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Minna no nihongo - grammar sufficient to read light novels/manga?

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Sep 9, 2015
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Hello! :)

I hope Im not in the wrong forum here but I couldnt find a dedicated language practice forum^^
So Im posting this here.

Ive been learning japanese next to my studies for university on an almost daily basis now for about 1 and 1/2 year. I spent the first year mostly to learn the Kanji with Heisigs "remembering the kanji", and although I dont know their japanese readings at least Ive memorized most of them and can now proceed to the next step :D

Im really interested in japan and one day I wanna travel there too, but for now, Im mostly advancing my skills in the written language because im reading lots of manga and light novels. And of course Im watching anime :D
So, Im almost through the first volume of minna no nihongo, and I hope that im able to finish the second volume in the next 6-12 months. I cant afford to spend more time on it to speed up the process, but at least im making steady progress :)

So, what Id like to know now is if the grammar throughout minna no nihongo volume 1&2 is sufficient to read a manga/light novel of average/mediocre lingual complexity in japanese?
I know theres always the kanji and Im prepared to use kanji dictionaries, but I must know wether my grammar will suffice to carry me through it for at least 80-90% of the text. If thats not the case, id be happy if you could suggest some further literature with which i can extend my grammar to the necessary level :)
Thanks in advance!
 
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I hope I don't make you feel down but it's just the truth, finish learning 2 minna books means you're at N4 level, and that means you can only read simple stuff. To have a good time with anime, manga, and especially light novel, you need to be at least at N2 level (for grammar and vocab). For kanji, you need to study N1 kanji as well, or you'll have to use dic a lot, which takes a lot of time and it will make you feel boring).
 
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Thats ok :) So, is there any (preferably german) book I can continue with after Minna to advance in grammar and voc? :)
 
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I don't know if there is German version but I think you might want to use this book, it's called "Nihongo Somatome" (of coruse, for N3). There are 5 books in total (Grammar, Vocab, Kanji, Reading, Listening). This is the cover of one of the book: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Language-Proficiency-Grammar-Noryokushiken/dp/4872177320

And by the way, beginner might always think the opposite way but Kanji is actually the easiest and fastest section to study, when you get the hang of it, it will be a piece of cake, it's been 1 month and a half and I already learned around 700 kanji. Vocab on the other hand is always a life-long course and japanese grammar is not quite simple
 
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Yeah, I also find memorizing the Kanji not as difficult as I imagined it to be, although I must admit that its somehow hard to keep them all in my active memory, so to speak. The biggest problem is that I cant use my japanese much outside the minna books. So when I started my Kanji 1000-2000, my memory of the first 1000 began to fade. When I started repeating them again, they came back quickly, but it definitely needed a refresher. However, the more often I repeat this process the more stays in my memory for a longer period.
Thats why im currently focusing mainly on extending vocabulary and grammar. I would do both kanji and grammar/voc simultaneously but my time budget doesnt allow for that right now. Once ive at least a mediocre level in grammar and voc, I will try to find some workbooks that make use of the kanji and then get the 2200 to sit right :D

And thanks for the link! :)

EDIT:
Hm, I read in the reviews that the book isnt really suitable for self-study.
I googled where to go from minna and on a reddit they suggested tobira (forum wont let me post reddit link....) . They say it takes off somewhere around genki 2 level, and that shall be comparable to minna 2.
 
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Good point, it's easier to remember a kanji if you've already mastered the word that uses that kanji. But you don't really need a workbook, the kanji list for N5,4,3,2,1 can be found on jisho.org. And all you have to do is make an image of the kanji in your head, draw it in your head. For me, I find writing the kanji down an ineffective way to learn it, and slow also. But well, it's just my personal idea, you can do whatever you find suitable for you :)
 
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I have to agree that those books aren't the best books to use for self study, as they don't give enough explanation (especially the grammar book that I am using at the moment myself).

On top of this is a lot of stuff you learn in the books a bit formal, something that might make manga books a bit less interesting to read. But if you could read mangas yourself and use stuff from their it would be more interesting language wise.

Good luck with your studies!
 
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Besides, are there any workbooks with additional exercises for the minna books?
Or workbooks that fit the vocabulary and grammar of the minna books so I could work with them?
 
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There is a nice app called Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. It can help you understand basically all of the frequently used grammar.
As for vocab, I think you're good starting off with the vocabulary featured in Minna no Nihongo - you're probably also gonna learn some new words passively while reading/watching basically anything in Japanese language.

As far as I know, there's the two main volumes of Minna no Nihongo (the ones containing vocab/grammar and have Übersetzungen & grammatikalische Erklärungen written on the front of the German version) as well as two corresponding volumes which consist entirely of exercises related to each unit of the main books. I guess these are your "work books". They're completely Japanese, not a single word of an other language written in it.
 
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Besides, is there ANY adapted Manga/light novel or whatever language level oriented literature on the market? Preferably one that shows the readings along the kanji :D
Id really like to read more japanese text, but its pretty impossible outside the exercise books at my current level :(
 
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The graded readers are good, though a bit expensive for the amount of reading you get. I only bought the physical books, though, not the ebooks.
 
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