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Japanese For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Eriko Sato
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Learn to speak Japanese—the fast and easy way

Japanese is the gateway to the rich culture of the exciting and complex island nation of Japan. Some people get intimidated by the prospect of speaking Japanese—worried that it's just too complex and different—but these fears are unfounded. While you can devote a lifetime to the study of this or any language, picking up the basics of Japanese doesn't require any more than an interest and a willingness to try something new.

Japanese For Dummies has everything you need to start speaking the language. Author and Professor of Japanese Eriko Sato introduces the essentials of grammar and pronunciation, giving you a working sense of the language, before showing you Japanese in action. You'll also discover social customs, formalities, and manners, from how and when to bow to how to unwrap a present.

  • Includes vocabulary summaries, a mini-dictionary, and an audio CD full of conversations and pronunciations
  • Assumes no prior knowledge of Japanese on your part—providing the perfect guide for a quick-but-thorough, lighthearted-but-not-lightweight introduction to the language
  • CD lets you hear Japanese as it's really spoken and reinforces lessons from the book

Whether you simply want to introduce yourself to the Japanese language, say a few words to a neighbor or coworker, or you're planning a major trip or study abroad in Japan, Japanese For Dummies will enable you to get the basics fast and work towards your own goal at your own pace.

CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of the e-book file, but are available for download after purchase.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The fast and easy way to learn to speak Japanese

Want to feel comfortable with conversational Japanese? Then this hands-on, friendly guide is the book for you. It's filled with the essential grammar, vocabulary, verb conjugations, and pronunciations you need to know to start speaking like a native.

  • Japanese 101 — learn to recite the alphabet; pronounce words and phrases; and meet, greet, and exchange pleasantries with other Japanese speakers
  • It's as easy as ichi, ni, san (1, 2, 3) — hone your small-talk skills and discover how to ask for directions, order food, and more
  • Happy trails — take your Japanese on the road and find out how to plan a trip, make arrangements for a place to stay, discuss transportation, and handle emergencies while you're away
  • Take care of business — grasp the essential Japanese language skills you need to talk on the phone and perform everyday tasks at the office

Audio CD Includes

35 real-life conversations that reinforce lessons from the book

Japanese pronunciation, pitch, and intonation guide

Please see CD appendix for details.

Open the book and find:

  • How to pronounce Japanese sounds
  • Common words and phrases in Japanese scripts
  • Japanese grammar basics
  • A guide to addressing others respectfully
  • Information on numbers, time, and measurements
  • Pointers for describing everyday activities in Japanese
  • Fun exercises to help you practice your Japanese skills
  • Expanded Japanese-English and English-Japanese dictionaries

Learn to:

  • Speak conversational Japanese with ease
  • Master basic grammar, verb conjugations, vocabulary, and pronunciations
  • Identify kana and kanji

CD includes real-life conversations by native speakers

About the Author

Eriko Sato, PhD, is Director of the Teacher Certification Program for Japanese and the Pre-College Japanese Language Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5505 KB
  • Print Length: 408 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (October 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009N3IU2U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,064 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start to Learning Japanese December 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First off, I am always a fan of the For Dummies books, I find them to be a great way to 'get your toes wet' with a subject. They offer a quick and fun way to start a subject. This book is just like that! The book starts off with a quick intro to the language and what you will learn, and then covers the main topics. When you get done with this book you will be able to quickly get by and know the basics in Japanese. However, like most For Dummies books if you want to master the subject, you will need to continue your studies (recognizing the characters and speaking is introduced and important parts are covered, but there is much much more).

The CD includes dialogue by native speakers and the book has cues to when to play certain parts, the book is easy to follow and will take your hand and introduce you to the Language one step at a time. Like all For Dummies books the book offers a comical relief and makes it fun to learn the new language. The book has many interesting facts and you will enjoy just reading it and practicing with the games at the end.

In the end if you are new to Japanese I would highly recommend that you get this book, go through it and grasp the basic of the language, than move on to a book specific to either Kana or focus on speaking and understanding, I would recommend a workbook for Hiragana, Katakana, and the main Kanji, so you can practice writing and than get a textbook or other deep book to learn the language, however, this book will make the basic (the hardest part to grasp) easier and fun and you will look forward to moving onto the more complex parts of the language after you finish this book (it will not scare you away, and help you with comical relief get through the basic wall of learning a new language). Highly recommend for anyone interested in learning Japanese (as a starter) or anyone just wanting to get the basics for a trip coming up.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Japanese DeMystified probably a better choice October 23, 2013
I actually don't own this book but looked through it a bit and found the pronunciation guides and extreme reliance on Romaji (japanese words written in the roman/latin alphabet) is distracting and eventually counter productive.

