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Japanese For Dummies 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764554292
ISBN-10: 0764554298
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Speak Japanese – the fun and easy way!

Packed with clear explanations and real-world examples

Your friendly guide to understanding Japanese – quickly and easily!

Whether you’re a student, a traveler, or you just want to pick up basic Japanese, this unintimidating guide will help you start speaking the language in no time. Inside you’ll find a wealth of fascinating cultural facts and handy references – including a Japanese-English mini-dictionary, lists of common expressions and verbs, and much more!

All this on the bonus audio CD

  • Pick up Japanese the easy way –through actual conversations
  • Features dialogues by native Japanese speakers
  • Allows you to hear Japanese as it’s really spoken
  • Reinforces lessons from the book

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About the Author

Eriko Sato, PhD, is Professor of Japanese at State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. Sato is a native Japanese speaker experienced in teaching Japanese and in translation.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (June 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764554298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764554292
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just recieved my copy of this book yesterday and I think that it's wonderful! It's difficult for me to learn on my own using a book, but like all the other Dummies books, everything was simple and I was able to understand it well.
I ordered this book mainly to get a laugh from it, not expecting to REALLY learn everything there is to know about Japanese. Well, within the first 100 pages, I got my laugh. In the section talking about eating, the author says "If you are eating at home, get it [missing condiments, table settings] yourself, or if you have children, ask them to get it for you." I got the laugh I expected from a Dummies book. Also, in the introduction, the author makes some assumptions on the reader. The author says flat out that this book is not made for the people who want to become professional translators or expect to become fluent from the book alone. It's simply to learn the basics of spoken Japanese language and use the knowledge as a stepping stone to more learning.
But other than that, there's clear explainations for verbs and their basic usage. There was no unneccesary stuff to confuse the reader with although the different forms of verbs may seem intimidating. The vocabulary used is very basic and far from complete, but it's enough to get by with. There is a mini dictionary in the back of the book and it's just that: mini. I suggest you to grab yourself a good dictionary.
This book is pretty good, but it doesn't teach anything about writing. There is not a single kana in the book so those of you desiring to learn written Japanese should not buy this book unless you want to reinforce your grammar and speaking. This book concentrates mainly on speaking putting a great deal into the pronunciation of words.
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Format: Paperback
I am currently teaching English in Japan so I have lots of Japanese language books sitting on the shelf in my apartment. Japanese for Dummies is the only one of those books that I've actually looked at a second time. The book gets down to the nitty gritty of Japanese and explains the language in an easy and understandable way. Sato-san even gives important cultural information that explains when and why you use certain phrases in Japanese. I've been living in Japan for over a year and it wasn't until I started reading this book that I finally felt like I was understanding the usage of the language and have been a bit more confident talking to my co-workers at enkais and the drinking parties that follow. My book is competely full of highlighter and notes (something I rarely do so it truly must be a helpful book!)
Sadly I can't attest to how good the cd is because I've never taken it out of the book jacket since I constantly hear Japanese around me but if its anything like the book then it'd be quite good.
For people that are concerned about learning to read and write Japanese ... this book might not necessarily be for you - however, I taught myself to read and write hirigana and katakana over a weekend when I first got here and I've discovered that it didn't help me in the least bit getting around Japan as that would require knowing a decent amount of kanji characters which I've been picking up very slowly.
The layout of the book is great - introuduction followed by chapters that focus on a variety of things (like going shopping, inviting a friend to do something) each with new vocabulary, useful verbs (and their basic conjugations), set phrases and a practice dialogue. The back part of the book is a mini-dictionary that is suitable for this book but you would definitely need a better one if you have a more serious interest in Japanese (I can't help you with that since I've been searching for a better Japanese/English dictionary since I've arrived in Japan!)
Comment 58 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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