Level 3 of the popular Japanese Graded Readers series is suitable for students taking JLPT level N3~N4. It includes 35 stories with a set number of vocabulary, and is accompanied by an audio CD featuring native Japanese speakers (samples below). This product is actullay a boxed-set of 5 booklets (each about 30 pages) which comprise 7 stories. The included CD audio companion includes the full-text read by Japanese native speakers.
Japanese Graded Readers Level 3 - Volume 1 is designed for a proficiency level equivalent to Japanese Langauge Proficiency Test Level N4. The set of stories utilizes a vocabulary of about 800 words. (The stories range in length from about 2,500 to 5,000 words.) The grammar points include: kanou-kei, meirei-kei, ukemi-kei, ikou-kei, ~toki, ~tara, ~ba, ~nara, ~sou, ~you, fukugou doushi, etc.
As you can see from the two page images below, the stories are beautifully illustrated, and furigana (small kana written above kanji to show the pronunciation) are included on all the kanji.
There is one audio track which did not fit on the included CD. You can download it from our Free Downloads section.
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They really are great practice
By Talia Heslop
I bought Level 3 and 4 of these sets to do at home while I wait for the final paper for my Japanese major to be available next semester. They really are great practice, and the CDs are good to both listen and read along with. I am very tempted to buy Levels 1 and 2 as well. I hope there will be a level 5 after level 4. :-)
Another great set for building your reading confidence
Just as in my level 2 review, this is another great set for building your reading confidence. This set also contains some very famous Japanese stories, such as "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (Kaguya)" and "The Spider's Thread". You can check Wikipedia for a brief synopsis of these titles.
I am currently studying the JLPT level 2 (White Rabbit Kanji Flaschards Volume 2), and found them extremely useful here. I don't recommend that you jump into these level 3 readers until you are ready for JLPT level 2 kanji studies.
Also, you should have finished an elementary grammar textbook set (such as Genki 1 and 2).
Volume 1 is EXCELLENT!
By Jason Fella
I'm reading through volume 1 now and it is EXCELLENT! If you are like me, you have trouble finding something to read and listen to at your level. When you do, it's usually trying to teach you something, so the sentences or stories aren't very interesting since they are focused on a very specific grammar or vocabulary. This set is great for three reasons:
The stories aren't too long or too complicated, but long enough to make you feel like you accomplished something when you finish.
Two: the vocabulary they use is often repeated several, or even many times throughout the stories, so you get good repetition to reinforce it.
Three: The stories are fun and interesting, even a little scary at times. You forget you're actually practicing and learning while you read these. I can't recommend them highly enough, and I'll be getting some of the others soon.