I am hopeful that more and more resources will realize this "crutch" hurts longer term learning and will move to kana references even in relatively beginner books (perhaps using anglicized writings for just the first 1,2 or 3 chapters.)

It's not so difficult to learn Hiragana (the basic Japanese "alphabet") with the many resources out there. Try: Easy-Kana-Workbook-Practice-Hiragana

Otherwise I would recommend Japanese DeMystified by the same author as it seems like a better reference. Also consider the advice given by another reviewer here to pickup an audio reference like Pimsleur that has you quickly speaking real sentences and getting good at understanding the proper pronunciation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japanese for Dummies February 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book makes 'getting a grip' on a difficult language much's well written and helps one to understand the basics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is well organized and easy to use. And, in addition to providing a great introduction to the Japanese language, it also offers numerous insights into Japanese culture and society. However, do not think that just because it is a "Dummies" book that it will be quick. This book is quite dense and it will take you considerable time to work your way through if you hope to retain enough to actually speak some Japanese.

The CD that comes with the book is good. I kept the CD player next to me as I read the book so I could listen to each part as I reached the specific section of the book that it went with.

Before I got this book, I had already been through the Pimsleur Conversational Japanese CDs and, while I didn't plan it that way, I think I stumbled upon the ideal way to get started learning Japanese: first get a basic introduction to the way the language sounds using an audio CD course like Pimsleur, then use the Japanese for Dummies book to better understand the underlying grammar. On many occasions while working through the book, I found myself saying, "Ooohhh, *that's* why the Pimsleur CD said it like that." But, I fear that if I hadn't already had some exposure to the language via the audio tapes, this book would have been a bit overwhelming.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning to speak Japanese. You certainly won't be fluent, but it's a good introduction. Based on my experience, you might also consider picking up one of the basic audio courses to use before starting the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple to Use January 24, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Japanese For Dummies
By: Eriko Sato

Japanese For Dummies is a very user friendly manual for learning elementary Japanese. The book suggests starting with the chapters 2 and 3 for a foundation in the basics but that you can choose any chapter that appeals to you.
The book is divided up into 5 parts; Getting Started, Japanese in Action, Japanese on the Go, The Part of Tens (10 ways to help pick up the Japanese language quickly) and the Appendix (contains a mini dictionary and verb tables).
I decided to start with the basics and then refer back to it if I needed to. I like how the terms are set up in several forms: Japanese scripts which are what you would read if you were in Japan, The Romanized form of words and the pronunciation of the word. There are also a few "Fun & Games" questions at the end of the chapters with an answer key in the back.
The CD is a nice perk because it lets you hear the correct pronunciation and has a few more explanations for each section. In practicing sounding out along with the voice on the CD, it reinforces the lessons and is helpful.
Since this is an informal introduction to Japanese
I find this to be fun and simple to understand. It is really great that my daughter picked this book up on her own and is also teaching herself.
If you are looking for a book to help with a class or something more formal and structured, then try another book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good and helpful
It's good and helpful.

However this is not a book you can read and then know Japanese.
Like all language books you need to practice with someone who knows
the... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
greeat present for a friend goiing to Japan
Published 3 months ago by Gary Rutledge
4.0 out of 5 stars fair trade
This will help you understand sentence structure . The CD is pretty much worthless but for the price I'd say it's fair
Published 3 months ago by stef
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disapointed never got to use this it needed a ...
Very disapointed never got to use this it needed a download to go with it and the link did not work
Published 4 months ago by Little Turtle
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Information
I really liked this book. It was easy to follow, some books are really hard to understand. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn how to get around in Japan or... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Darla Marlatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Domo agrigato
This is a great and easy way to learn conversational Japanese. It is useful and fun.
It has helped me use the language more freely. Even my kids enjoy it!
Published 6 months ago by Ansis
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to learn a foreign language buy this book.
It is being used daily. A great book! Teaching my seven year old this language. He likes it very much.
Published 7 months ago by Sara McKee
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes learning a new language easier
The Japanese for dummies book is helpful while trying to learn a new language.

I find all the dummies language books helpful.
Published 7 months ago by GB
5.0 out of 5 stars best japanese book
I have used several Japanese teaching books, I found this book to be easy to use, very helpful and assisted me in learning basic Japanese.. I strongly recommend this book.
Published 10 months ago by Tom H. Alkadri
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Outstanding!
I have read many books on learning Japanese and this is by far one of the best out there. It goes into MUCH better detail on grammar and actual CURRENT spoken Japanese. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Zachary burden
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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.

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