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Colloquial Japanese: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series) Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, January 17, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0415194792 ISBN-10: 0415194792 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Colloquial Series
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (January 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415194792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415194792
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,384,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hugh Clarke is a Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia
Motoko Hamamura is at the University of Sydney, Australia --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
It's a great buy for any beginner.
Cliff Dorsen
It teaches you some very usefull sentence structures right off the bat and then eases you into different grammatical concepts.
D. LaBoucan
My only real gripe is the CD is sold separatly.
Kendrick Adams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By a Traveler on October 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am now living in Japan, and am fluent in Japanese(among other languages), a holder of a degree in linguistics, and a professional language teacher, and tutor of Japanese. I think that this text is a great place to start your japanese studies, whether or not you prefer to use only Romaji, or authentic Japanese scripts (or a combination of the two, like myself.) This feature is what sets this book apart from similar priced texts like Hugo's and Teach Yourself, or the Berlitz Essential Japanese books.

Having succeded in learning in Japanese, I think people who 'demonize' romaji as a crutch, or useless are seriously misguided. Understanding new grammar rules, and sentence patterns can be mastered much faster, and with more confidence if the student isnt concerned about reading new characters correctly as well. Also, I dare anyone to look at japanese only text and not be a little intimidated. I think romaji is important for providing the beginner with the sense of achievement that is so often needed to overcome the inevitable frustrations that come with learning a new language. Viewed in this context it can be a valuable tool.

That said, even if spoken japanese is your only goal, if you plan to live or visit Japan (where japanese is spoken) kanji is a necessity if you realize it or not. It takes a lot of work, and is best started sooner than later.

I like the approach in this book because it presents the option of studying Kanji right from the first chapter, and avoids the common mistake of only teaching kanji individually, out of context like so many other 'kanji' specific texts.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kendrick Adams on August 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As opposed to another reveiw I'm past the 5th chapter and I've yet to find more than one instance where the vocabluary wasn't comprehensive. Then the word was still available in the glossery in back. In the forward the author does say that in later chapters they will deliberatly not include a comprehensive vocabulary because part of learning the language is learning to utilize the appropriate reference materials. But I haven't reached that point yet. Though, even then, the glossary in the back is comprehensive.

There are however a number of typos throughout. Most are rather obvious because they are nearly all in the vocabulary sections where romaji and kana are in parallel text. Thus, the romaji will nearly always be correct and kana characters will either be missing or misplaced. I'm sticking with a 5 though because I find these typos obvious and they didn't confuse me.

The rest of the book is great. I've found each chapter leads into the next very well with comprhensibile explanations and each section just the right size. Kana and Kanji are introduced from the beginning slowly and reinforced each chapter.

Unfortunatly, it makes everything so comprehensible that many will press on before fully learning each chapter. So I recomend going back to the beginning and reviewing everything at least once every other day until the book is complete. I'm doing this and every time I see some detail I missed all the other times. So it may feel tedious but it does pay off. Also, It's a good idea to keep each study period under 30 minutes so you don't burn out. Review, review, review.

My favorite feature about this book is it is not a "japanese for business" book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. LaBoucan on August 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic, I love the way it eases you into the different scripts and the realistic dialogs in each chapter. Unlike some other books it's also easy to follow and learn from. It teaches you some very usefull sentence structures right off the bat and then eases you into different grammatical concepts.

Of course Anyone using this book would find having a japanese dictionary, grammer reference and kanji dictionary very helpfull to fill in any gaps that pop up. (I really like the Oxford starter japanese dictionary, Oxford Japanese grammer & verbs and Kodansha Kanji learner's dictionary). This book does a way better job than my $100 university text and 2 other self study guides I have had the misfortune of wasting my money on but there are still a few topics that could use more in depth explainations.

I've had a year of formal Japanese instruction in university so I didn't have any problems grasping the early dialogs. Allthough It doesn't look like the author intends complete beginners to understand every word since there are some fairly advanced grammer in them. I guess some people will find this an interesting prelude and others will find it annoying. I personally liked it because it kept things interesting.

The only real complaint I have is there are quite a few obvious spelling errors throughout the book, hopefully they get corrected in a future edition.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael H on June 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
In contrast most other reviewers, I have finished the whole book. I was initially drawn to this book because unlike many introductory Japanese books, hiragana, katakana, and kanji are introduced right away. I continue to believe that learning kanji is essential to learning Japanese as the building blocks of vocabulary, not something to tack on after learning the spoken language. For this reason, I think this book's concept is head and shoulders above the competition. However, it is very poorly executed. Especially in the later chapters, long lists of kanji appear at the end of each chapter, but most of them were not ever used in the chapter. Each chapter has one or two dialogues, concepts introduced, exercises, and vocabulary, however, there is virtually no overlap of vocabulary in the chapter. This means that you will see each word/character once or twice, but there will be around 50 new words. Somehow, the reader is supposed to be able to effectively learn 50 new words with little repetition. As one progresses, there can be some repetition (a word you saw once in chapter 8 reappears once in chapter 14), and so I can say that I have learned some vocabulary, but not very effectively. Same problem with the grammar--it is introduced in one small section of one chapter, and if you are lucky it will reappear in a sentence in a later chapter. A much much better way to learn would be to stick to a set list of words and one major concept per chapter and repeat these same words and concept in the dialogue, exercises, vocabulary, etc. I have used Random House Living Language books for French and German (they use this approach) and in 6 months was told by a German professor that I sounded like someone with 2 years study.Read more ›
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