, etc.), and a Spaced Repetition System (he used Mnemosyne). (He also recommends Heisig's RTK1 as a prerequisite, by the way.) I simply can't argue with the success he's had, so following his example, I've put JfE aside for now in order to focus on RTK1 and then, example sentences.
I've been critical about some of the stuff he says, but when it comes down to it his method seem like a really good one. BTW, he used supermemo. Or at least that's what he used to have in his blog, saying he no longer advocates it though. Mnemosyne should work just fine. You can use my sentences for this, but I'm pretty sure he wants you to do J to J.

jreaves Wrote:As far as I know, CD's are not available.
You might ask this guy where he got his.

suffah Wrote:Congrats to leosmith for making it through JFE! However, I thought you were using Genki for some reason. Is there any particular reason why you switched?
Thanks. I own Genki 1, checked it out a little, but in the end decided to stick with JFE because I was right in the middle of it. I have suggested someone to use Genki once or twice, because I sensed that person would be better off with a somewhat easier, better organized text. Genki is a great text, but doesn't cover plain speach as thoroughly as JFE.
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