Nihongo 500 Mon - Beginner


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Challenge yourself and boost your Japanese! This book builds kanji, vocabulary, and grammar skills in a fun and easy format that you can practice every day.

It's perfect for beginners, and people planning to take N4 and N5 of the new Japanese Language Proficiency Exam (JLPT).

Please see example pages below. The book is structured into daily and weekly lessons. Every day you practice a few questions, evenly divided into moji (letters, i.e. kanji), goi (vocabulary), and bunpo (grammar).

Then you can check your answers - and get brief explanations - on the next page.

It is designed ideally for beginners, but it is a good way for intermediate and even advanced students to brush up on basic skills, too. As you can see from the examples below, the level switches between beginner and challenging beginner degrees.

Explanations are provided in English, Japanese and Portuguese!

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Customer Reviews

Nice Nihongo Challenge

By orphelia

It is a nice challenge book easy to carry around. It gives you a good evaluation of your knowledge on the grammar points for the JLPT N5-4. I have not seen all the grammar yet but I find the short explanations easy to understand and give me an idea of what the structure is for future intensive study. A bit like a head start.

I always carry the book around. It is a nice activity for the long commute.

I short, I really like this book and will probably purchase the other in the series as I learn Japanese.

This is the best Nihongo book I have bought in the past year!

By Paul

This is the best Nihongo book I have bought in the past year! If you like challenging yourself, you might like it too.

First of all, the book is organized into 4 weeks. You are supposed to do 15 questions a day for 6 days a week, then a comprehensive quiz from those that you studied that week on the 7th day. As mentioned in the description, it is divided evenly into questions related to moji (letters), goi (vocabulary), and bunpo (grammar). The way the book works is that you do 3 questions, one for each subject listed above, and then turn the page to see the answers and feedback related to those questions. At that point you should mark your score on those questions, then continue to the next 3, etc.

Regarding that 7th day comprehensive quiz... they don't give you the answers for those questions. I found that looking back through the previous days to try to score my quiz was really time consuming. As a result, I starting skipping the 7th day activities. Therefore, I highly recommend that in future versions they give you the answers on a page at the back of the book to simply allow you to score the quiz, as well as provide indications as to where to find more details on the questions.

Regarding the difficulty level, I first did this book when I was about two-thirds of the way through the Minna No Nihongo 1 textbook, and I found it to be challenging, and I scored around 50 percent. There didn't seem to be a pattern or layout where the book started more basic and then became more difficult. It seems to be pretty well mixed throughout, for example, I remember doing poorly on one day in the first week, and then scoring a near perfect day in the latter part of the second week. The mix, combined with the immediate feedback, made this book very entertaining for me. Honestly, I often looked forward to doing the exercises in this book everyday, and it isn't often that I look forward to studies!

This book is most helpful in outlining your deficiencies, and indicating where you need to study. For instance, I did really well on the moji sections, since I had supplemented my textbook with the excellent "Kanji Look and Learn" book (which I highly recommend), but my grammar scores were low. Therefore, I knew where to focus in future studies.

Since this book is primarily reading comprehension, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one, it won't help you much (if at all) with conversation. In addition to that, since it is multiple choice, you can make an educated guess on a lot and still get them right, and sometime a wild "I have no idea" guess that will prove to be correct. Therefore, I know that my score was somewhat inflated related to what I could do in real life.

But overall, I really enjoyed using this book, and that is quite sometime to say about a study aid.

Excellent for reviewing N5~N4 topics!

By Keropyon

If you are searching for a book that will teach you anything you need to pass the JLPT N5~N4 almost for sure, this is NOT the book for you.

Altough the Moji and Goi part can be used also for studying, this is a book that is awesome for REVIEW. The reason is that, particularly in the bunpou section, the explanations are very short and ment only to remember you of the structure or of that particular grammar point.

I went trough all the book in less than the 4 weeks planned (because I found it easier than I thought) and I used it along with a bunkei jiten (grammar pattern dictionary) and a good grammar dictionary. In all sections, doing so, I scored no less than 95% every time.

I highly recomend this book though, because is always good to review since the most challenging questions can be the easiest ones! :D

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