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Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version includes CD (Bk. 1) 3rd Edition

59 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-4770030092
ISBN-10: 4770030096
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About the Author


THE ASSOCIATION FOR JAPANESE-LANGUATE TEACHING (AJALT) has been recognized as a nonprofit organization by the Ministry of Education since 1997. It was established to meet the practical needs of people who are not necessarily specialists on Japan but who wish to communicate effectively in Japanese. In 1992 the Association was awarded the Japan Foundation Special Prize.

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Product Details

  • Series: Japanese for Busy People (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International; 3rd edition (December 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770030096
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030092
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How to learn Japanese: First, get a book and master the Hiragana and Katakana syllabary. This is a must and it shouldn't take you more than a month to do that. Japanese for Busy People has a Kana workbook and that works very well with this first volume since it includes vocabulary from chapters 1 through 10. That way, by the time you immerse yourself with this book, you can start focusing more on sentence patterns. Once you've familiarized yourself with the Kana syllabary, work through the activities in this book. It will give you a solid foundation on two things - mastery of the kana (since everything is written in kana), and basic sentence patterns. If you still have the time, get a kanji book and start working on the first few hundred kanji. I highly recommend Basic Kanji Book. This way, you can correlate the kana spellings of the new vocabulary words with the actual kanji. However, your focus should be more on the correct kana spelling. I always get confused with the long vowel sounds.

About this book: real excellent introduction to Japanese vocabulary, culture, and grammar. The exercises can be repetitive and are mostly substitution exercises. However, this is a great way to master the sentence patterns. My suggestion is to do the exercises and then to create one or two other sentences of your own based on what you just did. This way, you can further apply what you have just learned.

Once you're done with this book, skip volumes II & III. Move on to either the Genki series or Minna no Nihongo series, although I'm somewhat partial to the Minna no Nihongo series because it's more comprehensive albeit more expensive. It covers reading, writing, listening, and composition. At the same time, keep chipping away at the 1945 Joyo Kanji.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By untmdsprt on May 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've heard so many good reviews about this book, that I finally bought it. I've learned more with this book about making sentences, than I have with all my other books. My other books start off with "This is a pen. That over there is a pen." Yeah ok, how useful is that really?

This book tells about Mr. Smith, the lawyer from ABC Foods, and his adventures in Japan. A couple of useful items are Mr. Smith's schedule, and giving directions to a driver. Both of which are great lessons I wish I had known when talking to Japanese friends months ago!! Other relevant subjects are shopping, going out to dinner or a movie. Ordering food, tickets or getting your size clothing is not mentioned. Hopefully that will be covered in future books.

This book is well thought out, and gives the definitions of words when they first occur. English translations are only at the beginning of the next lesson. After that, they expect you to remember the words and be able to read Japanese. My only complaints about the book, is I wish they would start introducing kanji in each chapter, and give you more room to write.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bushi on April 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This series has been around for 10 years, and I'm glad to see a new version. I've been through the first kana edition, and own the Level II book as well (but stay away from that one). I've already leafed through this new edition at Borders but didn't want to pay the full comver price. It's a totally new format, and the CD is a nice bonus. Same for the workbook. I'm going to purchse this even though I already went through the old version Level I just for the additional practice. Genki is the other book you should have if interested in learning on your own or with a tutor.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Otto Yuen on May 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a good book to learn Japanese language, you probably have too many choices flooding your mind and have no idea which one is for you, because every one of them seems good. So, why this one?

This book is very well organized. It contains 11 units to cover the most practical topics surviving in Japan, such as meeting people, shopping, gettig around, dinning out, visiting a japanese home, responding inquiries at office, and socializing, etc. Each unit is consist of a culture note, a specific grammar syntax and usage, and a couple of lessons. Each lesson starts with a short dialogue to illustrate the common conversation of the unit's topic. It also provides a detail explanation on the sentence usage and the new vocabulary introduced in the dialogue. Few exercises are followed to help readers to get familiarized and practice what they have just learned. An audio CD is also accompanied with this book to demonstrate the conversation addressed in each dialogues. At the end of the book, it comes with the Appendixes, which provides a summary of all the particles, sentence patterns, adjectives, etc. in a list with examples and reference to the book's units & lessons. In addition, it has a mini-dictionary with english to japanese and japanese to english. This book also makes use of a lot of pictures to illustrate dialogues and exercises. It really helps the reader to have a more relax and interesting learning journey. After finishing this book, you should be able to have the following skills: (i) basic usage of nouns, verbs, adjectives, (b) basic conversation for essential everyday siturations, and (c) reading and writing hiragana & katakana.
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