Japanese From Zero!
If you’re looking for an easy introduction to Japanese, you might like Japanese From Zero! It is engagingly written and has lots of information about Japanese culture, but it teaches the language at a snail’s pace. In fact, it reminds us of storybooks designed to teach young children foreign languages, in that it mixes kana with romaji. You’ll see words written half in hiragana, half in romaji. And the entire first textbook won’t teach you any katakana or kanji at all. There’s also an accompanying video course, YesJapan (review), which contains a ton of useful material. Ironically, in this course, kana and kanji are used. For serious learners, we think there are better textbooks out there, such as Genki and Minna no Nihongo. But if you’re looking for the textbook equivalent of Duolingo, you might like Japanese From Zero! It’s an easy, fun way to learn the language while never feeling overwhelmed. You’ll make extremely slow progress – but it will still be progress.