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Japanese Street Slang: Completely Revised and Updated Paperback – February 8, 2011

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Japanese Street Slang: Completely Revised and Updated + Dirty Japanese: Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# Off!" (Dirty Everyday Slang)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Kakkoii (Cool) is a good word to describe this book. Constantine’s painstaking research has produced a collection of words and phrases in the Japanese language used by everyone from teenagers to criminals to members of mainstream Japanese society when choosing to not be quite so stereotypically polite. Part academic treatise, part introduction to the colloquial side of the Japanese language, Japanese Street Slang offers something for linguists and Japanophiles alike.”—Elephant Journal

About the Author

Peter Constantine is the author of Japan’s Sex Trade and Japanese Slang Uncensored.  He was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann and the National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov. He has also translated works by Isaac Babel, Machiavelli, Gogol, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Weatherhill; 2 Blg edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590308484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590308486
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has been moderately useful because it gives you vocabulary that makes Japanese interesting and come alive. Most Japanese books don't include the slang spoken on the streets, which essentially is the way people speak. Try listening to TV in Japan and you'll understand why Berlitz insturction gets you no where in your quest to learn the language. No one speaks the way you will learn through books. This helps and does have some important slangish grammer focuses like the use of "me" for males from the polite "watakushi", the usualy "watashi", the boyish "boku", and the rough "ore".
However, there are downsides to this book. It is terribly out-dated and with slang, you need to be on top of the latest phrases. I would give examples, but they would probably be offensive. More research and a new edition is needed. Moreover, the explainations of the words and expressions are too long: more vocabulary could be included instead of a mass of explaination. Some slang I learned from Japanese speakers was from the 80's and I got ridiculous smiles from locals. They hadn't heard "that" in years.
One last word...the words in the book can be offensive and try them out with younger friends. Unko means "poo-poo" in Japanese, not the offensive 4-letter word the book says it means. Kids use it as well as wildlife shows. A lot of other words in here have debatable meanings, but the majority are interesting.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kitsuno on June 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
After having lived in Japan and interacted with Japanese on a daily basis, as well as a good dose of Japanese television and movies, I can tell you that most of the phrases in the book are just not used, are probably outdated, or even taken from obscure dialects. If you are looking for a good book on Japanese 'slang', I'd reccomend "Kansai Japanese" by Peter Tse - while not really 'slang' per se, it is one of the most interesting and lively dialects in Japan, and more useful than any of the 'slang' found in this book..
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I read this book seven years ago and tried to use some of the new words I learned on some Japanese friends of mine, the only reactions I got were blank stares. I showed them the book and the words, and they still had no idea what I was talking about. I highly suggest staying away from this book. There are better ways to learn slang, like from real Japanese people. Japanese comics, or manga, are also a great source that I recommend for people wanting to learn slang.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
This ranks among one of my favorite bedside books. Page long explainations of certain words, with detailed comments on related words, history, regionalization. It's a little naughty, but with a scholorly flair. His translations of japanese sentances are like what you always wish they taught in high school french, and Constantine's command of English slang is impressive. The best part is his look at japanese culture through slang. Constantine uncovers gem after gem. It's unlikely that I'll ever be fluent enough in Japanese to judge the veracity of the book, but it rings true, and is a delight to read, even if you will never need to know the Japanese word for Lesbian, or when a root is more than just a root.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Bass on April 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Japanese Street Slang.. vulgar, outdated, and just not slang. The author expresses that the so called "slang" of Japan is something that is not acknowledged by those who profess or study the language professionally. While the purpose is interesting, the proof however is not convincing. I doubt the existance of a Japanese slang like that portrayed in this book. Besides many horribly dirty, gross, outdated, and innaccurate words in this book, there is not much else of practical use. I strongly discourage the purchase of this book for communication in Japanese because most of the words are not even used anymore or are not known by many Japanese speakers. Few words are of much use, and those which are have no distinctions from the other not so quite useful words.
I think the author either made a profoundly deep excavation into the tiny corners of the Japanese language, or just some of the material is fabricated. If you read this book, please keep in mind that many of the words or phrases are not used in everyday Japanese speech. I do not reccomend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Verneal on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book thinking it a lot of stuff like "Whatsup?" and similar to that. Well, i got the book, so excited, and i read in it, probably 5 pages in the whole book was stuff you will see everyday, and the rest of the book was about sex terms. It was a bit too PG-13. This is a great book if you need a hooker or something. Less likely you will use these words everyday in Japan. It might be good, if you are just looking forward to extending your Japanese vocabulary, but otherwise, i would consider getting "Dirty Japanese: Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# Off!""
this is probably the best slang book you can get. (:
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
If I had to recommend a book of Japanese slang to someone, this book probably wouldn't show up near the top of my list. It's very vulgar, repetitious, and outdated. I'm sure there are better rescources out there to use than this one.
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