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Japanese in Mangaland: Learning The Basics 1st Edition

42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 918-4289961151
ISBN-10: 4889961151
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

With Japanese in MangaLand, readers can easily master the basics of the Japanese language using manga as a didactic tool. With thirty lessons, including drills, clear explanations, and vivid examples, readers will become familiar with the fundamental patterns of Japanese grammar while learning important vocabulary. This book also features a bonus glossary of more than 160 basic kanji to assist in the learning process. Japanese in MangaLand is a wonderful alternative to reading page after page of dry prose. Perfect for both beginners and manga enthusiasts, this book makes learning the basics of Japanese both fun and easy.

About the Author

MARC BERNABE is a freelance translator and interpreter with a broad experience in translation of manga and animated cartoons, mainly from Japanese, but also from English and French into Spanish and Catalan.

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Product Details

  • Turtleback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Japan Publications Trading; 1 edition (March 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4889961151
  • ISBN-13: 978-4889961157
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Susan on December 5, 2005
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
I've been studying Japanese for several years, completing 3 years of Japanese in college and even studying and taking the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Tests). However, in most Japanese Language textbooks, you learn formal Japanese which is fine if you are going to be using it for business. If you want to watch Japanese TV programs, anime, read manga or talk to your Japanese friends, you are in for a rude awakening, because they don't speak the same Japanese you just learned out of a textbook.

Thank you, thank you for Japanese in Mangaland. Even though I've studied many Japanese textbooks, with this book I was finally able to learn some of the missing pieces of the puzzle of understanding "informal" or conversational Japanese. I don't mean rude or vulger slang that some other gimmicky books might teach you, but real Japanese that the everyday person might use.

However, I don't recommend this book as your primary text. Other textbooks like "Genki" or "Japanese for Busy People" have good exercises and audio tapes that go along with the text. Japanese in Mangaland is an excellent suppliment because of it's explanation of informal Japanese.

Get it, it is worth every penny.
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143 of 152 people found the following review helpful By Courtland J. Carpenter VINE VOICE on February 21, 2005
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
I've never had much luck with Foreign Languages. I'm an intuitive writer to begin with, and so generally build my writing structure by "ear". What sounds like it could be spoken naturally is the way I construct a sentence. Because of this, I virtually wasted three years in High School French. The net result of which gave me very little knowledge of the language, save a few remembered words.

Now I've spent the last six years collecting anime (in both dubbed and subbed versions), and a little translated manga. An appreciation of the Japanese culture derived from watching and reading, inspired me to want to learn some of the language. Still, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks without some sort of gimmick that makes it seem easy. I tried the special tapes and courses that were supposed to be so great, but for the most part, they were boring. I listened, heck, I even tried sleep-learning with the audio CD's, still when the track ended, and I hardly learned a thing.

Then I saw a book coming out on "TheRightStuf" anime site, so I thought I'd check it out on Amazon. It hadn't been released yet, so I found this one instead. Pretty good reviews, so I thought I'd give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised with the results, after the first few lessons, I'm beginning to recall not only the spoken word, but the hiragana characters that write it in Japanese!

What's typical of most "gimmick" type books are that they focus only on the "gimmick", and beyond that are not very good. They are often not written by very knowledgeable people on the subject, just someone with a unique point of view. Often after a good start, they degrade into a boring reference. Those of you who've read those "...Dummies" books know what I mean.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Ane on May 13, 2004
Format: Turtleback
I love manga, and I wanted to read manga in japanese, because there's far less manga in any other language than there is in japanese. So I started looking for good self-study books, because I didn't have not the time, nor the money to go to japanese classes (I'm a university student, not much free time). I decided to buy this one, Japanese in Mangaland, and I'm glad I did. This book is fun, easy to study with, and it works! I really have learned the basics: verbs, grammar, expressions, 160 basic kanji (with 5 kanji compounds for each kanji, that's really useful!), particles... There is no need to know any japanese before studying this book: it starts from the real basics, how to read and write hiragana and katakana.

The good thing about this book is that if you study it, you don't learn the standard japanese spoken and learned in class, not too useful when you read manga: you learn real japanese, just the way they really speak and write, with real japanese manga example sentences. So, after studying this book, and using a good dictionary, you can even read and understand easy manga such as Shinchan. I was so happy when I saw that I was able to understand what they were saying...

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn japanese, or anyone looking for something new, amazingly interesting... I'm a japanophile now :)

Marc Bernabe, the author, lives and works both in Japan and in Spain, and he's well known and loved here because of his great job as a manga translator: thanks to him, we've read in spanish wonderful manga such as Karekano, Blame!, Saikano, Say hello to Black Jack, Crayon ShinChan and so on. He's translated and adapted "Remembering Kanji" (James W Heisig) to spanish, too.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 30, 2005
Format: Turtleback
Learning Japanese through the medium of manga is a no-brainer. Many Japanese learners first interest in the language originally stems from an interest in anime and manga, and want the ability to go beyond English-translated merchandise and be able to pick and choose from the massive ocean of material that is untranslated in Japan.

"Japanese in Mangaland: Basic Japanese Course using Manga" accepts this, and builds a solid learning system based on usage and mis-usage in Japanese comics. Originally written in Spanish for Spanish learners of Japanese, it was so successful that the book was re-formatted for English learners, and it works just as well.

The book follows the format of introducing a grammar point, then following it up with manga examples taken from real Japanese comics. A serious study aid, it begins with learning the kana, both hiragana and katakana as well as basic kanji, then begins vocabulary building with repetition and increasing difficulty. Each section then concludes with a quiz to test yourself on what you learned. There are also cultural lessons in each chapter that give the necessary background to understand some of the subtleties of Japanese.

This approach has been tried before in "Mangajin's Basic Japanese Through Comics," but that book lacked a structured approach to language learning and instead focused on "cool phrases" and was unsuitable for beginners. "Japanese in Mangaland" is much more of an actual study course.

The only drawbacks to "Japanese in Mangaland" is that the manga used are not particularly famous, and will probably be unfamiliar to Western audiences. It may not even be their idea of "manga,' as generally only one style is imported to the US.
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