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Japanese Demystified: A Self-Teaching Guide Paperback – May 6, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0071477260 ISBN-10: 0071477268 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Demystified
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071477268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071477260
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eriko Sato, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Japan Center and the founding director of the Pre-College Japanese Language Program at The University of New York at Stony Brook. She is the author of Contemporary Japanese and Japanese For Dummies.


More About the Author

Eriko Sato, Ph.D is Assistant Professor of Japanese Linguistics and Pedagogy in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Sato's research interests include Japanese linguistics and pedagogy, translation studies, and second language acquisition. In addition to several journal articles in these research areas, Sato published a number of Japanese textbooks and grammar/kanji reference books. Sato serves as the advisor for Teacher Certification Program for Japanese, the Executive Committee Chair for the Japan Center at Stony Brook and the Director of the Pre-College Japanese Program.

Customer Reviews

Very good and easy explanations.
Rina
This is a very good language book for learning japanese.
dobie i like it
Finding this book was a wonderful thing.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Finding this book was a wonderful thing.

With so many books on learning Japanese out there, it's hard to find a couple of good ones that provide you with the means to learn the easiest way. That "easy" way is different for all people. I have always thought that fundamentals, basic building blocks, are essential in order to understand the way something works, so that learning more difficult or involved concepts later is easier. For example, in my life, this applies to math, playing an instrument, or learning a language.

My requirements for teaching myself Japanese without the availability of local, affordable classes are as follows: First: it must be affordable. A $20 book is more my speed than an $60 or $80 one, for instance. Second: like most people, I want the most bang for my buck. I don't want to be lugging around 6 books if I can get the same information out of 2 or 3. Third: I would like it to contain Japanese writing so I can learn to read and write what I am saying. Fourth: I prefer some sort of self-test included so I know if/what I am retaining.

This book delivers all that. 445 pages of information, delivered in Japanese characters, romaji and English at the same time. Chapters 1-3 are pretty basic. I have the entire set of Pimsleur's Japanese lessons, which I love, and aside from some new vocabulary, it's about the same. Pronunciation, writing, names, titles, pronouns, particles and questions. The CDs teach you to speak, but explain nothing of the fundamentals of grammar or how the Japanese language works, nor do they explain the many verbs and their forms. I feel strongly that to learn Japanese well and thoroughly, these things are important in order to facilitate fluency as learning progresses.
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Spicy Sith on October 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After facing the horror of "Minna no Nihongo" (sorry fans of the book, but it proved not to be my cup of tea), I discovered that "Japanese demystified" made far more sense to me; it's friendly, you learn at your own pace, and it's not intimidating at all so buy it already! However, I strongly suggest that before you dive into it, (or any other Japanese learning books, by the way) you invest a few weeks into learning your hiragana, katakana, and a few hundred kanji as well, now that you are into it. It sounds like too much work but believe me, it will make your learning experience a more enjoyable one. Books from James W. Heisig (Remembering the kana, Remembering the kanji) can be of vast help to achieve this. Also, and to help "Japanize" your mind, Boye Lafayette De Mente`s "The Japanese have a word for it" can provide a rich cultural background, with dozens of words and terms that simply don't have a direct translation into western languages, and will help you "feel" the language from a native's perspective. I'm not going to lie to you; it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be fast, but... what the heck, it makes your brain a better one.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was a great book, as a workbook to accompany my Japanese course.
I would say though, you can NOT use it alone to learn Japanese.
It has very clear explanations and is an excellent workbook for beginner students.

After using this book, you may want to check out "Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication: A Self-Study Course and Reference", which covers everything in this book and a more as a nice compact review.

Unfortunately, non of these books help with speaking or listening, its not something that is expected from these books but just keep it in mind.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Brown on December 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The thing I like best about this book is that it has everything it's teaching you in Japanese, Romaji, and English. It starts with Hiragana and quickly goes to Katakana. Then kanji starts showing up in the text. It's organized very well, starting with the basics then getting harder as you move along. It's a good book for learning how to speak and read/write Kana on your own.

Edit: After having been studying Japanese for a while now, I started to get into studying kanji in-depth. This book is not good for that. There are a few things that I have found that were simply wrong in the book (Granted there weren't very many.) This book is good to get a basic knowledge on how to form polite verbs, how to form -te/-ta conjuctive/past verbs, and a few other things, but it doesn't give a good background on the language. The sentences never really get very complicated even towards the end of the book. This book is only good for people that have little to no knowledge on the language.

If you want to get a solid foundation on the language and want to become fluent in the language, I would recommend "Elementary Japanese" by Yoko Hasegawa. This book is good even if you don't know anything about the language, but it will take a lot more time in each lesson to actually learn the language.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By joshuamlee on March 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've studied Japanese at University for three years using the Genkii series. This book is so much easier to follow and so much more practical. The explanations give the proper linguistic terms for features, so if you have a background in Linguistics you will appreciate that, however if you are unfamiliar with any terms the explanations are written clearly enough to still be accessible. Truly a well made introduction to the Japanese Language.
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