Book review – Minna no Nihongo

The most widely used book for N5/N4 is “Minna no Nihongo”. Minna no Nihongo for N5 has 25 lessons and Minna no Nihongo for N4 has another 25 lessons. The books are easily available on Amazon. There are several free apps available in Playstore for Minna no Nihongo – vocab and conversation section.

  • The main textbook comes with a supplementary reference book with “translation and grammar notes” in English.
  • Each lesson in the main text book carries a lot of example sentences using the grammar points introduced in that lesson. There are also small sample dialogues and a lot of practice exercises. However the main textbook is fully in Japanese and so can seem a little daunting for those not already familiar with Hiragana and Katakana. This is good reading practice though, for those aspiring to take the exam.
  • The supplementary book lists out new words with meanings and also gives brief grammar notes in English.  This is a little insufficient though(in the absence of a teacher) for understanding grammar thoroughly.
  • The books for both N5 and N4 come with CDs. All the lessons therefore are in audio format too. The exercise section includes an audio quiz.
  • The lessons don’t have Kanji lessons. There is another book from the same publisher for Kanji practice.

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