Japanese For Dummies Paperback – Jun 7 2002
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From the Back Cover
Speak Japanese – the fun and easy way!
Packed with clear explanations and real-world examples
Your friendly guide to understanding Japanese – quickly and easily!
Whether you’re a student, a traveler, or you just want to pick up basic Japanese, this unintimidating guide will help you start speaking the language in no time. Inside you’ll find a wealth of fascinating cultural facts and handy references – including a Japanese-English mini-dictionary, lists of common expressions and verbs, and much more!
All this on the bonus audio CD
- Pick up Japanese the easy way –through actual conversations
- Features dialogues by native Japanese speakers
- Allows you to hear Japanese as it’s really spoken
- Reinforces lessons from the book
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About the Author
Eriko Sato, PhD, is Professor of Japanese at State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. Sato is a native Japanese speaker experienced in teaching Japanese and in translation.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!)
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.Read more ›
On the other hand, if you know basic Japanese already than I would highly suggest that you get this book. It has a bunch of interesting details in it that tell about the style of the language you should use in different situations. It gives many phrases that you can use to make yourself sound more Japanese. I found this book very helpful when I wanted to start speaking like modern Japanese people do. It was fun to learn about the cultural facts after I learned the language from a different source and decided to look at this book once again for another rescource.
Overall, this book is a good book to have after you know the language. When I first started to communicate with other Japanese after learning the language, they said I sounded like their grandmothers, but now after using this book they say I sound more modern and up to date.
Most recent customer reviews
Good read! easy enough. It would have been 5 stars if there was more organization. I feel like sometimes it's a mix of vocab and then jumps to grammar. bit confusing at times.Published 4 months ago by Yi-Ying Lu
Well I bought the used version and it did look a little rough and had no CD but considering that I paid $0.01 plus shipping, it was a steal! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Spendthrift
This is a good guide to the basics of grammar and vocabulary, better if it's used in conjuction with other sources, like a good Japanese/English dictionary, book on verb... Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2010 by gizzyspal
When I brought this book, I did not know there was not any Japanese in it.
If you want to learn Japanese, this book is not for you. Read more
I remember buying this book when it first came out back in 2002, and used it in Sato Sensei's JPN111 class. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2003 by Ann Ayala
I'm currently a student of Professor Sato at SUNY university at Stony Brook and she's the greatest Sensei I've ever had! Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2003 by Sean
(By Edward Trimnell, author of "Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One"(ISBN:1591133343))
This book is not a college-level textbook of Japanese, but this is not... Read more
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