Advancing to Mid-Level


Late last year I finished all 50 chapters of the “Minna no Nihongo” (みんなの日本語) books, which translates as “Everybody’s Japanese”, or as I like to say “Japanese for Everyone”. Committing all of these grammar forms and the vocabulary to memory, and making use of it, will help one through most normal experiences in Japan; however, these books are both considered ‘elementary level’ (初級).

Last week my teacher recommended two new books to use for studies. These books are also from the 3A Network (スリーエーネットワーク) that produced the Minna no Nihongo books. When I saw the title of the first one I was tempted to like it, viewing the contents and layout also bore out that feeling. “Chuu-kyuu e Ikou: Nihongo no Bunkei to Hyougen 59” (中級へ行こう 日本語の文型と表現59), roughly translates to “Let’s go to intermediate level: 59 Japanese Sentence Patterns and Phrases”; an encouraging title to say the least. I am certainly excited to move out of the elementary level. It contains descriptions of the sentence patterns and a CD for listening exercises. This is an improvement over the Minna no Nihongo series which required a minimum purchase of two books per level. I came to refer to it as the betsuuri series (別売り), or the ‘sold separately’ series.

Tuesday night I ordered up the book from Bessho Shoten (別所書店) – a local bookseller, referenced on many websites, but possessing none of its own – and they called me back on Friday night. Saturday, after shuji class, I went for a walk to pick up the book. I also grabbed the level 5 copy of “Kore Dake Oboeru: Kanji Kentei Goukaku Mondaishu” (これだけ覚える 漢字検定合格問題集) from Seibido Shuppan (成美堂出版).  That title is also catchy, “Only Memorize This: Kanji Test Passing Workbook”; although, it doesn’t translate so well to English. Hopefully I can gear up to pass the level 6 and 5 tests this year.

The bag also amused me. It says “BOOKS & MAGAZINES” in big bold letters under an image of a man in bow tie riding a horse-drawn cart past stone buildings. Under this is the text, “Oystermouth, Oxwich, Weobley, Pennard, Manorbier… An image trip to South Wales.” I was hoping it might be a quote from some literature, but it appears to have just come out of left field.


2 Responses to “Advancing to Mid-Level”

  1. kevenker Says:

    Is the “Minna no Nihongo” (みんなの日本語) book series suitable for self-study?

  2. びっくり Says:

    I like the Minna no Nihongo series and have used it for self-study or for study with my teacher. I should probably write up some detail on that.

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