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Any cheap alternatives to Genki books (UK)

IndieDevM

Kouhai
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Hello,

I have just started learning Japanese as I spent 3 months there this year and plan to go back again next year for another 6 months. I learnt a little while I was over there, but would like to improve to a conversational level for next year, and eventually take some of the JLPT levels in the future.

Due to budget I cannot afford classes so I'll have to rely on self teaching. I have bookmarked a lot of websites and online resources and have a load of android apps on my devices which I am trying to sort through to find the most effective ones for me. However I have hit a bit of a stumbling block when it comes to textbooks and workbooks.

I find for me textbooks/workbooks might be a better way for me to focus on learning as when using them I won't get distracted by the internet like I will on my phone or computer!

However so far all of the books I've seen suggested like Genki, Japanese Graded Readers Level (0,1) collection and Tobira etc cost about £45-65 each in the UK (Plus another £20-£25ish for the matching workbook!). The Japanese Graded Readers books are actually about £20ish each on Amazon, but they sell them there individually rather than as a set for some reason, so each level is about £60!

Being on a seriously low budget I can't really afford to spend so much on all those books, I'm hoping someone on here can maybe help suggest some good alternatives that don't cost as much in the UK?

I have of course picked up some cheapish books, mainly dictionaries, basic hiragana workbook etc. But I think I need to find more substantial ones like the ones mentioned above, just ideally without the price tag.

Thanks in advance,

PS If anyone also has any suggestions of any good Japanese android or PC games available in the UK that would be good for practicing Japanese reading then that'd be great to.
 

IndieDevM

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I have had a look for second hand, but as someone has already mentioned the ones on Amazon UK are not much cheaper than the new ones. On eBay there isn't much either :(
 

nice gaijin

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cocoichi

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Hello,

I have just started learning Japanese as I spent 3 months there this year and plan to go back again next year for another 6 months. I learnt a little while I was over there, but would like to improve to a conversational level for next year, and eventually take some of the JLPT levels in the future.

Due to budget I cannot afford classes so I'll have to rely on self teaching. I have bookmarked a lot of websites and online resources and have a load of android apps on my devices which I am trying to sort through to find the most effective ones for me. However I have hit a bit of a stumbling block when it comes to textbooks and workbooks.

I find for me textbooks/workbooks might be a better way for me to focus on learning as when using them I won't get distracted by the internet like I will on my phone or computer!

However so far all of the books I've seen suggested like Genki, Japanese Graded Readers Level (0,1) collection and Tobira etc cost about £45-65 each in the UK (Plus another £20-£25ish for the matching workbook!). The Japanese Graded Readers books are actually about £20ish each on Amazon, but they sell them there individually rather than as a set for some reason, so each level is about £60!

Being on a seriously low budget I can't really afford to spend so much on all those books, I'm hoping someone on here can maybe help suggest some good alternatives that don't cost as much in the UK?

I have of course picked up some cheapish books, mainly dictionaries, basic hiragana workbook etc. But I think I need to find more substantial ones like the ones mentioned above, just ideally without the price tag.

Thanks in advance,

PS If anyone also has any suggestions of any good Japanese android or PC games available in the UK that would be good for practicing Japanese reading then that'd be great to.

Try "Tae Kim's grammar guide" on google. It's free of charge and a good source (close to a textbook method) to get started for free.

I'm not surprised Genki books aren't cheap secondhand. I bought my two versions back in 2005, and then they were already on the market for like 10 years, yet they were costly. Nothing has changed. Since Japanese language learning is quite a niche, I think they figure that those who want it, pay for it.

I also found digital copies on kickasstorrents. I have downloaded them to always have access to the books wherever I am. Note that i also have the original books. Downloading is at your own discretion.
 

IndieDevM

Kouhai
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Found this but they seem to be out of stock for genki Browse | New and Used Books from Thrift Books

Might have more luck here, looks like an aggregator: BookFinder.com: Search Results (Matching Titles)

Also found this, which has crazy low prices (to the point of being a little suspect). Shipping to UK would be US $12 but by the time estimate given it looks like it's going by ship: Genki - AbeBooks

Thanks for the links, I'll have a look at those. That AbeBooks does indeed seem almost to good to be true prices! I'll see if I can find out more about them.

Try "Tae Kim's grammar guide" on google. It's free of charge and a good source (close to a textbook method) to get started for free.

I'm not surprised Genki books aren't cheap secondhand. I bought my two versions back in 2005, and then they were already on the market for like 10 years, yet they were costly. Nothing has changed. Since Japanese language learning is quite a niche, I think they figure that those who want it, pay for it.

I also found digital copies on kickasstorrents. I have downloaded them to always have access to the books wherever I am. Note that i also have the original books. Downloading is at your own discretion.

Thanks for the info on that, I've bookmarked Tae Kim's grammar guide (Think I have an app version of the site as well). I guess you're right in that I guess the books are proven to be good so they know they can charge a premium (Though personally £45 each seems a bit excessive). I've found the torrent and downloaded them just to get an idea of the books, from that I think I will look for them to buy as they seem good and I think it will be easier to work from the paper versions.
 

cez

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AbeBooks is like Amazon Marketplace for books. The site itself has been around for two decades now. I have used it once with great success. :) As for the seller of the Genki textbook(s), well, the usual caveats apply.
 

madphysicist

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Hey,

I'm from the UK and I taught myself Japanese from scratch.

First off, try checking your local library for free resources. Japanese is a relatively popular language and there is usually at least one book. Even if it's not the best textbook, it's free. I guess you are no longer at university but university libraries are especially good.

Second, I actually have some textbooks I need to get rid of:
a) "Essential Japanese" by Berlitz (complete beginner's book, this is all in romaji and I wouldn't exactly recommend it but it might be good for speaking/listening and exercises)
b) Minna no Nihongo II - about N4 level I think
c) "An integrated approach to Intermediate Japanese" - about N3 level I think
d) N2 listening practice book
They all have CDs I think (they're in my home in the UK at the moment). I might actually have some others that I've forgotten about. I'm going back briefly next month and can have a rummage for you if you like.

If you're interested in any of them, send me an email at girlygirltypist@gmail.com and we can discuss prices. Probably I can sell any of them for £20 or less + postage. If you live in/near London I might even be able to hand them over to you to save on postage.
 
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