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Easy Japanese [Paperback]

Jack Seward
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Paperback, January 11, 1992 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
Easy Japanese, Second Edition Easy Japanese, Second Edition 3.6 out of 5 stars (12)
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Book Description

January 11, 1992 0844284955 978-0844284958 1
Beginning Beginning with pronunciation and including kanji formation, this easy-to-use text covers the basics of Japanese. Explanations of grammar and other language concepts are discussed in English, and include examples. Kana and kanji are introduced halfway through the book.

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

Product Details

  • Series: Language - Japanese
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 11, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844284955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844284958
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first serious textbook and still my favorite May 16, 2001
I will only say that after studying on my own for two years, and now completing my first year at school, it is this book I turn to for inspiration as well as condensed facts and grammatical sidelights. The key here is that Seward teaches Japanese out of pure ENJOYMENT, not a stale sense of 'I must learn it for the upcoming business meeting' which plagues all too many 'standard' beginning texts. In social situations, Seward's hilarious bunkei have provoked laughs and discussion amoung students and teachers alike - and some are surprisingly useful - "Get that stinky thing out of here quickly", for example (ever been near a Japanese kitchen when daikon is being boiled and you'll know what I mean!). This is a great textbook; a thorough introduction, a detailed review, and a funny ice breaker all in one. I own about thirty instructional texts on Japanese, and this is easily in the top five.
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95 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable book. October 26, 1998
Jack Seward presents the Japanese language in one of the most interesting ways I have seen. Sometimes language books prove to be quite a chore to get through, even if one does have a passion for the language. However, Seward is a natural teacher, and does so in the best way: by conveying a natural desire what is being taught. This book also teaches the hiragana, katakana, and about 50 of the most useful kanji as well. Seward's examples are also very interesting - he avoids mundane example sentences such as 'Hiroshi has a cat', etc. Some of his sentences are easy to memorize due to their odd nature: 'I intend to go to your funeral and dance.' for example. However, Seward mentions that this book is only the first of many he will publish of this nature. This book was printed in 1991, about seven years ago from this review. Hopefully he has not changed his mind since then, as I eagerly await his next title.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning Japanese? This is the book to get August 27, 2005
By John816
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author clearly has a passion for the language and culture -- and he's been at it for quite some time. When you sit down to read Jack Seward's Easy Japanese, you really feel like he's sitting across the table from you, talking to you. And you should listen.

Mr. Seward will make sure you don't make a fool of yourself when you attempt to speak Japanese. There are little details -- but very important details -- he goes through before even beginning with the language.

What I've found most useful with Easy Japanese is the way he explains the why's. Japanese is full of little quirks you simply need to know about.

I was listening to how-to Japanese CD's and reading two how-to Japanese books at the same time. One of them is Easy Japanese. I took note how the other two would have me say this or say that and not explain why in the world that "u" is silent! Or why that "n" is it's own sylable. Easy Japanese does.

I haven't finished the book yet, so I can't tell you how complete it is, or what the final results are. But I can say now is that Easy Japanese belongs in your Japanese language toolbox without a doubt.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Learn to talk like an oba-san February 1, 2004
By A Customer
It's hard to dislike a book where one of the first sentences you learn in "Oh no! Grandmother has fallen in the septic tank again!" The problem with this book is that it teaches Japanese as it was spoken maybe 60 years ago, while the language has rapidly changed both in formal speech, and more particularly, in informal speech. An easy example is the use of "watakushi" for the 1st person singular - which is something like saying "thee" for the 2nd person singular. I showed this book to a native speaker, and they just laughed - "that's how my grandmother talks!" The book has character, but you won't learn current Japanese from it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I can't agree that this is "easy" - the grammar explanations are puzzling and non-existent in the case of uses of verb conjugations (except for the difference between plain and polite forms). The pattern exercises are fun and interesting, and there is a fairly good range of vocabulary presented. But the student will not find this an easy book to use if a beginner to Japanese. A casual traveler to Japan would, however, find the explanations of the most common polite phrases quite interesting.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun book February 11, 2005
People with some background in Japanese will enjoy seeing how the language has changed since this was written- yes it is out-dated in many respects. However, I disagree with one of the other reveiwers who says that watakushi is ike "thee". "Watakushi" is still in common use- but in formal situations rather than in casual speech.

I think the main use of this book is for entertainment- when you feel you should study but can't face your regular text. However, if you are looking specificaly for such a book -I'd reccomend "Making Sense of Japanese" by Jay Rubin.
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