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Japanese For Dummies Paperback – Jun 7 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (June 7 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764554298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764554292
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 17.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #225,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Ive had the luck to be able to learn foreing languages very easily, so far I speak 5 and japanese will be my 6th. Although I am not a professor nor I pretend to sound like one, I believe I have enough experience with textbook and self-teaching methods to judge when a book is good or bad.
Japanese for Dummies seemed to be what I was looking for, a simple yet complete way to at least learn some basic japanese. Unfortunately, what I found out when I started taking REAL japanese lessons,is that the book is not at all very complete and that the explanations are rather confusing. The conversations in the CD are not at all in coordination with those in the book and it's very easy to get lost.
Also, the explanations about the grammar are rather confusing and leave you wondering about many things.
Honestly, if you want to learn japanese, I'd suggest you take some lessons with a teacher or get the book Japanese for Busy People. There are many things about the japanese language that it's much better if you have some aid from a trained professional who has native proficiency in the language.
Save yourself some money..DONT get this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel on Oct. 14 2003
Format: Paperback
Okay, let's be frank. The only way you ever learn to speak a language is through immersion in it. At least for a certain length of time, preferably a couple of hours every day, you need to speak, hear, read, and think that language. And you won't get that with this book.
Japanese never displaces English as the language of instruction. You see not one Japanese writing symbol. You get a few phrases, a few words, but very little idea how these words are used, and no real idea how to string them together into a sentence.
It's not a worthless book. If, like me, you've let your Japanese go and you need a refresher course, this book can be valuable. I'm already a little better than I was when I picked up the book. However, if you're a newcomer to the language, you best bet is to take a college course or get a Japanese friend to tutor you. Give this book a pass.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 23 2002
Format: Paperback
I am currently teaching English in Japan so I have lots of Japanese language books sitting on the shelf in my apartment. Japanese for Dummies is the only one of those books that I've actually looked at a second time. The book gets down to the nitty gritty of Japanese and explains the language in an easy and understandable way. Sato-san even gives important cultural information that explains when and why you use certain phrases in Japanese. I've been living in Japan for over a year and it wasn't until I started reading this book that I finally felt like I was understanding the usage of the language and have been a bit more confident talking to my co-workers at enkais and the drinking parties that follow. My book is competely full of highlighter and notes (something I rarely do so it truly must be a helpful book!)
Sadly I can't attest to how good the cd is because I've never taken it out of the book jacket since I constantly hear Japanese around me but if its anything like the book then it'd be quite good.
For people that are concerned about learning to read and write Japanese ... this book might not necessarily be for you - however, I taught myself to read and write hirigana and katakana over a weekend when I first got here and I've discovered that it didn't help me in the least bit getting around Japan as that would require knowing a decent amount of kanji characters which I've been picking up very slowly.
The layout of the book is great - introuduction followed by chapters that focus on a variety of things (like going shopping, inviting a friend to do something) each with new vocabulary, useful verbs (and their basic conjugations), set phrases and a practice dialogue. The back part of the book is a mini-dictionary that is suitable for this book but you would definitely need a better one if you have a more serious interest in Japanese (I can't help you with that since I've been searching for a better Japanese/English dictionary since I've arrived in Japan!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Lee on June 4 2002
Format: Paperback
I just recieved my copy of this book yesterday and I think that it's wonderful! It's difficult for me to learn on my own using a book, but like all the other Dummies books, everything was simple and I was able to understand it well.
I ordered this book mainly to get a laugh from it, not expecting to REALLY learn everything there is to know about Japanese. Well, within the first 100 pages, I got my laugh. In the section talking about eating, the author says "If you are eating at home, get it [missing condiments, table settings] yourself, or if you have children, ask them to get it for you." I got the laugh I expected from a Dummies book. Also, in the introduction, the author makes some assumptions on the reader. The author says flat out that this book is not made for the people who want to become professional translators or expect to become fluent from the book alone. It's simply to learn the basics of spoken Japanese language and use the knowledge as a stepping stone to more learning.
But other than that, there's clear explainations for verbs and their basic usage. There was no unneccesary stuff to confuse the reader with although the different forms of verbs may seem intimidating. The vocabulary used is very basic and far from complete, but it's enough to get by with. There is a mini dictionary in the back of the book and it's just that: mini. I suggest you to grab yourself a good dictionary.
This book is pretty good, but it doesn't teach anything about writing. There is not a single kana in the book so those of you desiring to learn written Japanese should not buy this book unless you want to reinforce your grammar and speaking. This book concentrates mainly on speaking putting a great deal into the pronunciation of words.
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